Photography Portfolio Website Products

Updated Winter 2018

I’ve maintained versions of this list since 2011.

A LOT can change in a short amount of time in the world of photography portfolio websites, which made the list hard to keep current. But recently, I was inspired (angered) to freshen things up. A few days ago, I received an email from Squarespace (which I used to build this site) announcing that they were partnering with Unsplash to deliver free stock photos to Squarespace’s customers.

This really rubbed me the wrong way. Squarespace has been a preferred platform for photographers since its beginning, and now Squarespace is encouraging their clients to seek out free photography. It’s a slap in the face to the professional photo community.

So with that in mind, I wanted to dust off this list and offer some suggestions for alternatives. I’ve personally built websites for photographers using Format (my current favorite), PhotoFolio (formerly APhotoFolio), and Photoshelter and think they’re all great. Here are others that friends and colleagues have recommended:

  • 22Slides - Free 14-day trial and a flat $10/mo afterwards.

  • Adobe Portfolio - Adobe has joined the portfolio game with this add on to the Creative Cloud.

  • Cargo Collective - Offers users free-standing websites and a wide variety of customizable templates. $99 per year or $13 per month.

  • Flosites- Slick portfolio websites and cool extras like Instagram story templates

  • format- One of my favorites. I’ve built quite a few sites using their platform and they look great. Easy to use interface. Basic plan for $6 per month, pro plan for $12 per month.

  • Graph Paper Press - Wordpress themes for photographers. Great comparison pricing chart at http://graphpaperpress.com/pricing/. Pricing starts at $0 and goes up to $149 a year.

  • Indexhibit- Honestly, I don’t really get how you use Indexhibit, but I know a lot of photographers like it so I’m including the link!

  • Koken - Content management and portfolio templates

  • LiveBooks - This used to be a really popular platform, and everywhere you turned, you would see one of their templates in action. They were bought by Wedding Wire a few years ago, and seem to be trying to re-boot the business.

  • Pixpa - Portfolio, storefront, blog, all integrated seamlessly.

  • PhotoFolio - Formerly known as APhotoFolio. Company was founded by Rob Haggart of the popular APhotoEditor blog. Nice templates. Very popular so without some customization, many sites look very similar.

  • Photoshelter - Portfolio templates and advanced photo archive tools. Buyer portal allows creatives to find photographers by specialty, location, etc. Company is great about offering free advice to the photo community through downloaded white papers on topics like SEO and blogging.

  • SmugMug - When I asked on Facebook for recommendations from photographers for sites they love, SmugMug came up multiple times. People commented that they like the templates, and the easy-to-use ecommerce and print fulfillment features.

  • Viewbook - Gallery basic plan starts at $4.99 per month, $9.99 for a standard portfolio, and $19.99 per month for the pro plan. Portfolio app available for viewing on ipad.

  • Visura - Visua offers a website portfolio platform as well as a searchable network of photographers for buyers to explore.

  • Wix - I used to make fun of Wix websites. They were so dated looking, even when they first came out. But they’ve done a lot of work to modernize their templates and it shows. Lots of integration options for ecommerce.

  • Zenfolio - Robust ecommerce soultions. Free 14 day trial. Basic plan starting at $25 per year. Premium for $100 per year.

Format

Format

Photoshelter

Photoshelter

PhotoFolio

PhotoFolio

On-Site Photo editor for ACLFest

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Being an on-site photo editor for large events is one of the best things about my job! Working with the photographers, PR folks, and social media team in a fast-paced environment is always an inspiring way to spend a work day.

ACL Fest is a special level of high energy, since your office is in the middle of the largest music festival in Texas!

Together with fellow editors Alyssa Coppelman and Molly Winters, we reviewed tens of thousands of photos, selecting, editing, and distributing images in as close to real time as possible.

We curated galleries of the best images from the weekend, highlighting marketing activations, crowd shots, aerials, and of course, EPIC stage shots of the bands performing.

The unsung heroes of the production were the runners, who literally ran -- to and from golf carts -- to shuttle cards from the photographers in the photo pit to the A/V trailer.

The photographers were Callie Richmond, Cambria Harkey, Greg Noire, Nick Simonite, and Reagan Hackleman.

Here are a few of my favorite images!

Jason Elias Promo

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I worked with photographer Jason Elias to create a postcard promo book of his work to send out to potential clients. Jason is a California-based photographer and director who’s work focuses on portraits, travel and lifestyle. He regularly works with clients like Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, USA Network, Delta Airlines, and HBO.

More of Jason’s work can be seen here.

Resource: Photo Contests and Grants Calendar

(updated December 2017)

photo contest and grants

Did you know that an editor can help you home in on the right images for contests and grants?

An objective, outside opinion and fresh look at work can help you craft a contest or grant entry that connects with the judges.

I've created contest edits for numerous photographers who went on to win World Press Photo, POYi, Communication Arts, and PDN Photo Annual awards.

Contests... Some are great. Some feel like they only exist to rob photographers of their precious income. Before you enter, carefully consider if it's worth your money. Stick with contests that have, in the past, recognized photographers whose work you admire.

Remember, the primary (commercial) benefit of entering a contest is getting your work in front of industry bigwigs who otherwise might not have seen it. You don't even have to win to enjoy that benefit, although, winning is preferred.

Here's a general timetable of contest deadlines throughout the year. Things change so make sure you go straight to the source for definitive info on deadlines, entry fees and eligibility.

Know of others? Connect on facebook or twitter and let me know.

January

Andrei Stenin International Photo Contest
American Illustration-American Photography
Alexia Foundation
Aperture Portfolio Prize (entries accepted December through early February)
Art Directors Club Photo Contest
Days Japan
Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards
Hillman Prize for Photojournalism
Inge Morath Prize - Recognizing outstanding female photographer under age 30
National Geographic Storytelling Grant
New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA)
NPPA Best of Photojournalism
Pictures of the Year International (POYi)
PDN Photo Annual
Pulitzer Prizes
Santa Fe Prize for Photography
Sony World Photography Awards
The Syngenta Photography Award
World Press Photo Contest

February

Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Documentary Prize (entries accepted February through May)
Foam Magazine Talent Call
FotoEvidence Book Award
CENTER awards (The Choice Awards, Project Competition, & Project Launch)

March

Big Picture Natural World Photography Competition
Leica Oskar Barnack Award
Communication Arts Magazine
The Renaissance Photography Prize (entries accepted March through July)
Spider Awards B&W Photo

April

ASMP/NY Annual Photo Contest
Imagely Fund
OSI Moving Walls
Px3 Photography Competition

May

Burn Magazine Emerging Photographer Grant
Canon Female Photojournalist Award
Gene Smith Grant (entries accepted January through May)
Getty Images Grants
Howard Chapnick Grant
ICRC Humanitarian Visa d'Or
POYi Emerging Vision Grant

June

CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography
Visa pour l'image - Visa d'Or award Pierre and Alexandra Boulat Association Grant
CARE International Award for Humanitarian Reportage
The Bayeux-Calvados Award for war correspondents
CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography

July

Ian Parry scholarship
Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize
New Orleans Photo Alliance, Clarence John Laughlin Award

August

Critical Mass by Photolucida
Moran Contemporary Photo Award - Portrait and documentary prizes (up to $150,000) for Australian photographers

September

BJP International Photography Award
FotoVisura Grant

October

International Color Awards
The Documentary Project Fund
Hasselblad Masters Awards

November

Aftermath Project
American Photography
Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar Contest
Magenta Flash Forward
Onward

December

FotoEvidence Book Award
The Julia Margaret Cameron Award for female photographers

 

Jason Elias Postcard Flipbook Featured on aPhotoEditor.com

I recently wrapped up some marketing work with LA-based Jason Elias. He chose to do a postcard flipbook with Paperchase, and we wanted the edit to take the viewer on a journey through his work. From the "hero" images to the more quiet moments, the piece captures the dynamic, fun and sometimes intense work that Jason does for clients like Discovery Channel, Showtime, and others.

Read the interview with Jason at http://aphotoeditor.com/2017/12/11/the-daily-promo-jason-elias/

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...the edit was done by a great editor based in Texas, Jasmine DeFoore – https://www.jasminedefoore.com/. I really like Jasmine’s take on things and she always helps me see my work with fresh eyes. Once she knew I was going to do the postcard book, she also had the great idea of having an animated GIF in flipbook form on the back. So I found a great animator in DC named Travis Pietsch to build me one – https://www.travispietsch.com/. I kind of had an idea and he helped craft it and make it. Once I had it on there I realized that as much as you try to stand out in some way, there is also something to just having fun and enjoying being creative for the sake of being creative, and that’s why I loved the flip book so much.
— Jason Elias on aphotoeditor.com

Portfolio Reviews By Month

Portfolio Review at Texas Photo Roundup. Photo by Nick Cabrera, used with permission.

Portfolio Review at Texas Photo Roundup. Photo by Nick Cabrera, used with permission.

Updated October 2017

Thinking about attending a portfolio review event? Here is a list of review opportunities in the United States, organized by month.

When choosing which reviews to attend, keep in mind that some are geared more toward fine art photography and others are more commercial and editorial. Research the reviewers who will be in attendance to see if they are a good fit for the kind of work you do. Looking for tips on how to prepare for a review? Check out my Portfolio Review Do's and Don'ts

 

 


March

FotoFest Houston: International Biennial of Photography and Photo-related Art with portfolio reviews.

MOPLA Portfolio Reviews: A juried, annual portfolio review. Fresh Look pairs photographers with top photography experts in their respective fields for an in-depth conversation that provides professional feedback and critique in a casual, relaxed environment.

Photo Alliance held at the San Francisco Art Institute, produced in cooperation with Lens Culture

New Orleans Photo Alliance's PhotoNOLA portfolio review session. Photo by George Long http://GeorgeLong.com (used with permission)

New Orleans Photo Alliance's PhotoNOLA portfolio review session. Photo by George Long http://GeorgeLong.com (used with permission)

April

Photolucida Portfolio Review: Photographers at the mid-career level register for one-on-one meetings with the reviewers of their choice. Each review session lasts for 20 minutes and we limit the number of participants to assure that everyone receives 4 or 5 reviews per day for four days. It's a great way to network. Numerous photographers have walked away with opportunities to exhibit, publish and sell their work after attending the Portfolio Reviews.

Palm Springs Festival Portfolio Review: As part of Palm Springs Photo Festival, Over 1,000 Portfolio Reviews with industry professionals will be offered during the week. Prices start at $250 for 5 reviews.

October

NYC Fotoworks: Bi-annual portfolio review where photographers can have 1-on-1 meetings w/ industry professionals.

PhotoPlus Expo: Designed exclusively for emerging and professional photographers, this is a great opportunity to meet and present your work for critique and receive the advice of the industry's top professionals. Takes place at the Javits during Photo Plus Expo. 

Filter Festival Portfolio Reviews: Participants sign up for twenty-minute face-to-face reviews and receive candid advice about their work, as well as information on getting their photographs exhibited and published.

Atlanta Celebrates Photography Portfolio Reviews: the ACP Portfolio Review and Walk offers artists the opportunity to meet with highly respected curators, dealers, editors, and agency representatives from across the United States and beyond. The Portfolio Walk (following the review sessions) gives participating photographers the opportunity to present their work to the general public at an evening reception, open to all. On hold for 2017 with new format to come in 2018.

American Society of Media Photographers: Annual portfolio review in New York for commercial photographers that is free for members.

CENTER's Review Santa Fe: The three-day, annual event offers participants a minimum of nine portfolio reviews, inclusion in the Review Santa Fe 100 online resource, a reception at the New Mexico Museum of Art, and a reception at Photo-eye Books and Prints.

November

Medium Festival of Photography, Eye to Eye portfolio reviews: Eye to Eye portfolio reviews offer an opportunity for photographers to receive exposure and feedback about their work from influential gallery directors, curators, and industry professionals. Takes place in San Diego.

December

PhotoNOLA Portfolio Reviews: Annual event that coincides with PhotoNola. Offers twenty-minute face-to-face meetings with gallery owners, editors, publishers and museum curators from throughout the U.S.

Year-round opportunities

Portfolio Reviews at The Center for Photography at Woodstock: As a benefit of membership, CPW staff are available for in- person portfolio reviews. Intended to provide constructive feedback, portfolio reviews are a great way to receive professional advice and guidance. They also feature portfolio reviews by Skype!

American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) and American Photographic Artists (APA) members might have local portfolio review offerings depending on your chapter. Furthermore, both ASMP and APA often provide discounts for members that attend portfolio reviews.

New Orleans Photo Alliance's PhotoNOLA portfolio review session. Photo by George Long http://GeorgeLong.com (used with permission)

New Orleans Photo Alliance's PhotoNOLA portfolio review session. Photo by George Long http://GeorgeLong.com (used with permission)

Are there great portfolio review events that I am missing? Contact me and I'll add them.

Ten-X Commercial Photo and Video Production

Director of Photography responsible for managing in-house team of photo and video editors, as well as 350+ professional architectural and interiors photographers, videographers and VR/360 content creators. 

 

Partnered with careers team to produce a custom image library for use on redesigned careers and HR pages. Shoots took place in three location, using real employees as talent. 

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Lauren Edith Andersen Website

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Lauren and I recently completed updating her website: http://laurenedith.com/. We reworked her galleries to emphasize her mix of interiors and spaces, with a focus on California and it's indoor/outdoor lifestyle. I love the way it came out, and now have some serious wanderlust for a trip to Northern California.

Check out the beautiful photos of the factory where handmade wallpaper is crafted (in the Work, Shop gallery). Stunning!

Texas Photo Roundup

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It's been three years (!) since the last Texas Photo Roundup, an event that I co-produced for four years with the talented, hard-working photographers Kimberly Davis and Matthew Mahon. Would I ever do it again? Well, I'm not sure. It's a TON of work but also incredibly satisfying work. Bringing together art buyers, photo editors and photographers from around the country was an amazing experience that reminded me of why I love the photo community.

Over the four years we produced a wide variety of events, including workshops, portfolio reviews, lectures, gallery talks and silent auctions.

Photographers who spoke or taught included:

Dan Winters
Chris Buck
Wyatt McSpadden
Stephanie Rausser
Andy Anderson
Randal Ford
Larry Fink

Portfolio Reviewers included esteemed professionals from a wide range of ad agencies, magazines, and museums, including:

AFAR
BBDO
Bloomberg
Charles Schwab
emdash
Esquire
Food Network
Garden & Gun
GSD&M
Harry Ransom Center
Integer
McGarrah Jessee
The New Yorker
The New York Times Magazine
Ogilvy
Olson
Pace Communications
Razorfish
Southern Living
Texas Monthly
Wired and more...!

Check out some of the photos and videos from the events.

Photos by David Weaver and Dennis Burnett. Videos by Dennis Burnett and Stephanie Rausser.

Great Promo Ideas

Looking for some self-promo inspiration?

Check out my pinterest board of great photography promo ideas. From large-format newspaper promos to simple postcards, this board features examples of great design and image choices.

Have something you'd like to add? Contact me!

Other great resources include:

 


Want to make a cool promo that will grab clients' attention?