Portfolio Design Guidelines | Give Your Photographs The Stage They Deserve! 6 Steps For Designing An Effective Website That Visitors Love
Portfolio Design Guidelines | Getting new clients requires that you have the whole package – stunning pictures, the right attitude and personality, as well as impeccable work ethic — but when it comes down to it, the first thing a potential client will see is something that many photographers overlook: the portfolio website. It needs to be flawless. A portfolio website helps your work to be found through search engines, can be used as a great digital portfolio in a second, and is an excellent way to engage with your potential clients. Why, then, are photography portfolio websites notorious for being so bad?
A portfolio is a curated showcase of your best work set up to show potential clients your skills, talent, and unique style. Whether you want to shoot portraits, weddings, commercial jobs, or to work for an environmental group to save a piece of the earth, a portfolio is the essential tool that shows a potential client what you can do for them. However, in addition to stunning pictures, what features are found in successful photography portfolio websites? What are the most important things to consider when presenting your best work?
Organize Your Work | Portfolio Design Guidelines
Your breadth of work should be organized according to theme or subject. If your work is presented in an organized and easy to navigate way, chances are, potential clients will appreciate the curation and level of professionalism that went into setting up your portfolio website. If you feature your best pictures at either the beginning or end of the portfolio, you will hit the visitor the hardest. Using both ends of the spectrum is a wise idea, as it will allow you to grab their attention right from the beginning and leave them something to remember at the end of the portfolio.
Avoid Adobe Flash At ALL COSTS | Portfolio Design Guidelines
Adobe Flash is a tool that some web designers use to set up websites. Unfortunately, Flash takes forever to load, some devices can’t display it, and they often look overdone. Another problem with flash based websites is the inability to include target keywords to your images alt tags. This makes your portfolio website very difficult for search engines to read, which will considerably affect Google search rankings. It just no longer serves a purpose for photography websites. While it makes a seemingly boring website look appealing, it can also make it load slow, and in many aspects, make your website unavailable to mobile devices.
Keep The Website Design Simple | Portfolio Design Guidelines
When designing a portfolio, you want a website that is straightforward. You want your content to be the focal point, rather than a complex design. Your website is a mechanism for potential clients to find your work. After all, your pictures are supposed to be the star of the show, so don’t clutter it up with useless design elements. If people notice the design of your portfolio over the photography it is showcasing, that’s a problem.
Make It Easy For Your Potential Clients To Contact You | Portfolio Design Guidelines
Regardless of how outstanding your work is, if your visitor can’t get in touch with you, you’re not getting any work. The easiest way is to include your contact details on every page in your website — including your portfolio. Include something small and subtle at the bottom of the screen that doesn’t take attention away from your work, but is readily available when a client decides to pick up the phone. A simple phone number will do, although if a potential client isn’t fond of the telephone, it may be better if they knew your email address as well.
Simplify Navigation | Portfolio Design Guidelines
Navigation is the most important element to be considered when setting up a photography portfolio. It should be designed as clearly as possible for the visitors to view your works. So, when it comes to creating a navigation bar for your website with links to the different pages, DO NOT GET CREATIVE! Make the navigation easy so people can focus on the photography without being distracted by trying to figure out how to use the site.
Don’t Forget to Update! | Portfolio Design Guidelines
Users are used to seeing new content every time they visit a website. We’ve all grown out of seeing the same old stuff on every visit. This is the same for your photography portfolio, with a little less emphasis on how often you should be updating. Remember, the most effective portfolios are never static. As you create new and better work, make sure you make additions to showcase your latest projects, but with the same focus on careful curation!