The Photography Portfolio: Building Your Reputation
by Colin Hartness
If you have hopes of becoming a professional photographer,
or even just of trying to get your work published in a
public forum, you will need to create a photography
portfolio. So what�s so important about a photography
There are many reasons why having a portfolio of your work
available for others to view. If you are seeking employment
as a photographer, then the need for a portfolio is
obvious. If you are not seeking a photography job, there
are still good reasons to have a portfolio. For one, you
love photography and you take a lot a pride in your work.
They are important to you. Most likely, some of them are
very good. Why not create a portfolio that showcases your
best work so you can show it to others (even if it�s just
friends or family that comes over for a visit)?
- Building a Photography Portfolio
Before we get into what goes into your portfolio, let�s
discuss the portfolio itself. What should it be made of?
How big should it be? You may have seen portfolios with
covers made of all types of materials such as plastic,
leather and even stainless steel. These fancy covers are
usually much more expensive and may not be practical for a
beginner. If you are competing for high-price jobs and want
to stand out from the crowd, these expensive covers may be
a nice touch. But for most people, a regular black plastic
cover will work just fine. It�s what�s inside the portfolio
that is most important, right?
So, you are probably best to stick with a plain black
plastic cover and work hard on beefing up what�s inside.
Don�t decorate your portfolio with cutesy stickers and
such; this will look amateurish and unprofessional. It�s
not a scrapbook; it�s supposed to represent your
Now, as for size, this is going to depend on the size of
your largest pictures. An 8 X 10 is probably going to be
your largest. If your pictures are not this big, you don�t
need a portfolio this big. Your biggest will most likely be
an 11 X 14 and it could be as small as a 4 X 7.
The most important thing for you to remember is convenience
� both for you and for the person who will be looking at
your portfolio. You want to keep it professional and easy
to hold, carry and look over.
So now that you know what a portfolio is and what type to
get, how do you actually use it? Well, we mentioned you are
going to fill it with your best work. This means you want a
portfolio that can easily be changed. You may want to pull
out old ones and add in new ones. You don�t want to go for
a job carrying along every picture you�ve ever taken.
You�re going to want to have 15-20 of your best work. You
are also going to want to be sure your pictures are
relevant to the job. If you are trying out for different
types of assignments, you may want to create portfolios
that work for each of the types of work you are doing.
Of course, you only want to show your best work but you
want to give the impression that you can handle any type of
assignment given to you and not that you are �stuck� in only
one type of photography.
You want to showcase your best work; this is best
technically as well. You may have a photo that is really
important to you because of the image it represents or the
memory it brings but if it is not technically perfect, it
doesn�t belong in a business portfolio. Save that one for
your coffee table.
Looking for information about Photography?
Go to: http://www.asaphotography.com
'ASA Photography' is published by Colin Hartness -
An excellent resource for Photography!
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