05 Sep How to make a photography portfolio?
The photography portfolio is the true letter of introduction of every professional photographer. The correct choice of photos for your portfolio is as important as it is difficult. We will explore some tips that you can use to select the correct images that you will know how to make a photography portfolio. Take advantage of new technologies. Go ahead and publish your portfolio in digital format on your professional website to increase your job opportunities. Put it to the test. Show your portfolio to family, friends, and other professional photographers to improve it with their contributions.
How to make a photography portfolio
Before starting to make a photography portfolio, it is important to pay attention to its planning. You must think about where your search strategy and attracting clients or companies you want to work on will be focused. You should also think about the structure and the type of photos you want to include in your portfolio.
This is my list of tips to make a photography portfolio:
Design a creative and impressive Cover. This design is essential to be able to attract the attention of your ideal clients. You must select the photo that you like the most or that best defines your photographic style and put it as the cover photo.
Information and update. It is important to include some information about the photos, such as the date and place of capture, its resolution, names of models and collaborators, etc. And of course, you should keep your photo portfolio updated at all times to show your commitment and dynamism.
Include your projects. Never ever include photos of other photographers in your portfolio. This is a lack of respect in addition to being able to be incurred in legal faults.
Include your contact details: This seems like a no-brainer, but many photographers forget to put their contact details in the portfolio.
Be selective. I will develop this section in detail later. But keep in mind that you shouldn’t include more than 6 pieces in each style.
How to select photos for photography portfolio?
- Who are you selecting the images for?
Understand the needs of your ideal client. This will be key and will help you during the process of selecting images for your photo book.
It seems silly, but it is not. This is a very common problem when a photographer tries to promote multiple photographic specialties on the same website.
I give you an example. Think that your boyfriends interested in wedding photography are rarely interested in your nature or architecture photos, for example.
So first, clearly define your target audience and your unique value proposition. Then consider the possibility of having a single website or several photography websites and then you can start selecting the images for your photography portfolio.
- Review your Image Archive and make an Initial Selection.
Choose all the photos that you think are candidates to be part of your precious portfolio. Don’t be shy at this stage and don’t be afraid because you will later filter this set of images.
Don’t save photo links to a text file. Collect all the photos in a folder on your computer desktop, in an Adobe Lightroom album or a private gallery on your website (so you can easily compare all the photos more visually)
Tip: If you already have a public website with photos, try looking at your website’s statistics to find the most viewed images or those that have sold the most. They are probably photos that you should choose to include in your photography portfolio.
Without losing that focus with your target audience, you can show various photos that show: different depths of field, colors, compositions, frames, etc.
- Try to get emotionally away from the process.
Why? Because once you’ve made that initial selection of images, it will be time to do a screening. Do nothing for a few days! Be patient and try to clear your mind. This will help you to think more objectively and coolly. Don’t worry if your subconscious keeps working hard to select images. It is normal.
- Get feedback from people you trust.
Even if you are a very experienced photographer, it will be difficult for you to objectively judge your own photos. This happens because every time you create something, you become emotionally attached to it and that can skew your perceptions. The same thing happens to writers with their literary works.
Therefore, getting the most opinions from third parties is vital. Try asking family members, colleagues trusted friends, and even family members. Everyone can help you and will contribute their point of view.
You can create a test gallery where all your photos can be individually rated. If you see it necessary, they can do it anonymously and privately if they want.
Ask them to also indicate:
Their favorite photos and that they tell you why they are. The 3 photos you should take from your portfolio and why. And with all this information, collect all the comments, ratings, and scores and check if any pattern is repeated.
Maybe some photos get a lot of praise even though you don’t consider them so special. Or maybe some photos you should discard even though you are very emotionally attached to them for some reason.
This is the clarity and focus of this exercise can bring you! It is good to consider the opinions of third parties but remember that the decision and final selection and responsibility will always be yours.
- Choose the best photos for your Photography Portfolio
Now is the time to make the tough decisions and choose the best photos for your photography portfolio. With the help of the comments received, and with a clear mind after stepping away from the photos for a few days, you should be able to make a thoughtful, objective, conscientious and intelligent selection.
Don’t be afraid to discard photos. Always think about the quality and not quantity. If you cannot impress your clients with 10 or 20 photos, you never will be. Each photo you select must be special, must tell something, must demonstrate your ability, must have a surprise factor and be technically perfect.
And don’t forget to group all the photos into galleries separated by theme. For example, weddings in one category and babies in another because photos can’t tell a good story if they don’t go together.
Creating a printed photo portfolio with your best photos or a slide (photo carousel) located on your website’s home page requires a lot of work. But it is one of the most important tools that photographers have to show their talent, personality and style behind the camera.
Either because you are creating a printed photo portfolio for your potential clients or simply trying to create a good photo gallery for your photography website’s slide.
- First, you work hard to create quality images.
- Second, you filter your photos as well as possible (and then reduce their number again)
- Third, you put the images in the photo portfolio/web slide.
But this last pass is the one most often neglected by photographers. And is that the order of the images/photos is much more important than it may seem a priori.
Why worry about the order of the images?
Properly ordering your images can help capture the viewer’s attention and make a better impression. You can also end up on a high note and high-interest rate, leaving them wanting to see more of your content.
Sorting your images also forces you to objectively rate it and prioritize your most recent work, rather than simply adding images to the bottom of your slide/photo portfolio (where fewer people will see them). Organizing images in a sequence will help you eliminate the superfluous and focus on the essentials.