Mastering Photography Portfolio Websites: Strategies for Success

Unlock the full potential of your photography portfolio website with strategic insights. From crafting a concise navigation that mirrors your skills to leveraging collection pages for impactful project showcases, discover the keys to a compelling portfolio.

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As a photographer, your site is a professional hub to show off your skills. For some photographers, their website is a means of recording notable projects–for others, it is a communication hub to sell work and services to clients and manage their business. Regardless of the type of photography you practice, here are a few key factors to consider as you build your portfolio website: 

1. Create a Short Navigation That Reflects Your Key Skills or Services 

The most effective sites we see are those where photographers align their site menu with the key skills or services they want to showcase in their portfolio. For example, if your site is selling your photography services for branding and portraits, have links from your site menu for Branding and Portraits. Having your site menu tell the story of your skills shows that you are specialized in your field. 

Group pages of similar series, shoot type, or services using a Collection page. A collection page is a page of image links. It’s a great way to show off many sub-projects under a single menu item. They are more impactful than a drop down menus, because visitors to your site will see a quick overview of your best images from each project. Plus, they are very user-friendly on mobile.

3. Choose a Theme for Your Best Viewing Experience

Themes on Format dictate the layout of your site menu, gallery pages, and collection pages. When selecting a theme, think about the optimal viewing experience of your site. For example, for fine art photography sites, we often recommend themes with a large scale vertical or horizontal scroll like Ora or Horizon. This gives the feeling of viewing work in an exhibition. 

For more commercial sites, or sites featuring many images on each page, we recommend tiled themes like Amazon or Slate. Tiled themes will allow visitors to your site to get a quick overview of your style and compositional sensibilities. 

4. Custom Pages for Contact, About, Pricing, and Services

Custom pages are just what they sound like: customizable pages where you can achieve your own layout by using different content blocks. Photographers commonly use custom pages for Contact and About pages, as well as other client-facing info like pricing, services, and more. 

When you first go to make a custom page, you’ll see the option to start from scratch or from a template–both options are fully customizable. 

One great feature about custom pages is the ability to add an image set, or gallery of images, into a page. This allows you to create gallery pages with a different layout to your site’s theme. 

When building these pages, keep in mind how paragraphs and sections will stack for mobile display. As you are working on a page, click “edit design” and toggle to mobile display to double- check your page layouts as you go. 

5. Workflow for Client Galleries, File Transfers, and Client Management

Workflow allows you to share private galleries of images with your clients and contacts. It’s a great, professional way to share your images and allows you to give your communications the same branded look and feel as your website. Check out our tutorials on workflow to learn more about all of its client management tools. 

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