How to Take High-Quality Portfolio Screenshots

Post by
Andrew Pierno
How to Take High-Quality Portfolio Screenshots

Whether you’re a web developer, a designer, or any other creative who needs to put their best visual foot forward to land clients, you’ll need to showcase your skills. And when it comes to putting your money where your mouth is, there’s nothing like a portfolio.

Today, we’ll show you how to take high-quality screenshots for your portfolio to show your previous work. 

What Should Your Portfolio Include?

Let’s recap the basics. Your portfolio should include the following:

  • Your portfolio page or website should have a clean and modern homepage that lets you immediately capture possible employers’ attention.
  • It should also include a skills page that describes your expertise.
  • Don’t forget about the projects page showing your previous efforts (and, ideally, results).

This projects page is where high-quality screenshots come in. They allow you to give prospective employers or customers a visual representation of the work you’ve done before. In turn, they can assess your skills and determine if you’re the right fit for the job.

What Makes a High-Quality Screenshot?

Now that we’ve seen the vital role screenshots could play in your portfolio, the next question we have to consider is: what makes a high-quality screenshot?

Firstly, one of the most important factors influencing image quality is the screenshot’s pixels per inch (PPI). Generally, the higher the PPI, the better the image’s quality. This is because a higher PPI means a higher pixel density, which, in turn, results in more information captured in the picture. 

For laptop and computer screens, where your portfolio will be viewed most of the time, a higher PPI typically also means a higher resolution. And speaking of the resolution, images that are scaled up will be of lower quality. 

Star Wars Pixel Art - Ideas and designs to inspire you
Pixel art is cool, but pixelated screenshots are decidedly not. / Source: PixelArt

For example, if you take a screenshot with a resolution of 1280x720 and scale it up to 1920x1080, the image’s quality will degrade significantly.  

The next important aspect of image quality is the file format. Here, you’ll typically choose between two formats – JPEG or PNG. 

PNG, also known as a lossless format, provides the highest quality, so the screenshots on your portfolio will look better. (Keep in mind, however, that the file sizes will be larger when using PNG files.)  

Finally, the size of the screenshot also influences quality. You’ll ideally take a full-page screenshot to capture the entire webpage and not only the portion displaying on-screen. This is especially relevant nowadays when scrolling web pages are becoming increasingly popular. 

Options for Taking High-Quality Screenshots

You have a few options when you’d like to take high-quality screenshots for your portfolio. 

Built-In Tools

One of the quickest ways to take high-quality screenshots for your portfolio is by using your operating system’s built-in screenshot tool. Both Mac and Windows have this feature, and it’s often as easy as clicking a few buttons to take a screenshot. 

However, while this option is quite simple, it does have some limitations. 

For example, you’ll likely only be able to take a screenshot of what is displayed on your screen. As such, you won’t be able to take full-page screenshots of scrolling websites. 

Also, when using this method, you’ll be limited by your screen resolution

Online Tools

Your second option would be to use one of the many online screenshot tools

Here, you’ll typically copy and paste the website’s URL into the tool, which will then take a screenshot of the website. These tools give you more granular control over the quality of your screenshots. For instance, you can control the image’s resolution, file format, size, and scale with many of these tools.

Unfortunately, like the first option, this method does have some drawbacks. For one, if you’d like to include many screenshots in your portfolio, it could become quite tedious, as you’ll have to copy and paste every URL manually. Moreover, you’ll have to pay a fee to use many of these tools.

Web Browsers

Finally, you can also use your web browser to take quality screenshots for your portfolio. When you do, you’ll typically have a choice between your browser’s built-in tools or adding an extension that gives you screenshot functionality. 

Either way, it’s a largely manual process. And because you’ll have to go to each URL separately, it could become quite tedious, like the second option mentioned above. 

A Simpler Way to Take High-Quality Portfolio Screenshots?

While the methods mentioned above can all effectively capture high-quality screenshots for your portfolio, they have some drawbacks. 

Luckily, there is a simpler way! 

Use ScreenshotAPI’s Query Builder to get more control over the quality of your screenshots than any of the other options mentioned earlier. 

Here are the steps to take high-quality screenshots using ScreenshotAPI:

  1. Log into your ScreenshotAPI account and click on Query Builder in the menu. You can get started for free if you don’t have an account. 
how to build a screenshot api query
  1. Paste the website’s URL in the text box.
how to get high-quality portfolio screenshots
  1. Specify the resolution for the screenshot and select the Full page screenshot option to take a screenshot of the entire website. 
how to get high-res screenshots
  1. Click Show Advanced Options and select the image output option.
how to adjust screenshotapi output
  1. Specify PNG as the file type. 
how to take high-quality png screenshots
  1. Click Take Screenshot to take the screenshot. 
taking screenshots with screenshotapi

Apart from these options, ScreenshotAPI also offers advanced features like

And more! It even makes it simple to integrate the API with the rest of your stack, unlocking use cases like automatically monitoring competitor pricing.

As Mohit Khanna, web developer and owner at Applestreet, explains:

“The screenshots are perfect, and I really appreciate the quality of the image. I've hosted my project on my portfolio with the ScreenshotAPI screenshots as my portfolio images.” 

If you’d like to know more about ScreenshotAPI, all its features, and how it can help you, get started with your free trial today.