Business + Marketing

How to Get Photography Clients Using a Curated Portfolio

October 15, 2021

By Julie Roth Novack

© Pharris Photography

If you’re looking for answers on how to get photography clients, look no further than your collection of work. That’s easier said than done, of course. When it comes to having a published, curated portfolio of your best work, it can be overwhelming to get from point A (gathering photos) to point B (packaging them nicely with a pretty bow to showcase).  

You may be thinking, I’m going to organize my photos when I have downtime, but the truth of the matter is, that downtime will never come if you don’t create it yourself. It’s time to lay down the law with yourself and consider how valuable a well-organized portfolio is for attracting prospective clients. The good news: It doesn’t have to be time-consuming to reap all the rewards.

[Read: To Upsell Photography, Start by Helping Your Clients]

How To Get Photography Clients: 3 Surefire Steps

1. Decide how you’re going to store your photos.
2. Set up a solid organization system
3. Break down archiving and indexing

Decide how you’re going to store your photos. 

While social media is certainly a quick way to answer the question of how to get photography clients, it simply won’t cut it to solely rely on Instagram or Facebook.  

Cloud-based storage is going to be your best bet. Not only is it much easier to access and divide into folders, but you can expand your bandwidth monumentally at a relatively low cost. 

[Read: How to Serve Your Photography Clients Before They Book]

Dropbox and Google Drive are two of the best tools out there for file storage. It’s true that both apps are free, but if you’re planning to really maximize the storage space with photos (or even videos), it’s inexpensive to bump yourself up to a professional account.  

I personally recommend this route, especially as we continue on into the wedding and event boom in 2021 with steady reopening. If you consider that you’re doing 50 events a year and you’ve been in the business for 10 years, it’s inevitable that you’ll need more space for your work. 

Set up a solid organization system. 

Consider who your ideal client is and the audience you’re appealing to when you map out the organization of your photo portfolio and looking into how to get photography clients. For example, if you’re a destination photographer, are you going to create folders based on country or location? If you work frequently with a local venue, do you want to label a folder accordingly so that your collaboration with them is easy to find?  

I typically suggest posting anywhere between 20 to 40 photos per event or collection. This way, the viewer can get a feel for all of the elements involved. Images of details, décor, setting, and people are going to be the most eye-catching. 

[Read: 5 Fixes to Weak Marketing ROI for Photographers]

Finding the common denominator will help you with organizing, and it’ll be helpful for a potential client to comb through your work as opposed to clicking through a mess of random photos in a Google Drive. Whether you want to label the folders by season, type of event, color scheme, or what-have-you, your colleagues and future clients will thank you. 

For a curated portfolio, break down indexing and archiving. 

For the final piece of the puzzle, it’s going to be essential that you track all of your event data. This will entail every bit of information about the event itself, including the event name, the location, the type of event, the date of the event and so on. Your portfolio index is instrumental, as it’s going to serve almost as a home page for every single event or project that you’ve worked on.  

The best tool I’ve found that works for this is Google Sheets. We put every detail in a sheet to track all of the information, including links to the Google Drive folders or Dropbox folders where your images are stored. From there, you can also choose to create separate Google Docs where you can list all of the vendors for each event, then insert the link to that Doc into the Sheet as well.  

Being able to have this behind-the-scenes archive of your curated portfolio in extensive detail will eliminate any confusion in the long run. If you need to run a quick search on a location you’ve worked in or a venue where you photographed some seasonal weddings, everything will be right at your fingertips. Additionally, your future clients and colleagues are going to appreciate that you have an organized system to curate, archive and access your photos.   

Julie Roth Novack is the CEO and co-founder of PartySlate, a photo-rich website where leading event professionals share their work and build their brand. With over 20 years of digital marketing experience with some of the biggest brands in the world, she is excited to bring this expertise to the events industry. Since its founding in 2015, over 15,000 of the country’s top event professionals and venues have uploaded over 1 million event photos to their beautiful profile pages.