That’s what visitors to your photo portfolio are thinking. You’ve gone out, you’ve shot 100 photos, you’ve happily run them through your post processing workflow and then bam! You upload the lot to your photo website. This might seem like a good idea as all the photos you took are great right? Wrong.

Your Audience has the Attention Span of a Goldfish

Experts have shown adults can focus on average for 40 minutes, children for 20 minutes and web users? Well, the focus of web users is measured in just seconds. Uploading hundreds of photos per album and expecting visitors to your portfolio to view them all is like trying to show a goldfish a feature length movie. Your audience don’t want hundreds of photos and nor do they need them.

There are even studies suggesting that technologies like the Internet are changing the way the human brain is wired resulting in shallower thinking and even shorter attention spans.


“When we go online, we enter an environment that promotes cursory reading, hurried and distracted thinking and superficial learning. It’s possible to think deeply while surfing the Net, but that’s not the type of thinking the technology encourages and rewards”

Nicholas Carr

Only Publish Your Best Photos

What does this mean for you? Simple: Be ruthless. Add only your best work to your photo portfolio. If you’ve got 100 photos, cut them down to 10. If you’ve got 1000, cut them down to 10. Go even further if you can.

The first image someone sees when they visit your photo portfolio will make or break them as a visitor. Same for the second photo, same for the third, and so on. Think of your photos as a chain, which ones are the weakest links? Get rid of them.

But My Photography is Different!

Say your business is movie locations and what’s important is giving location scouts the best possible understanding of a location they’re interested in. Yep, that’s an exception. There aren’t many others.


K9 Guardian Angel

First Impressions Count

We all know that first impressions count. But what about online? Less than two-tenths of a second is all you have to make your first impression online according to a study undertaken by researchers at the Missouri University of Science & Technology. It then takes another 2.6 seconds for a web user’s eyes to focus on what’s influencing that first impression.

You have just one chance to grab people’s attention. Make sure your best images are the first photos your visitors see. How do you do that? Easy: Make all the images on your portfolio your best photos.

Counting First Impressions

If you owned a shop and 85 out of every 100 people that walked through the door turned on their heal and walked straight back out, you would want to know wouldn’t you? This is called your bounce rate. It’s measured as the percentage of people visiting your website but leaving immediately. The lower the percentage, the better.

If you have a Photoswarm Pro photo portfolio, using Google Analytics, you can track what the bounce rate is on your website so you can then fix pages making a bad first impression. It’s a fantastic tool which is vital in determining how many people are leaving your shop straight away. Start using it today.


Don’t agree or believe this doesn’t apply to you? Let us know in the comments below.


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