Photography portfolio examples provide a source of inspiration for every aspiring photographer, whether he/she is freelance (self-employed) or has a steady job and is looking for part-time commissions.
Although Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky used to say “I sit at the piano at 9 a.m. and the muses are kind enough to visit me every day”, those who possess less of a genius need earthly sources of inspiration. A portfolio is part of the critical resources of a photographer, so its creation requires careful consideration. The fact that we’re only talking about online portfolios goes without saying.
This post begins by taking a look at some of the most attractive photography portfolio examples, followed by a set of tips one should absorb before embarking on such an undertaking.
Suggestive Photography Portfolio Examples
- Christina Marie Photography showcases the author’s specialty as a wedding photographer. It is more of a textually-driven approach, yet avoiding a common temptation – bombarding the visitor with a lot of information. It has five distinct sections (though the “about me” and “contact” section could be merged). The blog section is optional (and could be replaced by a “testimonials” category) especially for a debutant photographer, however, if one wishes to create traffic this is a must. The actual images in the portfolio are arranged for the purpose of story-telling, which is particularly appealing if you are a specialized photographer.
- James Day Photo offers a more minimalistic approach to the presentation. Its author delves into more than one subject, and the style of presenting images right from the arrival on the website denotes that versatility. The kaleidoscopic arrangement of shapes, sizes and colors is a feature on all the sections of the portfolio, and should work well for those who have an impressive number of photographs available. This example is useful principally for exhibiting achievements in portraiture and possibly even landscape photography.
- Amy Deputy Photography displays achievements in portrait and wedding photography. It does not follow the story-telling path of the first site presented, and it is more of a combination between the two styles discussed above. Numerous thumbnails of equal dimension on the (larger) right part of the screen are set against the textual information on the (smaller) left side. Therefore, the artwork is still the main focus of the portfolio, while the personal information is not wholly relegated to a meaningless background.
- Timothy Hogan does work in the realm of advertising. But this is not about his work, it’s about how he mixes the images and the text. This interactive, hypertextual manner of presenting one’s work definitely requires a significant budget, however if your work is more ambivalent in character, this could be the way to go. If you are not willing to go overboard with the finances, then a web designer’s talents are your only alternative. We believe this is a clever practice if you want your name (or info) to integrate with your work in the portfolio.
- Lisa Bettany’s portfolio might be a great inspiration if you have a unifying motif in your work. By incorporating the same theme both in your photography aspect of your business and on the marketing side of things, you might hit the jackpot. People love nothing more than a sense of omnipresence and systematization, as it suggests vision and dedication. These are assets in every profession, but especially in photography because mixing art and business in a unifying vision really is your whole purpose.
Tips on Creating an On-line Portfolio
As you may have remarked, there is more to creating an expressive portfolio than just great existing work. Here are some important facts that are sometimes overlooked by zealous photographers who believe that their work will speak for itself:
- Balancing the Sections – you should be mainly concerned with two sections: the gallery itself and the contact information. The examples above show that there are a number of ways to display the contact info, either separately or by integrating it into a sort of slideshow. If you are just taking your first steps into the business, then making a name for yourself should be your priority, so create a number of prominent links towards your info and maybe add a CV in such a way that it does not take attention away from the images.
- The Demographic Target – know thyself and others. Who would be looking for your service? Consider that different groups of people have a different approach in surfing the web, different layouts speak differently. Design your online portfolio with a target audience in mind for the specific services that you provide. The text should be complementary to the images, not separate and definitely not independent. There are pre-designed layouts, so if you’re not that into web design be sure to check them out.
- Use Your Only Best High-Res Work – this one is a total no-brainer, yet you could find yourself in the middle of a conflict between image size and the loading speed of the website.
- Website Navigation – the sections of your website should always be available for the user, so insist on creating multiple “buttoned” areas. And do try to limit scrolling, as it is pernicious for user experience, as well as loading times.
- Copyright – copyright infringement will never go away, thus make sure of embedding watermarks on your images. In addition, try disabling the right-click on your website, or using your photographs as background images, as it may limit the damage.
- Details – most clients require an explanation that goes with the photograph, and more so if it is a single themed gallery. As one portfolio displayed in the list above shows, you could also find yourself in the business of story-telling, therefore you should provide adequate contextual information.
Of course, one should take into consideration that these photography portfolio examples and tips are not set in stone. The freedom you have at your disposal in revealing your work to the world is practically unlimited. This is suggested by the diversity of the examples I have selected. After all, everyone is different and inspiration can be found everywhere.