How to make a photography portfolio

Written by donna thacker
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The first thing anyone who is trying to break into the photography business needs is a nice portfolio of sample photographs to show. A photographer's portfolio is much like a visual business card. While being necessary to your career, a portfolio is also easy to put together.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Portfolio case
  • Sample photographs

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  1. 1

    Purchase the very best portfolio case you can afford. You will be presenting this case to many potential clients, so it needs to look professional. Check local camera stores or online outlets for the best prices. Portfolios range from £13 to several hundred dollars.

  2. 2

    Choose a portfolio case that allows you to continue adding photographs as your business grows. If you cannot afford to buy, or can't find, a professional portfolio case, purchase a very nice leather-bound photo album instead. Make sure the sleeve inserts are high quality and acid-free.

  3. 3

    Sort through the photographs you already have. Choose your very best work. Have them enlarged to an 8 by 10 size by a professional, or enlarge them on your computer if you have high-quality software and printers to work with. If you print them yourself, use high-quality satin photo paper.

  4. 4

    Offer to do some free portrait sittings if you need to expand your portfolio. People who are pursuing a modelling career will be glad to work with you. Both of you get some practice work and get to keep photographs to further your career. Mothers of small children will also be happy to have them sit in exchange for a free portrait.

  5. 5

    Arrange your photographs in the portfolio in a way that shows all of your talents. Don't group them into categories. Arrange them randomly into landscape, portrait, candids, weddings or whatever else you prefer. The key is to keep a prospective client interested enough to keep looking.

Tips and warnings

  • Have duplicates in your portfolio that you can leave with a client, if they request it. Never leave your entire portfolio.

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