photographer's website displaying the gallery page
Do you feel proud when you share your website with others? Or do you cringe inwardly because your portfolio is outdated and doesn't represent your best work?

So many photographers who do one-on-one coaching with me are embarrassed by their websites because they haven't updated them in 6 months to a year, or even more. I can relate to this feeling, and I also remember what a HUGE monstrous task it was to update my website portfolio once a year. It was overwhelming, so it was easy to push it aside in favor of more manageable tasks.

But our website is our #1 marketing tool and is almost solely responsible for the first impressions people form of us and our businesses. So if we are showing old work that is not our very best and most cherished, we are selling ourselves short. Literally. This one factor could make the difference between booking a client or not booking them; being able to raise your prices, or remaining in the sea of photographers who are priced down the middle of the road. This is especially true if you are in the first few years of your business journey. When you are starting out, your work gets exponentially better with each and every shoot. And the beginning of your journey also offers the best opportunity to raise your prices aggressively to establish yourself in the market you want to target for the rest of your career. Yikes! No pressure. But seriously, if you are not updating your website portfolio regularly, you are doing yourself and your brand a huge disservice.

So how do you make sure your website is updated regularly so you can feel proud of it and know you are maximizing your first impression with potential clients? You need to systematize it into your workflow. That's the only way to insure it happens regularly. If it's important and a priority, systematize it.

Here's how I do so. I added a task to my Wedding Workflow Checklist: "Set aside images for website portfolio". This task is something I do after I have culled the images, color-corrected my favorites, and blogged the wedding. It literally takes me 5 minutes to complete. First I decide if the wedding warrants placement in my "Featured Weddings" section of my portfolio:
photographer's website linking to favorite wedding features
I only feature 4 individual weddings in this section, so it has to be one of my best weddings ever to replace one that already exists there. So typically, I don't need to switch that out, but if I do, it only involves prepping a thumbnail and linking to the blog post. And if it IS one of my best weddings ever, it's well worth taking the time to do so when I'm the most excited about the images. You KNOW when I got home from shooting a wedding in the Dominican Republic, that was one of the first things I did -- I was SUPER excited! But typically, I only select between 1-5 images that are my very favorites from each wedding to add to my portfolio. The images are already edited, so I just use a crop preset to prep the image for the website and instantly upload it. Five minutes and I'm done.

Here are three keys to making this system work:

-1 -- When curating for your portfolio, choose only images YOU love.
Don't pick images for your website based on what you think brides want to see. That's one of the best ways to attract the wrong clients to yourself. Instead, choose images that make YOUR heart soar; that are the reason you love to pick up a camera. When you show work based on this criteria, you will attract clients who want to pay you to shoot from your heart, in your style, and they will trust you to do so. Remember that curating is just as much a part of defining your style as is shooting. You shoot with your specific eye, and that partially defines your style, but you can further define it by the images you choose to show. Choose what YOU love.

-2 -- Be critical and show only your best work.
Just as important as updating your website portfolio with your new work is taking down the old or mediocre work. Every time that you add new images to your portfolio, you should take some off. Each gallery on your website need only include 10-25 images. In the case of a portfolio, more is not better. If you only add to your portfolio, you can end up diluting it rather than enhancing it. Use a critical eye to decide which images are only mediocre, or don't uniquely represent your style and what you want to shoot, and take them down. Then the remaining stellar images will shine more brightly.

-3 -- Do it every time.
If you take this step after each wedding, it's not a huge burden. It's simple. And it's fun to see your newest work on your site and feel proud of how it represents you. No more cringing.

Thanks for tuning in! Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below. And if you found this post helpful -- click here to receive special email access to my most helpful content!
Photographers -- this is likely the #1 reason you are not booking the clients you want AND how to fix it!
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