Monday, February 16, 2009

Your Portfolio: What you need to know.

Your portfolio speaks volumes about your photography and should be designed to sell your work, your vision, and most importantly, your photography/s. There are a few things that you should keep in mind.

  • You portfolio should be a cohesive body of work that shows your most recent work. You don't necessarily want to be showing photographs you made 5 or even 10 years ago. Even as little as 2 years ago. Your growth as a photographer and artist tends to change and evolve as you learn new processes. So keeping your most current work and projects in your portfolio is a good idea.
  • Do not be repetitive. Time and time again I see the work of other photographers that have a repetitive image in their portfolio. By this I mean they have a series of photographs that look the same. A portfolio is supposed to contain a cohesive body of work that shows your attributes and shows the strongest images you make. Having a group of images that all look the same isn't a cohesive portfolio. There needs to be a little bit of diversity in your portfolio. You need to show your style, not necessarily the same images. This may seem to be a little bit of a challenge. If you find it a little difficult to create or update your portfolio, the best and most helpful thing you can do is seek out the help of professional or and educator in the industry. Finding a mentor is also a very helpful idea. They can assist you by looking at your work and giving you the best advice possible on which images you should use.
  • A strong portfolio should consist of 15-20 photographs. Anything more and it becomes a little time consuming to view all the work. It will also help you in controlling the potential repetitiveness that can occur.
  • Sometimes having a few portfolios is also a good idea. You might have a lot of diversity that could be separated into smaller portfolios. This is a good idea to implement if you are setting up a website and want to have a few portfolios or galleries listed. Always keep in mind, your portfolio is designed to be put in front of an audience. You don't want to be putting weak images into the eyes of potential clients.
  • Once your portfolio is constructed the next and some what daunting task is to get it out there for people, clients, and the world to see. It is essential to have some sort of web presence now a days. Even if it is a Flickr account, a simple blog, or a full on website that was designed by a web/graphic designer, you need to be able to pull up your portfolio on command and show it to people when its requested. Even a little shameless self promotion never hurt. Simple emails introducing your self and your work is always a good idea.
So get out there and start putting your work together into a cohesive portfolio. Keep these ideas in mind when you are mulling over your photographs. Good luck!

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