‘Likes’ may not lead to work: Portfolio sites offer advantages over social sharing sites
posted Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 3:58 PM EDT
Dzvonko Petrovski over at Light Stalking has an article discussing the use of photo sharing sites as portfolios.
Websites and platforms such as 500px (which does offer a premium personalized portfolio service), DeviantArt, Flickr, Instagram, and Facebook can act as social networks for photographers. Instagram and Facebook, in particular, allow you to easily upload as many photos as you want to and share them.
It's nice to get comments and likes on your images from friends, fans, and strangers, but Petrovski wonders if that's necessarily a good thing if you want to show your work to a prospective client or employer.
Photo sharing sites work well for advertising, self-promotion, and just getting general feedback on your work, but there is also value in a portfolio service that eliminates the clutter and noise of social sites and showcases only your best work. Custom-built websites or services such as Squarespace, Smugmug, and Zenfolio can be used to create portfolio websites that dispose of likes, comments, and shares in favor of a simple, clean presentation of your images.
Personally, I've used both Smugmug and Zenfolio and have found them to be excellent. I currently use Zenfolio, and their service has allowed me to create and maintain a clean website with minimal work on my end. There's still a place for social sharing services, too, however. I generate more traffic on my facebook page than I ever will on my personal website. They serve different purposes.
Petrovski argues that you wouldn't want to send an editor or a client a link to your facebook album. You don't want to show someone every photo you've ever taken, you want to show them only your best work and show people that you have shown careful consideration when creating your portfolio.
To see more of Petrovski's discussion on photo sharing sites vs portfolio sites, check out his article.