A revamped portfolio (and a few thoughts)

A year ago, I put up my photography portfolio for the first time. I promised myself I’d update it regularly. (Of course, I never did. Terrible.)

With the domain expiration looming, I decided this was as good a time as any to update my portfolio. So I did! Check it out: http://www.jacquelinejaszka.com/

Picture 1

A few thoughts about photography portfolios:

1) Sifting through some of my favorite photographer’s portfolios, it seems like a lot of them are using their portfolio to tell more about their spirit and voice, rather than displaying their 10-15 best shots. The traditional way of looking at portfolios is putting solely your best work up there — fewer pictures, and only those of the highest possible quality (in terms of composition, image quality, etc.) you could achieve. But this newer perspective of portfolios really works for photographers who focus more on lifestyle and telling a visual story — perhaps not every picture is the best standalone picture ever, but when coupled together, the photos tell a greater story than a single picture could. A very interesting trend in portfolios.

2) Creating a portfolio is probably one of the very best ways for you to see — literally see! — your strengths and weaknesses as a photographer. (If you’re honest with yourself, of course.) It was, and will undoubtedly continue to be, a lesson in humility for myself to see my limitations as a photographer. I recommend any photographer do it, even if you don’t make it public.

(Of course, the rub is that, when facing your limitations, you don’t get too discouraged but instead get inspired to become better in those areas. And to sit back and appreciate some really nice pictures you’ve taken!)

3) The most amount of time I spent creating my portfolio — both this year and last year — was struggling with CSS and HTML. (Sometimes I yearn for my forgotten HTML skills, honed when crafting my angsty LiveJournal in undergrad — ha!) For the life of me, I could not get my portfolio to look like what I had envisioned. So I tried out www.4ormat.com, and within 10 minutes, I was able to make it look like what I wanted. No HTML, no CSS. Just drop-down menus and real time previewing. Perfect! They were a little more expensive than the previous site I was using, but the hours and hours I saved are more than worth it. Just a little tip for those similarly CSS-challenged like myself.

(Could this be the longest post I’ve ever written? Very possibly.)


20 thoughts on “A revamped portfolio (and a few thoughts)

  1. looks fabulous. i just renewed with cargo haha, but i played around with 4ormat. it definitely makes the side scrolling portfolio easier to pull off. also flattered to make it into your people section. :)

  2. That’s a beautiful portfolio, Jacqueline. Your food and still life work is always my favorite.
    I’ve been having a hard time finding what I want to say with my own portfolio. I keep adding and deleting photos, trying to find a few that seem to fit together.
    Totally agree with you, HTML is such a pain.

  3. I’ve been looking for ways to display my portfolio and had the same struggles that you had too. So glad you shared with us the link to 4ormat! I’m going to check it out. Love your new portfolio site.

  4. These days it really seems like you get what you pay for when it comes to web design – plus you can’t put a price on the time and sanity savings. :) I really love the new look! And I hear you on putting together a portfolio, you can so easily get way too hard on yourself.

  5. I so needed to read this!
    I’ve been struggling lately with putting my portfolio together too, it’s so much work and it is so easy to get discourage,
    so, thanks for this post, it really helped :)

    and your portfolio looks AMAZING!!!

  6. Oh the inspiration!

    I gasped when I opened that first aquarium shot under ‘people’. Having just spent too many days in a row in a biff with CSS, I think I might have to check 4ormat too!

    Your portfolio is beautiful. Your photos have a definite style. I love all of the lovely cool tones.

    Thank you so much for sharing this.


  7. Working with CSS and HTML can be tricky if you don’t use it daily. The language also always changes… but there is nothing like building it yourself (I love CSS so I can say that lol). Loved the portfolio.. its amazing

  8. I love how simple the layout it. it’s really all about telling a story, i agree. i think it’s a such a creative way of showing how you think and how you take photos, and not just getting the best shots and putting them altogether but they don’t really sort of speak to one another.

    this is just so nice, and you always continue to inspire me!

  9. Your portfolio looks amazing!! And I love what you wrote! I haven’t put together an official portfolio yet, but I definitely see the advantages to doing so now (i.e. getting to see what your strengths and weaknesses are).

  10. Your portfolio looks so great! I love your work oh so much.
    It’s such an undertaking to decide which photos to include, I haven’t brought myself to do it quite yet.

  11. Nice insight on putting up a portfolio. It does take a lot of looking yourself in the mirror when you decide to have something shown to others that’s saying so much about yourself.

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