How to Create a Portfolio: 12 Ways

By Tati Taylor 23 days ago, Photography Tips

How to Create a Portfolio: 12 Ways

If you don’t know how to create a portfolio or what you need it for, below you will find the answers to all your FAQ. It doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer or whether you want to advance your career, creating a qualitative online portfolio is very important if you want to stand out among others.

With a nice portfolio you will be able to attract new clients and interest professionals, who can help you succeed in your career.

You can create a portfolio this way:

  • Design a landing website using web-builders to demonstrate your work. This way you will spend less money but much time.
  • Use portfolio creating services for making a portfolio fast and free.
  • Use social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr to create a photography portfolio.
  • Create a separate file/archive on your laptop or cloud storage with your works.
  • Print your best works (suitable for architects, graphic and fashion designers).

Why Do I Need It?

Since we spend a lot of hours online and notice the increase of online networking, it’s very important to create a portfolio to demonstrate your works and talent.

Imagine you are an employer. You would definitely hire a candidate with a portfolio rather than somebody who only says how great their works are but doesn’t give any proof of that.

For successful employment, making a portfolio is absolutely necessary especially for people of creative professions - designers of all specializations, retouchers, photographers, journalists, photo models, etc.

Making Your First Portfolio: Tips & Tricks

It’s not difficult to create a portfolio if you have a decent number of works to show. However, you should remember the basic rules that will make your portfolio attractive and not scare off a potential customer.

1. Be Selective

digital artist portfolio

Many designers try to show all the works that they have ever done in their portfolio. This is a big mistake. First of all, the level of your first works will probably be low. Secondly, the portfolio must “sell you”, it should be bright, attractive, and show you in a favorable light.

Take some time and review all your works. Remove anything that you’re not proud of or that you don’t consider your best work.

2. Show Only Unique and Creative Works

making a portfolio

Select those works that correspond to the latest trends. They shouldn't copy the works of other designers. Make people think "Wow, this is really cool!"

3. Decide on the Number of Works

how to create a portfolio website

When creating a portfolio, focus on quality, not quantity. As for specific numbers, I recommend placing 10-20 works in your portfolio, but no more not to lose the viewer's attention. Even if your works are unbelievably stunning, people will still pay attention only to a few of them.

The best choice is to place your praiseworthy project and a few additional ones below it. This portfolio format will draw the viewer's attention to your main project.

4. Know Current Trends

portfolio examples

Don’t add works created more than 3 years ago to your portfolio. Trends, techniques, and technologies change very quickly. You don’t want to look outdated.

Photographer Mathieu Belin has created a one-page, highly fashionable and trendy online portfolio. She shows her work in an unconventional and interesting way, instead of using flat photos or PDF files.

5. Strive for Consistency

graphic design portfolio

After choosing your works for making a portfolio, ensure they are all related in one way or another, and reflect your brand. A portfolio shouldn't give an idea that all works there were created by different people.

6. Make Them Interesting

design mockup for portfolio

If you only have a PDF of a magazine or poster you have developed, search for a UI/UX or poster mockup resource on the net. Download layered PDF files with your works so that they look like you hired a photographer. They are perfect for websites and apps.

7. Think about a Paper Portfolio

paper portfolio sample

Despite the fact that most designers today use online portfolios, consider also creating a paper version for real interviews, especially if you're a graphic designer.

8. Take Photos of Your Paper Works

take photos of your paper works

If the work that you want to post on the net is available only in the printed format, take a photo of it. If you don't have a good camera, abandon the idea of using your iPhone. Hire a professional photographer and organize a little photoshoot.

9. Take a Close-up Photo

take a close-up photo

Seeing works in real life and on the screen are two completely different things. In real life, you can touch them and find out what paper they were printed on, check all the color nuances. For an online portfolio, the best idea is to include several close-ups of the most interesting work details.

10. Don't Use Flash or Animation

bad flash animation in online portfolio

Keep it simple and uncluttered. Let the viewer view it at their own pace. Using the parallax effect and other scrolling options is acceptable and very popular today.

If you use too complex animations (like it is shown above), the portfolio can not only slow down but also confuse a viewer with a complex interface.

11. Ask Somebody Else to Look It Through

how to make a portfolio for art

Your critical thinking gets less efficient over time, so before finalizing your portfolio, ask someone else to look at it. Does it look good? Professionally? Is it easy to navigate?

Pay attention to the text added to the portfolio. Nothing will destroy your credibility faster than a portfolio full of grammar and spelling mistakes.

12. Review Your Portfolio Regularly

review your portfolio regularly

If you think everything is over after you click the “Publish” button on your portfolio page, then go back to tip №4. To keep your portfolio relevant and in line with the latest trends, set a schedule to review it.

For example, do it every six months. Add new works and delete everything that is outdated or boring.

Efficient Services for Creating a Portfolio

If you don’t have your own website, resources, and time to create it, pay attention to the global creative communities, which serve as portfolio platforms. You can leave a link to it in your resume.

1. Behance

behance portfolio service

Price: Free

This is one of the largest websites for making a portfolio on the net. Photographers, designers, illustrators, artists, game developers, motion designers, and video makers post their works there. You can upload both your personal projects and team works and tag all participants.

The quality of this website is high, therefore, in order to be noticed and get feedback, pay a lot of attention to the choice of the works you are planning to publish. It’s not necessary to post only the finished product, on the contrary, show the stages of work, add drafts and sketches too.

2. Dribbble

dribbble portfolio service

Price: Free or $5 per month

This is another large portfolio website for artists, designers, and illustrators. The interface is similar to Behance, however, here you don't create projects but upload photos - small images of 400x300 pixels.

After registering, you can comment and like other people's works. To upload your own images, you need to get an invitation from one of the project participants.

3. Pressfolios

pressfolios portfolio service

Price: Free trial for 14 days, then $10 or $15 per month.

This is a website, where copywriters, journalists, writers, reporters, bloggers, PR managers, and other media experts can publish their portfolios.

You can post your works by uploading PDF files or links to external websites where they were published. The content of the cards is changed manually. You can also add a cover and a short description of your activity at the top of the page. Below, you can place a photo, bio, interesting and important facts about your professional activity, and social network links.

4. Deviantart

deviantart portfolio service

Price: Free or $5 per month

This is an international social network for artists interested in making a portfolio. Here you can quickly create a portfolio by uploading images and customizing one of the suggested design templates.

The free account allows you to upload up to 100 images, and with a paid account, you will get a personal domain and will be able to upload an unlimited number of images.

5. Coroflot

coroflot portfolio service

Price: Free

This is a social network for artists, illustrators, and designers, which allows for networking. Here you can post a portfolio and find a job.

On the About page, you can tell about yourself as a professional, about your education, and work experience, and add links to social networks.