As a creative, it’s important for you to be able to display your work in the best way possible. Building your own picture website or image hosting site allows you to showcase your talent without limitations. The site serves as your online business card and represents your services and brand to potential clients. When done right, picture sites have the potential to attract a following for your brand and bring your talents to a bigger stage.
While having an online portfolio may seem like something only seasoned pros should have, no one needs it more than an emerging photographer. If you’re just starting out and you’re in the process of building your network, having your own picture website enables you to reach more people beyond your own social circle. If you want to get serious about your craft, a well-curated portfolio site is a good place to start.
1. Set your goals
Before you set out designing your website, it’s important to be clear with your goals. Why are you building a picture site? Is it to attract new clients? Do you want to display your latest projects or attract a following of like-minded enthusiasts? You need to set your mind on your objectives to be able to choose the right images and display them effectively. Your objectives will also set the direction for your content and the language you will use on your website.
2. Get a good website builder
Budget shouldn’t have to keep you from creating a professional-looking picture site. If you cannot afford the services of a professional web designer, a reputable website builder is the next best thing. Site builders like Strikingly simplify the website creation process, allowing you to get your site up and running without the need to write a single line of code.
3. Choose an appropriate website template
You want your work to be the main focus of your website. A clean and simple website design will make your photo gallery stand out. Strikingly’s growing collection of picture website templates allow you to display your masterpieces in the best way possible.
4. Choose your shots wisely
A well-curated gallery is key to the success of any picture site. Choosing which shots to include in your portfolio can be a bit overwhelming but it’s important to note the difference of a professional website from your Instagram account. Whereas you post virtually every single image you take on Instagram to increase your engagement, a webpicture page should only contain images that are representative of your skills and expertise. If you specialize in different niches, you can break your collection into smaller categories to make it easier for users to comb through your portfolio.
5. Plan your pages
The gallery will be at the core of your picture website but you will also need to plan content for other pages of your site. You will also need to plan out how these sections will be placed on your site. Arrange them according to the level of importance and how they are connected from one another. Aside from the gallery, here are a few pages or sections your site must have:
- Homepage - introduce your site and your brand to the user. Write a brief but punchy description of what you do and the services you offer. One common mistake that photographers tend to make is they fill this section up with photos thinking that visuals are enough to convey their message. Text is still needed to get the message across - otherwise, how will users differentiate an online photography portfolio from say, a travel blog?
- About - potential clients will be interested to know the person behind the images. You don’t have to write your entire life story in this section but it would be good to express your work philosophy, techniques and inspiration. Write in the first person rather than third to make it more personal and intimate.
- Client showcase - as a photographer, you may have done commission work in the past. Featuring your previous clients on your website will give potential customers an idea of the kind of work you have done in the past.