How to Create a Photographer’s Portfolio

by | Jun 6, 2022 | blog page, Featured Article, nature, photography, tips, wildlife

Making a name as a photographer can be a daunting task, especially for beginners. Albeit photography often is a work done out of passion, the love for capturing objects on film, it cannot be denied that there is the financial aspect that goes into it as well. Photographers also needed funds to fund their travel, equipment, and resources to keep them going. To secure those funds, photographers need clients. And to get those clients, photographers needed to build good portfolios. Nicki Geigert has an amazing wildlife and animal art photography portfolio reflecting the photographer’s love and passion for nature and wildlife. It may seem inconvenient at first, but a portfolio is actually a very effective tool for gaining new clients and maintaining existing ones. 

Why is there a need to make one?

Call it an alternative to a professional resume. Still, a portfolio is more effective when applying for a photography job or getting a new client since it shows the work that the photographer is capable of. A portfolio is more preferred than a resume for skill-based jobs such as photography. 

A photographer’s portfolio contains a collection of past photos and photo ops that the photographer had worked on. The main goal of the portfolio should convince the photographer’s potential clients that, hey, they are the person for the job; they are precisely the photographer they need. 

How to start making one?

Although there are no hard and fast rules when coming up with a portfolio, still, there are best practices that can be followed by those who have just started their photography career. These best practices are collected from professionals who have already established their job over the years. And yes, they have used their portfolios to get clients. 

Photography portfolios reflect the photographer’s thinking process and creative direction. This should give the clients a glimpse into how a photographer plans to handle the shoot that would meet the client’s requirements, if any. Note also that a portfolio’s creation doesn’t stop at its inception. As long as a photographer grows and moves on with their career, their portfolio grows along with them. It keeps getting updated with every work, every client, and photo opportunity the photographer has. So, what are some of those best practices when coming up with a portfolio?

Consider the portfolio’s theme

A photographer’s portfolio should show the theme that the photographer is pursuing. If a photographer is into events, there should be a collection of event photos, such as wedding photos, reunions, holidays, etc. If a photographer is into nature and wildlife, there should be a wide array of nature and wildlife photos displayed on the portfolio. 

Consider whether to go manual or digital for a portfolio

There are two options for a portfolio’s format: it could be digital, like a website portfolio, or the traditional printed portfolio manual. A photographer should consider the type of client they are looking for because there are a lot of pros and cons for both a digital and a manual portfolio. A digital portfolio would be best for the digital, savvy client since it would be more convenient for them to scroll through the photo works while on the go. A manual portfolio is good for the classic, traditional type clients who prefer actual printed material to sift through page per page while looking at the photographer’s work.  

Just go ahead and keep taking pictures

Creating a portfolio can be challenging for beginners since they don’t have much experience yet to fill up their pages. The advice is to take in as many free photoshoots as possible to start the portfolio running. Take as many good photos as possible until clients begin to get attracted to the works. Also, free photoshoots are good opportunities to get referrals. If clients love a photographer’s work, they’re likely to refer that photographer to their friends or families. 

Make sure that the photos are high quality

Whether digital or manual copy, the photos produced should be high quality; if it’s a digital portfolio, the images should have very high resolutions. Use a professional, high-quality photo printer if it’s a manual portfolio. Note that a goal’s photographer with a portfolio is to sell their talents to clients, and to do so, they need to provide proof of their works that should be presented with care, accuracy, and quality. 

Choose photos carefully

The idea is to take as many photos as possible, but it doesn’t necessarily mean cramming all of those photos into a single portfolio. The advisable average number of photos can be 15-20 photos per portfolio, or it can also be 3-5 photos per event. Make sure that the images chosen are the best photos in the collection and the most impactful. Each photo should be unique. Be mindful as well of the order in which the images are organized. Consider placing the best pictures in the first part, the middle, and the last portion of the portfolio to create a lasting impact.  

Never underestimate the impact of a carefully crafted portfolio. A portfolio can make or break a photographer’s career; that’s why due care and diligence should be used when creating one. Even professional photographers grow with and depend on their portfolios. A portfolio is, after all, more than just a show of photos – it is a reflection of the photographer, of what a photographer is capable of doing with their craft.


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