How to Launch an Online Photography Portfolio

You’ve taken a few photos and your now ready to start your photography portfolio. Where is the 1st place you should go? How much would it cost you? These are key questions but there are a few steps to take before making a choice. A portfolio is a must as a photographer, after all it’s a very effective way to share you work. You will also have the opportunity to review your work from time to time and discover ways you can improve.

Prepping your Portfolio

Before you can actually launch your port go ahead and choose your best images, you may want a friend to help you with this part as many artists tend to be critical of their work. When you have chosen approximately ten images, making sure that they are all high resolution (same size as they were shot or at least 2048 x 1500) and about the same width and height. The reason you want your images to be the same height and width is for consistency. As far as wanting them high resolution that should be obvious (more pixels better details usually). In the end where ever your images end up you want them to each have the same affect, to draw the attention of the viewer into each story as they go from image to image.

Choosing a host

Now that you have all your images we need to choose a site where your images can be easily accessed. There are a number of places, so I will do my best to go over each along with their pros and cons.

500px (free or paid)

500px online photography portfolio
The Premier Photography Community


  • Free
  • Fast
  • Community of photographers
  • Market (sell images)
  • Download originals (no compression)
  • Share & embed tools

I use 500px just about every time I capture an image that’s worthy of my portfolio. The interface is simple, works well, and the community is great. Although there are some great aspects of the site, most features are unavailable until you pay for upgrade, pricing starts at $25 per month and goes all the way up to $165 go here for more details.


  • Free account only offers 20 photos per week
  • Selling requires high visibility can be hard for new photographers

Zenfolio (paid service)

Zenfolio online photography portfolio
Professional photo and video hosting for photographers.

Zenfolio has been my portfolio company of choice for over 10 years. I have been with them since 2006 mainly because of their features and the fact that the site is solid. To name a few of the features that I enjoy


  • Password protected galleries
  • Print ordering directly from galleries
  • Templates for site & galleries
  • Storage (unlimited)
  • SEO & blog options

All these features however come at a premium. Zenfolio’s pricing starts at $60 annually  (a lot cheaper than 500px) however the base package doesn’t include all the above mentioned features, for full pricing and features go here.


  • Site Templates are a bit outdated
  • Customer shopping experience a bit complicated
  • Pricing can be high for some
  • No phone support only through an online form

Twenty20 (free service)

Twenty20 online photography portfolio
Twenty20 is a community to showcase, discover, and buy the best in mobile photography & art.

Probably one of my most used sites in 2016 is Twenty20. Twenty20 is a California based company that doesn’t just showcase your work, they actually help you to sell. Keep in mind if you want to upload your portfolio pictures to this site,  it will probably end up being sold . Their purpose is to help you sell your work so you can earn income. The system works fast, they give your work exposure they’ll actually collect your pictures and put them into categories so that buyers can actually find them it’s really nice.

The last two are Flickr and Google Photos, they’re both great, they’re both fast,  and they’re both available on IOS apps and Google Play. They give you tons of space Flickr gives one terabyte, Google is unlimited. If you want to be able to start showcasing your work, take advantage of these two as much as possible.

Tangible Textures

Today sharing your photography portfolio is just a vital as in the days of the printed portfolios, in fact I still recommend that each photographer have a tangible portfolio, after all there are clients out there who are more tactile and enjoy the texture and materials of printed photos. A physical portfolio is also a good conversational piece when your socializing and don’t need the distraction of technology. Start your portfolio today it’s something you won’t ever regret. Years from now you will be able chart the progress of your work, countless lives will be touched and you will have established a series of images that create a legacy for your work.