If you are a photographer, creating an online portfolio can help you attract new clients to your photography business. It can take your brand to a whole new level, and showcase your work to others. You can expand your professional opportunities when you publish your most valuable photography samples online. The first impression means a lot!
Your online portfolio should be as impressive as your work. That’s why it’s critically important to choose the right platform for your future portfolio. It should allow you to create a sleek, professional website in minutes, upload all your photos, and optimize it for SEO. However, maintaining your portfolio should also be straightforward and easy. Preferable you can upload straight from your photo library directly to the online portfolio.
Below I will show you how to create an online portfolio on Format. I have heard a lot of positive reviews about this tool. Thousands of photographers, designers, and artists from over 140 countries over the globe use Format to showcase their best works online.
I like that I don’t need to code or hire outside help to create a portfolio for my photography with Format. Best of all they offer a plugin for both Capture One and Lightroom for pushing the images from your catalog to the portfolio in a simple process.
If uploading photos to your portfolio isn’t simple, then you likely will end up not maintaining the portfolio. If you work with clients and need to present images to them in a dedicated gallery, then this becomes even more important.
In this guide, you’ll see a step-by-step process of creating an online photography portfolio with Format.
1. Define Your Goals First
First, you need to define your goals and decide why you need an online portfolio? It is brand awareness or finding new clients? Or do you need it to better serve and deliver photos to your existing clients? It would help if you answered the following questions:
- Who is your audience? What people are you going to attack? For example, if you are a fashion photographer, you need to find models and stores that need your skills. Or maybe, if you are a newborn photographer, then your target audience will be pregnant women or families with newborn children.
- What are your strengths? Maybe you shoot landscape, wildlife or macro photography, then you need to create a gallery for showcasing your work to magazine editors or potential private art buyers.
- What are your general goals? Do you want to attract new clients? Or try a new photography genre, such as food photography? Is there something you want to show your audience?
Sit down and answer all these questions. They will help you create the basics of your new portfolio and understand what pages you need to add.
Google Best Portfolio Websites
Find the best photography portfolio websites within your niche. Google will show you thousands and thousands of different portfolios online. They will help you see what kind of layout you like the most, what pages competitors have, and why.
Here are a few websites created with Format:
Create a mood board of the best websites that you like and find features that you want to implement on your website.
2. Create Your Online Portfolio
Let’s create an account on Format. Go to Format.com and create your free trial account, if you want to follow along with the steps in this article. You can begin with a free 14 days trial to try it out. However, should you want to continue using Format for your online portfolio, you can save some money by using a dedicated discount code, we have for Photography-RAW readers.
Click this link to create your account or free trial. When your trial runs out or whenever you are ready to commit to continuing, copy the discount code: PHTOGRPHYRAW15 to get 15% off all annual plans. Just apply it during checkout.
After you verified your email address, you’ll have your login and password. Use this information to login. Here is how the Dashboard looks like:
Then, you’ll see a quick tip with these six steps that you need to complete to create your online portfolio.
Upload Your Images
Upload the first five photos to a gallery to get started. There comes up a simple form with Upload button where you can upload images straight from your computer or import from Format or Dropbox:
I decided to get started with Macro photography. I’ll add a particular name to my gallery.
It’s essential to make your website SEO-friendly, so make sure you added captions and hashtags to all your works.
Choose Website Theme
After that, save changes. Later I’ll add more images and create new galleries. Let’s get to the most exciting part and choose a perfect website theme. Go to Dashboard on the left and Open Checklist.
Click Explore Themes.
I love simple minimalist themes with white background and big images. I choose the website theme called “Fullframe” I think it will be an ideal choice for my macro and wildlife photography, as it maximizes the images to cover the whole screen with the menu as an overlay.
You can preview the theme, or click the button on the right top corner: Try This Theme.
If you like how the preview looks, apply this theme.
After that, get back to the Dashboard and click on the button Pages.
Here you can remove sample pages and add your own. Make sure you add a few galleries with your best works, Contact page, and About me page.
Add New Galleries
I renamed my gallery and added a new name Macro.
Then, I removed sample pages and added my Macro Gallery to the menu. Here is how my new portfolio looks now:
I added two new galleries: Wildlife and Landscape. They were automatically added to the menu. Make sure to add alt text to each image for search engine optimization.
You have done a big job! You choose your best work, pick a perfect website theme for your portfolio, customized it, and edited the menu. Not one of the most crucial steps: create an About Me Page and add Contact info, so that your visitors know who you are and can get in touch with you. Did you know that ‘About Me’ is the most visited page on Format portfolios?
Create ‘About Me’ Page
After that, let’s edit the About Me page. Add your text and portrait photo of you and save the changes. Remember these simple rules of a perfect About Me page:
- Use your voice;
- Tell your visitors why you are a photographer;
- Share your philosophy;
- Don’t forget about the basics, like your name;
- Be brief.
Also, ensure to add a custom page URL. For example, the About Me page will be: ‘about-me-peter-dam-photography.’
Edit Contact Page
Let’s move to the Contact Page.
Go to Pages and click the Edit button on the Contact page.
On the Format’s template, I see an email subscription form template. I’ll remove it because I don’t need it. (To remove the subscription window, click a red recycle bin on the top right corner of the form)
You can share your contact details, such as email and phone numbers. Format allows you to create a quick contact form where your visitors can send you their name, email, and message.
If you need to add any other info, you can Add New Section and create new text, image, media, forms, or dividers.
Click Save and Preview.
Add Your Logo
I love the way my name is displayed on this theme, but I have my logo, and I want to add it to my portfolio.
I go to Design on the Dashboard. On the Design editor, I choose the Website title and logo.
You can create text or image logos. Upload a logo in PNG format. I chose my logo with white background.
You can trim extra space around your logo, make it bigger or smaller, and edit the logo link. Usually, the logo links to the Homepage. Click save and preview.
Besides, Format lets you edit the site icon that appears on the tab on an internet browser. You can change it on the same page where the logo.
Don’t Forget about Pricing Page
Another vital page to create on your online portfolio is a pricing page. Having this information on your portfolio website is excellent for attracting new clients. This way, they can see the prices and decide if your service is affordable without having to ask you directly.
Add a new page with relevant prices, and don’t forget to add it to the main menu.
3. Most Important Features of Format
You may think that photos that you showcase on your portfolio are the essential thing. However, the way you show your work can also have a huge impact. It would help if you show your potential clients that you put a lot of effort into putting together your portfolio; that’s why your website layout matters.
One of the best things about Format is that I can choose one of the many of gorgeous website themes to represent your brand and style. They have a range of stunning photography themes to offer.
All website themes on Format are optimized for mobile and other device sizes. If your portfolio is not mobile-friendly, your visitors may leave your website in the first 3 seconds. Do you know that 52,2% of all website traffic is generated from mobile phones? With a mobile-friendly website, you can capture more leads.
Upload directly from Capture One or Lightroom
One of the most important features is the ability to upload new images fast and efficient, to keep your portfolio up to date, and optimize your client workflow, if you work directly with paying clients.
Format delivers plugins for Capture One and for Lightroom to help you speed up the uploading process. The Capture One plugins works really well.
Support of Google Analytics
One of the most powerful tools to see the results of your portfolio is Google Analytics. This service allows you to see how many people visit your website per day (or per month), where these people come from, what pages are the most popular, what percentage of people come from search engines and social media, and so on. On Format, you can easily enable Google Analytics.
The best part about Format as a website builder is that it allows you to edit any part of your portfolio website. In the world of tight competition, it’s crucial to stand out from the crowd. With Format, you can change anything from your site icon to font sizes. Any design element can be customized and adjusted to your needs.
Let your clients approve proofs directly from your galleries with Format. You can save your time with client proofing straight from your portfolio.
Format gives you the ability to manage, proof, and deliver your photography to a client. You can enable downloads so that a client can save their images directly from your site. Moreover, these images will be presented in a beautiful, modern gallery that will amaze your clients.
A Favoriting feature allows you to get feedback from your client instantly. You can see what image your customers like the most.
Another great feature of Format is a built-in blog. Blogging is a powerful marketing and SEO tool for photographers. It can help you promote your portfolio, get your brand out there, and communicate with your potential clients. You can share blog posts about styling and clothing of photoshoots. Other online portfolio solutions I have encountered often lack features for creating blog pages.
You can share your best latest photos on the blog and show backstage to your visitors. Besides, blog posts can boost your SEO and give your portfolio a chance to rank higher on search engines. Write proper blog posts with SEO keywords and headlines, and don’t forget about alt text on images. Sometimes, people search for something on Google images, and your photo may appear on particular search results.
Do you want to sell your photography? Then, Format is a perfect website builder for you. It allows not only to sell your prints or photos but also to apply discount codes and manage email lists. Along with prints, you can also sell photography workshops, photo sessions, Lightroom Presets, Photoshop actions, master classes, and photo books. Make sure to add a compelling description to your products to close sales, including specific measures.
Do you want to create an online photography portfolio, but you hesitate if you need it right now? You can give Format a test drive for 14 days and see if you need a portfolio. You can create a website, add images, and edit anything you want during that time. And after that period, you would pay, if you like this website builder.
Remember that if you do like to continue with using Format as your online portfolio, you can save a bit on the first years payment by using the instructions below:
Click this link to create your account or free trial. When your trial runs out or whenever you are ready to commit to continuing, copy the discount code: PHTOGRPHYRAW15 to get 15% off all annual plans. You need to apply it during checkout.
It’s consistently useful to have customer support at your administration nonstop; the best stages for photography portfolios have excellent client support that is ready for any site questions, regardless of the time.
As you see, Format has everything you may need to create an online portfolio for a photographer. In this guide, I showed you a quick step-by-step tutorial on creating a website on Format, creating new galleries, adding new pages, editing information, choosing the perfect website theme, and changing the logo.
Also, I share the best Format features that can take your portfolio to a whole new level. If you decide to try Format after reading this article, please, don’t hesitate to share your portfolio link in the comments below. Also, if you have already tried Format, share your honest feedback.