Portfolio (in)Sanity – Part 2

Updating your Portfolio Sites

Using portfolio sites (some call them sourcebooks) like FoundFolios or Dripbook are a fantastic way to expand your brand, or even to try to find a new client market for your work. Sites like these are great places to share your work because they provide a centralized hub for art buyers and other creatives to view talent; it saves them time when they need to quickly compare twenty portrait photographers in San Francisco, for example. Another example: if a buyer is looking for a pre-existing stock photo, they can easily find your work through proper keyword tagging or searching the appropriate specialty. This makes these sites an indispensible resource for finding work.

What images should you share?

Where content is concerned, you have two choices. Portfolio sites can be duplicates of your main site or they can delve further into specialties that you didn’t have “room” for on your website. However, you should never assume that clients who use these sites will also click through to your website. Make sure that you always put your best work forward when representing yourself in any arena. You can also use a portfolio site to showcase a new specialty that you’re testing out, in addition to your regular shots. Just make sure you have enough quality images to demonstrate that you can shoot an entire campaign in that style.

How frequently should you update your portfolio sites?

I’d recommend at least once a month, and here’s an example of what can happen:

I have a photographer client who has me update their online sourcebooks each month. In many cases, I use this as an opportunity to show an edit, or present certain images that may not fit their main website’s flow. The result? The first time I edited their FoundFolios galleries, they were hired within a week by a new client! Now, this won’t happen every time, but it stands to reason that the client found them because:

  1. The photographer came up in the “Recently Updated” section of the portfolio site.
  2. The images were fresh, a little different from the photographer’s main website.
  3. The client may have forgotten about this photographer, but remembered to look for good work on a sourcebook that they regularly use.
  4. In the case of “c”, that’s even more reason to be on a sourcebook: because your competition’s there, too!

In summary, I recommend using portfolio sites in order to increase your exposure and showcase content you may not yet be comfortable sharing on your branded professional website. Art buyers and creative directors often come to these sites for an overview of artist work, and you want to be sure that they have every opportunity to find yours. Update frequently to maximize the effectiveness of your profile, and be conscientious about which images you choose to represent your body of work.

Check back next month for Part 3 of Neil Binkley’s Portfolio (in)Sanity series!

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