An online portfolio can really give that professional edge to your work. Whether It's a page for potential employers to sample your work or just a place to share you work with friends and family an online portfolio is a must for any photographer. I'm going to show you how you can make a great looking portfolio really simply and more importantly; for free!
So you have a nice collection of photos that you have accumulated over you time as a photographer and you want somewhere to put them all. You can treat your portfolio as a gallery of your work, a place to show off the best of you. The only problem is, it's hard to know where to start. I found a brilliant site that makes the whole process a breeze; its called wix.com, and they have specific templates for portfolios and not just for photography either. They have templates for all areas of design and advertising so there is a great selection to choose from.
So let's get started.
When you first visit the site you will have to create an account, it's really simple. Then you will be taken to the 'create' page where you begin looking through a collection of really elegant looking layouts. You can click 'view' to preview the layout you are interested in and if you want to use it you can click 'edit' to begin customising the template.
The editor is really intuitive to use, I found it a breeze (although sometimes it can run a little slowly). You simply click on the parts you want to edit and choose the option you want from the pop-up window. Because the layout is all done for you all you will really need to edit are the titles and text areas on each page and, of course, upload you photographs. You can play around with the colour scheme for each object too if you want to really make it your own.
The uploader is straight forward and quick to use when adding your photos. If you already have your photographs on the web it is even easier with the 'URL' tab which lets you put in images straight from another site.
I used my flickr account for the photos on my portfolio. If you also have your photos on flickr it can be a tricky process to find your image's URL because of Flickr's copy-protection feature. The way I did it was to choose the photo I wanted in flickr and click 'share', then select the 'embed' code (not the 'direct link' that won't work) and find the image URL there. It should look like 'http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5210/5229449105_1e89e65f0d.jpg' or similar (the key is to find the .jpg extension, that's the actual photo). Then all you do is copy that URL into wix and it should work fine.
After you have finished editing your portfolio you can click 'publish' and choose a name for your site. For the free version of wix you will have a wix.com address but there is the option to append your own domain if you have one.
Another limitation with the free version it the footer text advertising their site. Of course if you want to make your portfolio look more professional you can pay to have that advertising removed.
I found wix to be a really easy way to make a web-portfolio, you can see My Portfolio by following that link and I would love to see your portfolios too. If you know any other sites like Wix feel free to leave a comment below.
Written by Eric Riley for culturetechreview.com