Thanks to do-it-yourself website builders that have templates specifically tailored to the needs of photographers, you no longer have to pay a professional web designer thousands of dollars to build a website for you. So, no matter if you’re a weekend shutterbug or a full-time freelancer, here are some of the top benefits of creating an online photography portfolio website.
Share Your Work with the World
The primary reason to create an online photography portfolio is to make your work instantly accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Having a photography portfolio legitimizes your work as a photographer, increases your visibility online, and, most importantly, allows you to show off your mad skills behind the camera.
Make Updates Easily
A number of website builders on the Internet, including Wix, feature photography portfolio themes that are designed specifically to highlight your finest photos. These themes—or templates as they’re sometimes called—are easy to use and a breeze to update. In fact, many such website platforms allow you to add new photos to your portfolio in mere seconds, making your most recent shots shareable in the blink of an eye.
Attract New Clients
If you’re more than just an occasional shutterbug, and rely on your photography skills as a means to support yourself, an online portfolio can be an invaluable element of your business. Many website builders, such as Weebly, provide a wide selection of gorgeous and professional photography website templates to help you distinguish yourself from the countless other photographers competing for the same gigs as you. A clean and polished online portfolio exudes professionalism, and can help you make an outstanding first impression on potential clients.
In addition Weebly has SEO tools to ensure that your photography site will get a higher ranking on Google, as well as email marketing tools to help you inform your clients of your latest endeavors.
Sell Your Shots
SiteBuilder.com is a professional website designer with an easy website building tool that operates with a drag-and-drop interface. It features 23 different templates specifically for photography portfolios, ranging from quirky and goofy to completely professional. As an added bonus, SiteBuilder supports the use of business apps that you can add to your page to help you offer additional services to your clients. This includes Ecommerce capabilities that allow you to sell your photographs online and receive credit card payments, as well as payments through portals, such as PayPal.
SiteBuilder also offers web analytics to help you calculate the traffic you receive and what you can do to improve it, and SEO optimization tools that help users find you in search results.
Tips for Creating a Winning Photography Portfolio
Once you’ve decided which website builder to create your online portfolio with, you have to think about what your website is going to include. Here are several steps you can take to ensure that your website does justice to your photographs.
1) Less is More
As a photographer, you have to be able to curate your own work and keep your less inspiring work off of your website. Just because you can upload thousands of photos to your site, doesn't necessarily mean that you should. Your portfolio should show your versatility and ability to shoot multiple scenarios successfully, however, you should only display the cream of the crop in each category and not make potential clients, or employers, wade through a sea of mediocre photos to see a few excellent ones.
2) Organize Your Work
Speaking of categories, properly organizing and categorizing your work will show that you not only have a good eye, but also understand how your work should be showcased. A disorganized and haphazard collection will take away from the quality of the work. Your website is a library of your best works, it should be well indexed so that people can find what they're looking for.
3) Keep Your Design Simple
There should only be one star of the show when it comes to your online portfolio: your photographs. An overly designed site, with too much going on, will only serve to take attention away from your photographs. Keep this in mind when selecting a template. Wix, Weebly and Sitebuilder all have templates that are minimalist and clean, which is ideal for an online portfolio.
4) Don't Let Your Site Stagnate
Think of your online portfolio as a living, breathing being that is ever-changing and evolving. You constantly improve your craft and your website should reflect that. Your site should be frequently updated with new and exciting work. This is one of the advantages of using a do-it-yourself website builder with a drag-and-drop editor—it’s easy and quick to upload new content to your site.
5) Tell Your Story
Your biography on your About page is an opportunity to tell the visitor who you are and what the genesis of your point of view has been. Provide some context and backstory to your photographs to give those visiting your site a more complete experience. Putting this information online may make yours a vulnerable website, but this shouldn't be an issue as all the most secure website builders have extra security features to protect your details.
As a photographer, your priority is finding a website builder that will let you display your skills and advertise the services you offer. Using one of the top website builders will enable you to do exactly that: establish your web presence, demonstrate your ability, and find more clients.
Even if you’ve never built a website of any kind before, you can still create an online photography portfolio in as little as a few minutes. Start by reading our articles and reviews about the top builders, then choose the one that seems right for you. After that, it’s just a matter of picking a template that matches your style, and uploading your photos for the world to see.