These past weeks I have being working hard on my portfolio. I still think is soon to get into business or something like that, but I am already asking to assist photographers and looking for TFCD models to get more workflow and practice more often, which is something I desperatly seek most of the time, to be honest. And there’s nothing better than a portfolio to show you’re going for it, show your work and your ideas and give some insights of you and how you feel and work your photography.
1. Portfolio, what is it?
When people talk about it and specifically in this context we talk about portfolio as a series of pictures, drawings, or videos that portraits someone’s best work. A portfolio is basically a collection of the work you can produce, you’re proud of and you want to show to the world!
You can do it on the old fashion way, print your photographs and get them all together on a book, or you can do it in the new technology way, which is basically making your portfolio and online one, or… you can do both! Depending on what your goal for it is.
2. And what is it for?
As I’ve said before, a portfolio is the place where you show your best work and you put it and yourself out there. You are going to need it to show what you’re capable of doing, and in plus if you think to apply to some jobs, try to pick up some gigs, work with some models, and evolve on this and take it a little bit more seriously, you’re so going to need one (if you’re just doing it as a hobby you don’t need to do this necessarily)
It helps to get you work, you will be able to submit it to open positions, show it to editors, have it on your site, linked it to new models, or projects… it will totally help you to reach new audiences and have a broadcast place for your work.
In my case, I want to be able to contact new models and start working with people that aren’t friends to develop my senior portraits skills, and also my directing skills, and I want to set a part of my portfolio to my landscaping photography, as at this point I just want my portfolio to be a collection of what I can do, with no specific purpose, more than that, getting my work out there.
But if I wanted to be a wedding photographer and get more weddings, I would set up a portfolio specific of that topic with my best work on it and show it to bridal shops, for example. If I wanted to be a photojournalist, I would make an specific photojournalism portfolio, just with those pictures and submit it to news papers. And that’s what you do with your portfolio basically.
3. Ok, I am in, so how do I do this?
First of all, you should pick up a theme, a reason why you’re starting your portfolio and what is its purpose. As I’ve said before, if you have a specific reason, stick to that, don’t put your dog’s pictures if you’re aiming to work as a food photographer, don’t add your amazing landscapes if you want to shoot weddings, stick to the theme and the topic. In case you don’t have a specific one, well, just do what I did and roll with it, see what are the things you like to shoot and make different albums for that, you’ll have different types of photography, but you have to make sure to organize them into topics, instead of having full mayhem over your portfolio.
The second thing you’d pay attention to is the style, both your portfolio and your photography. Lets talk photography first, if you’re doing a black and white or a sepia portfolio you must be aware that you’ll have to keep up with that during the whole thing (unless is an specific album of black and white photography) and that you shouldn’t put some black and whites, and some colors as it’ll look inconsistent and random, and that’s pretty much not appreciated. When talking about general style, I mean colors and fonts, you’d pay attention to your font selection and make it coherent and nice through the whole page, as well as the color, use color palletes that are complimentary and match.
Now we have the style and the main look of our portfolio lets get down to the important thing: your amazingly beautiful photographs!
For me this was the hardest part of the whole process to be honest. They say your portfolio shouldn’t content more than between 15 to 25 photographs, that those should be your best of all photographs, which was really hard to judge to me, also another reason I need to keep practicing is to get more variety on my pictures. When you pick them up, you’re up to choose the ones you consider your best, the ones that you’re fond of, the ones that tell you something and make you feel stuff and get butterflies on your stomach, those that make you specially proud. Also, you shouldn’t put pictures that look alike or from the same session, for example, I have great shots from my last photoshoot, and I actually have put two of them in my portfolio (may change that over time) and that might not be the smartest move, as it looks kinda lazy, repetitive and with lack of variety, and your portfolio should be always astounding to the viewer.
4. Is that it?
Yes, that’s basically it. Now is your turn, you’d give it a try and see what happens there. If you’re starting and you just want to put yourself out there, as I do and make it public but you’re not a pro and you don’t have much to invest, and you don’t know about how to build a site and so, I am currently using the Defrozo site for it, you can use it for free, and is a specific platform for photography portfolios which is cool, sometimes is hard to figure out how things work, but you can always come around them, or ask them to help you contacting their support and help department.
Also if you need some ideas to create your portfolio, you can find this Digital photography school post useful, it’s pretty much a list with a collection of cool portfolios so you can grab ideas, or simply go around to enjoy incredible photographs.
What about you? Do you have your portfolio already? Are you building it up now? Let me know all about it on the comments, and as always if you’ve any doubts, I am more than glad to help!