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An online portfolio is a display window where most of your potential clients will obtain their first impression of your work. Despite it being the first impression, it is seriously crucial because it decides whether the potential client contacts you or not!
To improve your portfolio’s online presence, stock photography sites are great avenues for you to boost your reputation and exposure in the photography and creative industry, as mentioned by Hieu Le, a semi-professional photographer based in Vietnam.
“There are many photographers in Vietnam making the market really competitive. I am not confident enough to showcase my works boldly but I still want more people to know who I am and what works I have created. That’s why I make use of Unsplash to display my work.”
It is no doubt that photographers face fierce competition in most countries. Thus, we would like to share with you some tips to ‘up your game’.
In today’s digital age, in order to have a thriving professional photography career, you must first ensure that you have your own website or online portfolio to showcase your work. Checkout Shopify, WIX,SquareSpace, Behance and Coroflot to help you out!
Having an online portfolio is also a convenient point of contact should anyone wishes to engage you. Just remember to leave your contact details, and check your inbox frequently!
As a photographer who loves animals, you might spend most of your time shooting dogs, birds, etc. It is important to constantly remind yourself about the fine line between interest and work. Photographers who are successful are those who remember their commercial purpose while shooting despite having personal interests. Having a good variety of images available for your customers to choose from will give you exposure in more categories, and also let potential clients see the range of your skills and techniques.
The wider you cast your net, the larger the coverage of keywords in your portfolio. It is very important to cover the top key words searched on different libraries as they are representative of the current and trending images. Having a wide range of choices for your customers will also encourage them to keep coming back to your profile for more.
As essential it is for photographers to focus on creating high quality crafts, it is also equally important for them to pay attention to the quantity of photos produced. Maintaining consistent quality of photos usually maintains a group of loyal users whereas increasing quantity will expand your market segment and users. You’re advised to set a goal on the number of stock photos you want to submit weekly or monthly.
By having regular updates of photos in your portfolio, you will be recognized as an active contributor. Just like on every other social media platform, the more regular the updates, the higher likelihood you’ll have a better number of followers. Start by drawing up a schedule and set specific KPIs for the number of photos submitted into your online portfolio.
Free stock photo websites are great sources of online traffic to help you boost your portfolio’s visibility. As a contributing photographer, you can submit your work to reputable sites such as Unsplash, ISO Republic and Picography. These websites have their own set of standards and requirements but these set of rules ensures high quality in all the photos approved. Just keep in mind that the photos will be used under the CC0 license.
But what will you get in return for sharing your work freely? Your photos and profile will be exposed to a myriad of marketers and designers which in time will potentially engage your professional photography services, or tell someone they know about you.
What’s more, submitting to popular sites like Unsplash means sharing the limelight whenever they get featured . Plus Raydar works with Unsplash too, meaning more exposure to designers around the world.
In a photoshoot, stock photographers often spend meticulous efforts and long hours shooting a single subject or the final product. For example, when a photographer captures photos of a runner, many hours are spent experimenting with angles and lights on the main subject — the runner running.
However, there may also be good demand for images that shows the stages leading up to the run. For example the runner tying shoelaces, having breakfast, stretching before the run, etc. These step-by-step images are good complimentary content that will give you an edge in your portfolio.
It is not difficult to find professional photographers who have been contributing to free stock photo websites. Submitting to free stock photo sources helps you to experiment if your images are what designers and potential clients are looking for. Unsplash even has a page that showcases work made by photos downloaded from their site. Most sites also show you the number of downloads. This is very valuable feedback to any photographer exploring which subject or theme to shoot next.
Contributing free stock photo will not make you rich but it is definitely a worthwhile “investment”. When you become a contributor of free stock photos, you will be known amongst the users. Being able to connect with potential clients, you are expanding your personal, social and career network. That is why we highly encourage you to “invest” your time and effort on these platforms. Also, we call this an investment because business opportunities and partnerships may come by!
Hieu Le — I started photography because I love to take portraits. I want viewers to feel the same way as I do when they look at my pictures. I also want to introduce my country’s tradition through my pictures, especially about the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.
Can you recall why you embarked on this journey of photography?
Yes, it’s exciting, enjoyable, challenging and perhaps it’s your dream career. Things can get tough but never forget the initial reason you started. Persist on and these tips will surely help you strengthen your portfolio.
Look at more stock photos at Raydar to brainstorm your ideas!