FOLIO, the new PhotoDeck plan!

FOLIO : a high-end portfolio site at an affordable cost

PhotoDeck keeps getting better and faster! Over the past few months, we brought our members, among other improvements:

– a fully revamped user interface, easier and faster to use, optimized for mobile;

– a new Publish plugin for Lightroom, free of charge;

– refreshed designs;

Today, we’re introducing a new subscription plan: FOLIO, designed to offer to the discerning photographer a top-tier portfolio website at a minimal cost.

At half the price of the most popular PRO plan, the FOLIO plan foregoes e-commerce and private galleries, but offers everything a photographer needs in a premium portfolio, including a highly customizable, super-fast and mobile-responsive presentation, as well as custom domain name support.

Details of this new plan can be found on our Plans & pricing page.

Posted in PhotoDeck News |

New Lightroom plugin with Publish functionality!

We’re delighted to announce the availability of a new Lightroom-PhotoDeck plugin that is a significant step-up over the previous one.

The new PhotoDeck-Lightroom Publish plugin allows you to:

  1. Publish your images directly from Lightroom into galleries on your PhotoDeck site
  2. Create/delete/rename/move PhotoDeck galleries directly from Lightroom
  3. Update images metadata in Lightroom and re-publish to update them in PhotoDeck
  4. Redevelop photos in Lightroom and re-upload to PhotoDeck
  5. Synchronize your PhotoDeck site’s gallery structure in Lightroom (without existing images)
  6. Update your site’s gallery introductions and display styles directly from Lightroom


The plugin is free of charge, so go ahead and check out the download and installation guide! Even if feedback so far has been good, the plugin is still officially in BETA, so please do let us know if you encounter issues.

A note of thanks

First, to Tim Armes who created the first commercial Lightroom-PhotoDeck export plugin.

And a big Thank You to Will Thames who gave us a good kick in the pants by independently starting the development of the new plugin, and keeping it open source so everybody could take it further. That allowed us to take what he started and build on it. The plugin being open source, any developer with an interest can keep improving it!

Posted in PhotoDeck News | Tagged , ,

Michael Freeman uses PhotoDeck also to edit his new book

Michael Freeman is a well-known photographer and book author, whom we’ve been honoured to count as a member for several years. Michael just shared with us a very cool use he’s making of his PhotoDeck site.

His new book is being edited by an international team, within his website, using a smart (and protected) gallery hierarchy.


Michael writes:

As an editorial photographer, I spend a lot of my working time nowadays on books, and this will be my 136th. The subject is fine teas, and so is focused very much on East Asia, with most of the shooting in China, Taiwan and Japan. I’ve completed 7 weeks from October to November, and will return for 10 weeks shooting in Spring (to catch the harvest in many locations).

This is a big illustrated book of the kind I’m very familiar with – 288 pages with about 300 photographs, and picture-led, as we say in publishing. Large format also, will probably weigh 2.5 kilos. Logistics and organisation are key in a project like this, especially because the deadline for delivery of material is the end of May, to
ensure a publishing date at the end of this year. This means that editorial work continues at the same time as I’m shooting and the text is being written (there are 5 authors, including me).

The commissioning client is Barclays Bank Asia and to ensure smooth and professional production I’ve brought in Quarto, a large UK publishing group whom I know well. This means we have people scattered around who need a central place to see how the text and images are evolving, and my PhotoDeck site is ideal for this.

Images and text are constantly being added, changed, re-ordered. Being on my website also means that I can exercise some extra degree of control in managing the project. The galleries are all private, hidden, with password for downloads.

Posted in PhotoDeck News |

IT’S HERE! Your PhotoDeck admin space, version 2

You’ve seen it coming if you follow our Twitter or Facebook feeds, and it’s finally here! The PhotoDeck member space got today a major overhaul.

What’s NOT changed

Everything works just like before, and beside a few minor exceptions, things are organized in the same way. This is a significant interface upgrade, but we’ve been careful to make sure current members still feel at home!

What’s changed

The submenus are now displayed as a column to the left-hand side


Under the same main sections as before (“Dashboard”, “My Images & Videos”, “My Website” and “My Business”), the different panels are now also grouped so they’re easier to find. The grouping is new, and some panels got a different (clearer) title, but if you’ve gotten used to the interface you shouldn’t have any trouble.

Optimized for Mobile


We’ve done a huge amount of work to make sure that everything on the site can be managed from a mobile phone, with an optimized and FAST interface. Uploading and/or managing images and galleries from your iPhone? Check. Viewing and delivering an order? Check. Adjusting something on your design (yes, even that!)? Check…

Better preview and smarter link to your live site


The design preview within your admin space is now improved to be fully navigable, and is now also used when editing pages!

In addition, the link to open your website (in the top-right corner) is now contextual, and will bring you directly to the gallery or the page you’re working on — no need to look for the “Visit gallery” button anymore.

Personal and billing preferences are now under the Dashboard


What used to be the “Me” section (as well as the Logout link) is now under the Dashboard, to unclutter the main menu. The Dashboard also got a bit smarter…

Tell us what you think

After many months of work (and over 1000 code files updated!), we’re both very pleased and excited, but at the same time interface upgrades are always something to be nervous about. Let us know what you like and what you don’t!

Posted in PhotoDeck News | Tagged

Tips for an effective (portfolio) photography website

Zoe_WhishawZoe Whishaw is an independent commercial photography consultant and mentor. She works with photographers on a one-to-one basis and runs seminars and workshops in and around London.

Your website is your greatest marketing tool. It should be a reflection of your brand and your professionalism and should be a way for others to easily reach and interact with you.

As you will undoubtedly have experienced yourself, when you visit a website that is slow, visually or functionally over complicated or perhaps feels dated, your instinct is likely to be to move on and look for something else. Your website will frequently be the first occasion that a prospective client interacts with you and first impressions are crucially important, just as they are in face-to-face meetings. The last thing you want to do is be remembered for an irritating, slow, stagnant website.

The uncomfortable truth these days is that your imagery alone may not get you the jobs you want or deserve. The edit, design and navigation functionality of your website is vital when it comes to attracting and keeping the attention of a prospective client for long enough for them to be impressed by your offer.

From my years critiquing and helping photographers update and create effective websites, here are some essential considerations:

First things first: Establish what type of photographer you are – is it fine art, corporate, commercial, editorial, social, etc? Equally important is understanding your intended client base. If you struggle with this, think about the intersection of what you like to shoot, what you’re good at shooting and where the commercial opportunities lie for someone with your skills, interests and expertise.

These considerations are essential before you embark on marketing in any way as they will have implications on the messaging, design and gallery categories you will chose to emphasise and clarify your offer. You need to be able to ‘speak’ to your clients in a way they relate to, connect with and would expect.

So in essence, your website needs to be clear, fast and instantly give the right message as to what sort of photographer you are and provide an insight into your overall brand. Confusing a prospective client is tantamount to closing the door on an opportunity.


  1. Let’s talk about image size – it really does matter! Your website is an opportunity to celebrate your work. I come across too many sites where images are shown far too small, almost apologetically. Display them big – people are more easily drawn in. This applies to the individual image as well as thumbnails.
  2. Make sure individual images load quickly and transitions between images within a gallery are instant. Remember, art buyers/editors, reps, etc have very little time on their hands and will need to make decisions within very short time frames; their tolerance is very low.
  3. Rotating show reels personally put me off and I would much prefer to decide when to see a different image myself. I find that if I am talking to someone or contemplating an image it is both distracting in my peripheral vision and annoying if that image changes.
  4. Ensure large thumbnails are easy to access so the whole contents of a gallery can be seen at one go. Informed decisions can often be based on images at this scale as it can help to show your consistency over a gallery or project.
  5. While you may shoot different subject matter (such as food, travel, landscape and interiors) so long as these subject areas are your passion (and not just what you’ve been commissioned to shoot) and you have a similar, consistent visual style and identity across everything, it can still makes sense to place these different galleries on your website. If however, you shoot food and medical it may be that you need to make a choice as to which you really want to pursue as it would be difficult to reconcile these two very disparate areas in one website.
  6. Edit your pictures tightly; less is more. It is better to leave people wanting more than they grow tired and bored with what’s in a gallery. 20-30 images per gallery is about right with perhaps 2 to 3 themed galleries. More smaller series will also work if you shoot documentary stories.
  7. If you are a commercial photographer it is particularly important to name your galleries/categories so it is clear what they contain. For example ‘Food’, ‘Lifestyle’ and ‘Portraits’. For documentary work or fine art photography you can afford to be more inventive with the naming of your projects. Be sure that it is clear which gallery you are in at all times.
  8. While the page layout doesn’t need to look the same each time, be consistent with how you display your images. For example it’s fine to show parings of vertical images but don’t have the odd vertical image on its own or it may look as though the layout is somewhat random.
  9. Try not to repeat images in different sections. It makes it seem as though you are padding out the content.
  10. Get an objective professional eye to review the work you propose to have on your site.


  1. Make sure navigation between different image galleries is clear. While you might prefer to have a more minimal design, its crucial that finding your way around the site is unambiguous.
  2. Have as few clicks as possible from the home page (ideally no more than 3) to get to the finest level of detail.
  3. Make sure it’s clear which section/gallery you are in at all times.


  1. Make sure you are able to regularly update your website yourself – you’ll want to refresh the contents several times a year. Returning visitors will want to see new work otherwise they will assume you’re not busy or experimenting with new ideas.
  2. If you have a blog ensure you update it regularly with inspiring and informative pieces.
  3. Use Google Ad words to elevate your website by using relevant keywords and expressions that are meaningful to the market you are targeting.
  4. Make sure your contact information is easy to find and immediately accessible. In some markets your location can enhance your chances of being hired so assess whether being specific is indeed a bonus in your circumstances.
  5. For your Bio/About section, please don’t give a long explanation about when you were first given a camera – this is a trap that so many photographers fall into. Clients really aren’t interested in this. What matters more is something about how you see the world and what inspires you to shoot. It doesn’t need to be a long essay – in fact a few sentences is perfectly adequate. It can take time to write this and an objective opinion can often help. I prefer it written in the first person rather than the third as it feels more personal and I like to see a photo of photographers themselves. Again, this is not essential, but personal preference.
  6. Don’t have music – personal taste varies and you don’t want someone to wish they’d never opened up your site in a busy office.
  7. Avoid contact forms. Instead make it as easy as possible to contact you: include your mobile phone number, your email address and social media preferences.
  8. Avoid black backgrounds. While this my personal view, experience tells me that it is only in exceptional circumstances that black shows off your pictures to their best.
  9. Check and check again for any typos; you need to show attention to detail in all areas to demonstrate your professionalism.

Posted in Photography business | Tagged , , , ,

Selling downloads / stock to EU consumers after Jan 1. 2015

On Jan 1, changes in the EU VAT law comes into effect: regardless of whether you are VAT-registered or not, for digital services (e.g. image/video downloads) sold to consumers, VAT applies and the VAT rate is the customer’s country’s rate. Previously, if you were VAT-registered, your own country’s VAT rate was the one to apply.

These changes don’t apply to sales within your own country, nor to sales of physical goods (e.g. prints).

UK members will find more information about this change on the HMRC site. The full details can be found on the EU website.

What should I do now?

If this change applies to you and you haven’t done so yet, it is important that you register to the Mini One-Stop Shop (MOSS) system, that allows you to report your EU VAT sales to a single portal in your country. If you don’t do that BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR, you’ll have to report sales to every country you’re selling to, which is obviously something you’ll want to avoid.

In addition, you should also create a new, separate tax profile for your downloads/stock sales (downloads and stock) to the EU, and apply it to the relevant pricing profiles when the year changes.

How does PhotoDeck help?

  1. We’ve created for you a new tax profile template with all current VAT rates pre-filled. You simply have to de-activate the VAT exemption for companies in your own country (as previously, companies with a valid EU VAT number shouldn’t have to pay VAT except if they are in the same country as you). If you’re not VAT-registered, you probably want to completely remove the VAT for your own country.
  2. As part of this law change, to avoid abuses the seller (the photographer) is required to keep 2 pieces of proof of the customer’s country, and these 2 pieces should agree. These 2 pieces can be the billing address, and the buyer’s IP address, which we’ve now added to your admin space for each order. Note that if these don’t agree, we don’t block the sale — you will simply have to followup with your customer to have him confirm his location.

PhotoDeck is not qualified to provide tax advice: for more information and to make sure you comply with the law, please contact your accountant or your local tax office!

Posted in PhotoDeck News, Photography business | Tagged , , ,

Why You Did or Didn’t Get That Job

Tricia ScottTricia Scott is the owner of MergeLeft Artist Agents, an agency representing amazing photographers for 20 years in New York City.

You knew you were perfect for the job, it was right up your alley, the work spoke for itself, finally someone sees your brilliance! Why didn’t you get it?

When you look back at the jobs you’ve estimated this year, do you think about why you got the work, or why you didn’t? Do you think about what you could have done differently to ensure you were awarded the project? There are many reasons you win or lose a job, some simple, some not so much. Although budget is a big factor in awarding most projects, it’s not always about the bottom line and more likely a combination of factors. Here are the main reasons in my experience.

Why you get the job

  1. Great work
  2. Enthusiasm for the job
  3. Good communication during phone call or meeting
  4. Good attitude
  5. Good treatment (for advertising)
  6. Friends with client
  7. Right time/right place
  8. Budget
  9. Easy to work with
  10. Knowledge of client and production needs/confidence

Why you didn’t get the job:

  1. Hard to work with
  2. Too expensive
  3. Too cheap
  4. Bad meeting/call
  5. Too shy
  6. Too pushy
  7. Bad work
  8. Not understanding the client/ the scope of the job/poor production

I asked a few of my clients why they hire or don’t hire and their answers expanded on my lists. For the sake of brevity, I included just a few gems.
Following are some insightful thoughts.

Jeff Cooper, ACD at RedFuse in NYC had this to say:

I have 3 things I look for, beyond the obvious talent, that determines who I’ll award a job to.

First, passion. I need to feel like they’re excited not just about the potential job but about what they do for a living. I’ve no desire to spend the day with a burned out asshole who’s only interested in paying the mortgage.

Second, creativity. All things being equal, I’ll award a job to someone who asks a lot of questions and comes to the table with their own ideas over a photog who takes the job at face value and is only interested in shooting what’s on the page. They’re the experts, and I get excited when they’re an active, creative partner.

Finally, I look for professionalism. This is not about how they dress or act (although those are important), this about how they prepare for the shoot and run the day. Have they thought through every shot? Are all eventualities planned for? I can think of two examples of this that are burned in the back of my mind. One was a director who winged the entire day…no shooting board, no plan of action, it was a disaster, and we were scrambling to get footage without going into overtime. The second was a director who presumed he was getting the job, so his treatment was half-assed (at best). He was probably the most experienced and talented, but the job was going to go to someone else who knocked the treatment out of the park. It just showed that they cared more and were willing to work harder.

Hannah Wolfert, art producer at GSW Worldwide had similar feelings, as well as some others.

There is the typical reason, budget. Even if a team has really liked and wanted to work with a photographer, I’ve had photographers price themselves out of a job because they can’t meet the budget. Some have bid so high above our actual budget there was no way to pull enough out of an estimate to meet our needs. It’s especially frustrating because I typically include what our general budget is so the rep & photographer know what kind of funds we have to spend and what level of production we’re looking for. If I’m providing information on our budget, you should be able to bid to the level of production that will meet our needs.

I’ve also advised teams not to hire photographers because of a lack of confidence in the bid. I’ve had photographers so underbid a job or provide very little information on how they arrived at the bottom line that I was wary that they could meet our needs for the cost that they were proposing. I was worried that once we started production there would be additional costs that the photographer or producer didn’t build into the bid. Having to go back and ask the client for more money due to poor planning is just not acceptable. If I can’t see all the numbers, pieces and parts that are going into a bottom line, I can’t trust it – especially if it’s way under bid. It makes me wary that the photographer can’t meet our needs.

The creative call is really where it’s at. It really gives the creative teams an idea of what the photographer is like and if they “get” the client and what they are trying to communicate. This is SO important. A team may love a photographer’s work but if they have a bad creative call or if the photographer doesn’t communicate well with them, it pretty much kills their chances of working on the project. Even if the photographer’s bid comes in on or below budget, if they don’t gel with team, it’s highly unlikely
they’ll get the job.

I’ve been on a creative call where the producer did all the talking and the photographer said 5 words on the call – even after trying to coax him into talking about his thoughts on the project. He just wasn’t bringing anything to the table. The art director called me afterwords and asked what they heck was going on, “did the photographer not want the job?”. I was baffled myself, especially since he had been really trying to work with our agency. Maybe he just thought it was “in the bag” and he didn’t have to
contribute, but he lost out and I doubt I’ll recommend him again.

It’s important for the creatives to know that whomever they hire to help them in communicating their ideas understands what they’re trying to do, has a vested interest in it and has a good rapport with them. It’s a collaboration. The team wants the photographer to bring their expertise and ideas to the table to make their concepts the best they can be. To bring them to life! If the team doesn’t have confidence in the photographer to do this, he/she won’t get the job. If a photographer has great work, listens, works with my team to create great imagery, and offers a fair price that is a perfect combination.

In a perfect world, all the stars align and you land a job easily and quickly. Sometimes there are many factors that contribute to why you do or don’t get that job, but as illustrated above, creativity, budget, production knowledge and problem solving are key. Above all, be an awesome person.

Posted in Photography business | Tagged , ,

Turn your client meetings into jobs – the ultimate checklist

Zoe_WhishawZoe Whishaw is an independent commercial photography consultant and mentor. She works with photographers on a one-to-one basis and runs seminars and workshops in and around London.

If you read my last posting on creating a portfolio of images, you may soon have a well thought-through body of work to show potential commercial clients. It should be one that really represents you now: what you love to shoot…your specialisms, your stand-out signature style and would give a client a pretty good idea of what could be expected of you were they to hire you.

The next logical step would be face-to-face meetings. These are a great way to begin a relationship with a potential commercial client and create an impact. But let’s be clear: this goes both ways – leave a poor impression and you’ll not hear from them again.

It’s harder than ever to get in-person meetings mostly due to lack of time rather than lack of desire to meet new photographers, so tenacity and patience is essential. While you should consider this to be the equivalent to a job interview, it’s also important to be yourself and be relaxed and to go with the flow so that your true character can shine through.

Advance preparation

  1. Make lists of prospective clients; research the names and contact details.
  2. Make sure these people are the creative decision-makers.
  3. Do your homework – they will expect this of you: research your client by checking out their blog and social media sites as well as their website so you are in a position to demonstrate your knowledge of their clients and recent work, campaigns, etc…
  4. Make sure your work is compatible with these prospective clients.

Initial request email

  1. Send out an email around 7-10 days before you’d like to meet your contact. Too far in advance and you risk them forgetting or cancelling. Too little time and they may be already booked up.
  2. Make your initial email personal to who you would like to meet.
  3. Don’t’ be pushy. Keep it short indicating how your skills and interests match their needs in a single sentence or two.
  4. Include a link to your site.
  5. Give dates/times when you’re available. Give the impression you are in town for other meetings – you don’t want them to feel pressure and that you’re making a special trip for them.
  6. Never request for too much of their time – ‘a few minutes’ is all you should ask for.
  7. There is no need to include many (if any) images in this initial email. Your email may get through a spam firewall better without them.

The chase

  1. If you’ve not heard anything after a few days, follow-up with a phone call.
  2. Being proactive is part-and-parcel of running a successful business and while it can be an intimidating prospect, it’s good practice to speak directly with a client.
  3. Keep your chat brief and friendly and rather than implying they haven’t read your email, reiterate that you’ll be passing by next week and wonder if they have a few minutes to take a look at your book.
  4. If you don’t get any traction after this, you have to assume they don’t want to meet with you at that point in time. Move on to the next client rather than lamenting the situation…and certainly don’t be a pest and chase them further.

The meeting

  1. Be charming and engaging, relaxed and focused.
  2. Ask how much time they have available for the meeting at the start so they can sense you are aware of their pressures.
  3. Leave the page-turning to the art buyer/art director/editor. You can always slow them down by a quick, relevant anecdote about one or two pictures. Otherwise, leave the images to speak for themselves or wait for questions.
  4. Don’t expect the client to give you a critique on your work – that’s not the purpose of the meeting.
  5. Don’t ask them if they have a job for you to work on. Have faith that this is at the back of their minds at all times.
  6. If appropriate, ask which photographers they have used recently. This may give you a clue as to the calibre of who they are currently hiring and against whom you may be competing.
  7. Never suggest the photography that the company has used in the past was below par as you may be insulting the very person who was responsible for it.
  8. At the end ask respectfully whether you can add them to your promotional email list.
  9. Never appear desperate for work – it will be a real turn-off.
  10. Remember to have a ‘leave-behind’, which has your name and contact info on it.

From the client’s point of view

  1. They don’t have much time and certainly won’t appreciate chatterboxes.
  2. They won’t want to be overwhelmed with impressive lists of past clients, which may make you appear arrogant. A more subtle approach in mentioning a few names at the appropriate time would be more appropriate.
  3. They will expect you to ask incisive questions about their business and campaigns.
  4. They don’t want a sales meeting with you pushing your work and telling them how great you are.
  5. They will want to feel you can be collaborative: a good listener and able to be part of a team.
  6. They will love a photographer who has a can-do attitude, is resourceful and is a problem-solver.
  7. By meeting you, they will want to have got a glimpse into who you are, what you’re like and how you work.

It might be useful to take an iPad, along with you also if you want to show additional images from a series they showed particular interest, or perhaps you also shoot motion.

As a follow-up, a courteous acknowledgement of their time is respectful and might help you to stand out. This could be in the form of an email or perhaps a hand-written note or postcard.

Remember that you are your brand. It’s not just your work that may get you an assignment; your sense of professionalism and your personality are also determining factors.

Posted in Photography business | Tagged , , , ,

Your (almost) perfect portfolio in 11 steps

Zoe_WhishawZoe Whishaw is a independent commercial photography consultant and mentor. She works with photographers on a one-to-one basis and runs seminars and workshops in and around London.

Marketing your work needs a variety of approaches. Depending on who your end clients are, a physical portfolio will be a must-have in your toolkit.

We are all accustomed to the fact that social media is a very powerful means to get noticed, get connected and to garner information. But given that this all-absorbing digital environment envelops many of us much of the time, nothing touches a potential client quite like a physical portfolio to disrupt this new norm. This may sound a little old-fashioned to some, but it’s true to say that many art buyers, art directors, gallery curators and photo editors crave the tactile and immediacy of beautifully printed pictures on high quality paper given how commonplace the more speedy and practical nature of iPads has become.

That’s not to say that there isn’t a place for a range of platforms to show your work and indeed it may well be that for your particular photography business where you want to demonstrate your skills in motion or you want to show an alternative group of images to those in your standard portfolio, or a more in-depth look at a project, the iPad or a printed book may be preferable. If you’re shooting mainly editorial work, your website is likely to do most of the work.

Whether you are a wedding photographer wanting to impress your clients with an unforgettable, cherished item or one wanting to demonstrate the potential and perfection in enlarging your prints to an advertising agency, a physical, tangible book will be a priority.

It will represent you and be memorable.

A portfolio is an investment – be realistic from the outset about what you can afford to spend. Determining what the design, materials, size, etc should look like will depend on your budget, overall brand and is of course a personal decision. The choices available enable you to create on the one hand a striking, sophisticated yet classic leather-bound book or something that is more characterful and unique and speaks to your own approach and genre of work….and everything in between. Think about what describes your style and consider materials and design that support this element of your brand.

But what of the contents…the all-important lure into you and where your creative passions lie?

Your book needs to have a focus and consistency. If you shoot a wide range of subjects you might decide you need to have more than one book to separate your specialties.

When defining a gallery of work, many seasoned editors like to use both editing software (at the start of the process) as well as tangible small prints (in the latter stages).

Here’s my outline guide to getting to that all-important tight selection of work.

Incidentally, this will be just as relevant to you if you are creating an online portfolio or series of image galleries.

As a starting point, get yourself in the right frame of mind: know it’s going to take time and that you’ll need several breaks away from the process to keep your mind fresh and as objective as possible in what can be an emotionally draining process. These breaks may vary from an hour or two to entire days.

  1. Gather together your favourite images from the last few years of shooting into one master gallery. This group may be as large as 500 or more images. Try to gather images from your personal work, with a sprinkling from commissions if you believe them to be amongst your best.
  2. Whilst I take for granted that you love all these images, now you have to start the ruthless process of throwing out the ones you love least. If you find there is repetition, delete the least strong shot…if you’re keeping in a few to show your range, but you know they aren’t the strongest and you aren’t particularly keen to develop this area, take them out. Try to get your gallery down to around 300. Now take a break – perhaps even wait until the following day.
  3. Do the process again and cull your images down to 100 and then finally to between 40 and 60. Keep the core of a series if you feel you need a sequence. Remember, you’re not trying to show all your work, you’re trying to show the essence of your vision.
  4. Print out these pictures using an inexpensive printer – perhaps 4-up to an A4 page and cut them out.
  5. Find an area you can use to stick these pictures to a wall or lay them out on a large flat surface – that you can leave and come back to and doesn’t need to be cleared away.
  6. Can you identify your 2-4 strongest, most striking images? These may form the start and end of your folio.
  7. Get some perspective and step back – decide which pictures sit naturally well together in terms of colour, style, composition, subject matter, short series. Which images seem to stand alone and not ‘fit’ with the rest? You’re now trying to get to a final set of between 20 and 40 images…so some of these are going to have to be let go.
  8. Start to rearrange the pictures so you start to feel a flow from left to right. Look for pairings of pictures that work together as spreads. Even if you decide to show your work as loose prints, there needs to be a beginning, middle and end to the sequence you present.
  9. Keep removing the images that simply don’t fit or jar with you. You will need to grit your teeth at this point and just do it. I said it would be tough and this is the hardest part! It is better to have an edit that is short and sweet with every page having the ‘wow’ factor that risk a potential client skipping past a great shot.
  10. Try to get some honest feedback at this state from people who have a level of objectivity you can trust and may even provide professional insight. Listen to what they say however painful that might be. Hear common threads from different people and make the changes you now know you need to make.
  11. It’s unlikely to feel perfect – the gaps will tell you where you need to focus your activities going forwards.

The portfolio at this point should represent You and where you are now. You’ll need to revisit the contents several times a year and not feel precious about keeping it as is.

Now that you have your portfolio, you need to get it out there and for it to be seen.

Nothing beats you being present with your book – a potential client can get a much better measure of whether you are likely to be able to help solve their imagery needs. I’ll be talking about those all-important client meetings in my next blog post.

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New Designs!

Change of season, change of design? 3 new templates now available…



#9 is a “classical” minimalist and up-to-date design. Its layout is centered, including both the logo and the menu bar, something previous designs didn’t offer (except for #5). It includes a lot of white space, and of course, the design style is highly customizable. Demo ›



#10 offers a 1-column layout to maximize the size of enlarged images. It is unique in the collection in that it allows the menu to be aligned to the right of the layout (screen size permitting), and therefore reinforces the visual frame created by the design around the images. Demo ›

Mobile Two


Until now, we offered only one design specific to mobile phones. Highly optimized, Mobile One is also styled like a mobile app. With Mobile Two, it is now possible to have a mobile phone design with a more traditional layout. It can be highly customized to align best with your desktop/tablet design, including for example a custom graphical logo.

To be followed…

We’ll keep enriching our design collection, and won’t forget wow-effect lovers who love full-screen effects, like on our design #2.

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