Photography is one of the most interesting careers these days. It can take you out from the 9 to 5 person and give you a way to follow your passion. That’s why more and more people are driving to build a successful career in photography.
But it’s not that easy to be successful at it, as there are just too many competitors to compete. A strong portfolio is a thing that comes in handy in that case. If you have a good portfolio, you are already ahead of your competitors.
Down below, let’s cover all that you’ll ever need to know on how to create a photography portfolio that guarantees success.
Table of Contents
- 1 Making Careful Considerations
- 2 Determining Your Goals
- 3 Choosing a Website
- 4 Making the Portfolio User Friendly
- 5 What to Include in Your Photography Portfolio
- 6 Choose Your Best Work for Your Photo Portfolio
- 7 Showcasing Post-Production Skills
- 8 Showcase Your Adaptability
- 9 Creating Multiple Photography Portfolios
- 10 Setting Up an Online Store
- 11 Get a Second Opinion
- 12 Update Your Portfolio
- 13 5 Easy Steps to Make a Photography Portfolio
- 14 5 Advanced Tips to Create a Strong Photography Portfolio
- 15 Final Thoughts
Making Careful Considerations
A portfolio is going to present yourself to all the potential clients. That’s why you can’t just put things on it as it can ruin the impression. You need to be very careful about what you put in it, and you have to know that it’s going to impact the possibility of your potential clients accepting you or rejecting you.
Down below, we’ll go over everything you need to know to make a wonderful portfolio that’s going to increase your chances to close the deal with your client. It’s also going to attract new clients, which is critical if you are just starting out.
Determining Your Goals
Before you jump into getting the format ready and put pictures in it, you need to determine your goals first. That’s going to help you build a portfolio that makes sense to people.
While setting your goals, don’t put yourself in a box. Have some space so that you can have some flexibility as well.
Also, try to be a little unrealistic with your goals. That’s going to help you with so many things, and break your limits. It will also work to expand your creativity and push you through your beliefs.
But always try to know your audience, and try to put what they want out of your first. Then, be sure to add your strengths, which can highlight you as a photographer even better. After that, make sure to put photos that are going to help to grow your business according to your goals.
However, the best approach to take there would be to get inspiration. Go online and do some extensive research on successful photographers. Don’t just stick to your area or country, get inspiration from around the globe. That’s going to help you make a phenomenal portfolio for yourself.
Just emphasize what they all put there in common. And you’ll get the audience hooked in no time as well.
Choosing a Website
You need to give more emphasis to building your website so that the client knows that you are serious about your work. A stylish website showcases your artist’s mind and makes you look more professional, and that ultimately helps to get more clients in the long run.
If you want to build yourself a gorgeous looking portfolio for photography, you need to focus on the following features of a website.
1. Gorgeous Themes
The first thing that the potential client is going to see is the theme you use on the website. Before they even see the content you put, the theme is going to tell them about your taste, professionalism, and all other things. So, you need to use some premium and gorgeous themes on your portfolio website.
2. Flexible Layouts
The nest thing that you need to get right is the layouts of your website. If your client can’t navigate through your portfolio website properly, he won’t be more likely to hire you for his photography. That’s why you need to get flexible layouts on your portfolio website, for easy access to everything.
3. Full Customizability
You see, everybody else is working with the same things over and over and using in on their websites. That makes it easy for you to stand out from them using customization.
If you can customize everything from size, width, and such components, it’s going to give your portfolio a completely different look.
4. Video Support
Video is a strong medium of communication that you can use for your benefit. It’s getting more and more popular than most people are starting to rely on it than reading a text.
So, make sure to have video support on your portfolio website to skyrocket your progress with your clients.
5. Client Proofing
The way to successfully avoid the overdose of client emails is by using client proofing on your portfolio website. If you look at some of the professionals, they all use client proofing in their portfolio so that they don’t have to deal with the excessive emails that can be impossible to manage.
6. Google Analytics Support and SEO Boosting
You probably know that the key to success in an online business is to get a higher rank in google and do proper SEO. You need to take care of the google analytics support and SEO boosting to rank your portfolio website higher, and that’s the only way your website will appear on other people’s searches.
7. Built-In Blog
There is no better way for a photographer to build a loyal client base than having a built-in blog on his portfolio website. It’s going to allow the client to get a more personal touch, and help you to do more SEO boosting as well so that your website can rank higher on Google.
Make sure that the blog content you provide is good in quality. You are going to lose a lot of clients if the content you put out there is crappy.
8. 24/7 Customer Support
A great key to success is to provide 24/7 service to the clients. That’s going to show that you respect their time and you are serious about what you do. It’s going to help you attract a lot more clients and make a lot of permanent ones as well.
9. Free Trial
You need to make a photography portfolio that gives some kind of free trial to the client. You need that especially when you are just starting out on the photography business. It’s going to help you attract new clients very fast as you do that.
Making the Portfolio User Friendly
Now that you have the basic gist of the website you are going to use to make a portfolio, it’s time to know how you can make it more user friendly.
The first thing that you need to put more focus on is the homepage. That’s where the client is going to get the first impression of you.
Try to put the best images there, and use the same font size and format throughout. You can always change it to point out key things, but always go back to the general font size and format that you used before.
Also, you need to provide as much as information you can on the homepage so that the client has all the questions answered before they even had to ask. That’s going to be a big point for you that you must get right.
Just clear out on the type of service you provide, location, clients that you’ve worked with, and etc. That’s going to help to give the visitor enough info about you, and they can take further decisions based on it.
So, always make your photography portfolio website as user friendly as you can.
What to Include in Your Photography Portfolio
Now that you know the basics of making a website and doing some stuff to present it better to the audience, you need to know what to actually put on it. That’s one of the biggest struggles that a newbie photographer has to deal with as they throw some random stuff that works against them and thus, they lose a lot of potential clients.
The first thing that you need to do is to talk about yourself and have a proper introduction. That’s the basic thing that you must give at the beginning. Then, you have to give a very nice self-portrait next to it.
After that, you can write about your work, your passion, and all the other things that you want to talk about. There are no restrictions that you need to follow there. And remember that, stepping out of the box and being free with your message will help you to attract more and more clients naturally.
Add a Pricing Page
You must add a pricing page to your photography portfolio website, and it is one of the most vital things to add as well. It’s going to make the whole process so much easier for the clients and they will be more likely to hire you for your services.
Choose Your Best Work for Your Photo Portfolio
That might look obvious but so many people get it wrong in the first place and it can have a very bad impact on the business. You need to choose the best shots that you have throughout your career.
You need to focus on the quality rather than quantity as it’s the only key to success in this competitive marketplace. But you should not rush the process in any way. You need to pick the photos that you are going to use on the portfolio very carefully and with a collective mind. You need to remember that the photo you like the most might not be the best one for the audience.
But that’s not going to be an issue for you if you follow the right methods to choose the photos in the first place. You should pick 10 percent of your photos that you think are the best. Then take a look at the pros and see what kind of photos they use on their portfolio.
After that, you should be able to remove some of the weaker options. Them, get a second opinion as it’s going to be the best bet for you.
Remember, the pictures on your portfolio are the first thing that’s going to help you to attract the clients in the first place. That’s why you need to get it down correctly before you move on to market yourself further in the market.
Showcasing Post-Production Skills
Let’s get real for a moment, post-production is one of the most critical things for a professional photo shoot. That’s why it’s a great idea to add some post-production samples in your portfolio as well.
Showcasing that will help you so much attracting clients as it shows that you are sincere at what you do and you actually know what you are doing.
Apply the same principles that you apply for selecting the best photos that you are going to put in the portfolio. Always put the best thing out there as it’s going to help you get more viability almost instantly.
However, if you don’t know any post-production skills yet, you don’t have to sweat about it. You can always hire someone online to do it for you.
But the good news is that it’s not that hard to learn in the first place. So, it’s going to be a wise idea to learn the basics of post-production as it’s going to pay off big times and help you save more money as well.
Yet, if you can’t do that, just go on Upwork or Fiverr and hire a decent editor at a cheap price to do the job for you.
Showcase Your Adaptability
If you are serious about your photography and want to make a living out of it, you can’t just stick to a single niche all the time. That way you won’t get a lot of clients to work with, which is apparent. But if you are flexible, you can get a lot of work from more clients.
That’s what you need to showcase in your portfolio website as well. You need to show that you can step out of your particular niche and work with almost every niche.
It’ll help you to get clients from all the niches, and you’ll start to get a lot more work. That can be especially helpful if you are planning to work as a freelance photographer.
There are just so many opportunities out there for you, but you need to know how to get them. Stepping out of your niche is the #1 thing that’s going to help you with that.
However, that’s going to be a good challenge for you if you are just starting out. Be sure to take your time to develop your skill and perspective and then you can put things out there. Until then, you can stick with your own niche.
But as you progress, be sure not to get too comfortable with your zone and step out of it. Showcase your adaptability in the portfolio website and that’s going to help you get so many more clients.
Creating Multiple Photography Portfolios
You can create multiple photography portfolios to lift up your business pretty fast. But you can’t just make more portfolios if you don’t know the right strategies to go with as you’ll just lose money on it.
The key to creating multiple photography portfolios and being successful with those is using them to showcase different niches. That’s going to help you gather different clients and be more efficient with your marketing.
You can probably see how it’s going to help you expand your business to an extent. Just make sure that you get the best photos in your portfolio and get the targeting correct as well.
Targeting different audiences is going to help you attract more clients without any trouble.
However, if you are just starting out, it’s not the best idea to create multiple photography portfolios right away. You need to get one portfolio converting clients regularly.
Also, don’t create an extra portfolio before you develop your skill to get more flexible with the shots that you take. After you are comfortable taking pictures in multiple niches, only then you should invest your time and money in making new portfolios to expand your business. It’s the only way to get successful with it.
Setting Up an Online Store
If you are looking to sell more photos and increase the overall revenue, you need to do more than just provide photography service to the clients.
You can offer so much to the audience that they’d like to buy from you. If you are good at teaching, you can teach classes and workshops, and make money from it. That’s a legit way to make extra money by teaching your audience, and if you love to teach, that’s going to be even better for you.
Also, you can take the whole thing and make it an online-based tutoring session as well. That’s going to make it even hassle-free and take out the limit of having a limited number of students there.
Another thing that you can do is to sell some photography related stuff to make extra money out of your portfolio website.
So, don’t just stick to the basic photography services and make use of your portfolio to get the most out of it. Make it flexible and add more and more things to increase revenue by a lot.
Get a Second Opinion
If you are looking to get the most out of your portfolio website, there is no better method to use than getting a second opinion about it. After you are done with everything, it’s time to take a second person and ask him to give honest feedback.
You see, what you like best might not be the best for your audience. Our brain can’t criticize what we create that well. That’s why it’s the best tactic to get a helping hand.
You don’t need a pro photographer to give feedback about your website if you can’t manage one. Any friend or family member is going to be fine for that job.
However, if you can get a pro shooter, it’s going to help you get the best results that way. They know what works and what doesn’t work better than others. So, if you know someone, you can ask for there help. In most cases, they’ll be more than happy to help you out with that.
So, be sure to get a second opinion on your photography portfolio website before you choose to do all the marketing for it. It’s a very critical thing that you must take care of before publishing.
Update Your Portfolio
Once you have a successful photography portfolio, you don’t want to get too comfortable with it. You need to constantly update your portfolio, add new things, and remove old stuff from it. That’s going to help to make your portfolio look fresh and give you maximum effectiveness.
As time goes on, your photography skills will grow and you’ll be able to get far better shots with your camera. But if you choose to stick to the older pictures in your portfolio, it’s not going to be the best-case scenario for you.
In most cases, the portfolio will look like those shots were taken by amateurs. That’s not because you are not good at taking photos. That’s because when you captured the shots, you were not well experienced within the field.
And a photo can easily tell if you are an experienced photographer or not. That’s why you need to constantly update your portfolio photos to make them better and more relevant.
You don’t need to change up your self-portrait if it’s not that bad. But for the pictures on the homepage and throughout the site, you can switch the pictures to spice things up a little bit. That’s going to help you charge more for your services as well.
5 Easy Steps to Make a Photography Portfolio
You know a lot about making a photography portfolio work and attract clients by now. Let’s take a look at a 5 step formula that you can use to make a photography portfolio for yourself.
Step 1: Shoot a Lot of Photos
The first thing you need to do is to shoot a lot of photos in your niche. That’s going to give you some elements that you can work with and select from the images that you can add to your portfolio.
Don’t put yourself in a box and go wild with your creativity. That’s going to help you get the best shots that you can ever get. The reason to shoot a lot of photos is that you can choose from them easily afterward. That way you can have a lot of options, which makes getting a good fit more likely to happen.
Step 2: Pick the Best Photos
Now that you have a lot of photos to choose from, it’s time to pick the best ones from them that you are going to put on your portfolio.
Look at the pictures and think about what your audience might like to have. You must think like them as your taste can be very different from their taste. You can look up online to see other people’s portfolios as well to get a better idea.
So after getting clear on it, start to pick from your shots and pick the ones that you think will be better for your targeted audience.
Step 3: Creating a Website
Now that you have the materials, you need to make a website that you are going to put the pictures and everything inside it. Get a good domain name and do the designs properly.
Make sure that the theme is beautiful and the layout is simple for the user. A hard interface can make it confusing for the audience to navigate through your website. So, make sure that you got the design down perfectly before you do anything else. It’s going to have a big impact on how successful your portfolio is going to be.
Step 4: Make Content
After having the pictures and the website ready, it’s time to make content for it. You need to put high-quality content as it’ll help you so much to get the clients easily.
However, make sure not to use what everybody else is using and step out of the box a bit. That’s going to help you attract more clients without having any kind of trouble.
Step 5: Finalizing
Now that you have everything in place, it’s time to finalize everything. Before you publish your website, take care of google ranking, and do proper SEO as it’s the key to success.
Also, get someone to check your final portfolio website and ask for their honest feedback. If you can get a professional photographer to do that, it’s even better.
Finally, you can launch this website to go online, and do marketing from there. That should be all you need to do to make a successful photography portfolio for yourself.
5 Advanced Tips to Create a Strong Photography Portfolio
You know how to make your own photography portfolio and make it successful as well. Let’s cover 5 of the advanced tips that you can use to make your portfolio even stronger and these will help to make you a better photographer as well.
1. Isolate your Subject
This is a technique that most newbie photographers can’t impediment on their photos. You should isolate your subject in your photo to make a professional-looking picture for your portfolio.
To do that, you have to keep the subject as far as possible from the background things. You can place the subject in a place where there is nothing else.
Also, you can put your subject in more light, and it’s going to help in the isolation. And if you are more advanced, you can work with the rule of thirds or any other advanced composition techniques.
2. Getting the Frame Right
The next thing that you need to get down properly is the frame. You must fill in the picture and get your subject in the proper framing. Make sure that you put your subject in the frame that is suitable for the whole picture. A photo with a good frame will naturally look good, and you can put it on your portfolio without much trouble.
3. Add Depth to Your Photos
One of the most important things that you need to consider in a photo is the depth of it. Every professional photographer puts so much focus on the depth of the photo.
You need to tell a story with your photo, rather than taking random shots. These will spark interest in the audience, and they are going to be more likely to hire you for your services. So, be sure to take your time planning out the shot and get great depth with your photos.
4.Work with Lights
Light is the most vital part of photography that you must get down correctly. Without proper lighting, your photo will not look presentable.
Do some research on the lighting and see what works well for you. There are so many different styles that you can follow that’ll add dynamics to your shots. Knowing about these will help you get a better photo for your portfolio.
5. Getting Good White Balance
The final thing you need to focus on to get a great photo for your portfolio is the white balance of your photo. That’s a pretty advanced thing that most of the newbie shooters can’t use. That’s something you can benefit from and it’s going to give you better shots.
Those are the 5 of the best tips that you can use that’s going to improve your photography by a lot. And when you’ll start to take better photos, you’ll have more quality materials that you can put on your portfolio. So, make sure to be in a lookout to improve your skills as a photographer first.
We just covered a lot about creating a photography portfolio that will help you to get to success quickly. But you can see that the path is full of difficulties.
You must develop your skill first, and then apply the strategies. That way, you can get the most out of it. Also, make sure that you put new things in your portfolio and do proper marketing as well.
Finally, know that it’s going to take you time to get to success. But what’s going to drive you there is patience, skill, and strategy.