How Do You Make A Great Online Photography Portfolio
Every year, I revisit the images in my online photography portfolio. However, I’m convinced that photography portfolios can and should be more. Most photographer websites are cookie-cutter templates. They have the same links in the same place. Their websites have the same number of portfolio images. Most, seem like they copied-and-pasted their content from somewhere else. Is this the best we can do? I think it’s time to reimagine what an online portfolio website can be.
So what’s missing from online portfolio websites?
In a word, everything. Photography portfolios are not just a collection images. In my view, the entire web experience is your portfolio. It showcases your brand to everyone. Each audience looks at your brand differently: clients, partners, sponsors, and competitors.
Photographers are everywhere. However, I see the market saturation as a good thing. It is easier to standout, when you pay attention to the big picture. So let’s look at my top tips to re-imagining your online photography portfolio.
1. Build Your Online Photography Portfolio for the Mobile-First World
If read nothing else, get this main point. It’s easy to optimize your online photography portfolio for desktop browsers. That is a huge mistake. More than half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. But have you ever asked why? It’s not simply because people are on their phones. That’s too basic. The reason is because they find you through social and voice search.
This doesn’t mean you need two websites. However, you do need a responsive website. Responsive websites adjust content to best fit the viewing device. On my MADEGRANDBYCAM.COM, browsers get a different experience on tablets, phones, and desktops. That’s by design.
Finally, mobile is no only about speed. Your website needs to load fast on mobile devices. This affects your site visitors and your site ranking. Make mobile your top priority for your online photography portfolio.
2. Secure Your Portfolio Website with SSL
Stop reading for moment and look up at the address bar. You’ll notice a little lock 🔒 by madegrandbycam.com. That indicates my website is secure.
But what does secure mean? A secure website means that the traffic between you and madegrandbycam.com is encrypted. You can securely make purchases on MADEGRANDBYCAM. Secure websites are ranked higher on search. Also, it tells you that the website is trustworthy.
Photographers must be trustworthy. So, secure your website.
3. Integrate Your Portfolio throughout Your Website:
Most websites have one silo location for their portfolio. However, your entire website should a showcase for visual style. Don’t place every image in your online portfolio. Create a cohesive narrative for the images in your portfolio. They should all fit together. Use other outstanding imagery throughout your website. This has the benefit of connecting the details to the big picture. Regardless of your genre, this is solid approach to expanding your portfolio.
You don’t have to make all your images immediately visible. On my website, a lot of images can’t be seen until you use search. Those feature images are thumbnails for pages. However, it creates a visual index versus a list of links.
Blogs aren’t the only place for your portfolio images. Create landing pages for your website. Landing pages are single topic-focused with a call-to-action. If you have multiple genres, a landing page can essentially serves a portfolio just for that genre. You can optimize your messaging and imagery just for that topic.
4. The New SEO for Online Photography Portfolio
Now, you’ve uploaded your images. Your site look great across all devices. You’ve secured your website. Now, we can focus on your search engine optimization (SEO) for your online photography portfolio.
SEO is a significant topic. It deserves it’s own article. So, it gets one. So for this point, I’ll keep my recommendation simple.
Optimize your portfolio images for SEO. Search engines crawl all of the data and content on your website. Your images are content. They also have a lot of data attached to them. Make sure every character can be used to showcase your whole portfolio together.
5. Social Media and Your Portfolio Website
If you only use social media for photography brand, you’re doing it wrong. I know that’s hard to hear. However, it needs to be said.
Facebook uses your website to help establish your trustworthiness. If you’re only using Facebook, there’s no other reference point to verify your business. More than that, Google can’t index your Facebook data. Also, Google uses your website to establish trust and authority. You need to make your social channels strategic assets.
Build out your social channels as if they were you’re full website. Publish as much content on your social channels as possible. Now, you can use social to create a magnet for your website. Build teasers with image posts and stories are fulfilled on your website.
6. Your Website Is Your Business, Not Your Portfolio
It’s easy to think, ‘once I build it they will come.’ Business doesn’t work like that. In fact, you should be thinking once they get here, how do I fulfill them online?
If a potential buyer wants to do business with you, make it easy for them to buy. I don’t care what you’re selling. If you make it hard to buy, no one is going to try it or buy it.
Remove the barriers to doing business with you. Don’t waste your client’s time with contact forms. Let them book sessions from your website. No phone calls needed. Keep it simple. Make it easy.
Lay a Solid Foundation for Your Brand
Far too often, photographers realize that their website is work. They all prefer a website that is working for them. Make your website a team member. Your website has a job. It needs to pay for itself and deliver you business.
Don’t turn your online photography portfolio into a digital brochure. Like paper, it will be quickly discarded and forgotten. Imagine if Amazon.com made you complete a contact form before you could buy an outfit. That would be silly.
Your portfolio is your best opportunity to lay a grand foundation to build your business. You don’t have to do every all-at-once. Nor, do you have to do it overnight. Build your business. Grow your brand. Your portfolio will take care of itself.
I want to inspire you to think bigger. Create and build your desirable brand. Ask your questions below. Let’s go higher, together!
Accelerate Your Momentum
Want to learn more about building your Immortal Brand or have a personal branding question?
Interested in a learning how to elevate your brand story above the noise? Subscribe to our Momentum Maker newsletter for action-oriented, no bullshit strategy and insights. Also, you can attend one of our upcoming branding, strategy, and creative workshops for entrepreneurs to get hands-on help removing the blockers to customer delight and your brand success!
Want to Learn More About Personal Branding!?
Check out our Momentum Branding+ Workshops—Branding Workshop: Creating A Brand Site That Doesn’t Suck!