Tips & Tricks for Creating an Impressive Photography Portfolio

Michael Gabriel by Michael Gabriel on

If you’re serious about making the most out of your skills and training in photography, you need to think about creating a portfolio. You need a portfolio to keep your collection and to showcase your artistry. You need a portfolio if you want people and potential clients to notice you; if you want to establish your name and brand.

However, creating a photography portfolio is not easy. It’s not something that you can do in a few hours or overnight. You have to invest your time, effort, talents, and your photography skills to create an impressive collection. After all, your portfolio is your investment; it is your calling card and it introduces your work to the world.

Tips & Tricks for Creating an Impressive Photography Portfolio

There are a few things, though, that you could do if you want to come up with a good photography portfolio. Again, you have to invest time and effort if you want to do this, so think about that first before pushing through with your plans.

How to Come Up With an Impressive Portfolio

There are now two ways for you to create a portfolio. You can choose to make a physical portfolio, or you can go with an online portfolio. For maximum visibility, however, you should go for both. Create a traditional photography portfolio first and then find someone to help you make an online portfolio. You can choose to do just one, but majority of clients nowadays look for both. So it’s better to be sure than sorry.

Here are some tips and tricks that might help make the task a little easier for you.

Photography Portfolio Lightroom, Laptop

1. Identify Your Audience

Before you start building your portfolio, you need to identify your niche or audience first. To whom do you want to show your photos? To whom are you trying to reach out? Who do you wish would view your photos? Knowing the answers to the said questions will help you determine your reason for creating the portfolio. Additionally, the answers can also help you identify the style, tone, and content your portfolio should possess.

For example, if your target audience is couples planning their weddings, your portfolio should showcase engagement, bridal shower, and wedding photos. Likewise, the tone and style should also complement an engagement or wedding vibe. If you have a website, your main homepage should feature your niche photos. For instance, in Sumastre Photography, we specialize in aerial photography. We highlighted all our aerial photography and videography works at the top of the homepage so that it will be prominently displayed at the website.

It’s the first set of photo-collection the visitors and potential clients will see – no need for them to click other links or navigate away from the main webpage.

2. Choose Your Photos Wisely

You will need to plan or choose which photos to include in your portfolio. Better yet, decide on whether or not you need to shoot new ones (most photographers do this). Brainstorming (if you have a team or with your friends) and planning are two ways of making sure that your project is well organized.

3. Create a Web Presence

Since you’re going to build an online portfolio, too, you have to create a website. Make this a part of your brainstorming session, but be sure that you have a good web designer with you. The designer can help in laying out the technical attributes of the website, including the SEO side of it (if you want your site optimized for search engines). Likewise, with a designer around, you’ll have someone who can help you with the visual aspects.

Designers have a very keen eye for details, and this is an advantage for anyone who wants to come up with an attention-grabbing portfolio.

4. Schedule a Shoot

Aside from picking out your best photos, you also need to schedule a shoot. Don’t worry, though, because unless you really want to, you won’t need to hire models. Get your creative juices going and think of a unique concept to showcase or advertise your specialty. For example, if your focus is on engagements and weddings, you can always take photos of engagement and wedding paraphernalia. You don’t have to find models to act as the bride and groom. If you want to, you can always use some photos from weddings you’ve photographed. But you can stage some scenes as well.

If you don’t have a studio, you can always do the shoot at home. Find a spot with good lighting and do the shoot there. Use wedding rings, wedding pillows, a wedding invitation, veil and cord, and a bride’s bouquet as your props. You can even ask two of your crew to act as hand models. Take a close-up shot of their entwined hands to symbolize the union of two persons. This is the best and most practical way to take staged photos for your portfolio.

5. Organize First, Execute After

Start working on your portfolio once you have the basics planned and organized. Here are some things you should keep in mind when creating a traditional portfolio:

  • Arrange your photos in such a way that you are telling a story. In other words, there should be a reason why this photo comes first and why the other one is in the middle or last. Likewise, make sure that every photo you use highlights one of your photographic skills. So the first photo can be a play on colors because you’re good at mixing and maximizing the effect of colors. The second photo can be a dramatic wedding photo, because that is one of your strongest skills.
  • Make sure that your photos are blown up to a larger size. If possible, use only full-size photos.
  • Your portfolio should be organized. Do away with clutter; so do not fill up the pages with crammed content. The simpler, the better – because your artistry will easily shine through.
  • Don’t forget to include a short introduction about yourself. Include a good profile picture too.
  • Choose photos that are not only perfectly executed and technically and artistically good, but also the ones that create a strong impact on your audience.
  • Don’t forget to include your contact details, as well as links to your social media accounts and website.

For your online portfolio or website, the following details are important:

  • Your site should be easy-to-navigate, clutter-free, and simple.
  • Make sure your portfolio is responsive. All the webpages should look good not only on laptops and desktops, but also on mobile phones, tablets, smart TVs, and other similar devices. A good web designer knows all about this. A responsive website is also great for your SEO campaigns.
  • Make sure your website is highly optimized. Ask your web designer to make your portfolio easy-to-find on Google. To do this, the best SEO techniques should be employed.
  • Do not forget to indicate your contact details.

Lastly, always update your portfolio (both traditional and online). Add new photos and content as you go along in your photography adventure. Once your portfolio is done, get ready to be discovered and have fun photographing the world! I hope you found those tips & tricks useful.

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