For many budding photographers the thought of creating a professional online photography portfolio can be overwhelming. You might think your work isn’t worthy, have too much work, or just don’t know where to start. Or perhaps you feel your current marketing strategies are working just fine and you don’t need to do anything else?
Regardless of your reasoning, the truth is that every professional photographer has an online portfolio, and you are no exception. An online photography portfolio, or your very own portfolio website is an essential for any photographer who is looking to advertise their work to potential clients. With a professional photography website, a photographer is given the potential to grow their following, their business, and most importantly, highlight the value of their work.
What You Need in a Photography Portfolio Website
An online photography portfolio should be, at its most basic, a place where visitors to your website first see your work, and familiarize themselves with your style, quality, and costing.
This means that these websites are super simple to create if you have the right tools, and are even easier to continually keep up to date since all you have to do is upload your latest work to the already existing portfolio site. With an photography website, you have the potential to reach the broadest audience possible thanks to email marketing, organic search results, and social media sharing.
With that in mind, your photography website should be arranged according to theme or subject, to make it easy for potential clients to understand your work. If your photography is presented in an organized and easy to navigate way, chances are potential clients will appreciate the curation and level of professionalism that went into creating your photography website. It also makes their lives a lot easier when looking through your work.
This ties into another common mistake with online photography portfolios; a portfolio site is not your external hard drive. Many photographers fall into the trap of publishing every photo they’ve ever shot onto their online portfolio, forgetting that in photography, like many other art forms, quality always beats quantity. This means that you want to make sure only the best of the best goes up so that your photography website look less like a dumping ground and more like a professional photographer’s website.
Clients need to know what you are good at what you do, so make sure to show only those images that truly showcase your talent. You may also want to put your best work at the forefront of your website. Most clients are busy and don’t have the time to scan through every photo in your galleries, so make sure the work that you are most proud of is featured on your website’s home page, and at the beginning of your galleries.
Often photographers create beautiful websites and then wait around hoping that clients will see them. However, they forget that like anything online, their photography business will need search engine optimization (known as SEO), if they hope to reach the eyes of any new viewers. This means that you should consider using a portfolio service that enables you to take control of your SEO, and includes search engine friendly URLs, crawl-able content, and unique meta tags. These features will drive traffic to specific places on your site and build links to your entire website, instead of just your homepage.
Another key feature that all the best photography portfolio websites share is simple interconnection between the portfolio site and the artist’s social media pages. With this feature, visitors can share your photos on social media platforms with just a click, allowing you to gain more visibility for your brand and letting clients market your work for you without you having to ever lift a finger.
What If I Want To Sell My Photos?
Online photography portfolio sites can also double as a form of digital marketplace where you can sell prints, or digital copies of your previous works for profit. Depending on your website host provider, creating an online shopping portal within your portfolio can be as easy as a few mouse clicks, and will deliver a smooth checkout process for people buying digital or physical prints from your online store.
Of course, not all hosting sites offer digital marketplace options for your site, so the first step before creating an online photography portfolio, is to first decide which website builder or online portfolio site will be the best host for your photos.
How To Create Your Own Page On Photography Portfolio Websites
So what is a website builder and an online portfolio site, and what is best for your portfolio? Well, while you may have good intentions to build your own custom portfolio site, wanting it to be a representation of your own unique brand, many photographers find it much more effective to focus on their work and leave the coding and technicalities to the professionals. This is where online photography portfolio builders come in.
A Portfolio builder site will take the guesswork out of the process and will allow you to quickly put together a working, professional site in a short amount of time, so that you can focus on creating and refining your photography. But with so many options for hosting sites, how do you find the one that is best for you?
For an aspiring photographer, the number one thing you should want is a site that is easy to use and has a large selection of customizable and flexible templates, so that the site you create truly reflects your personal branding and style.
The next factor to consider is cost per upload. As a professional photographer, you may find yourself uploading thousands of files, so you don’t want to be stuck paying for each upload. Stick to a platform that allows you to do this without charging exorbitant fees.
However, online photography builders aren’t just about making the photographer’s life easier, making sure your client has a great user experience is an essential step to having a successful online photography portfolio. As such, the platform you decide to go with, should make it easy for clients to navigate your website, whether they’re using a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Using a portfolio website service with responsive design, enables your clients to see your site perfectly formatted to their device. Also, as mentioned previously, if you plan to give your clients the option to purchase certain images directly from your site, then you should look for providers that have a built-in e-commerce function so your clients can use easily choose and purchase the images they love.
The Downfall Of Online Photography Portfolios
There really is only one downfall to creating a web portfolio and that is that online photography portfolios open photographers up to image misuse. As soon as you publish a photograph online, it is accessible to thieves who wish to steal or misappropriate your work for their own purpose. Luckily, there are numerous ways to combat this and keep your photos safe online.
The first and most obvious means to combat theft is to disable the right-click button on the images on your website to prevent illegal downloads. While this won’t discourage image theft in totality, it will reduce it to some level. Determined visitors can still find the source of the image by sifting through your website code or just take a screenshot of the image. This is where the next, and most effective method of safeguarding your work comes in – watermarking!
Safeguard Your Images From Theft
Adding a visible watermark to all your images before you upload them to your online photography portfolio, helps establish copyright and protects your images. By placing your watermark in an obvious and hard to remove location, you can save your image from unauthorized use. With services like Watermarquee, you even create custom watermarks that can range from anything like your name to your photography portfolio’s logo.
So, if you want to keep your online photography portfolio safe from theft, then consider using Watermarquee’s watermarking services. You can create and upload your own custom watermark on your images to keep your work safe, and even double as an easily recognizable digital signature to really make your work pop.
Watermarquee offers you unlimited access to all features and unlimited watermarking for all your images for only $19.00. Protect your online photography portfolio today with the great watermarking service from Watermarquee!