11 striking portfolio examples to inspire you

6 min read
Tanya Abdul Jalil

Presenting your portfolio to potential clients as a freelancer can be nerve-racking. You want to appear professional, experienced and capable of making their project a success, while also showcasing your best work. The best way to reduce anxiety is to create a portfolio that you’re not only proud of but excited to share with the world. Let’s take a look at 11 stunning portfolio examples — starting with two jaw-dropping WordPress portfolio examples — to get you started.

Supreme WordPress portfolio examples

WordPress — especially the managed-for-you kind — is a favourite among the visually inclined and for good reason. Owing to the kazillions of WordPress themes and plugins out there, you can get a website that is literally unlike any other in the world.

Let’s kick off our list with these two incredible WordPress portfolio examples.

1. Studio Thomas

So cleverly done, you want to work with this brand as soon as you land on their site. They’ve got a deep understanding of their target market (bold brands), so they knew they needed to make an impact with their website.

Modern, in your face and yet ultra classy, this studio knows how to get attention. Oh, and make sure you revisit their site, as the animation and colours change to keep you on your toes.

2. Made Thought

Visiting this website becomes a complete experience, as opposed to scrolling through a static portfolio.

The stunning visuals leave you with nothing to do but sit back and enjoy the show. From elegant hotel openings to Adidas campaigns, they’re not shy about telling you who they’ve worked with.

Thinking this kind of impact is out of your league? Think again. The key to creating a statement is knowing who you’re talking to and what they’re looking for. Made Thought and Studio Thomas were able to go all in on their design because they know who they’re targeting and how to get their attention.

Editor’s note: Sold on WordPress but not crazy about handling regular updates and software patches? Managed WordPress from GoDaddy is the answer. All the fun of WordPress without the upkeep.

Wedding photographers

Every wedding photographer has their own unique style that shows in every image they capture. Wedding photography portfolios need to show potential customers how the photographer makes the magic happen.

Photography portfolios work best when they are minimalistic and let the images shine.

Here are five of the best wedding photography portfolios we’ve found:

1. Little K

Using an artful design with the navigation anchored to the left, Little K lets the images do the talking. The easy-to-use side-swipe design is super-intuitive. The completely white header draws your eye to the images, highlighting Chelsea Badger’s work well.

2. Adam Mason

Adam knows his clients are a little out there and want their special day captured in a way that reflects their personality. He tailors his text and portfolio images to appeal to their colourful personalities.

3. Jeremy Gryst

Neat and pretty, Jeremy uses the grid format beautifully to attract clients who want total perfection for their special day. He gives the viewer the option of casually scrolling through the whole portfolio or looking more closely at a particular wedding.

4. Samuel Docker

Sam invites readers to engage with him by using text to guide them. He invites them to:

  • Take a look at how he works
  • Join his mailing list
  • Follow him on Instagram

The testimonials on his portfolio help to build the social proof that he is as good as he says he is.

5. Jenna Brisson

Taking a different approach, Jenna uses a blog to showcase her work. She knows her clients love rustic charm and chose a design for her site and portfolio to appeal to them.

Warm and intimate, she creates a blog post for each wedding to share the stories behind the shots.

Related: Outsourcing your web design and development? Read this first

Artists and designers

Whether you’re a painter, UX designer or graphic artist, the layout, colours and style of your portfolio are all crucial.

1. Aaron Rudyk

Straight up, you know this UX designer is all about stunning design and animation to delight the eye. Expertly set up, he seamlessly marries the copy and text together.

2. Kate Moross

Like her artwork, Kate’s portfolio is bold, modern and bright. Including photos of her in action builds a sense of connection and trust.

3. Lotta Nieminen

Opting for a sleek and uncluttered design, Lotta’s portfolio shows her work is all about the clean lines. She chooses to keep her graphic design portfolio focussed on the work she does, with few words to distract from it.

Related: 29 best WordPress themes for artists

How to take your portfolio from good enough to sensational

The purpose of a portfolio is to show the viewer you know your stuff.

Sure, you need to include examples of past work, but the way you do it is just as important as the work you present.

The design and copy either enhance their belief in your knowledge and skills or leave them wondering if they should go with a competitor.

So, before you run off to start playing with colours, fonts and layouts, let’s explore how to take a portfolio from good enough to sensational.

Above all, know your brand

A brand is nothing more than the impression you make on others — we all have one. Think about what your professional brand stands for — maybe it’s:

  • Warm and intimate like Jenna Brisson
  • Bold and brave, like Studio Thomas

When you have a strong grasp of your brand, it makes creating a portfolio website much easier.

While you want to capture attention, it’s important to keep your branding consistent. Stick with a layout, colours and fonts that match the rest of your website.

Make the design strong, so they instantly recognise who they’re interacting with. Even if your brand colours are soft and your values are nurturing and humble, make sure you carry this through on every page.

Let these portfolio examples light your way

So, now you’ve seen these exquisite portfolio website examples it’s time to get started on creating your own. Remember to get permission from past clients before you share their projects too!

Over to you.