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This post is part of the series, The Ultimate Guide To Being A Wedding Photographer — advice for running a successful wedding photography biz. Click here to view a list of all the posts in this series.
Welcome back for the third post in this series, How To Create A Website That Makes Visitors Fall In Love — which is part of my bigger series, The Ultimate Guide To Being A Wedding Photographer.
Yes! It’s a series within a series.
Today I’m sharing my secrets for the perfect Portfolio page.
I’ve already shared detailed advice for building a portfolio to attract your ideal client.
This post is about creating the perfect webpage for that portfolio.
As I mentioned, I offer my clients two website design options — single page scrolling or 5-page designs. Single and 5-page are a bit of a ‘misnomer’ because they both actually include more pages… and the portfolio is an example of that.
For my website design clients I create a portfolio “landing” page — this is where you land when you click the “portfolio” link. From there, I create a gallery-style subpage template that can be used for multiple galleries. Typically when a visitor lands on the portfolio page, they’ll select from a few options of galleries to view.
The number and types of galleries will vary depending on your portfolio and brand offerings. Let’s take a look at how that might look…
If you’re just starting out, or even if you’ve been in biz for awhile, but you’re giving your portfolio an overhaul to attract your ideal client, you might only have one gallery worth of work to share.
And that’s okay.
I really believe that less is more.
You want to focus on your best work (photographs that attract your ideal client) and not just fill your portfolio to “have more.”
If this is the case, I would suggest you skip the landing page all together and just have your “portfolio” link open to your one gallery.
Galleries should ideally have 10-30 image. (30 max — you don’t want more than that because nobody is going to look at more… if a potential client wants to see more of your work they’ll check out your blog!).
If you offer multiple services for your business (weddings, engagement, bridal sessions) I suggest you have a gallery for each one.
However, if you offer something that your ideal client isn’t interested in (i.e. senior portraits or sports photographer) I’d consider creating another brand and website around that. Remember, you need to know your ideal client and then really be speaking directly to them throughout your website. This includes your galleries.
Let’s say you’ve been in business for a while, and you know your ideal client — in fact you’ve shot several weddings that really embody that ideal client (way to go!!). Then, and only then, I’d suggest you add “featured weddings” galleries.
So, when a visitor lands on your Portfolio page, I still think it’s important to have a main gallery that features your best work (let’s say you have one for weddings and one for engagements). Then, secondary to that, I’d suggest you have links to several “featured weddings” galleries — one for each ideal client wedding you want to share.
Within the featured galleries, remember you still want to limit it to your best work. So choose 10-30 of your favorite images from that wedding.
I go into great detail about how to select the best images for your portfolio in this post. But the main thing to remember is: just because you shot it, doesn’t mean it belongs in your portfolio.
Your portfolio is limited to your best work. And work that will attract your ideal client.
If your ideal client’s wedding is designer gown at an art gallery, then you probably shouldn’t put those photos from the barn wedding you shot, where all the groomsmen wore jeans.
I’m sure you did an awesome job, and I’m sure they’re gorgeous photos! But your ideal client doesn’t care about that. She’s looking for someone for her wedding day!
Since you already know who your ideal client is, go through your portfolio, take stock of every image and ask yourself if it belongs there. If not, get rid of it!
And there you have it — my advice for the perfect portfolio page for your website!
And girl, if you’re getting sick of the DIY-game (if your website is being held together with metaphorical duct tape….) and you’re ready to invest in yourself, give me a shout!