How to Build a Photography Portfolio
Updated: Apr 7, 2020
Having a solid photography portfolio is crucial to your photography business. Your portfolio is what speaks to your clients without words, and it's something that could make or break locking in a client or a job. A diverse portfolio is SO important to have... But how do you start that process?
Building a portfolio isn't as difficult as it sounds. Let's talk about a few tips to help you build your dream photography portfolio that advertises your work the way it deserves!
1. What IS a photography portfolio?
A photography portfolio is a hand-picked collection of your best photography work aimed towards publicizing your best work to gain clients.
2. What does a photography portfolio say about your work and business?
Your photography portfolio is a digital form of your entire photography business. It shows the style and composition of your work. It shows how you pose, based on the poses the people you are capturing are posed. It shows your editing style. It shows what makes your business YOURS.
2. Lock in your niche to appeal to your ideal client.
When putting together a portfolio, you really want to hone in on what style of a photographer you are. If you take senior photos, your portfolio should show that. If your clients see your portfolio full of family photos, they may be confused. And if that means creating a few different portfolios that fit different photography styles then that's awesome too! I have a portfolio for my fashion work, senior photos, and weddings. This ensures that the right people see the examples of the work they are looking for. Photography portfolios always should be extremely intentional. You have full control of what your clients and future clients see.
3. Put together a large collect of your work that fits your niche.
Go through all of your hard drives, social media platforms, emails, whatever you have to do to find all of your photos that you've taken that you are proud of that fits your niche.
4. Go out and shoot more content if needed.
This is the difficult part. If you are just starting out, you're basically starting from scratch. Starting from scratch isn't bad at all, it's actually beneficial. I know it may sound intimating and you may feel behind, but let me tell you how you will benefit from this. You get to start out from the very beginning and create images with a portfolio in mind. This will allow you to create images with a shot list already prepared. If you have been in business for a while already, you may have to dig a little deeper for some of your images in your files, but you have more to choose from. No matter where you are in your photography journey, you are in a great space to start your portfolio. Go out and shoot with the mindset of adding this work to your portfolio. Be intentional. Get different angles. Capture emotions. Capture a wide range of poses. Shoot in different lighting.
4. Narrow it down to only your BEST work.
This is one of the most important steps. You need to narrow your work down to your TOP photos. Overloading your future client with images upon images may actually be off putting. Don't overwhelm anyone with images with no purpose. Put in the images you are most proud of, images that show posing, and images that show you shooting in different locations. Ultimately any images your clients NEED to see.
5. Show it to someone who you look up to for a second opinion.
Double check your portfolio with someone who you look up to, whether that's a business partner, significant other, another photographer, a Facebook group chat, or your parents, it's important to get a second pair of eyes on your work. If this is your first time creating a photography portfolio, getting a second opinion will give you a look into what first impressions your clients will have when viewing it.
7. Okay now what? Where do I put my photography portfolio? Who do I show it to?
Post it everywhere! Post it on Facebook, Instagram, your blog, and your website! You should want the whole world to see the time you spent curating your images into an organized format for their ease. Not only does it look amazing to show off your work in a formal way, but it also proves to your clients you put your all into your business for them.
Show it to your clients who are inquiring or are asking for more galleries. Giving them a link to a portfolio will look incredible and leave an amazing first impression.
I'm so happy that you are ready to take your photography business to the NEXT LEVEL! Let me know if you have any questions or need someone to double check your portfolio. :) If interested you can message me on Instagram @briplewphotos.