Daniela Bowker over at DIY Photography is giving us her best tips on what you need to create an interesting and convincing portfolio.
Whether you’re a beginner working on an online portfolio, or a professional making a bound copy for presentation, these things need to be taken into consideration. If you have a great tip of your own, we’d love to hear what it is!
HOW MANY IMAGES?
Reasonably, no one was prepared to set down a firm number of images to include in a portfolio. The general consensus was, though, that fewer is better than many. Remember, it’s very easy to become ‘image-blind’, so making a strong statement with a precisely curated selection of images is going to be far more effective than boring a potential client with a wall of photos.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SHOOT?
This question was repeated again and again by lots of different people. The idea behind it is that you should use your portfolio as a platform to secure the kinds of commissions that you want to shoot. If your portfolio is a collection of portraits when what you really want to pursue is travel photography, it won’t inspire a commissioning editor to hire you. She or he isn’t going to be convinced that you can deliver what’s needed, however delicious your portraits are. Use your portfolio as a representation of your goals, so that you can go forth and attain them.
YOU NEED TO BALANCE CONSISTENCY WITH VARIETY
I touched on this idea in the point about projecting your style and brand, so let’s consider it in a little more depth. Whatever your genre, your portfolio needs to be a dazzling collection that displays your capabilities. This means that while they are all stamped with your brand and are identifiably yours, they have a variety about them which conveys your talent and means that your audience doesn’t get bored.
If you’re a travel photographer, you want a portfolio that includes people and food as well as a landscapes and monuments. A wedding photographer’s portfolio shouldn’t be just bridal couples shot at eye-level. Give your clients the full experience: old and young; up high and down low; sunny and overcast; romantic and fun. Your client needs to feel confident that whatever the situation or conditions, you can deliver.
Here’s an extra tip that I think may actually be the most important one.
REMEMBER: YOUR PORTFOLIO IS A LIVE DOCUMENT
Your portfolio is never going to be the finished article. It will bend and change and develop as you grow and explore and progress. As much as you might think that you’ve created the perfect portfolio, in six months’ time, a year’s time, it will need to be reassessed, culled, and reconstructed.
Source: DIY Photography