Copyright Scott Bourne 2009 - All Rights Reserved

It’s right up there with “What camera should I buy?” People constantly ask me questions about their portfolio. How many images? What sort of pictures? What type of presentation?

Unfortunately, there’s no EASY button to press that will yield you the perfect portfolio. You may actually have to put some thought into it :)

Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Specialize. Have a theme. Don’t put 30 photos into your portfolio representing 10 different kinds of photography. Best case, pick one type of photography to showcase. Next case, pick no more than two or three types.

2. Have a story. Have a voice. Have something to say. If your work “speaks” to people, it will be more popular than if it doesn’t. Your work needs to have a soul. If it doesn’t, the rest of the steps are a waste of time.

3. Choose only your best pictures. And I mean your VERY best. Not the ones you fall in love with, but the ones you know are the best. Be brutal. Be ruthless. Edit like your life depended on it. Pick your favorite 40 images then immediately cut that number in half.

4. Less is more. If you have five fantastic images in your portfolio, you’ll probably do better than if you have five good ones and five okay shots. Show no more than 10 or 12 images in most cases. (There are exceptions based on certain customs in different categories. For example, a wedding photographer may have to show one or two wedding albums containing many images.)

5. Eliminate the fluff. Avoid gimmicks. As you’ve no doubt heard said about the movies…. If you have to rely on special effects, the scripts is probably no good. Stick with the basics and avoid the unnecessary frills.

6. Be yourself. The tendency for emerging photographers to think they have to do something “new” to be good rubs me the wrong way. If you want to stand out, show work that represents YOU not just something NEW.

7. Make your portfolio accessible. And this doesn’t mean your portfolio has to be online. It means that however you present it, it needs to be easy to see, touch and view. If you do show your work online, avoid heavy use of music and Adobe FLASH. Keep it simple. Make it easy for people to see the work and to find you if they like it.

Building a portfolio requires brutal honesty and dedication to the truth. Sometimes it hurts. But the best news is this. You’ll do it many times in your career and each time, your work will look better than it did the last time.

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This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store

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  1. […] Unfortunately, there is no easy button to press that you have to produce the perfect portfolio. It could really have to implanted some thoughts:) Here are some ideas to get you started. 1st Specialization. Is the topic. Do not put 30 photos in your portfolio 10, the various types of photography. best case, select a type of photography for the show. The next case, select no more than two or three types. 2nd Do you have a story. have a voice. Say something. If to speak your job “,” people would be more popular than when not. work, you must have a soul. If not, all steps are a waste of time. 3rd Select only your best pictures. And I mean best. Not who you fall in love, but who you know is best. be brutal. be ruthlessly. Edit like your life depended on it. Choose your favorite cut 40 pictures and then quickly the number two. 4th Ca. If you have five fantastic images in your portfolio, you will probably do better than you had five good and five shots okay. Show no more than 10 or 12 pictures in many cases. (There are exceptions for certain usages in different categories, such as a wedding photographer is allowed to show one or two wedding album with many pictures ..) 5th Eliminate fur. Avoid gimmicks. As you surely have heard a word about the film …. If you rely on special effects, must be, the script can not be good. Stick with the basics and avoid the frills are not necessary. 6th Be yourself. The tendency for photographers seem to think they should do something “new” for my good rub the wrong way. If you are out working, who want not only shows that it is something new. 7th Create your portfolio can be accessed. And this does not mean you have an online portfolio. This means that no matter how you may present it, it should be easy to see, touch and see. If your work online and displays Avoid heavy use of music and Adobe Flash. Keep it simple. Make it simple for people to see the work and see if they like it. Building a portfolio takes brutal honesty and dedication to the truth. Sometimes the pain. But the best news is this. They do it a few times in your career, and every time your work look better than it was the last time.[via] […]

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About scottbourne

Founder of Photofocus.com. Retired traveling and unhooking from the Internet.

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