For Photographers

Last month I released my free eBook – 5 Ways to Grow Your Business in the Off-Season. As the off-season comes to a close, I knew I wanted to highlight and expand on one of the tips shared in the book and hope this post will serve your business well. Without further ado…

Can I ask you a question? When was the last time you updated your website portfolio?

Up until our new website and brand was launched this past October, our portfolio hadn’t been updated in over 2.5 years. 2.5 years, y’all. Not good. What was meant to be a place for potential clients to view the very best of our photography was outdated, inconsistent and in some cases, subpar. We certainly weren’t maximizing our opportunities to attract and book new clients. Not good.

As fast as the world is moving and with as many options as there are for everything as a consumer, research shows that we have mere seconds to make an impression to keep a visitor on our website that will hopefully lead them to  click the “inquire” button. Seconds. It is highly important that we are putting our very best foot forward in our professional online identities. Our website portfolios need to be current, polished and intentionally curated to attract and book new clients that want what we have to offer.

So, why is it that we don’t make regular updates to our portfolio? Most of the time, it’s simply due to the fact that it’s tedious and taxing. It can be difficult to pare down our images and the process seems to take forever.

Today, I’ve got three steps for you to take to do the work now before you let another shooting season pass you by.


1. Evaluate Current Portfolio

Go to the portfolio section of your website. Are there any images that make you get that pit in your stomach/cringe feeling? Remove those ones right off the bat.

From there, go through each image in your current portfolio and ask yourself the following questions:

+ Is this image consistent and representative of my current shooting and editing style?

If your editing style has changed since your last portfolio update, you will need to locate the original image to do a re-edit.

+ Will this image attract my ideal client?

If your ideal client likes bright and airy imagery in outdoor ceremony venues, you probably won’t want to include that shot of a past wedding photographed at a dark and dramatic church…even if it’s a really great photograph.

+ Do I love this image and believe that it has “the wow factor”?

You probably have at least a handful of photographs in your portfolio that you feel good about and that you are proud of. Even so, those images don’t belong in a portfolio, friend. You need to absolutely love each and every photograph you include on your website and you yourself be “wowed” when you look at it. Be ruthless as you make your selections!


2. Curate Recent Work

After you have decided on the images to both keep and remove in your current portfolio, it’s time to move on to including your most recent work.

Rather than going back through full folders and galleries of past sessions and weddings, a good place to start pulling favorite images might be on your blog or in your Facebook albums if you keep either of those current. After making your initial selections, you’ll want to answer the same three questions above to further curate your portfolio.


3. Develop a System to Streamline the Process

To make things easier on yourself going forward, create a folder on your computer for “Portfolio Selections” that you can drop a handful of your favorites from each session or wedding that you photograph from here on out. Making future portfolio updates won’t be so tedious the next time around!



Bonus Tips For Your Portfolio Update

  • To avoid making selections based on emotional attachment to any given image, you might consider asking a few good friends to take a look through your updated portfolio to give you some unbiased feedback.
  • The images you choose for your homepage and/or the very first ones that appear in your portfolio should be THE best of the best.
  • If you were like me and hadn’t made a portfolio update in nearly three years, this will likely feel like an extra daunting process. Instead of looking back through all of your work since you last updated, just focus on the past 3-6 months. Get some fresh work up immediately and then you can decide if you have more time and energy to include additional past work.
  • Less is more. I like to keep my portfolio lean, showcasing around 40-60 images per sub-gallery (i.e. weddings, engagements, bridals).


If you would like to receive the remaining four tips in my free eBook 5 Ways to Grow Your Business in the Off-Season, just click right here to do that. 🙂

Also, if you have a photography or business related question you would like for Cheyenne to answer for a future blog post, you can submit that here.

Cheyenne Schultz

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