Zoë Noble Education


Portfolio 101: How to create a website that really sells you

Black model sitting with brightly coloured lips

Whether you’re a photographer, or retoucher – or both! – you’re going to need a website that truly sells you and your skills. Here are some quick pointers to help you get your portfolio site ready, and attract the attention of your dream clients.

Start and end strong

Keep your best work at the top and the bottom of your galleries so you start and end strong, staying memorable in the mind of any potential client.

Keep it simple

Limit the number of galleries as the fewer clicks people have to make the better. I limit my portfolio website to four galleries – Beauty, Still Life, Motion and Portrait – and I know others further simplify to just Editorial and Commercial. The more galleries you have, the less focused your brand might seem, so keep it simple!

SEO Matters

It’s worth putting a little time into SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), as it can really boost your website’s Google ranking and make your work appear higher up in the search results. This is a BIG topic, but here is an article which can help explain SEO a little more and give you some tips.

Get a second opinion

Ask photographers or retouchers whose opinion you respect to look at your website and offer advice. You can be so close to your own work that it’s hard to be subjective, so don’t be afraid of getting other people’s perspectives.

Keep copy short and sweet

Potential clients may only spend seconds on your About page, so keep copy to a minimum. In a few paragraphs, explain who you are, what you do and what makes you and your work special. Don’t forget to add a profile photo so clients have a better idea who they’ll be working with!

Don’t forget about mobile

More and more people browse websites on phones so ensure you’re not losing potential clients by having an easy-to-navigate and mobile-responsive website.

Only show your best work

Update your galleries with new work and get rid of images that no longer fit. As creatives we can get sentimental about our work, but it pays to go over your images with a critical eye and ask yourself whether they are really speaking to your target market. If you hesitate over an image, or think it’s there just because you like it, that’s not enough. It’s far better to show 10 amazing images than 50 mediocre photos!

Thanks for reading!

— Zoë