The best way to present yourself

by: Bella Kotak

As an artist or creative one of the most important things we have to focus on is how to stand out from the crowd. Sometimes it could be in the way you present yourself, both in person or online. There’s an interesting statistic that when a person comes across a website, they will decide within 20 seconds if they want to look further or click away. Those 20 seconds are the difference between opportunity or nothing.

In this post I will be sharing my tips on the best ways to display your work, primarily online. Now I’m no expert on the perfect website but I have been in control of mine from the very beginning and along the way have made lots of mistakes from which I have learnt many lessons from.

Here are a few things I’ve picked up along the way.

how to display your work train to create blog

Tip 1 – FOCUS

Like many photographers I loved capturing more than one genre of photography. I loved creating fashion photography along with families and weddings, and for years I used to share them side by side on my website. I figured that if people came across my site they would see that I was versatile and would be more inclined to book me… well needless to say that didn’t work out! Instead once I decided to focus the direction of my site not only did I notice the bookings go up but also that my social media presence increased as well as since people could connect with my style and vision easily.

The idea is that when someone comes across your site they should immediately have an understanding of what you do and what you’re offering. The focus of your images will show the viewer the direction that you are heading in. For example, if you show fashion and wedding photography on the same site, it gives a mixed message and may come across as noncommittal. Now I have many friends who shoot various genres and are successful at them, so to keep things clear, they keep them separate for example, by giving them their own space from separate websites to social media presence.

how to display your work train to create blog


As photographers we understand the importance of composition. This can also be applied to the way you display your images on your website.

The way you display them should say something about you as an artist. I believe that everything from your pictures, colour palette, writings, presentation should be a part of that story. As long as you’re staying true to yourself as an artist there is no wrong way to present your images on your site. However here are few things that I’ve noticed on sites that belong to many a successful photographer.

  • Clean up your portfolio. Only show your BEST work. It’s Quality not Quantity that will sell your work.
  • A plain light or dark coloured background won’t distract attention from the focus of the images.
  • Consider having a Quick Portfolio or New Work gallery on your Home page, presenting the best of your work so that the viewer gets an immediate idea of your work and style.
  • Perhaps present series as large thumbnails so that the viewer can quickly peruse the work.
  • Create a pleasing transition from one picture to another through colour.
  • Consider adding titles and captions to add context.
how to display your work train to create blog


If you are designing or are having your site designed navigation is one of those things that you can’t avoid. It’s easy, the simpler the navigation the more likely it is that the viewer will see most if not all that your site offers. I used to have categories, then sub categories and then sub-sub categories… what can I say, I was out of control. I would get confused going through my own site, now if I’m confused how is the random person who comes across my site going to feel? I spent some time, cleaned up my portfolio, keeping only the very best, and worked out a way to have the minimum number of categories. And that is as deep as my site got. I ensured that everything could be accessed via the main menu bar.

The main things that people want to see on your website is your Work, your story via your Bio (this is where you might also mention a few of your prestigious clients!), and your Contact details.  Other subjects often seen on the main menu are Blog, News, Publications and anything else that you offer.

how to display your work train to create blog


Actively, consistently and appropriately share your work across various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, 500px, Tumblr, and Pinterest. You never know how or when someone can come across your work and present you an opportunity. Be sure that your social media icons are present across your website and encourage people to follow you on your various platforms via your About or Contact page!

how to display your work train to create blog


There are times when we’re too close to our work and having one or two people who understand our work comes in handy, especially since they have that objectivity that we lack.  When you’re happy with how the layout of your images look either in print or on your website it’s worth considering getting feedback from people who you feel would give you their honest and constructive critique. Ask them to share specifics and you don’t have to take everything they say on board, after all you’re the artist, but it’s always interesting to see your work from another’s eyes. Just doing this I feel has made my work that little bit stronger.

how to display your work train to create blog

I hope you guys found these tips useful! Thank you for reading and please feel free to check out my other posts.

Photographer and Retoucher


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