The Business of Boudoir »

Portfolio Rehab

Your portfolio should be the easiest part of your web presence to rock out in, and yet every day I look through websites and Facebook pages and cringe. Let’s get this sh** fixed.

Your website: Don’t make them work for it

We all know that people on the internet don’t want to work hard to get the information they’re looking for. So you should have an easy-to-find, eye catching gallery of your best work. Your really truly BEST work. If you have trouble narrowing it down, ask some friends. When I’m looking at other people’s sites, I will move on after 20 photos and no more than three very different galleries. Boudoir 1, 2 and 3? Sorry, bored. 60 photos in a gallery? You’re going to end up with some photos that are repetitive. Get harsh.

Think about your style

We all experiment—at least I hope you do—but your portfolio is where you get to decide what people are hiring you to do. Be mindful of what you choose. If you want to do stark, sensual nudes, feature them heavily. If you want to shoot only natural light, don’t show your old flash work.

Showcase your target client

If you show exclusively slender 20-year-old models, 50-year-old curvy women will contact you less often. Put effort into getting the shots you need to attract the clients you want.

Organise your photos

Think like a DJ and design a “playlist” that will keep your prospect’s interest.

Gaze: Where is the model looking? In my work, I have chosen to do about 2 voyeuristic looking away shots followed by one direct engagement with the viewer.

Colour/B&W: Don’t clump. Figure out how many of each you have and spread them out.

Model: No more than two photos that are recognizably of the same model and never side by side. Alternate body types, ages and ethnicities.

Pose: Vary it. I have lots of bed shots that I love, but if every photo I show is of a woman lying on her back it starts to look a bit suspicious.



Facebook: It’s not an archive

We talk all the time about website portfolios, but Facebook is often people’s first point of contact with our photography. So clean up your Facebook page and fill it with good, current work. I don’t care if you have 5000 likes on those old photos with the 80’s glow you used to love, take that shit down. If you can’t bear to delete it, move it to an “Early Work” album. And of course, have your photos organised into albums so that if people start to dig around, it’s easy for them to find the photos you want them to see.

If you’re adding a whole shwack of new stuff to Facebook, don’t do it all in a day; get it ready, sorted and watermarked and then make a big deal out of posting a photo a day for a week. Next month, do that again. Consider re-sharing them from your business page to your personal page, too—it’s a good excuse to make a splash.


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