What should you remember when making your first online photography portfolio?
In the past years, we noticed more photographers are living their dreams, showing off their photographs online with stock images and the like, and making a living out of their photography. However, if you want your work to be noticed, you should start thinking about making a portfolio.
Looking at several of the bigger and more seasoned photographers out there–or even some of the smaller ones you’re following on Instagram- there’s one theme that’s quite evident. It’s the fact that they have sleek, fancy, minimalist websites that promote their greatest works, contact information, and sometimes a little bit of personal information.
You see, an online photography portfolio combines branding, self-marketing, and staying behind the camera. The portfolio of a photographer must first and foremost show off their work. It’s almost like the age-old adage that “a picture says a thousand words” is actually true.
With all that said, it is not all that hard to create a decent and cool online photography portfolio. You just need a little guidance, and you’ll be good to go.
Every cloud needs a silver liner, and every website requires a hosting platform.
There are free platforms out there that are much more advanced and technologically adept than they were back in the day, and we are not talking about Picasa or Flickr either. Likewise, there are also simplistic paid services that you do not need to know HTML or CSS to make an excellent online photography portfolio.
Hosting Options for Your New Online Photography Portfolio
If you’re looking to expand your photography into a career or a business, you might want to think about transferring your site to a hosting platform.
A lot of hosting providers, like HostGator, 1&1, and BlueHost, have WordPress integration capabilities. Squarespace, as you’ll know if you’re listening to podcasts, is a magic brand of its own.
That said, larger, community-based websites like Flickr also have their SEO benefits.
Easily the most widely used hosting platform around these days, there is a WordPress template and plugin for just about any type of website you are looking to create. You don’t need to learn a little bit of code. Although if you are looking for a simplistic photo portfolio, it might not be worth $4-or-so to buy a hosting and a domain name.
Once more, having a domain name will always be a benefit to you and your brand.
Price: Free, although you will have to pay for your hosting and/or domain name through a hosting provider.
Squarespace has a grip on the current streamlined, high-end aesthetics that most brands and individuals are on the lookout for these days.
Their layouts are straightforward, elegant, and easy to put together. Their themes have been actively stunning as well. If you need a luxury theme that gives a deluxe touch to your site without having to put a lot of hard work into it, then Squarespace may be worth checking out.
Price: $12/m for up to 20 pages, $18/m for countless pages, but this comes with a domain name and discounts if you pay yearly.
Less known than WordPress or Squarespace, Wix is a platform that is easy to use and features designed exclusively for professional photographers. Wix offers an abundance of modern templates and an incredibly easy platform to use.
Recently, the company has also implemented AI to help you build the website you want, simply by answering a few questions.
It’s a simple builder for busy people who still look great and work great. On top of that, you could use tools to make it difficult for anyone to steal pictures.
How to Make Your Portfolio Stand Out
Once you’ve sorted your website and layout, it’s time to think about how you want your online photography portfolio to look. Even though it is ultimately your choice, two of the things we really like to stand by are that you need to watermark your work. You ought to keep it as minimalist as possible, too.
Most photographers prefer only a few of their outstanding photographs to show on their online photography portfolio; collections that say, “This is my style, this is what I want to do, and if you want to see more, employ me.” However, even amateur photographers also do this, so this is not exactly the best way to separate your art from the crowd.
Do not get people to look for your best shots-give it to them!
As for watermarking, it’s amazingly important to ensure that your photographs are linked back to you. With sites out there, like Pinterest and Tumblr, the purpose of royalties go down the drain. Having a watermark on your job is a distinct, upmarket way to say, “I’ve taken it, doesn’t it look amazing?”
What to Put in Your Portfolio
- ABOUT Section: Give a quick summary of you, yourself, and what you’re about.
- Choose PHOTOGRAPHS: Choose photos that highlight your photography style and expertise.
- CONTACT Information: Put your contact information, e-mail address, socials, etc., are important for networking. How can someone tell you that they would like to order you to do some work if you don’t have any contact information available?
Everything else, even the blog sections, can be read as static.
How to Know Which Photos to Highlight
We’ve got it. It’s as hard to pick one photograph in your collection when they all look good. That said, the images you prefer to show off as part of the online photography portfolio should be those that show off your expertise, skills, or even your vibe.
A great way to select shots is to look at it as if you were putting together an exhibition. Technically, you are, although this may be an online exhibition. Your online photography portfolio is your exhibition, and you want photographs that will always be associated to you.
An Online Photography Portfolio in a Nutshell
The great thing about owning an online photography portfolio is that if you are proud of it, you do not really have to visit it again unless you want to. Like if you are updating information or gearing up to switch an older shot to a newer one.
All that means is that you have more time to do what you love: actually, take the photographs.