Small Business Tips

How to Make a Photography Portfolio

If you take photos, you want them to be seen. 

However, if you want to be a professional, posting them on social media isn’t enough. You need to make a web photographer portfolio to attract potential clients.

Don’t know where to start? No worries. Keep on reading as we will show you how to make a photography portfolio website.

Step 1: Create a website

When it comes to creating a website, the first step to make sure you choose the right platform. One point to consider is that it should be beginner-friendly.

The Zyro site builder offers a quick and easy way to create one. 

You won’t have to start from scratch as there are designer-made templates to get you started. You may edit them to your heart’s desire.  

The drag-and-drop editor combined with the grid system makes designing your web portfolio enjoyable and effortless. Rest assured that all elements will look great and proportional.

Furthermore, there’s a free plan available, and you can get to work designing right away.

Zyro, a free website builder where you can make a photography portfolio

Keep in mind that building an online portfolio is slightly different from creating a regular website, as you need to focus on photo placements. The presentation of images is everything. 

We have a photography website template that you can fully customize using our editor. It’s a minimalistic one-page template that solely focuses on the photographer’s work.

Zyro's photography portfolio website template

To add a photo, simply drag the Image element and drop it on the desired location. Or, if you want to change the picture, hover on it and select Edit image.

Zyro's website editor interface

Step 2. Pick a focus and stick with it

Once you get a good website set up, now it’s time to determine the focus of your photography portfolio. It can range from wedding, architectural, travel, landscape, or other niches.

A list of photography genres

This is important, as showcasing different projects at once may clutter the look of your portfolio. As a result, it’ll be hard for clients to determine the niche you’re specialized in.

By focusing on a topic, it’s easier to organize your portfolio photography work, and your expertise will shine. 

However, if you’re a diverse photographer, you may want to include different focuses. In this case, you can create separate pages or menu items on your site. 

Just remember to make the layout, look, and overall theme of the website consistent.

Step 3: Showcase your best projects

The point of a photography portfolio is to show off your skills. As such, it’s important to display your best images and most impressive work straight on the homepage.

To determine which photos to display, we recommend asking for suggestions from friends and families. This way, you can be objective and choose the best photo for each location.

Once you have a pile of suggestions, you still need to organize and eliminate photos. 

Place the strongest images in the beginning and at the end of the gallery. The first picture will attract the visitors to view your portfolio, while the last image will leave a good impression.

Take a look at other photographers’ portfolios in the same niche. Observe their style and presentation. Get an impression of how you may lay out your images for full effect. 

Let’s use Yasamin J Tehrani’s portfolio as an example. 

As a documentary and fine art photographer, she showcases several collections on her site: 2020 US presidential candidates, sports events, portraits of life in Iran, and much more.

However, the main page does not display all of those images at once. She first only chooses two pictures from each collection and showcases them using a slider:

The homepage of Yasamin J Tehrani's photography portfolio

Meanwhile, the Luminita Photos portfolio showcases only a number of their best work as you scroll down the first page. The header also features a single photo. 

The homepage of Luminita's photography portfolio

Step 4: Include relevant content and information

Yes, pictures do speak a thousand words. But sometimes images may need information or a backstory to make them feel more personal and real. 

If you’re not much of a storyteller, it’s good enough to just mention the location, time, the object of the photo, and how you got there.

Take Anchor and Lace wedding photography, for example. Their portfolio features stories of how they met their clients and the experiences they have while they work with different couples.

Anchor and Lace's story photography portfolio

Story Photography is another portfolio that includes descriptions of the photos they took, from the occasion, place, to the people.

One of Story Photography's post, a photo with it's description

Text information is always a good thing to include in your portfolio. By adding keywords to your titles and content, you can also boost your SEO. 

There’s a chance that your portfolio will rank high on search engine result pages (SERPs). A photo alone won’t help your ranking. 

If you have trouble coming up with photo captions, Zyro’s AI Writer can help you generate one in seconds. 

Simply choose the category related to your work, or type in a starting sentence or two. You don’t have to sign in to use it.

Zyro's AI content generator homepage

Step 5: Create a clean and clear interface

A photography portfolio is expected to be full of pictures already. Therefore, your site interface should be clean and clear. You don’t want to overwhelm your visitors or potential clients. 

Keep it simple. That means no animations, pop-ups, ads, or widget lists on the side. Implement white spaces and reduce your written content — at least on your homepage. 

The focus of your portfolio should be your photos. You can add a title or short description but keep to the minimum. Direct visitors to another page for the backstory if you need to.

If you have quite a number of pages, be sure to use the hamburger button for the navigation menu.

Great photography portfolio websites for inspiration

If you need ideas on how to layout and design your photography website, check out these popular portfolios:

1. Gavin Gough

The homepage of  Gavin Gough's photography portfolio

Gavin Gough is an editorial, humanitarian, and travel photographer. His works are categorized based on the places and events he witnessed.

Each category is represented by an image, and there aren’t many negative spaces except for the simple header and footer.

When you scroll through a project, the full-screen picture asks you to focus on a photo at a time. 

You’ll also find bits of descriptions between the photos explaining the situation and introducing the locals.

This portfolio has a pleasant user experience as well. It loads fast, and Gavin is kind enough to place a link directing to the next collection at the end of every batch.  

2. Jeremy Cowart

Jeremy Cowart's minimalist photography portfolio

Jeremy Cowart’s portfolio is a good example of a clean and clear interface. 

When you visit his site, you are greeted with a gallery of his photos and nothing more. For his name, Jeremy uses a stylish font to give a bit of a personal touch. 

Links directing to different pages, from photographs of different categories to his profile, are organized in a simple drop-down menu at the top.   

What’s more, the footer only consists of icons that link to his Pinterest and Instagram accounts. It’s worth the look if you need inspiration on laying out a simple portfolio.

3. Northlandscapes

Northlandscapes, a photography portfolio that uses the Instagram grid layout

Northlandscapes is a website by Jan Erik Waider, who focuses his work on landscapes.

Jan implemented the Instagram grid layout to showcase his photos. 

Since he has quite a collection, it’s very effective when visitors want to scroll through the portfolio and check out his projects. 

Other than creative titles, there’s a very brief explanation or quotes from other professionals accompanying the pictures. 

He also uses clean fonts that compliment one another for the written content, filling in the white spaces.

4. Love + Water

Love + Water, an aesthetically pleasing photography portfolio

A photography portfolio that’s based in Hawaii, Love + Water is definitely going for the aesthetics. Their focus is on weddings, the land, sea, and sky portraits. 

The website is a prime example when it comes to presenting your best work. Its overall design is very pleasing and clean — from the colors and layout, to the fonts and tones. 

What’s more, the images are organized based on their color scheme, whether it’s monochromatic, pastel, or greens. Visitors can’t help but to stay and look through the photos.  

There’s also a sticky side and top menu that makes it easier for you to navigate through the site, especially the galleries and featured categories. 

See more photography website examples here.

Photography portfolio recap

As a professional photographer, you need to have an online portfolio. It will boost your visibility and make it easier for potential clients to find you.

Creating one is not as hard as you might think it is, especially with Zyro. Just remember to keep it simple, focus on a niche, display your best photos, and add a bit of a story.

Don’t hesitate to take the leap and good luck.

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