BUILD A SUC­CESS­FUL PORT­FO­LIO

Show the world your best work by learn­ing to cu­rate a rep­re­sen­ta­tive gallery

Digital Photograper - - Contents -

How can you en­sure that your online im­age gallery is an ac­cu­rate rep­re­sen­ta­tion of your work and skill level? Learn how to cu­rate a suc­cess­ful im­age port­fo­lio with these tips

It is safe to as­sume that the ma­jor­ity of dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phers will have some form of web­based im­age port­fo­lio. Whether this is a Flickr pro­file, In­sta­gram ac­count or 500px page, the func­tion of such a port­fo­lio is to prove to view­ers and prospec­tive cus­tomers that the pho­tog­ra­pher is ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing high­qual­ity work. It is there­fore es­sen­tial that the gallery is well de­signed, in­for­ma­tive, at­trac­tive and en­gag­ing. It is com­mon for portfolios to be­come over­crowded, dis­or­gan­ised and out of date, less­en­ing the im­pact of the fea­tured im­ages, re­gard­less of their in­di­vid­ual qual­ity. Be aware of the com­mon prob­lem­atic ar­eas and pro­tect the in­tegrity of your brand.

KEEP TO A THEMEIt is im­por­tant to con­sider colour and shoot­ing style when sort­ing the or­der of yourim­ages on the main page (or ‘cam­era roll’ view) of your gallery. While va­ri­ety is cer­tainlyde­sir­able, hav­ing a col­lec­tion of vastly dif­fer­ent shots to­gether of­ten re­sults in colour clashes, which are harsh on the eye. In such acase, each shot will be jostling for at­ten­tion – coun­ter­pro­duc­tive for a multi-im­age port­fo­lio. Fre­quently check how well your im­ages fit to­gether on-screen.RE­PLACE OLDER IM­AGESTake the time to reg­u­larly re­visit yourim­age data­base and cut older, less up-to-date im­ages. Files shot six years ago are un­likely to re­flect your cur­rent skill level, es­pe­cially in niche ar­eas of pho­tog­ra­phy. Your gallery should not show your ‘jour­ney of im­prove­ment’,as this is not what po­ten­tial clients want to see. Try re-edit­ing the im­age to ap­pear more in line with yourpresent brand.

CON­SIDER PRO­CESS­ING STYLEBe­yond the evo­lu­tion of your shoot­ing ap­proach, your im­age pro­cess­ing style may also change through time. Remember to con­sider this as you choose new im­ages for your col­lec­tion and de­cide which older files should be re­placed. A photo can be rad­i­cally changed in ap­pear­ance by dif­fer­en­tial pro­cess­ing, so older im­ages may high­light a shift in your work. This may be a pos­i­tive and en­gag­ing fac­tor, but re-edited im­ages may no longer fit the con­ti­nu­ity of your port­fo­lio, so ex­er­cise cau­tion.

TITLES AND CAP­TIONSDe­cide to ei­ther add or omit cap­tions – it can make your site look messy to fea­ture a vari­able amount of in­for­ma­tion on dif­fer­ent pho­tos. Fur­ther­more, try and stan­dard­ise your ti­tle and cap­tion for­mat, both in length and con­tent. Aim for a con­cise and in­for­ma­tive style.

DON’T UP­LOAD DU­PLI­CATESA com­mon beginner’s mis­take is to up­load many im­ages from the same shoot, all show­ing a very sim­i­lar view of the same sub­ject. While there may be sev­eral files that are wor­thy of at­ten­tion, your view­ers don’t nec­es­sar­ily want to see them all to­gether. Of­ten, the vary­ing com­po­si­tion can de­grade the in­tegrity of a neigh­bour­ing im­age, if it re­veals ex­tra­ne­ous in­for­ma­tion that al­ters con­text. Iso­late the best shot from your se­ries and en­sure your au­di­ence fo­cuses on the great­est as­pects of that im­age.

CON­SIDER THUMBNAIL VIEWThe ma­jor­ity of online plat­forms fea­ture a gen­eral home­page which dis­plays im­ages as thumb­nails. Pre­dict­ing how this will look, and how the im­pact of each photo will be af­fected, will go a long way to en­sur­ing you cre­ate a port­fo­lio that en­cour­ages im­age vis­its and re­peat views.

Craft­ing a suc­cess­ful gallery of im­ages is an ad­di­tional skill every pho­tog­ra­pher should learn. While it is pos­si­ble to use the in­ter­net to ac­cess a huge au­di­ence, you only want to re­veal your very best work, in a style thatgen­er­ates max­i­mum ‘hits’.CON­CLU­SION

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