Five quick tips on how to refresh your portfolio – other than adding new projects! We are all stuck at home anyway, so now is the perfect time to update. I first shared these on Instagram, but I wanted to expand on what I wrote there, and also share real life examples from my clients’ websites.
These tips are for creative professionals who need a portfolio to showcase their work. Whether you are a photographer, a designer, an illustrator, or a florist, these should apply to your industry.
- Trim your projects. The most common mistake I see among creatives is to cram as many projects as they can into their online portfolios. More does not mean better. Only show work you want to be known for.
2. Case studies, not albums. Pretty images are not enough to sell your work. Discuss each project as a case study. Walk us through the challenges you had to solve, and the special touches you added as part of the solution. What makes each project special? What is noteworthy about how you handled it? Keep it short & sweet; it’s a case study, not a dissertation.
Two of my recent clients did this really well, I just have to mention them here. One is Kimberly Coffman, of Fine Art Interiors. We designed her portfolio to show a column on the side indicating challenges and solutions for each of her projects. It not only shows her innovative style, it also serves to show her expertise.
Another client who did this so effectively is Silke Dietz, who recently relaunched her website ZebraJojo Photography. To emphasize her storytelling approach to brand photography, she tells the story of each of her client’s galleries. Instead of simply displaying multiple photos in a grid, like everyone else, she explains the strategy behind each shoot.
3. Give it a makeover. Retina screens and 5k displays are more of the norm now, so if you’re not showing larger images, you’re not taking full advantage of it. Just make sure you allow for some breathing space in between images, and be mindful of file sizes.
4. New mockups. If you’re in the design industry, you have to make sure your portfolio is keeping up with trends. There are so many great sources for realistic mockups so you can show your work creatively. I like to make sure mine have a consistent look, so I use either my own images, or the stunning ones over at Haute Stock, where I have a membership. Creative Market also has hundreds of gorgeous mockups – I love the ones by Moyo Studio.
5. Include testimonials. This is your social proof – they not only build credibility and trust, they also add a human element to your case studies. Silke integrates testimonials into her portfolio so effectively. It’s actually the first thing you’ll read. They are the reason why I hired her to take my brand photos – her numerous testimonials attest to her expertise and unique style.
Have you refreshed your portfolio lately? Share your tips!
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