How To Create a Winning Photography Portfolio

10/10/2018 11:39 am

How to Create a Winning Online Photography Portfolio

In our previous guide to starting a successful photography business, we pointed out the need for an online photography portfolio. As a companion piece, we thought we’d help you in developing a portfolio that presents your work in the best light possible.

As a way of connecting with potential employers and customers, and building your brand it is important to have an online platform to deliver your work to the world. Although it may seem intimidating at first, developing your online presence is relatively painless, and the benefits are overwhelming.

Decide what you want to present to the world


It is tempting to upload all of your work and overwhelm viewers with just how many strings you have to your bow, but in the end this is not the best approach.

You need to carefully select your best work and more importantly, select the work that you want to continue creating in the future.

This is the way to put your best foot forward and to attract employers and clients which you are most compatible with.


How to Create a Winning Online Photography Portfolio
How to Create a Winning Online Photography Portfolio

How do you want to present them?


Now that you have decided on the work you will be showing, you need to decide the best way to present them visually and contextually.

Behance's Chief Designer, Matias Corea, who has viewed thousands of online portfolios in his career mentions the following on the subject, “First, contextualise the project with a short paragraph. Add a title that makes sense and gives a hint of what this project is about. You want this to be quick reading — you need to be able to glance at it and understand what it’s about.”

Upon viewing the first image in your portfolio, you want the viewer to be interested enough to continue onto the remaining images in your work.

Keep it simple

We know how it feels. You have completed so many projects that you are proud of and you want the whole world to see them.

Unfortunately if you overwhelm a viewer they are more likely to switch off completely, but if you only show your best, most accomplished works, you will have them coming back for more.

Use high quality images and links

You want to provide visitors to your portfolio with large, high-quality images which are easy to access. Any relevant completed works for previous clients should be linked to, for prospective future clients, so they can see what you are capable of doing for your customers. A few sentences detailing the project, its goals, and how these were met are useful in outlining how you can work to a brief and communicate with clientele.

How to Create a Winning Online Photography Portfolio
How to Create a Winning Online Photography Portfolio

Custom website or online hosting?

While there are various high-quality online platforms available which make it easy to get your work online, the best way to get your work out there and noticed is with a custom URL.

Having a short and clean URL which includes a relevant keyword, is a sure-fire way to be more search engine friendly.

That said, if you don't have the time, skills or money for a custom website, there are a number of excellent online hosting options.

Here are just a few...

  • FolioHD - Designed for photographers, models, designers, artists and architects, FolioHD is a great self-hosted platform.
  • Deviant Art - At more than 28 Million members, DeviantArt is the most popular and largest online artistic community.
  • Orosso - An online portfolio building site that allows you to build your own folio, without having to have a grasp of coding.
  • Photo Shelter - An easy to use site, providing you with control over your images, as well as layouts and fonts.


Making your mark

Although it is somewhat daunting knowing where to start, developing an online platform is a rewarding task, which is necessary if you want to make any ground with a photography business in the modern age.

If you take your time and follow the necessary steps, you will come away with a portfolio that you are proud of, and will cross your paths with future clients and employers.  


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