One of the biggest things to do when starting out as a photographer is actually building a photography portfolio website. You need to find a way to get your work online so its important that you do that in a professional way that represents what it is that you do. It can be an overwhelming task – you have to get all of your work together you want to show then find a way to present it online. This can be a big task.
Many people think they need to learn HTML and how a web server works. I’ve even known people who decide to sign up for a class to learn how to do their website. This is a little bit extreme I think. There are tons of tools out there that will get you what you need to be up and running quickly. And you don’t have to know how to code.
These days most portfolios run off of a content management system (some people just call it a CMS for short). WordPress is one of the most popular out there. It was built for making a blog, but did you know it works really well for making a photography portfolio as well?
WordPress works by using what they call themes. Themes are a way of presenting your content – its the design and layout of your site. All you need to do is find the right theme for your photography portfolio and you are up and running!
I’ve found an excellent tutorial that will help you get up and running in less than 5 minutes! Check it out here:
There is certainly no question that photography is a tough and hard business to be in. Part of what I want to talk about on this blog is ways that you can be successful in the photography business despite the odds. Before we begin I want to make clear that there are two serious initiatives that you need to understand. First, you need to be good and second you need to be ready to work hard and be aggressive.
Now those two statements are probably painfully obvious and they are probably also pretty subjective and hard to figure out. What does it mean to be good? And what does it mean to work hard?
Photography is an art. It is a way of communicating visually and although those of us in the communication business understand this – often times the people who hire us do not. To many people, aesthetics are simply a want and not a need. Since the late 1990’s we’ve seen a weirder economy than we’ve ever seen. Often times its more down than up. When money is scarce, clients tend to cling to it more. When times get better they stay cautious. So its up to us as photographers to really do a better job at convincing potential clients that using us and using our work has value.
So obviously there is some sales involved but the other 2 ideas hold true. You have to be good and you have to work hard.
What does being good mean?
Good is defined as what you do best. Its also defined by who is willing to pay money for it. If you are good at what you photograph and you find someone this is worth something too you will be fine.
What does working hard mean?
The downside is the competition. You need to work really hard because there are probably 10 other people who do what you do and do it well. And they’re going after your market as well. Its the simple idea of competition. How hard do you need to work? Harder than these guys.
But don’t worry – reputation is recursive if you do it right. You can still make a living as a photographer. I do and I know many who do.