I will be showcasing to you 10 Best photographer Portfolio websites to inspire you and lots usable tips in a Q & A format to help you make your on photography portfolio website.
I think that people are realizing that a website is part of a larger puzzle of a media plan, and how you promote yourself as a photographer.
The photography websites featured here are not sponsoring this post in anyway, we like the way they showcased their photography websites professionally and we thought you can look at them and draw inspiration from there to create your own.
If you combine the below tips we are going to give in here on photography portfolio websites plus looking at some of these best photographer websites, we are sure you will have a build up confidence to build your own photographer portfolio website that stand out the competition and can be called best too.
1. PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO WEBSITES
How do photographer websites work?
I think this is a very legitimate question here because we have seen the web evolve over the years and social media is so prominent in this day and age that I actually know photographers that really just concentrate on Instagram, LinkedIn and maybe a little bit of Facebook and they’re putting their work up there and they’re showing their images there and they’re kind of relying on social media as a tool.
A website like anything else is a tool and it really depends on what the intent of your website is, if you are looking for people to hire you it’s important to find a way you have to have a plan of how you’re going to get eyes on your page and so I think that those two things really work in tandem the thing that makes having a website still very significant and important is:
let’s use Instagram as the example Instagram has been around for a couple of years now but that’s about it and so we already saw recently when they change the algorithm up and you no longer get images in chronological order you’re gonna get them in order of what they think is interesting that’s a big deal that offended a lot of people and made a lot of people really upset.
and then the other thing is what if all of a sudden something else comes out in the next year too and Instagram isn’t the cool thing anymore and if you’ve put your entire business and work into Instagram as your promotional tool, its going to go away .
So I think having your own website is still relevant and important in terms of what you want to do with it .
The homepage of your portfolio website is where people are entering your brand for the first time and what you put on a homepage is pretty important with how its organized
do you have social buttons?
do you have music playing?
do you have photos turning?
You have to figure out what’s going to work for you, but there are some rules of thumb with what you want to see on a homepage how many links and how many galleries, a lot of this stuff goes into making a site good – making it really good and to help people find what they want to find.
PRINTED PHOTOGRAPHER PORTFOLIO VS WEBSITES
How relevant is printed portfolios in this quote-unquote digital age?
Again this is going to be different for different photographers, I personally think a printed photographer portfolio is very important a lot of times getting a job with somebody, if that is your intent or selling a piece.
It’s going to all come down to god being in the details and if you’re showing that you can go the extra mile and have a beautiful printed portfolio when the time comes to actually go in and present that to somebody I think it makes a huge difference.
so I personally think they’re still relevant a lot of people think iPads have replaced that, but again if everybody’s doing iPads I personally would do what everybody’s not doing.
How critical is a blog section as opposed to having an active Facebook page that is linked on a photographer portfolio Websites?
I don’t think a blog is super critical to have on your website.
I think a lot of people have them because when you’re building your website there’s kind of this fantasy idea that you’re going to be updating it with new work all the time, because it’s fun and it’s interesting but I think it’s important to be realistic with yourself and if you really are going to commit to doing that then fine go for it but the worst thing you can do is have a blog on there that hadn’t been updated in two years and the last image you posted was two years ago and that date is on there and I think that’s a bad move.
Do testimonials help the photographer portfolio websites?
I put a few up and I wonder how much they’ll help the bottom line of the portfolio, do people really just want to see the work and base their decisions solely based on that?
If they might want to hire you, testimonials basically serve one purpose which is name-dropping and so you know when Roger Ebert was alive he was household name movie critic and for years every movie that came out wanted to get a Roger Ebert quote to put on their poster to make the movie seem legitimate.
That’s kind of what this is serving with a website and so it depends on what business you’re in, and so if you’re, for instance, trying to get work doing commercial advertising then you probably need to have the biggest art director names in your market to give your testimonials on your photographer portfolio website.
I think that would be beneficial, if you do weddings for instance, I think certainly having you know the biggest wedding planners in your market names that people are gonna recognize that make you sound legit if you don’t have those I wouldn’t put them on there because if it’s just Bob Jones giving you a testimonial I don’t think it really does much for you.
How much emphasis do you put on personal work versus commercial even when it is vastly different?
Aesthetically if your commercial work and your personal work are really that much different aesthetically, I think you need to question as to whether or not the personal work needs to be on the website and the only reason I say that is because if the whole purpose of your website is to possibly help land jobs, you don’t want to confuse people when they get there and I think that that is a big problem.
I think photographers in general we tend to want to show more and show all because our work means something very personal to us, but you do have to consider the experience of somebody coming to your site now if you really want to show your personal work, you might consider a second website to do something like that but I think it just runs the risk of competing too much with your primary intent.
How do you recognize and choose your best work, how do you choose your best photos?
Being your own curator can be hard, now in the digital age well the honest thing is that you can’t and no photographer can, and the problem that we have as photographers is that we are too close to our own work to be able to see it objectively.
We are emotionally attached to our work because we saw how it was made sometimes if a particular shot was difficult to set up, we know how hard it was to do so, we’re very proud of that whereas an art director somebody might see that and they don’t get touched the same way, because they didn’t have that experience.
Because of that I think it’s really important to get people to give opinions on your portfolio before you put it live on your portfolio website, I mean people that know what they’re talking about and will give you an honest answer.
Not friends, not family, not people who won’t be honest with you, you need to reach out to people who you can find in the business.
Offer to buy them lunch, but get other people to give your opinion and take it with a grain of salt they’re not me may not be right and I would get two or three different people to do that and then you can make a final judgment call based on their input.
What should a student in high school include in his/her photographer portfolio website and wanting to enter the photography field after high school?
I think in high school, of course there are exceptions of people who are enormous ly talented but even then you’re still going to have age working against you and it really depends on what you want to do beyond high school.
In high school photographers tend to be a little bit younger and there are experiences and years that are going to come after high school they’re going to have an enormous impact on people as photographers and his artists and I think the most important thing you can do with a portfolio coming out of high school is look at what possibilities you’re going to have to further your development.
For some people that’s going to be college or university and I think for other people it might be working for a photographer being able to assist there are others too but I think that’s what you’re looking at so I think the most important thing you can do is show is wider range as possible:
I. Show that you know how to light things,
II. Show that you can use natural light as well,
III. Show that you can do landscapes,
People, whether that’s portraits are still lifes or whatever that is and show the biggest range.
You possibly can then look to what it’s going to be that next step that’s going to take your expertise and skill level as a photographer up a notch.
Should the Photographer portfolio website consists of all of your work or just the types of jobs that you want?
It should be the kind of work you want to be doing, now this is really difficult for a lot of people.
Let’s say you’ve been shooting weddings and you want to go into architecture, well architecture projects are not going to hire you unless you have architecture in your portfolio and this is where it gets difficult because a lot of people if you’ve been doing one thing and you’re interested in doing another you don’t have the two lined up yet.
This is where you need to start firing up personal projects and you need to start spending some time working on that portfolio but don’t view it as a burden, view it as a way you are going to reshape your career and the kind of work that you’re going to be doing. I personally think that can be really exciting.
This might be a little bit tangential but once you have the photographer portfolio website designed other than SEO how do you get people there to see it?
Once you have built your photography portfolio website- I know it’s a little off topic and a little tangential but honestly I think it’s a really important thing because honestly the website is basically a tool in this bigger piece that we’re working on.
The harder part is trying to figure out how to get eyes on the website and SEO, if you’re not familiar with that term is an acronym that stands for search engine optimization and it really was trending around the time Google came out and Google was how people were finding things on the web now that was the days before social media was as popular.
As it is now and is widely used as it is now and search engine optimization is a process of adding things onto your website like at the time it was like keywords, titles, descriptions making sure your image tags, the alt tag was filled out with something descriptive.
The whole idea was was that these would give the search engine i.e. Google cues that your website was about a certain thing and hopes that you would outrank your competition when people would search for certain things, the reality of it is that I think that’s gone by the wayside.
Now because social media is one big piece of that the advertising that we have available to us now as photographers has changed quite a bit I still think that word-of-mouth and actually meeting people face-to-face is a big key to have being successful as a photographer.
There’s all those things and I’m not saying SEO is not important at all it’s important to have a tight website but I just don’t think whether or not that’s a good use of your time to spend especially if it’s something you’re throwing money at.
For instance, if you think you want to rank for something like when somebody searches wedding photographers in Dallas let’s say you actually google that right now and put in whatever city you’re in.
You’re gonna find that is highly competitive there are a lot of people who want to rank for that term and people who will pay money to rank for that term and so even if you have the budget to rank for that term and be the number one search result I questioned as to whether or not that’s worth it because who’s going to sit down and Google ‘wedding photographer in Dallas’.
I think it’s going to be somebody who just got engaged, somebody who hasn’t talked to a wedding planner yet, somebody who’s new in that process and they may not have quite the budget that somebody who’s going to use a different process to find their photographer is going to get.
I definitely think when you get into commercial photography I don’t think there are any art directors who Google to find their photographers.
I just don’t think it happens, so I think using things like LinkedIn being on Instagram being active on Facebook those are really important things and it still come down to word-of-mouth, I mean there’s so many things to it anyway.
I would like to know what you guys think if you agree or disagree with me on any of this you can leave a comment below.