As a photographer, your portfolio website is your business card in the digital world. An online presence is necessary for showing your work to the world and reaching potential clients. It is, therefore, important for every photographer to carefully think about the the design and content of their portfolio websites. Here is a list of seven things you should consider when designing your online portfolio. The list is followed by examples of great portfolio designs used by other photographers.
The main purpose of your online portfolio is showcasing your work and making it easy for people to contact you. Your web design should support this purpose. A web design based on simplicity allows your work to stand out. It also makes it easy for visitors to navigate your website. The more intuitive the design of your portfolio website, the better your work can be experienced.
2. Choose a design matching your photography
A great website design matches the work of the photographer. As a wedding photographer, you will want your online portfolio to have the same vibe as a wedding. As a travel photographer, you will want a website that exudes adventure. Even if you specialize in several types of photography, your style will have a better fit with certain web designs.
3. Be selective in choosing your work
Your online portfolio should be your ‘best of’, not ‘the complete works of’. So be critical when selecting the photos that go on your website. As you create new work, you should update your portfolio regularly. Don’t be afraid to take out photos or experiment with the organization. When ordering a gallery, a good rule of thumb is to start and end with your best photos, and to keep the middle varied. A visitor should keep clicking ‘next’ and leave with a good impression of your work.
4. Keep SEO in mind
The Search Engine Optimization of your online portfolio determines how high you rank in search results. This ranking directly affects the number of visitors to your site. Although SEO is a complicated topic, there are a few things you can do to improve the ranking of your portfolio website. First of all, you should give the photos on your site a name by using the alt tags of images. Secondly, you can add a blog to your portfolio website. By regularly writing quality posts about your photography, more people will link back to your site and your ranking will improve.
To learn more about SEO, read The Quick and Dirty Guide to SEO for Photographers by Julian Dormon. For tips about improving the SEO of your portfolio website, check out SEO Tips for Photographers on Fstoppers.
5. Be easy to contact
Have a section dedicated to your contact information, especially if you’re looking for customers. Make it obvious where this section can be found and make the process of contacting you effortless.
6. Include social media
Your online presence should not be limited to your website. Social media are a great way to promote your work and online portfolio. It also makes it easier for people to contact you. So add links from your portfolio site to your social media sites and back. Another advantage of social media is that you can show a different side of you as a photographer. For example, while your portfolio website could host your professional work, Instagram would be great for more personal photos.
7. Follow the trends in technology and web design
If you keep track of the portfolio websites of successful photographers, you will notice that their designs are regularly updated. One reasons for these updates is that the idea of what is good design changes over time. Since aesthetics are important for photographers, it’s good to keep up with the general trends in web design. If your website is starting to look dated, it might be time to change its design. Another reason to update your website’s design is changes in technology. Smartphones and tablets, for example, have changed the way people access websites. Now, if your website’s design is not responsive, you are missing out on an opportunity to show your work to a large group of internet users.
A great way to start your portfolio without spending thousands of dollars on a custom design is to download a theme or template on ThemeForest.
40 Great Photographer Portfolio Websites
Sometimes the best way to get inspiration for a website, is to look at the online portfolios of other photographers. So here is a collection of fantastic portfolio web designs. As an added bonus, you get to look at some amazing photography.