For all the photojournalists out there, with full hard drives and multiple external hard drives stuffed with photographs, there’s a solution to this chaos. Online portfolios provide an organized and attractive way to showcase your images for potential clients. It’s also much easier to send a link to potential magazine employers rather than sending multiple images as attachments in an email.
A slew of sites that will help you build a portfolio step-by-step exist. Some sites are more customizable and cheaper than others. Three IU journalism students with an interest in photojournalism shared which sites they personally use and weighed the pros and cons:
Caitlin O’Hara, a senior interested in newspaper photography, uses 4ormat. 4ormat is “sleek and no hassle,” says O’Hara. The site boasts “dynamic themes” users can utilize for their own portfolios and an easy site design and creation process.
But it’s also expensive, O’Hara says. The basic payment plan for 4ormat costs $6.99/month, or $5.79/month if you sign up for an entire year. The basic plan includes notable features: customizable themes, “drag and drop” editing, 50 pages for your site, 100 images on your site, Google Analytic statistics support, to name a few.
Junior Anna Teeter, interested in magazine photography, uses Virb for her online portfolio site. The site offers “beautiful simplistic themes,” Teeter says, and displays photographs so beautifully. She also enjoys the user-friendliness. Virb offers unlimited media, galleries and blogs on a site, is customizable, and offers cloud hosting.
Virb offers on payment plan of $10/month. Teeter looked at Squarespace and Word Press as potential online portfolio sites, but couldn’t customize the sites as much as she liked.
“I knew exactly how I wanted my site to look, and Virb helped me attain that,” she says.
Sophomore Ben Mikesell uses WordPress for his recently made online portfolio. The site, Mikesell says, is very user-friendly and makes it easy to post photographs.
The basic package of WordPress is free (although premium upgrades are available for a fee). A WordPress site includes a choice of over 200 site themes, a tracking system (to see who views your site) and an easy-to-build, customizable site.
Mikesell wasn’t thrilled with the look of the particular theme he chose for his blog: “The site page] tends to scroll more like a blog… but I’m working on finding a way to make it more of a static page with more galleries,” he says.
He has yet to try any other blogs, but enjoys the familiarity and ease of use of WordPress.
Other notable sites that can be used to build an online portfolio include:
What site do you use for your online portfolio? Let Ed know in the comments!