5 Expert Tips for Building a Killer Photography Portfolio

free the bird garden wedding photography

May 23, 2023

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More than just an end product, your photos are your art, a celebration of your well-honed talent. Showcasing your hard-earned skills, creativity, and style, it’s essential to back your photography business with a portfolio that helps you stand out in a “saturated” industry.

Whether you’re on a mission to redefine your style or to show off your best work, your portfolio can be a game-changer for attracting and booking your dream clients – clients who already LOVE your work. Beyond boosting your credibility, you can also strategically optimise your online portfolio for better search engine visibility (YAY for SEO wins)!

If you’re ready to build a killer photography portfolio for your website, keep reading for our 5 expert tips.

1. Get crystal clear on your niche & target audience

Establish your fearless authority by first identifying your ideal clients. Take a moment to reflect on:

  • Who are my ideal clients?
  • What style of photography are they looking for? e.g. light and bright tones, dark and moody vibes, or a mix of both?
  • What style of photography do I enjoy shooting?
  • Am I willing to upskill in my shooting and editing style to better align with my ideal clients?
  • What can shooting/ editing expertise can I offer that no other photographer can?
  • Am I open to evolving my current style by challenging myself and taking risks?

Whether you’re a wedding photographer or a family photographer, gaining a deeper understanding of your target audience and what they’re looking for will help you to tailor your portfolio accordingly.


Incorporate popular keywords that are relevant to your style and audience in your portfolio descriptions such as your image alt tags (also commonly referred to as ‘alt text’). Learn more about writing optimised alt text for your images.

For example, if you specialise in luxury wedding photography, optimise your image alt tags with SEO-friendly descriptions like “luxury wedding photography in [location]”. For the location, you can either specify the general location (e.g. Luxury wedding photography Yarra Valley Victoria) or the venue name (e.g. Luxury wedding photography at Rupert on Rupert).

Image Credit: Trent & Jessie

2. Filter & curate your portfolio

While it may be tempting to throw spaghetti at the wall, hoping something will stick, it will only result in…a very messy, dirty wall. Quality over quantity is crucial if you want to create a standout portfolio that’s worth remembering. Choosing images that align with your brand and style, be consistent and ruthlessly selective.

Designed to help you easily edit your images IN BULK with a modern, romantic feel, you can purchase our Free the Bird Lightroom Preset Pack that comes with 4 beautiful presets for moody, dark images and light, bright images.

Remember, a confused buyer will never buy, so make it easy for your dream clients to quickly establish your style and decide whether you’re the right photographer for their occasion.

Rather than trying to please the masses by copying the latest trends, don’t be afraid to create your own identity or try something new either!


Don’t forget to optimise your image file names with descriptive keywords, instead of uploading them with automated names like “IMG_12345.jpg.” Instead, take the time to rename each image file with informative SEO-friendly phrases such as “wedding-bouquet-by-florist-name.jpg.”. Read more on naming your image files.

Image Credit: Blue Corona

3. Show AND tell

Take the time to write and tell the story behind each featured gallery, rather than just showing the photos. Drawing them into the narrative and giving them a behind-the-scenes peek, storytelling is a great way to engage and emotionally connect with your ideal audience.

See here for an example from Free the Bird.


Aiming for a minimum of 300 words, consider writing a few short paragraphs to provide your audience with context. Whether it’s inserted at the beginning or end of your gallery, or sprinkled throughout, crafting keyword-rich gallery descriptions can help boost your website in search engine results and attract potential clients to click on your portfolio.

optimise your wedding photography portfolio for seo

4. Weave client testimonials into your portfolio

Besides your beautiful images, you always want to sell your audience on YOU – who you are, what you’re like to work with, and why you deserve their trust. And what better way to earn their undying love than with kind words from your past clients?!

Perfect for building additional trust and boosting your credibility, you can include testimonials and reviews from your past clients within your portfolio. This is a great way to prove that besides delivering incredible photos, you were also a joy to work with.


Boost your organic presence by encouraging your clients to leave reviews and feedback on public platforms such as Google My Business and your Facebook business page. An additional trust signal, these external reviews can enhance your search rankings.

wedding photography business google review

5. Regularly audit & refresh your photography portfolio

The easiest way to refine and evolve your portfolio is by continuously auditing and updating it! This helps you to show off your growth and versatility, as well as your commitment to levelling up your craft.

Make it a habit to regularly review your portfolio, ensuring it still reflects your current style and target audience. Giving you full creative control, you can also organise styled shoots to showcase your vision, especially if you’re wanting to establish yourself in a new niche or if your current clients don’t match your overall style.

styled shoot kit by jai long

If you’ve never hosted a styled shoot before, make sure you check out our done-for-you ‘Styled Shoot Kit‘! This comprehensive kit comes with simple how-to steps, including a fun training video, budget planner, timeline template, shoot guide PDF, and a professional shoot contract.


Add a blog section to your website where you can not only feature your latest work but also share helpful photography tips, business updates, and vendor collaborations. There are multiple ways to research what topics to blog about including reflecting on your clients’ FAQs, using Google Trends, competitor analysis, and listening in on social media conversations.

free the bird wedding photography blogging ideas

Image Credit: Free the Bird

On the other hand, you can also create evergreen content that remains relevant over the years, such as “Top 10 Tips for Planning a Picture-Perfect Wedding Day”. Your blog is also a perfect space for shouting out your favourite venues and vendors, for example, “Best Vegan-Friendly Venues in Melbourne CBD” – this will help you with attracting local clients while strengthening your local SEO efforts.

For more blogging tips, read 9 blogging tips for wedding photographers.

Make every image count when updating your photography portfolio

Just like your website, creating an attention-worthy portfolio is an ongoing process that requires careful curation, attention to detail, and a deep understanding of your ideal audience.

Image Credit: Joy Zamora

Before you post a new gallery, think about WHO you’re targeting it to, WHY it deserves attention, and HOW you can maximise your impact. Once the gallery is live on your website, share it across your mailing list and socials to encourage more visits to your website!

When in doubt, just remind yourself of this little mantra “be intentional, not busy”.😉

📢Introducing ‘The Ultimate Bundle’ – a mini-course bundle purposefully curated for photographers

The Ultimate Bundle for photographers by Jai Long

Combining our best-selling online courses and tools to help you elevate your photography portfolio, you can score instant access to The Ultimate Bundle for 50% off today!

Valued at a total of $1290, it’s all yours for just $645 and includes:

  1. The Upsell Academy
  2. Posing & Lighting
  3. Album Academy
  4. Styled Shoot Kit
  5. FREE Bonus: 34 Email Templates

Purchase The Ultimate Bundle today or explore all our courses and resources for photographers. Not sure what’s best for you right now? Our team is always happy to help guide you in the right direction – simply shoot us an email at help@jailong.co and we’ll sort you out!❤️

Meet the Author

Obsessively wordsmithing and hyping the living daylights out of anything and anyone, Mel is our word nerd and coach from Melinda Harcourt Copywriting.

You’ll also find her regularly dropping hot website/ biz tips inside the Business Map and yelling at people for downplaying their wins (“big” or “small”, every win is still a win).




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