tips for portfolio photography
What is a photography portfolio
. A portfolio is a concise collection of your photos created to show people your best work. Its purpose is usually to get a photography gig. Whether you want to do weddings, portraits, commercial jobs, or to work for an environmental group to save a piece of the earth, a portfolio is the tool that shows a customer your capabilities.
Why should you have a photography portfolio
. Youandre standing at a fall festival, watching your kids decorate their pumpkins, and you strike up a conversation with another parent. You find out that this person is an art editor at your favorite magazine and youandd love to do some work for them. You try to convince her that youandre a great photographer but you see her eyes glaze over because sheands heard this a thousand times, and she just wants to watch her kids. You tell stories about
What should be in a photography portfolio
. Some experts say that a portfolio is a printed presentation of your best work until now, showing the breadth of your skills. Some say a portfolio should be tailored to the customer youandre approaching. If your portfolio is a traditional folder of printed photographs, it will be much less dynamic than an online gallery could be. If youandre just starting out, youandll want to add your latest great stuff often, so choose a medium thatands easy to
What kind of pictures should you include in your portfolio
. Pick a theme. Thereands nothing more jarring than seeing a crisp black and white architectural shot next to a soft, dreamy, pastel bridal portrait. If you can do both styles, separate them in your portfolio. A theme could be
How many pictures and what should you include in your portfolio
. Hereands the killer: your portfolio should contain only 8 to 12 pictures. Photo buyers are busy people. The worst thing you can do is to swamp them with photos that are redundant. You might be the best rose photographer in the world, but showing 35 pictures of roses will mark you as an amateur. Think first: What are you good at? I am good at landscapes, architecture, and flowers, and I can come up with a few decent people pictures. My portfolio w
How do you get images for a portfolio
. Shoot free and shoot cheap. Many of the images in a wedding portfolio are still life pictures that can be created without a wedding. Get some flowers and practice macro photography. Shoot your own wedding ring. Create evocative portraits of family members and friends. Practice using different styles photojournalism, romantic, fun. Photograph local buildings to illustrate that you can do architecture. I recently viewed the website of a photograp
Who will look at your portfolio
. Well, no one. Portfolios donandt go out and find people. The fact that you have created a stunning showcase of your work wonandt bring in one customer. You can create keywords or tags, title your images to maximize web search results, and tell all your friends to go look at your new site. But finding people to look at your portfolio is your next job. Print some business cards and go network with buyers. Develop an e mail list and send monthly new
Donandts for Photography Portfolios
. Donandt include redundant images. If you have only rose pictures, you may not be ready to work with a paying customer. Or find a gardening magazine and take some pictures of gardening tools, gloves, and an overview of its design to give your collection some variety. Donandt get bogged down trying to find your 8 best images of all time. You can re do it next year. Donandt wait until you have the ultimate portfolio. If youandre reading this, you ne
How to Create a Photography Portfolio
. Photographers develop their art and their craft to create outstanding photographs worthy of capturing a share of a lucrative market. Photographers will benefit by learning how to create a photography portfolio in order to market their work. Dedicated photographers often have a collection of photographs before they contemplate entering the commercial market, and this collection is a great starting place.
Examine the work of the great photographers at the local library
. Ansel Adams and Eugene Smith produced dissimilar images using similar skills and techniques. Their portfolios are accessible and educational. Adams focused on landscapes while Smith was a photojournalist, but their collections contain commercial quality images, which are inspirational and instructive. Check out the work of photographers currently producing commercial quality images. Adams and Smith produced their work years ago, but the most rece
Define the purpose of your portfolio and study how to create a photography portfolio for that purpose
. Photographers might choose to assemble their work in a portfolio to share with friends and family, while another photographer plans to use the photographs as the sole means of support.
Choose an appropriate carrier for the portfolio that can be assembled in a myriad of methods
. A bound book of selected works is a possibility as is a collection posted on a website. The target audience is the important consideration when choosing a carrier for the portfolio. Traditional artists may prefer printed images, while others might prefer the convenience of a website. Decide on the target audiences before you start if possible. This may save you time and money. Multiple portfolios will require multiple prints. Photographs are easi
Assemble existent photographs in the chosen format and take stock of your product
. Assemble existent photographs in the chosen format and take stock of your product.
Photograph the subjects that are necessary for addition to existent collection to possess a great portfolio
. Choose the perfect number of photographs for inclusion in your portfolio. Make sure that the work prepared for presentation is an outstanding showcase of your skill as an artist and a craftsman. A limited number of photographs may not show the depth of your talent, while too many photographs might distract from the best of your collection.
Display or share the perfected portfolio depending on your objectives
. Market, display or share the perfected portfolio depending on your objectives.
Easy Steps On How To Create A Good Photography Portfolio
. Creating a showcase of photographs is not an easy task and most of the time the photographers have basic or no knowledge of design at all. Moreover, creating such a portfolio in which the images have to be in focus is a tricky task and even the more experienced designers might fail providing a good layout, therefore I thought of sharing with you a list of tips for designing photography portfolios.
Think of your target
. Yes, youandve heard this before so many times and I know it annoys you. It is so simple to just overlook it and why not do it? In the end all of us want as many clients as possible and donandt want to make our audience narrow. Well, I tend not to agree with you, and I would suggest you to think seriously about who you want to work with. A good example is a wedding photographer this page would be totally different from the one of a roadshow
Think of the number of images
. You have to do this because most of the layouts look good with a small number of pictures uploaded, but how will it look when you will have an odd number of pictures to show? There needs to be a balance between the number of pictures on the page and the negative space you leave between or around them. If you have many pictures, consider using pagination or categories to separate them and do it for the sake of the user. Donandt forget that they
Make the images stand out
. When I say this, I usually mean keeping a high contrast between the pictures and the background; and I usually recommend having black as background, because there is most of the time more contrast than when viewing the showcase on white. This tip is good for bringing out the contrast of the photos and it is also a good idea to try to look at the pictures on different backgrounds, so that you make the best out of them.
Consider the quality
. When I visit a photography portfolio or even a showcase, I expect all the time to be able to see the pictures in full size if I click on them and it would better be huge. I want the pictures to look good and fit my screen if I would like to have it as a desktop background. And not only about this but if I want to see all the details, I canandt do it properly on a small picture. To avoid keeping the visitors wait too much, have two versions
. According to official statistics, less than 1% of the internet users have 800?600 displays. However, this does not mean 800?600 is the smallest resolution you have to design for think of mobile devices as well. It is not highly probable that a potential client will want to use his bandwidth with your pictures, but what if they are on a wireless connection? This means you have to think about all the possible resolutions.
Show only the best work
. This is also for the web designers, not only for photographers. It is always good to make a point fast and then let the visitor make a decision the World is moving fast and we donandt have time to view all the crap work people have done. Therefore only show the top notch work and let the potential client move on, if he wants to. Donandt keep him tight he will leave without seeing every piece of your work anyway. Is is also a good idea to o
Describe the photos
. When potential clients look at pictures, they want to know who it is they are looking at. They might also want to hire one of the models, which is not a bad thing either. Write short notes about each one of your pictures and let the client know what is he looking at. It is also much more important to give each picture a short description than a title. Naming the tools youandve used for shooting and post processing might be a good idea too.
Emphasize the contact information
. Sure, the most important thing is to show your work, but how does this help if you do not get clients? It is important to lead the visitor to your contact page if possible, otherwise always make it clear that he can contact you right away. Having the e mail address in the footer might work too, but it depends a lot on your layout. It is entirely your decision which information you give out, but I would also show them I am present and active on so
Ask for feedback
. I never release a website before asking for feedback it is just in the manual. Always ask the others experts or not about their opinion on how your site looks. It is really important to know what the others think, especially because after hours and hours of looking and analyzing your portfolio, you do not notice the small details anymore and this is crucial. Never release a website before asking people for opinions.
Keep it dynamic
. By this I mean that you have to keep your portfolio updated. It is not difficult to do this anymore thanks to the bunch of tools we have at our disposal. Nobody wants to see a good photographer not uploading his latest work and potential clients do not enjoy this for sure. Never replace old strong images with bad ones. Donandt forget about tip 6, showing only the best work.
What Is It For
. A portfolio is an opportunity for you to present your work, but it is important to consider what the portfolio is for. Are you taking it to a job interview, or are you looking to get your work exhibited at a gallery? Maybe you just want to bring your work together to present it? Whatever the reason, it is vital that you create your portfolio with this in mind. A job interview might require you to display a variety of skills and techniques, where
. Once youve decided your intentions for your portfolio, you need to consider the audience youre looking to reach. Try to consider what reaction you want to evoke do you want them to be pleased, surprised, shocked? Not everyone is going to want to see your favourite landscape shot or generic shots that they see day in day out, so do you best to make your shots stand out and get the reaction you want.
Paper vs Digital
. At this point you need to decide what format you portfolio is presented in. In the past, everything was on paper, but technology has introduced the option of presenting your portfolio on a PDF, JPEGs or through an online medium. Being able to email a link to your portfolio through to potential employers is obviously extremely convenient. I would argue that the process and final product of a beautifully printed out paper portfolio far outweighs t
Style and Design
. Its now time to consider the style and design of your portfolio. Youll need a folder or portfolio case to hold it all in, but before you head out to buy something, consider what size your want your printed out shots to be. I would recommend something fairly large maybe 20x30cm or about A4. You then need to select the paper to print on and the print quality, preferably as high as you can afford. This said, remember there are no restrictions on
. Next youll want to consider what theme or style you want your portfolio to have. This will depend upon your audience. For a job taking portraits, you should only include your portrait work. You could have a collection of black and white or sepia work, a set of shots taken with a specific camera format or a collection of shots from a specific time period or geographical region. If you are looking to mix up types and styles of shots, make sure you
Choosing the Shots
. The most difficult part of creating a portfolio is selecting the shots. Theres always a huge temptation to just select your favourites, but a photographer isnt always the best judge of their own work as they take into consideration the setting, effort and editing taken to create the shot. Try to get some help from someone whose judgement you trust and will be impartial. Id suggest aiming to end up with a set of 20 30 shots, but start with maybe
. The presentation of the shots is vital to the reaction from viewers. A badly presented collection of great photographs just wont do them justice and youll come away disappointed. Think carefully about how to enhance the images through presentation techniques, borders and the colour of the backing sheet. Its also important to consider the order of the shots, whether they are arranged chronologically or to create a particular mood. When choosing a
. Once youve got the shot layout sorted, you need to consider what other elements you might want to include in your portfolio. Its totally up to you, but things to consider are. An artistic statement outlining your concept or theme and personal information A list of shots included Titles for shots and a brief explanation Date location of shot A thumbnail contact sheet You may feel that you want the shots to do all the talking, or it might be nec
What Do I Do Now
. Try not to be tempted to add to your portfolio once its finished. Youll always take better shots in the future, but Id suggest that a portfolio is a collection of what youve done, and adding to it will spoil the continuity and thought that youve put into collating it. Now its time to show your portfolio to the world. Share it with family and friends and get some feedback, which may give you a chance to practice talking about your work in prepara
Consider Your Target Demographic
. Your portfolio needs to reflect your target demographic, whether it is a couple looking for a wedding shoot, or an agency looking for a commercial shoot. If your portfolio gives off the wrong image, you wont attract any of the clients you want. Think of a wedding photographers portfolio, typically white, clean, and easy to use. This is suited towards the target demographic of a wedding photographer: typically younger couples sometimes females ar
Sketch Out a Layout
. Sketching out a layout before you even touch the mouse is a common practice amongst web designers, and it should be no different for your portfolio. The reason why I found sketching to be helpful is so that I dont lose focus of what my intentions are. If we think back to Tip 1, we want our portfolio to be targeted specifically to our demographic. This includes colors, layout, navigation, icons, typography, everything. If you sketch out your idea
Add Support for Dynamic Content
. When sketching your site, remember to add support for dynamic content. Imagine you decide you want to pull your Flickr feed to your portfolio. Well sure it looks good when theres 12 photos, but what about when theres 21 or 36? How will your portfolio look with an odd number of images compared to an even number, like you sketched it out to look like? These are the type of questions you have to ask yourself as you sketch out your layout. How can I
Try to Keep the Contrast High
. Depending on the style of photography, images usually look a lot better when you view them on a black background. This is typically because there is more contrast than when viewing against white. Contrast helps bring out the colors of the photo, which in turn, makes the image appear more vivid and stunning. If you do any type of sports, commercial, HDR, nature or portrait photography, try viewing your work on black and then on white and see which
Only Use High Resolution Images
. When a potential client goes to your view your portfolio, they expect to see high resolution, professional looking images. So give them that Dont display full size images at 300px by 300px. The viewer is there to see your work at its greatest quality, not a low quality optimized for bandwidth. When you consider your target demographic, chances are high that they are located near you. By now, most of us have high speed cable or DSL connections, s
Narrow Down Your Choices of Images
. Although you may have a large collection of images you wish to share in your portfolio, try to limit your selection to the stronger pieces. Too many images in your portfolio can increase load times, and provide the viewer with too many options. It can make your portfolio feel like it is dragging on and on. If you limit your selection, the viewer sees only the strongest of images, and if they are interested in seeing more, they can get in touch wi
Strategically Order Your Photos
. When tasked with writing a literal essay, you organize your points in strategic order. You put the strongest points at either the beginning or the end of the essay and the leave the weaker points in the middle. By placing the strongest points at the beginning, you instantly draw in the viewer and grab their attention. By placing the stronger points at the end of the essay, you end on a high note, leaving the viewer with some strong points they wo
Protect Your Work
. With todays technology, no matter how hard you try to protect your images, somebody, somewhere, can steal a copy. You can try disabling right click, or put all your images as background images, and hope your users arent tech capable; but that will never work. The only way to truly protect your photos is to embed watermarks on them. By embedding watermarks into the jpgs, if thieves steal your work, the watermark will always be there. The larger th
Provide Details with Each Photo
. Viewers like to know whom you shot for and who they are looking at. They could be really interested in your fashion photography and theyd love to hire you and one of the models youve shot before to work together again. If you find it adequate to provide a little information about each photo, go for it You dont have to give every piece a title, but a one sentence description of who the company you shot for is or who the model is or maybe what too
Rethink Your Navigation
. When searching the web to find examples of photography portfolios, I often found sites that included thumbnails of each image and next prev arrows to navigate forward and backward in the gallery. What I didnt find often, but came across more than I had expected was keyboard navigation, in addition to thumbnails and next prev arrows. The easier your site is for your viewer to navigate and get around, the happier they will be using your site. The h
Try to Limit Scrolling
. This tip contradicts tip 6, where I advised in using a large viewing area for your photos. The key is to either Find a balance between small screen vs large screen, or Use image resizing technology or use multiple sizes of the same image, depending on the viewers screen resolution. Its usually a good idea if you can limit the users scrolling, no matter what device resolution they are using. Adapt for smaller screens by rearranging the layout
Make it Easy for Your Users to Contact You
. Regardless of how good your work is, if your viewer cant get in touch with you, youre not getting any work. Its really simple for you to add contact details to your site. Whether its a contact page, a phone number on every page, or an email address in the footer, finding your contact information should be a breeze for your users. You can put whatever you want for your contact details, just make sure that whatever you do put, is correct. A simple
Get a Second Opinion
. Youve just spent a week designing your new portfolio and another week coding it. You launch your new site and announce it to the world only to receive a handful of negative feedback about the usability of your site. It turns out the site doesnt look too hot on 13 MacBooks because the resolution is nowhere near the resolution of your 27 iMac. Oops Looks like you should have done some testing. Not only that, but a second opinion would have been g
Dont Forget to Update
. Its currently 2011, and the technology we possess is sophisticated enough for anyone, and I mean anyone, to own and maintain a dynamic portfolio. Regardless of if you manage your portfolio with WordPress, or a Flash system or still stuck in static HTML, you should be updating your content. Users are used to seeing new content each and every time they visit a website. Weve grown out of seeing the same old stuff on every visit. This is the same fo
Shoot for free
. This is completely obvious, so if you havenandt thought of it, please knock yourself in the head with a hockey stick compliments of yours truly. When youandre working to build your portfolio, you need subjects to shoot. Chances are pretty good that youandre working to build said portfolio in hopes that you will be able to get more clients, meaning simply that you donandt necessarily have subjects knocking down your door at this point. So offer yo
Charge a minimal fee
. Once youandve started to get a little buzz around your work with all the probono jazz, start to charge a minimal fee. Youandll get to the point where youandre drowning in shoots because you are the right price.$0, and that is how youandll know itands time to charge. Be prepared to feel slightly uncomfortable at first accepting money for your services. I had an exceptionally hard time with this for a million reasons. Just remind yourself that youa
Do a hard edit
. Always, always, always edit down. This is the mistake I used to make. Iandd shoot like a bat outa hell, determined to get at least a handful of great shots from each sitting, then Iandd deliver nearly all the images to my client on a disk. Thus the hideoderous image framed on my friendands wall. The image was poorly lit, poorly composed and just plain YUCK. Itands an image that never should have seen the world beyond my computer. Remember that o
Keep files well organized
. Iandm a mom with 3 small boys yes, I had my third child a month after my first turned 3.you do the math, but no matter how you add it up it equals crazy. When youandve got kids to bathe, meals to prepare, homework to check, laundry to tackle, errands to run and clients to shoot, you have to work very hard to keep things in order. A fail proof system Iandve found for organizing my portfolio goes as follows: from each shoot, pull the images that y
Get an experts opinion then be prepared to throw it out
. Itands good to get another respected photographerands opinion for 2 reasons. 1. They can help you improve by telling you where your images may fall short. 2. They can help you gain confidence because they may see things in certain images that you did not. They may love what you didnandt allow yourself to for whatever reason. It goes back to that whole
What are some of the most common mistakes people make when putting together a portfolio
. The single most common mistake is including multiple images that are too similar images that were clearly shot at the same time and only slightly different. That is a very negative indicator of a photographers ability or willingness to evaluate their own work. Just as common is loading the front of the book with decent work, and padding the back of the book with mediocre work. Changing formats vertical horizontal and sizes is another faux pas.
What makes an image worthy of being in a portfolio
. Unless every person who sees it goes WOW, without needing to elaborate, it should not go into your portfolio. Unless it is consistent with the primary body of work for which you want to get hired, it should not go into your portfolio. Unless it is technically executed at a professional level of mastery, it should not go into your portfolio unless a deliberately rough style is something that you have been doing and exhibiting deliberately and co
Should you keep several different portfolios tailored to specific purposes
. One of the most common business mistakes is trying to show the world that you are a competent photographer. That will not help you; it is a given that anyone worthy of being hired to shoot professionally is competent. What you must excel at communicating with every tweet, image, Facebook post, newsletter, meeting, exhibition, and tear sheet is what makes you unique and different from every other perfectly competent photographer with a 20+ megapix
How often should your books be updated
. Not every day; as often as it takes to land the job. How often is not really the critical question; Is everything thats in my book consistent with my style, strong as individual images, and adding to the quality of the body of work as a whole? is a better question. Eliminate the weak images without mercy. Meanwhile, keep shooting, but beware nursing a limping project to death. Bringing a project to a close is as important as starting one. Explore
How important is a strong ending
. Do not put weak images in the back of the book, ever. Leave us with the memory of a great image; do not make us turn back to the cover image because the last image cast so much doubt on your whole portfolio that we suddenly feel like we were wrong to be optimistic based on the front of your book. What is the appropriate size for a portfolio? How much does it vary depending on purpose? Not so huge that handling it is a back breaker, but big enoug
What are the benefits of a print portfolio vs a digital one
. Every editor I know still says that the print is the final product of photography, and Ive heard most have them mumble something like If I see one more iPad portfolio, Im gonna throttle someone Electronic images and the internet are convenient, but to some, they are not beautiful. They are not organic, and you cant touch and hold them and put them on your shelf because you love the cool little Chinese puzzle box that unfolds like a treasure on y