6 Must-See Photography Portfolio Websites

You know that Virtual Photography Studio likes to keep you updated on all the latest trends in digital marketing and social media for wedding photographers. Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and newer platforms such as Viddy are all great, of course, and they stand to help you increase your visibility, as well as your revenue. However, they’re not all there is to it. On this great, big Internet, which also includes business pages and blogging, there’s also a special niche for portfolio websites. And if you’re at all serious about wedding photography (or any other form of visual media, in fact) you have got to be aware of them. Of course, no one expects you to keep track of them all, since there are literally hundreds, perhaps thousands out there. That’s why, in today’s post, we’ve rallied up the top 6 must-see photography portfolio websites.


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By far the largest and best known of all the must-see photography portfolio websites, Behance is a free platform with millions of visitors at global level. You can easily customize your portfolio and there’s also no limit on how many creative projects you can upload to the site – be they photos, videos, or text entries. Another boon is just how seamlessly the site integrates social media tools, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and plenty of others.


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It’s been around since 2009 and was founded in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. Its pricing scheme is subscription-based, with plans starting as low as $4 per month. While other sites on our list of must-see photography portfolio websites cater to various types of artists, this one is geared specifically toward graphic designers and photographers. The rendering for mobile devices that this site offers is incredible and it also comes with great social media support for Tumblr, Facebook, and other platforms.

Cargo Collective

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This portfolio website offers pricing schemes in a freemium regime, which essentially means that you can sign-up and use it with limited functionality for free. However, if you want access to all the features, you will have to shell out upward of $9 per month. On the plus side, Cargo Collective has got one of the best integration systems for communities – and its community really is active and vibrant. On the downside, it’s not as easy to customize your portfolio here, as it is on other sites. As such, if you know nothing about code, perhaps you might want to look elsewhere.


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Like Cargo Collective, on Wix you can sign up for free, but might want to pay for the extra features. A premium subscription will cost you at least $4.08 each month and the site is relatively easy to use. Unlike other must-see photography portfolio platforms on this list, this one is also accessible to artists who don’t have much experience with web development and coding. Also, the kind of website it creates for artists comes with an edge, compared to some of the other platforms: the sites are Google optimized.


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Easy to use and optimize, as well as loaded with a lot of goodies aimed at optimization, Fresh.li costs EUR5.75 per month. You can alter the fonts, colors, logos, and many other things on Fresh.li and can even use a personalized domain name on this website. Another plus: you don’t have to pay up right from the beginning, as the website offers you a free 30-day trial, albeit with limited functionalities.


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The “hassle-free online portfolio” experience offered by Carbonmade really requires no knowledge of HTML and the site is massive already. It hosts over 600,000 portfolios, most of which are owned by photographers or graphic designers. It may not be the best choice for videographers, but for a $12 monthly subscription, a wedding photographer could definitely benefit from being on this website.

7 Secrets To A Strong Photographic Portfolio That Most People Will Tell You Not To Do

I read an article the other day on building a photography portfolio. And while the article itself was written well and provided a ton of detail, I disagree with the message.

Most people in the photographic industry teach you to put together a generic, boring portfolio, both online and off. “Choose your best image from each session”, they say. “Never have more than a couple dozen images in your gallery”, they say. I disagree.

When we first built our business in the late 90’s (think dial up modems), we put thousands online in our portfolio. Yes thousands. At our height, we had over 20,000 images on our site. People told us we were crazy. “They’ll never look at that many images.” “Take them down, are you crazy?” The comments when on and on. But we didn’t fail with our 20,000 images. In fact we made it BIG. Because we spoke right to the heart of our ideal client.

Your portfolio should never be “normal”. It shouldn’t be what they teach you in a photography class, or a “best of” series that showcases a few great shots. Nope. It should be a whole lot more.

7 Secrets To A Strong Photographic Portfolio That Most People Will Tell You Not To Do

1. Things You Want To Shoot

Too often a photographer will include things in her portfolio that clients’ expect to be there. Yet if you want to branch out and shoot something very specific, something very unique to you, don’t be afraid to include it because it isn’t the “norm”. People will hire you because of what they see in you. If you showcase certain things, they will expect it as their own results.

2. Beyond The Best Of

Everyone tells you to create a gallery filled with your “best of” images. Your best images are great, but if you’ve ever looked at portfolio after portfolio, “best of” series soon all start looking the same. Do a search for wedding portfolios and you’ll see what I mean. Every photographer includes two to three dozen of his or her “best of” images. And they all look alike. Most are shots of the bride, groom, or some combination. You’ll get a sweet looking image of the ceremony. A couple of great scenics from an outdoor wedding. And of course the mandatory couple of candid images from the reception to prove you are “photojournalistic”. Is that really all there is to it? Or can you stretch and showcase more? We routinely would put together montages that would contain 200, 300 or even 400 images or more from one wedding and include them in our portfolio. A potential client would truly get an understanding of what we could do for her – and it worked every time. [Read more…]

How To Build Your Photography Portfolio With An iPad

One of the most important marketing tools a photographer can have is their portfolio. It may consist of a variety of printed images, either in loose or album format, online through your website or other portfolio tools, and increasingly by using your iPad with a portfolio app. If you’ve been looking for the perfect app to use on your iPad, here’s a list of some of the top iPad apps I’ve found that will get the job done in a beautiful way.

Are you using an iPad for your portfolio? What do you like about it? What’s missing?

And if you have any more recommendations that I missed, Feel free to comment below.


Portfolio is a highly personalized and customizable app that allows you to do just about anything with your portfolio. You can brand it for your presentations, and even lock the interface with a PIN so your client won’t see tha management interface.


Foliobook allows you to create your own magazine-like home page in an easy way. Use it horizontal or vertical, change around your presentation to fit your needs.

[Read more…]

Building an Awe-Inspiring Online Portfolio in 5 Easy Steps

Building a portfolio is easy. There are hundreds of free tools available that allow you to throw together a few photographs, and use that to show your work to potential customers.

The hard part is making it good.

A great portfolio does more than just showcase your work. It converts visitors from lookers into paying clients. It allows them to not only see what you do, but become so motivated by it that they can’t help but take the next step.

And best of all, to be a truly spectacular online portfolio, it must also help you put everything together quickly and efficiently, giving you more time to do what you love.

How do you know where to start? Lets walk through 5 steps that will help you put the whole thing together

Start With A Question

Let me ask you a question. How would you define the word “portfolio”?

In many cases, a photographer will say their portfolio is a gallery of their best images, ready to showcase the work they’ve completed for other customers.

And I would agree – that’s the starting definition. But it’s truly more than that. A portfolio is a collection of creative works that are used to showcase your skills, and hopefully motivate the viewer with enough information they agree to buy.

Using that definition, your portfolio becomes more than just your gallery of images. It becomes the entire presentation you use within your online presence to motivate and showcase who you are, in hopes they move to the next step.

So in order to build a truly awe-inspiring portfolio, you have to ask yourself:

What do people truly need from my portfolio in order to move from looker to client? [Read more…]

How To Make Your Portfolio Better Than Your Competitions

Competition is fierce in the world of photography.

One of the driving factors in creating a successful business is having a dynamite portfolio. Yet what should you put into a portfolio to make it different from your competition? And not just different, one that stands miles above the crowd, and says “I’m the one” over and over again?

You may think the obvious choice is to have a variety of photographs. Yet your portfolio is really a lot more. Your portfolio not only shows what images you’ve taken in the past; it also shows your business savvy, your thought process, and your personal style.

Let’s take a look at how to build up a dynamic portfolio that can stand over and above your competition’s portfolio.


The first and most obvious is photographs. That’s what people are coming to you for, so that’s what you need to show them. Yet a portfolio should be more than your select favorites. A portfolio should also be built to show your talent based on what people need and want. If they are getting married, showing them wedding photographs is great. But if you can also show wedding photographs from their reception site, you’ve just taken your portfolio up a notch. [Read more…]

Developing a Strong Presentation Piece or Marketing Kit

This post is Day 6 of 30 Ways In 30 Days To Redesign Your Life With Photography. This series seeks to provide you with practical steps to get you from wherever you are today, to exactly where you want to be – this year! If your goal has always been to take your photography to a whole new level, hang on and start enjoying a new lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.

A person forms an opinion of you and/or your company in a matter of seconds. Once that opinion is formed, it is very difficult to sway the opinion one way or the other. Which means those first few seconds are crucial in turning a first opinion into a customer.

First opinions come in a variety of ways.

If you meet someone in person, it may be formed by your appearance, the clothes you wear, how you look, your neatness (or lack thereof), your timeliness, or even your attitude.

If someone recommends you, it could be the way a person talks about you, what they use to make the referral (a business card, brochure, etc), or the body language they use while giving the referral.

If someone finds you online, it’s the presence you have built online. Have you taken the time to develop a professional presence? Do you stay active on social sites? Do you control what is being said about you?

And it also is impacted by your studio, your marketing materials, and the way you connect with a person again and again throughout the process.

“I’m starting on a shoestring budget, and am not sure what I should do next. I’ve printed up a few business cards on my own. I’ve created a simple site on Blogger and have a Facebook page. I want to be able to tell and show people what I do, but without a lot of money, what should be my next step.” Josie

When you are just starting out, the last thing you want to do is print up a thousand cards before you have your true identity built. Yet at the same time what you do now will forever impact your business in the future. So where do you spend your time?

For me, it’s always been the Internet.

Start By Building Online

I love technology. In fact I have dozens of websites doing all kinds of things in all kinds of industries. I couldn’t run my business without them. They are my business.

And now more than ever, you don’t need to spend thousands on a beautiful web presence. If you have some technical knowledge and a desire to learn, you can build a beautiful web presence for very little money. However I don’t recommend Blogger or other free sites for a variety of reasons.

1. They are free. You get what you pay for. You will have their branding, advertising on your site, and will be at their mercy if they decide to shut you down.

2. You have little control. With you own site, you can control the RSS, link it to your social sites, and gain traction in Google and other search sites. You have your own domain name, and can brand it in any way you choose.

With WordPress being at the top of the pile of design tools, and with the ease of plugins and share capabilities, WordPress really is the way to go. (Not the free site – always control it yourself.) You’ll be able to design anything, and have full control over what you do.

Make sure you brand yourself, and devote time to growing online. You should have:

  • A website and/or blog
  • Social sites like Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Twitter
  • Specialty sites or landing pages for individual promotions

Also concentrate on putting together a dynamic presentation. Try expanding beyond the normal – if you see something on other photographer’s sites, how can you make it better? Try creating a high impact video and sharing it on YouTube and other video sharing sites. Or design with SlideShare and add a variety of content. Animoto is another way to create a great message.

While I do recommend having something online that says “WOW”, I also recommend keeping your overall site simple, and avoid Flash sites. Within the next couple of years, most people will be accessing sites from their mobile devices, and Smart technology does not recognize Flash. Which means your site will not show to anyone accessing it through mobile devices. Keep it simple, and give people choices as to what and how they access.

Stay Simple and Say Wow

While you can do pretty much everything and anything online any more, sometimes it’s nice to be able to showcase what you do in a personal way. Because photography is all about image, don’t forget to showcase what you do with an actual image.

I personally love Moo. They offer mini cards, business cards and postcards that come on a heavy cardstock, and give you just a bit more sophistication for the money. Their colors are brilliant, and the overall impact says wow. You don’t have to design one card and print it in quantity – you can change the image on every card if you choose. And if you are just starting out, you don’t have to print in the thousands – start with just a few. I have their ShowCase – a business card holder that holds 15 cards, and have a variety of images within the ShowCase. When you fan it out and the different photographs show, it definitely says more than a standard business card.

Yes, you can argue that the price is a bit higher than you can get elsewhere – you can even find free business cards online or print them yourself. But I’ve found I don’t hand out a ton of cards, and even 50 can last quite awhile. And the overall impression is definitely worth it.

I also love the postcards. You don’t have to use them as postcards and mail them out. Instead, have a variety on hand to show what you do. If you photograph weddings, baby portraits and seniors, have a few from each series. You can combine the postcards in a marketing kit with your price lists and other content, and turn it into something special without a lot of extra money.

Creating Your Marketing Kit

Creating your marketing kit can be a simple process. If you haven’t been to a paper store – not an office supply store – find one in your area. Or check out Paper Direct. They have a lot of ideas for presentation folders, and make it easy for you to create just about anything. I’ve used vellum envelopes, plastic folders and a wide variety of other materials over the past. When you order matching papers and envelopes or folders, it automatically gives you a superior quality. Then print your information yourself, and include postcards to supplement the look, and give you a totally professional appearance.

Some of the things we’ve put into our marketing kits over the years include:

  • Price lists
  • Company overview
  • Resume
  • Awards
  • Testimonials
  • Press releases
  • Article – in the news features
  • Personal articles we’ve written
  • Clothing consultation information
  • Gift possibilities
  • And of course, a variety of postcard images

In many cases, we like to go for the overwhelm. Some people will glance through the packet, others will study it. Sure it’s nice to have it online too. But there’s nothing better than walking out with a professional presentation.

Sometimes Material Is Better

Think back to your birthday, your anniversary, or the holidays. When you head out to the mailbox and receive a card, how does it make you feel? In today’s online world, a physical card can definitely make you feel extra special. It takes time and thought to go that extra step and put something into the mail instead of writing a couple of lines in a text message or email.

The same holds true from a business standpoint. People are so used to being directed to a website, anything else is somewhat of a shock. Which means it can be very beneficial in helping you book a client to step away from the norm, and create marketing materials as well.

The reason we don’t print in bulk anymore is because you can book a variety of clients simply through your online resources. They are excited about you, connect with you online, and are happy with what they see online.

But some will take a little longer, and need a gentle push. That’s what your hardcopy presentation materials are for.

  • You may hand them a presentation folder when you meet in your studio or in a coffee shop.
  • You may mail them a postcard reminding them about their appointment.
  • You may mail them a greeting card thanking them for meeting with you.
  • You may send them a reminder postcard and note about booking with you.
  • And finally a thank you card when they book with you.

If you photograph weddings, you may only need a handful of items per month. So why print things by the thousands when you may change your marketing methods, or add a new image to your portfolio that you love?

The key behind a great marketing kit is to have it sell you without you having to sell yourself. If a person can go to your site, and discover you are the photographer for them, it’s worth the effort you put into your site. If a person loves your presentation when you meet one on one, it’s worth the time you put into your presentation. And if they love your extra touches, and love your postcards to just say thanks, that’s going the extra mile.

Showcase Your Photographs On Your Blog Or Website With Slide

Looking for a way to add your photographs to your website or blog? Check out Slide.

In a matter of minutes, you can create a new gallery, and post it onto your site. It’s a fun way to add movement to your posts, and gives you a creative way to showcase a bunch of your images at one time.