How to Make a Stunning Photography Portfolio (for free!)

July 22, 2020

Are you looking to create or upgrade your photography portfolio? I'm sharing why a portfolio is so important for photographers, + how to make one for FREE!





Welcome to the last and final part of the photography series! Today we’re talking portfolios. Why you need one, what to include, what not to include, and most importantly, how to make one for (almost) free!!

So grab an iced matcha latte, get comfy, and let’s do this!

Why you need a photography portfolio:

It’s all well and good me showing you how to make a photography portfolio, but why do you need one in the first place?

1. To stand out.

There are so many photographers in the industry right now which makes it hard to stand out to potential clients. Having a stunning portfolio is a surefire way to give yourself the edge over other photographers.

The goal here is to showcase your work in an enticing way, so clients will look at your portfolio and say “Yes – you, I want YOU to take my photos!!”

an ipad with a photography portfolio on the screen, next to some matcha lattes

2. It’s your potential clients’ first impression of you.

If you apply for a job, your employer will want to see your CV before you apply to gauge your experience. If they like what they see, they may interview you to ask you about your skills.

Think of your photography portfolio as your ‘credentials’. You need to show potential clients your skills and experience, and that working with you would be a worthy investment. After all, there are no CV’s or interviews in this industry!

3. It’s a reflection of your work ethic.

Your photography portfolio is a client’s first impression of you. You may be the most organised and professional photographer, but if your portfolio looks sloppy or poor-quality potential clients will assume you are too.

This is why it’s important for the first port of call for potential clients to be clean, sleek and curated.

I know designing a website can sound scary and confusing, but I’m here to guide you through the process. And spoiler alert, it’s not too tricky at all!

Why you should use Ucraft to make your portfolio:

I use Ucraft to produce my photography portfolio. Here’s why I think you should too:

  • It has a simple interface which is easy to use and navigate
  • Ucraft allows you to upload unlimited, high-quality images
  • It allows you to add a custom domain
  • The customer support is fast and very helpful!

Best of all, there’s a free plan! But like all good things, the free plan does have a few disadvantages:

  • It shows a watermark at the bottom of each page
  • Some features on the free plan (e.g. accordions) have limited customization options.
  • There is limited SEO options on the free plan. Though this is not too big an issue – it is hard to rank in Google with highly visual content, and most people will see your portfolio via your social media, website or email/proposal anyways!

How to design a stunning photography portfolio with ucraft:

front page of a photography portfolio

This simple guide will help you to create a stunning photography portfolio for (almost) free in just 5 simple steps!

Step 1: Create a ucraft account

The first thing you need to do to make a stunning photography portfolio is create a Ucraft account.

Then you can create a new website based on one of the many templates available!

Don’t worry if you don’t like the look of the templates at the moment – there’s a lot of option to customise your website by adding different design blocks.

Step 2: customise your website and add your images

blog work page of a photography portfolio

It’s a good idea to separate your photos into different categories on separate pages. You can add a new page from the dashboard. You’ll also want to design a home page so you can navigate to your category pages.

Make sure to only use your best images in your portfolio. You may have taken over 1000 photos but think of your portfolio as your ‘highlight reel’ – every image should be stunning on its own!

I took an embarrassingly long time to curate my portfolio by choosing the right images and arranging them in an aesthetically pleasing order. It may sound extra, but it is worth doing so to give your portfolio a sleek and harmonious look.

Step 3: Add your about me/services pages

about me page of a photography portfolio

It can look super artistic to have a portfolio website which is simply images, but it’s important to also include your email/ preferred method of contact at the bare minimum. This will enable potential clients to get in touch!

It’s a good idea to have an ‘about me’ page on your portfolio to share your photography journey and expertise. Try to sound friendly and approachable – you don’t want to scare your clients away!

I chose to also list my services on my portfolio, to give potential clients a better idea of what i can do for them.

Step 4: connect your domain.

The best thing about Ucraft is that you can add your custom domain to your website for free. A portfolio URL without .wordpress.com or .ucraft.site suffixes looks a lot more professional and shows that you’re serious about this business.

It’s a good idea to purchase yourfullname.com as a domain. If this is unavailable, you could try yourfullnamephotography.com, yourinitialsphotography.com, or a brand name of your choice!

I purchase my domains from Google Domains. Most domains cost £10/year, which is a small price to pay for looking professional!

To connect your custom domain to your photography portfolio, click ‘connect your domain’ from the Ucraft dashboard and you’ll find simple instructions to install it. You can also contact Ucraft support if you are facing any issues.

Note that Ucraft updates any edits you make to your site immediately. If you are moving your domain to Ucraft from a different website builder, its best to make the move once your website design is complete.

Step 5: share your photography portfolio!

Your portfolio is ready. Now it’s time to share it with the world!

Add links to your portfolio from your blog/website, media kit and social media pages. You can also link to it from your email signature!

There’s also no harm in plugging it on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook to share with your followers! You never know who may be interested in some of your services.

Note: This blog post is in no way sponsored by Ucraft. All opinions are my own.

What next?

I hope you guys have enjoyed learning more about food photography from me. If this is something you would like to see more of, let me know!

Did you read last week’s post? I shared step-by-step how to edit food photos in Lightroom. It’s not to be missed! You can also view the rest of the photography series for even more tips and tricks.

Please take a look at my photography portfolio if you are interested in working with me. You can also come say hello on Instagram!

Happy photographing,

-S.

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Shivani Raja
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