Which photos should I upload to my website?
This is a question every photographer faces in the beginning of their career. You have been learning new things – long exposures, new poses, post processing, your first goofy shots with a fisheye lens – and you are excited about the results so you want to show all those incredible shots on your website.
Of course you do. I understand. I’ve been there. But…
Don’t do it.
Only show your BEST work on your website. The very best.
Before you share those new photos that you are so excited about to the whole world, hold back and only show them to your friends. Or if you don’t have friends who know a bit about photography, I recommend that you look at the photos every day for two weeks or so. That way you start seeing the photo more objectively. And very likely you’ll start seeing things that you could have done better.
Even quicker way to see the ‘flaws’ in your photos is to post them to a designated photographers’ forum/group for constructive critique. Other people will find problems if you can’t – you can be sure of that. But while other photographers’ critique is valuable, don’t forget that every piece of critique is only someone’s opinion, not a universal truth, so don’t get discouraged by it. Receive critique gracefully and make your own mind up whether you accept and agree with it.
After two weeks, if you are not completely happy with a photo, don’t present it in your portfolio. Hide it, learn from it, and if possible, retake it and make it better.
If you ARE completely happy with the photo and you still love it and it excites you two weeks later, show it with pride for everyone to see.
How many photos should you have in your portfolio?
Show a maximum of 20 photos in each category. 12 is even better.
No one has time to look through dozens of photos, and you should be able to convey your style of photography in 20 photos or less. That’s what your potential clients want to find out when they come to your website: what style of photos you take. Not the random shots that anyone could have taken, but photos that reveal what you look to capture, what you bring out in the people or the subjects that you photograph.
Things to consider when choosing photos for your portfolio:
1) Are you proud of the shot?
2) How is it different from every other photographer’s shots?
3) Would you definitely like to shoot more similar photos?
When you show the kind of photos you would like to shoot more of – whether it’s portraits of weddings – you will attract the kind of people who want to be in those kinds of photos!
This of course works for commercial photography, too. Show the style of photography you want to be commissioned to shoot. For example: I want to shoot more properties, so I show a lot of holiday let photography and interior design photography online. On the other hand, low-value product photography is something I don’t want to do, so I don’t show any of those shots in public.
Think back to what kind of shoots have been your favourite ones when everything worked like a dream: you enjoyed the shoot, the client was very happy and appreciative, you got great shots and client communication was brilliant, too. Those are the kind of clients you want to find more of, and those are the kind of photos you should share with everyone online.
To find out how you can find your perfect clients online, download my free infographic here:
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