Copyright Scott Bourne 2008 – All Rights Reserved

When you look at a photographer’s portfolio, it’s pretty easy to expect that the first image you will see will be great. Astute photographers know that they should lead with their best shot. But here’s a secret. Anyone can come up with one lucky shot. How about that seventh shot? Is that as good as the first?

Back in the day when I had to show a physical portfolio in order to make a sale, I noticed that many buyers would turn to the middle of the book. I soon figured out that my images needed to be strong throughout the entire portfolio.

When I judge portfolios today, I give them the page seven test. I turn to the seventh page and I soon figure out whether the photographer’s skills run deep.

So use this trick no matter which side of the coin you represent. If you’re the buyer, look into the middle of the book/portfolio for work that represents the bread and butter work of the photographer. If you’re the one presenting your portfolio, make sure to have your best stuff at the beginning followed by more in the middle.

Bonus tip; Also make sure the last image you show is as good as any others. That way you make a good first, middle and last impression.


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