Lately, you have been devoting yourself more and more to the art of photography and you are considering the idea of making this new hobby a profession. In this regard, talking with friends and other photography enthusiasts like you, it has been suggested to you to create a portfolio, i.e. a website or a sort of book – in digital or paper format – in which to present some of your best works.
The idea has tickled you, but you don’t have the faintest idea how to create a photography portfolio, nor how much it might cost. If that’s the case, don’t worry: I’ve prepared this tutorial for you, in which I’ll show you some tools you can use to create your portfolio site, or even a photo portfolio to print or distribute in digital format, in a simple way and without necessarily having to spend money.
In this way, you will obtain a perfect “business card” to spread your photographic works to future potential clients. When you are ready, take a few minutes of your free time and try out the solutions listed below. I assure you that they will not disappoint you.
How to create an online photography portfolio
In this first part of the guide, I’m going to show you several tools to create an online photo portfolio, then how to create a website that allows you to show your shots to the public in an orderly and attractive way.
Wix is one of the most popular platforms for creating websites without installing programs on your computer and without having to type code. It allows you to create websites in a few clicks by choosing from ready-to-use templates, including some dedicated to portfolio sites, and offering the possibility to build the various pages using a drag-and-drop editor. The service is free in its basic version, which allows you to get a domain like username.wixsite.com/websitename with Wix ads and up to 500MB for file storage. To remove these and other removals you need to subscribe to one of the subscription plans
That said, registering with Wix is very simple. First, go to the site’s home page, where you’ll be greeted with a brief overview of the site and all of its features. Next, click on the Start Now button to begin the registration process, where you’ll have to enter your email address, set a password, and then complete the process by clicking the Register button. Alternatively, you can log in using your Google and Facebook accounts by pressing the appropriate buttons.
Once you’ve completed the registration process, you’ll be taken to the first login page of your Wix account, which you can start by clicking the Start button. In the question, I want to create a website for, select the option me and then complete the sentence I need a website for a photographer by clicking on the word photographer. Then select the phrase that best suits your website creation skills.
In this way, the service will take you to the page dedicated to the selection of the template, that is, the structure that you will give to your website. Among the various styles available and organized in various categories selectable by clicking on the menu on the left of the screen, I recommend you to use the styles belonging to the Commercial and Editorial category. Once you have found the template that best suits your needs, click on View to interact with a small preview of the site you’re going to create, or on Edit to access the Wix editor.
Inside the editor, you’ll be able to use a series of tools organized on the left of the screen that will allow you not only to manage the various pages that make up your site but also to change the background, add new features such as buttons, menus and image galleries, change the colors of the theme used or manage audio and video files to be inserted.
By clicking on the Pages button and then on Add Page you can create a new page of the site and edit its contents. Also within the Pages menu, you can change the order of the pages and add transition animations.
Once you have selected a component to add, it will be placed within the grid and can be moved around the editor by right-clicking and dragging the object on the screen. It is also possible to resize the various objects by holding down the right mouse button on one of the points that will surround its outline. Once an object is selected, a small menu dedicated to settings will appear. In the case of text, for example, you’ll be able to change the font, the text itself, and its size.
Finally, the panel at the top is dedicated to the viewing options. Starting from the left, you can change the page by clicking on the menu Page X (with X replacing the name of the page where you are), click on the icon in the shape of a computer,, or in the shape of a smartphone to change the display mode of the site between desktop and mobile.
Moving to the right, you can click on the arrow icons to undo or redo a change, the zoom-out icon to see the entire site graphics, Tools to choose which parts of the menu to show or hide, and finally, use the Search option to call up any item in the editor.
Any changes will be saved automatically by the Wix site management system, which you’ll be redirected to each time you log in. Once you have the desired result, all you have to do is click the Publish button to finish creating your first photo portfolio and publish the site.
Wix is also available as an app for Android and iOS/iPad, so you can manage your sites on the go.
Adobe Spark is a simple online service that specializes in creating digital and printed graphic content, such as flyers, Instagram content, websites, and more. You can use it to use a photo portfolio site or print portfolio. It’s free, with the option to remove some limitations and add extra features for a fee, including the ability to use some premium templates and fonts.
To register for Adobe Spark for free, all you have to do is connect to the service’s main page and click on the Get started for free button. Then, create a new Adobe ID (if you don’t already have one) by entering your email address, entering the other requested data, and finish the operation by clicking on the Create Account button. Alternatively, you can sign in with a Google, Facebook, or Apple ID account. If you already have an Adobe ID, just sign in with it.
To help you select the right template for your needs when you first sign in Adobe Spark will ask you to select up to three interests, and then click Continue to access the main screen of the service. From there, you’ll be able to choose the type of template you want to use, manage the projects you’re going to create, upload a logo to create a new, easily recognizable brand, or transform a project into a template so that you can easily replicate a particular type of graphic, without the need to change the setting of the original project.
As for creating a new portfolio, I recommend that you press the (+) button in the left sidebar, select the View All item, and search for (and then select) the photo portfolio item in the top bar if you want to create a printable portfolio. Alternatively, search and select Photo Diary, to create a website that can act as a photo portfolio.
You will then enter the Adobe Spark editor. Analyzing the editor interface, you’ll find a menu that will allow you to modify the template used, insert a text, upload a photo, use an icon or a resource preloaded from the Adobe library, change the background of the project or use a new template among those already created.
By clicking on the individual elements you can access the menu dedicated to their modification, from where you can change their size, add new effects or click on the Find a new style button to give Adobe Spark the possibility to generate random modifications.
On the right of the screen, in the case of the printable portfolio, you will also find additional settings related to the visual component of the document. From this small menu, it’s possible to change the color palette of the document through the Color button, modify the grid division of the Background, resize the document choosing among different templates that replicate various formats such as the one used by Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, but also paper formats such as A3 and A4.
From the menu at the top of the page, you can also undo or restore changes made to the document, while clicking on the magnifying glasses will give you access to the functions related to zooming.
When you’re satisfied with the result, click on the button to publish or download your project, to complete the work. Alternatively, you can click Share and choose whether to invite new people by email, publish your work, save the project as a template or add it to your Google Drive.
Many options change depending on the project you choose, but don’t worry: the operation of the service is so intuitive that you won’t find any difficulty in using it. Adobe Spark is also available as an app for Android and iPhone/iPad smartphones and tablets.
Other solutions to create an online photo portfolio
In this first part of the article, I reported several services that can meet your need to create an online photo portfolio, but in case you’re still not satisfied here are some good alternatives to try.
Squarespace – Web hosting platform dedicated to the easy and fast creation of professional websites, allowing you to use and edit different templates suitable for all eventualities, including the creation of a photo portfolio.
Canva – a site dedicated to graphic design and an excellent alternative to Adobe Spark, suitable for creating and sharing presentations, flyers, and professional portfolios. Learn more here.
How to create a PDF photo portfolio
Instead of a website, would you rather create a PDF photo portfolio to print or share with potential clients? Here are some programs you could use for that purpose.
LibreOffice Draw (Windows/MacOS/Linux)
Surely you’ve heard over and over again about LibreOffice, a free and open-source alternative to Microsoft Office and able to offer office programs more than suitable for any need. Well, you know that with LibreOffice Draw (the alternative to Publisher) you can create lots of printable content, including a professional photo portfolio exportable to PDF.
To download LibreOffice, all you have to do is connect to the official website of the suite and click on the Download Now button, to reach the page dedicated to downloading the program.
If you’re downloading LibreOffice on Windows, select the version dedicated to your operating system (32 or 64-bit) and click on Download to start downloading the LibreOffice[version]Win.msi file.
If, on the other hand, you use a Mac, you have to download and install LibreOffice in a slightly more articulated way, downloading also the Italian language pack (distributed separately for Apple systems)
The first time you launch the program, select the option to create a LibreOffice Draw document, which will welcome you with a blank sheet of paper in which you can give free rein to your artistic vein in the creation of the various pages that will make up your portfolio.
Talking about the interface, on your left you’ll find the menu dedicated to the Pages management, where you’ll be able to see a preview of all the pages of the photo portfolio, so you can add new ones (by right-clicking and then clicking on the New Page item), copy, paste or rename them (by right-clicking and choosing one of the items available in the menu that opens).
Also on the left, there is a set of tools dedicated to the management of LibreOffice Draw vector graphics elements. Starting from the arrow dedicated to the Selection of the various elements on the screen, we move on to the management of line colors and filling of various graphic elements such as lines, rectangles, and ellipses, up to the creation of more complex shapes such as symbols, directional arrows, stars, legends, and even 3D objects.
On the right-hand side, there is a menu dedicated to the Properties of the various elements in the center of the screen that can be selected by left-clicking on each of them. At the top of the interface are the program’s main menus.
In this regard, by going to the Insert > Image menu you can select the photos you want to include in your portfolio. Once you have uploaded the photos you prefer, you can move the images or texts within the document by selecting them and holding down the left mouse button.
To organize the layout of the pages with tables, shapes, lettering, and anything else, use the special buttons you see on the screen. You have to give free rein to your imagination, guided of course by good taste.
Once you have the desired result, open the menu File > Export and finally click on Export directly to PDF to save your portfolio in PDF.
Other solutions for creating a PDF photo portfolio
If you still don’t have enough and are looking for other alternatives to create a PDF photo portfolio, here are some programs similar to LibreOffice Draw to experiment with.
- Microsoft Publisher (Windows/macOS) – program belonging to Microsoft’s Office suite dedicated to creating graphics for flyers, business cards, and portfolios in vector graphics and exportable in various formats, including PDF format.
- Pages (macOS/iOS/iPadOS) – program for macOS, iPhone, and iPad developed by Apple specializing in the creation of professional pre-graphics for advertising, posters, and portfolios, offering file export and sharing in various formats, including PDF. You can start from a simple template, or build your deal document thanks to its customization options.
- Adobe InDesign (Windows/macOS) – application belonging to the Adobe Creative Cloud package dedicated to the creation of illustrations for advertising, posters, and portfolios. After the first 7-day free trial, you have to subscribe to continue using it.