By Isabella Goode, Guest Blogger - Whether you’re on the way to commercial success or simply making art, it’s easy to feel like there’s no time for creating and maintaining a portfolio as a busy photographer. However, take a moment to think about how someone would search for your services, be it for their wedding or a company event.
Perhaps they would talk to a friend, or just ask Google. In any case, they will ultimately want to see a website with information about the photographer that was recommended to them. This namely includes examples of past work, coupled with a list of services and prices.
Not only is your portfolio a showcase of what you offer, but it’s also a foundation for all of your marketing activities. That is to say, you’ll be using it to sell products, book appointments or just as something to bring people back to from other places such as social media.
Put simply, an online portfolio is an absolute essential for career success as a photographer. Not convinced? Here are some more compelling reasons to invest in a website.
It is no secret that the majority of people prefer to shop online, which remains true for the photography industry. While there are several online platforms dedicated to selling your work, they are severely limited in their functionality. In addition, you probably don’t want to be sitting side-by-side with the competition.
This is one of many cases where a portfolio comes in, which can easily be set up to serve as your own online store.
Every project comes with a unique creative direction that has a lasting impact on your vision and style. It shapes the way you work and with it, the culmination of your efforts moving forward. Your portfolio is a showcase of that evolution. It helps potential clients get an idea of how you do things when you have your vision alone to be accountable for.
Done right, your website shows visitors that you have confidence in your work and are willing to present it for all to see. It also shows that you uphold a certain level of commitment that speaks for your independence and level of effort you put in. Without a portfolio, there is no way to really prove this to potential clients.
The same rings true for your individuality. You can tell someone what you do and how you do it, but your unique style is more tangible when seen rather than heard. A portfolio is a perfect way to show the world through your eyes.
Thanks to the extensive range of tools available on the internet today, you don’t need any web design or programming experience to build an excellent portfolio. Once you have set yourself up on a website builder like WordPress, it is as simple as choosing a theme and adding your content.
From there, you can obtain additional information on making a well-rounded and unique portfolio through one of the many resources dedicated to the topic. This post with photography portfolio ideas offers an extensive look into how you can build an amazing showcase.
Moreover, Format provides countless templates and tools to help you get your mobile-optimized site off the ground. You can even get an online store set up, as well as a professional domain and email among other benefits. All of this on a single website, which goes to show how well facilitated this process is today.
As your clientele grows, managing your schedule and staying up-to-date with your calendar can become increasingly challenging. Online scheduling software exists to solve this problem and make life easier by seamlessly scheduling appointments. These kinds of tools can be integrated with your website.
Why would you do this? By connecting scheduling software to your portfolio, clients can book appointments whenever they are ready. This is far more convenient for them, as they don’t have to wait until business hours or your availability for a response. Not only does this save you time, but it also serves as a key advantage to your customer service.
As part of its marketing benefits, your photography portfolio can serve as an effective way to collect information about customers. For instance, you can request prospect email addresses, which can be used to send promotional content. This helps to increase your engagement, keeping potential clients interested and existing clients coming back.
If you are interested in making an investment in any form of paid online advertising, such as that which takes place on social media, then a website is an absolute must. It serves as the centerpiece for your campaign, driving a select target audience to your website where they can learn more about your services and ultimately become a customer.
When people are looking for a photographer, they are going to want someone that offers a professional service. Chances are that most amateurs in the industry have poorly made portfolios if they even have one to begin with. By putting together a professional-looking portfolio that is well made and informative, you immediately stand out.
Even if you take beautiful pictures, a clunky and outdated website will put people off. However, if both components are in-line with your potential clients’ expectations, they will be far more likely to give you a call. It is important to remember that your portfolio should look just as good as your photos.
To this day, client testimonials remain an effective way to prove your credibility and make a more compelling offer. Your portfolio is, of course, the perfect place to showcase all the positive feedback you have received. This will improve the trust that potential clients have in your services, thus increasing their likelihood of becoming a customer.
However, customer feedback isn’t just useful as a marketing tool; it is also highly valuable to you. Regardless of your skills or experience as a photographer, there is always room for improvement and feedback can help reveal where you can do better. Remember that you can also link back to your website on other platforms such as Google My Business and Yelp.
No matter where you are in your career, your portfolio will always serve as a valuable tool to meet your needs. Beginners will benefit from the way it signals credibility and increases reach to potential clients. From there, it can take on the role of demonstrating your specialties and the relevance of your work to those who are interested.
Even for globally recognized photographers, their portfolio is still a useful tool. It serves as a powerful calling card for potential business partners as well as being a curated virtual showcase to give other photographers valuable guidance and inspiration. A portfolio is a good way to prepare yourself for future growth and stay on track as you move forward.
The above points make it clear that having a portfolio is key to your success as a photographer, or in any creative industry for that matter. Be sure to invest some time into building a professional website that looks and performs up-to-standard. It may take some effort, but rest assured it’s a worthwhile endeavor that will quickly pay off.
Isabella Goode has written and researched articles for a wide variety of websites, blogs and magazines and has a strong understanding of art, design and a passion for photography.