BUILD A SUCCESSFUL PORTFOLIO
Show the world your best work by learning to curate a representative gallery
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 It is common for portfolios to become overcrowded, disorganised and out of date, lessening the impact of the featured images, regardless of their individual quality.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