When you’re putting together your portfolio, the only images you’ll need are those of your work, right? Well, not necessarily.
These days, many creative roles – from UI/UX designer to web developer to digital director – are more about designing human interactions than making pretty pictures. Using high quality imagery from a library like iStock by Getty Images can be a great way to balance this visually, while conveying your skills effectively to employers and clients.
Of course, you could just explain your tech smarts on the ‘About me’ page of your portfolio. But if you want to make an impact, as the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. And the right hero image can grab attention and speak volumes.
Whether you’re looking for freelance work or a new job, this post will explain how to find the right images to sell yourself via your portfolio, as someone able to deliver on the digital demands of today’s design world.
01. Mobile innovation (opens in new tab)
These days, it’s usual for every commercial design project to have a strong mobile element, and skills and experience in this area are very much in demand. If that’s something you can provide, a suitable image on your portfolio can help you get this across instantly and easily.
The photo shown above could work well, for example, as a hero image on the portfolio of a web developer specialising in online payments.
Using multiple search terms will help you find imagery associated with your area of expertise on iStock by Getty Images more quickly. For example, combine hardware-related words, such as ‘mobile’, ‘tablet’ and ‘smartphone’, with relevant terms like ‘navigation’, ‘payment’, ‘banking’, ‘gaming’ and ‘medicine’, to help you find the perfect image for your portfolio.
02. Internet of Things (opens in new tab)
Once, the internet just linked computers to each other. Nowadays more and more things are becoming connected to the web; not just smartphones but smart cars, smart lights, smart packaging, and more besides.
If you have knowledge and experience of working with the Internet of Things, it’s something you definitely need to flag up on your portfolio site, and the right imagery can help enormously. The image shown above could work well, for example, as a background image on the portfolio of a UI designer working in the ‘smart homes’ space.
To find the right image on iStock by Getty Images to convey your skillset, combine techie terms like ‘web’, ‘network’ and ‘smart’ with relevant keywords like ‘car’, ‘home’, ‘kitchen’ or ‘exercise’.
03. Virtual reality (opens in new tab)
We’ve written a lot about VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) on Creative Bloq recently, and for good reason. It’s going to be central to the work of all kinds of creative work, from graphic to web design, film-making to branding.
In fact, there’s already a huge demand for VR and AR skills across the creative industries. If you have something to offer in this sphere, you certainly need to be drawing people’s attention to it on your portfolio. The abstract scene shown above, for example, could work well as a loading image on the portfolio of a web designer focused on web VR.
If you’re searching iStock by Getty Images for an image that makes the theme obvious, ‘VR headset’ will bring up a great range to choose from. If you want to be more specific, then try combining multiple search terms, such as ‘VR + travel’ or ‘VR + education’.
04. Social media expertise (opens in new tab)
When it comes to branding, the 2010s have been all about the shift from old media to social media, and candidates with experience of designing for social media are going to be ahead of the game in many creative professions.
If that applies to you, you need to think about how your portfolio can tell that story in the most effective way. The fresh and fun image shown above, for example, could work well as a background image on the portfolio of a marketing professional with a background in social media planning and analytics.
You’d get literally thousands of image results just by searching iStock by Getty Images for ‘social media’. So narrow your search down by adding keywords for the context you’re trying to portray (eg ‘youth’ or ‘business’), as well as the specific platform where relevant (e.g. ‘Instagram’ or ‘Facebook’).
05. Future thinking (opens in new tab)
Even if you don’t have skills and experience in the specific tech spheres we’ve mentioned, you may want your portfolio to portray more generally that your design work is digitally focused. That could be achieved using more broadly tech-focused imagery, which evokes a wider sense that you’re ahead of the curve on tech issues.
The image of Shanghai shown above, for example, could work well on the portfolio of a designer who’s worked mainly in globally focused, digital design studios.
When trying to find the image that suits your portfolio best on iStock by Getty Images, consider combining broad terms such as ‘innovation’, ‘technology’ and ‘digital’ with your specific areas of interest, such as ‘medicine’ or ‘sports’.
Find the right images
If you’re looking for the perfect image to complete your portfolio, iStock by Getty Images is the place to visit. You’ll be able to search millions of premium illustrations, vectors, photos and videos at ridiculously low prices, making it easy to find the imagery you need to make your portfolio stand out. Visit iStock by Getty Images (opens in new tab) today!