In this article, I’ll explore the steps you need to take to create a photography portfolio that will help you get more clients. I’ll also offer some tips on how to make sure your portfolio stands out from your competitors. It should also be something that potential customers find attractive and captivating.
More of a visual learner? Check out the video I made:
7 Steps to Build a Photography Portfolio That Gets More Clients
discover your channel
The first step to creating a photography portfolio that gets more clients is finding the best channel to showcase your work. Do you want to use a website, a blog or a social network? Consider the cost and features of each platform when making this decision. Some websites offer free galleries, while others require paid subscriptions. Also, think about where your ideal customers are and what platform they use the most.
Coming from a marketing background, I recommend that you have your own website. It’s also important to have your portfolio on social media, but a website is also a must.
Now when it comes to building one, there are plenty of options. You can choose to code your own site or use a CMS (Content Management System) like Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress.
I highly recommend using WordPress because it is the most versatile platform in my opinion. Unlike other CMS, WordPress allows you to be in “free roam” mode and does not inhibit you from certain SEO tasks that will allow you to scale your website and blog.
WordPress has a bit of a steeper learning curve, but if you take the time to learn it, you will be rewarded.
If you only want to use your website strictly for portfolio purposes and don’t plan on driving a lot of traffic to your blog, then going the Squarespace or Wix route is perfectly fine.
Determine the style of photography and the ideal client
Once you’ve decided on your channel, it’s time to decide what type of photography style best suits you and what type of client you want to target.
Are you a wedding photographer or product photographer? Do you prefer fashion or nature?
No matter what type of photography style you choose, it should be something that shows off your skills and reflects your personality.
Also think about the type of customer you want to attract. Are they looking for a particular style or aesthetic? Once you’ve identified your ideal customer, you can create a portfolio that speaks directly to them.
Choose images carefully
Now comes the fun part: selecting which images to include in your portfolio.
When selecting images, be sure to choose only the ones that showcase your best work. Don’t be afraid to omit photos that don’t reflect your style or brand. Also, avoid including too many images – quality is always more important than quantity when it comes to a photography portfolio.
Also, be sure to include a variety of different types of images. This will show potential clients that you have the versatility to do different types of photography and that you can adapt to any of their needs.
But make sure the image types are styled within a cohesive style, eg. bright and airy, moody, cinematic, grainy, etc.
Be consistent with the style
When creating a portfolio, it is important to create a consistent style throughout. This is because it will help potential clients easily identify your work and you will be more likely to be hired.
Consistency doesn’t just apply to the images you choose, think about how they’re presented as well. For example, if you go for a more minimalist approach, make sure all your images follow this style.
Also, be sure to include contact information and a short bio on each page of your portfolio. This will help potential customers get in touch with you quickly and easily.
If you’ve ever created an infographic for school or work, it’s something like this in terms of image selection and consistency in style. You want it to be cohesive and tell a story.
Get feedback on your portfolio
Now that you’ve created your portfolio, it’s time for feedback. Ask your friends and family for their honest opinion on what works and what can be improved. They may be able to notice things you hadn’t thought of.
You can also ask potential customers for feedback. They will be able to provide information about what they would like to see in your portfolio and how you can make it more attractive.
With this feedback, you can iterate on your portfolio until you’re completely satisfied with the end result.
Pay attention to UX and page speed
You should pay attention to the user experience (UX) and page speed of your portfolio. Make it easy for potential customers to quickly navigate and view your images.
Coming from a marketing background, I have seen what a huge difference a fast loading page has over a slow loading page in terms of conversion rate.
As a photographer, the conversion rate for us would be the number of people who visit our portfolio divided by the people who reach out and contact us about a shoot:
If they can’t load your page fast enough or find what they’re looking for, they’re likely to leave. Also, optimize your images for the web to ensure they load quickly and look great on any device.
To test your portfolio speed, enter your page URL into Google Pagespeed Insights.
Being photographers, the biggest culprit that slows down our website is our images and their large file size.
To remedy this, it is important that you compress your images and convert them to a smaller file size while preserving quality (lossless compression).
Compression tools I recommend online include Optimizilla or Compressor.io.
To use these tools, simply upload your image to them, select Lossless Compression, convert the image file, and then download the newly compressed image again and upload it to your site.
I did that for all my images and now have a good page speed score on my own portfolio:
Watch analytics and monitor
Not many other photographers mention this last part when it comes to portfolios and I think this is one of the most important steps.
Once your portfolio is set up, you need to monitor its success and look at the analytics. This will help you figure out what works and what doesn’t in terms of getting more customers.
You can use tools like Google Analytics to track how often people visit your site and how long they stay on each page. You can also track the source of the visits, such as whether they come from a blog post or an advertisement.
This information will be of great value when it comes to improving your portfolio and making it more successful in terms of attracting customers.
By tracking all of this data, you can see which pages are performing well and which ones need improvement.
I won’t dive into the weeds of Google Analytics or how to set it up because there are plenty of tutorials, but once you get it set up, the easiest metric you can see is average session duration for desktop and mobile.
The longer the duration, the better, because that will mean that users are taking the time to look at your photos.
For example, my portfolio of only ~10 photos has an average session duration of 1 minute, which is an improvement over my own portfolio, letting me know that people aren’t leaving the portfolio quickly because images won’t load or Why do not they do it. t ringing with my wallet.
Even though we’re photographers, it’s important to look at the business and marketing side of UX, page speed, and session length to make sure our portfolios are successful.
By paying attention to these details, you can be sure that your portfolio will be well received by potential customers and make it easier for you to get more business in the future. Good luck!