How to choose a photography portfolio solution?

Oana Filip

This article’s goal is to give pho­tog­ra­phers and visu­al artists in gen­er­al, a glimpse into how we believe build­ing an online show­case should unrav­el. This is us giv­ing a help­ing hand to those who val­ue their art and aim to share it with the world.

We, the Pix­el­grade crew, like to think that we do much more than deliv­er­ing exquis­ite Word­Press themes for our beloved clients. We work real­ly hard in order to pro­vide an unfor­get­table expe­ri­ence for those who are eager to raise the bar. Believe us, it’s not just a way of say­ing, we take this to heart and strive to live by it.

We val­ue your peace of mind just as much as you val­ue your work.

If there is one thing that stuck with us from the start, is that you can’t go gen­er­al with cre­atives. No. Each of you has your own sto­ry to tell, your own unique per­spec­tive on this mar­velous world around and inside us. Could we have made things hard­er for us? Prob­a­bly not.

But we are not shak­en in our deter­mi­na­tion to help you. And being a design focused team def­i­nite­ly, helps. That is Design with a cap­i­tal D. Design beyond pret­ty pix­els and eye-water­ing ani­ma­tions (though, who can resist those?), design that asks the hard ques­tions and digs deep for those basic prin­ci­ples, for those solu­tions that are dead sim­ple (close to stu­pid­i­ty, but not quite).

Each time we embark our­selves on this path, we like to (and need to) nar­row down on only some of you. Yeah, you! The one with a crave for the out­doors. Or you with hard­ly an emp­ty spot on your pass­port. Some­times it will be you, fash­ion-lov­ing-mod­el-shoot­ing lucky …man or woman.

Being so laser focused (right down to imag­in­ing cer­tain per­sonas that we can relate to — is that crazy?), allows us to tai­lor each theme to spe­cif­ic needs and expec­ta­tions, so that you, the busy cre­ative that you are, don’t have to strug­gle with use­less issues. You can just bathe in eye-can­dy and for­get about all the strug­gle that went into it. We don’t mind.

What to look for in a portfolio theme?

We think the first thing you should seek is a cul­tur­al fit with the team behind a cer­tain Word­Press theme. You’re in this for some time to come and you don’t want to be trav­el­ing with the wrong peo­ple. Read about them, check out their pub­lic inter­ac­tions with their exist­ing cus­tomers, fire up a pre-sale tick­et to them. Get a feel about how you are treat­ed as their would be part­ner.

Then find that theme that speaks to you, that feels like it was cus­tom made for you and your work. Play around with their demo, check out their doc­u­men­ta­tion. Is there any­thing that sounds sus­pi­cious or too com­plex? Ask away. Do you sense a reluc­tance in the way they approach your issue or a sense they are hid­ing some­thing? Move away. There are plen­ty of fish in the water.

We rec­om­mend you stay clear of those that over promise, that gives you that “This sounds too good to be true! And look at that tiny price!”. It usu­al­ly is just that. Something’s got­ta give. There are no bar­gains, but over­ly priced prod­ucts. Do your­self a favor and don’t fall for that mar­ket­ing crap: “look at our 100+ demos; look at how many ways you can use our theme; it’s per­fect for any­thing you want”. It means they are net fish­ing, not fly fish­ing. Be a trout, not a shrimp.

Case study — “Border” might be your finest comrade

Talk is cheap, right? Here are some strong and to-the-point facts about how you could ben­e­fit from our work in order to empha­size yours.

#1 — What’s Border?


It’s our response to all of you frame lov­ing pho­tog­ra­phers out there. Besides being a unique (d’oh) pho­tog­ra­phy Word­Press theme, we’ve made it super easy for you to han­dle all those won­der­ful shots that crave for that full-screen glo­ry. And they should. Want to slap a title on it? Again, easy. Just type it in and look out for those fan­cy ani­ma­tions (we are suck­ers for those).

#2 — What people think about it?

There are plen­ty of peo­ple who give us feed­back and we’re grate­ful for their thoughts. No mat­ter if they cheer­lead­ing us or they let us know about some draw­backs. In fact, we would appre­ci­ate hear­ing more of the lat­ter kind, since this is the only way we can evolve and become bet­ter.

It was real­ly hard for me to choose the right Word­Press theme for my port­fo­lio web­site. Now I’m sure I chose the best! BORDER is just an amaz­ing pho­tog­ra­phy theme. What I like is def­i­nite­ly the speed and smooth tran­si­tion when brows­ing. The next thing is sup­port — guys behind Pix­el­Grade project are great and they’re real­ly try­ing their best to help even future cus­tomers. Most­ly it’s the sup­port what you pay for. And this one here is the best you can get!”
Erik Svec (Pho­tog­ra­ph­er)

#3 — Pics or it didn’t happen

Fur­ther, feel free to take a tour and admire some web­sites built with Bor­der. Each of them is a bound­less source of inspi­ra­tion and empow­er­ment as well.

Phoenix Bay (3D Artist) / Jen­nifer Haslam (Cus­tomized) / Pavel Vetrov (Inte­ri­or Design­er) / More

All in all, we’re hap­py to build use­ful and eye-can­dy prod­ucts, but we are far more dri­ven by the fact that we help our clients spot­light on their cre­ative projects.

In the end, it’s all about bring­ing some joy to those who choose us from the crowd.

Oana Filip
Oana Filip

Digital storyteller @Pixelgrade and community builder for creative industries. A true believer in the power of making the world a better place.