7 Secrets To A Strong Photographic Portfolio That Most People Will Tell You Not To Do

I read an article the other day on building a photography portfolio. And while the article itself was written well and provided a ton of detail, I disagree with the message.

Most people in the photographic industry teach you to put together a generic, boring portfolio, both online and off. “Choose your best image from each session”, they say. “Never have more than a couple dozen images in your gallery”, they say. I disagree.

When we first built our business in the late 90’s (think dial up modems), we put thousands online in our portfolio. Yes thousands. At our height, we had over 20,000 images on our site. People told us we were crazy. “They’ll never look at that many images.” “Take them down, are you crazy?” The comments when on and on. But we didn’t fail with our 20,000 images. In fact we made it BIG. Because we spoke right to the heart of our ideal client.

Your portfolio should never be “normal”. It shouldn’t be what they teach you in a photography class, or a “best of” series that showcases a few great shots. Nope. It should be a whole lot more.

7 Secrets To A Strong Photographic Portfolio That Most People Will Tell You Not To Do

1. Things You Want To Shoot

Too often a photographer will include things in her portfolio that clients’ expect to be there. Yet if you want to branch out and shoot something very specific, something very unique to you, don’t be afraid to include it because it isn’t the “norm”. People will hire you because of what they see in you. If you showcase certain things, they will expect it as their own results.

2. Beyond The Best Of

Everyone tells you to create a gallery filled with your “best of” images. Your best images are great, but if you’ve ever looked at portfolio after portfolio, “best of” series soon all start looking the same. Do a search for wedding portfolios and you’ll see what I mean. Every photographer includes two to three dozen of his or her “best of” images. And they all look alike. Most are shots of the bride, groom, or some combination. You’ll get a sweet looking image of the ceremony. A couple of great scenics from an outdoor wedding. And of course the mandatory couple of candid images from the reception to prove you are “photojournalistic”. Is that really all there is to it? Or can you stretch and showcase more? We routinely would put together montages that would contain 200, 300 or even 400 images or more from one wedding and include them in our portfolio. A potential client would truly get an understanding of what we could do for her – and it worked every time. [Read more…]

How To Build Your Photography Portfolio With An iPad

One of the most important marketing tools a photographer can have is their portfolio. It may consist of a variety of printed images, either in loose or album format, online through your website or other portfolio tools, and increasingly by using your iPad with a portfolio app. If you’ve been looking for the perfect app to use on your iPad, here’s a list of some of the top iPad apps I’ve found that will get the job done in a beautiful way.

Are you using an iPad for your portfolio? What do you like about it? What’s missing?

And if you have any more recommendations that I missed, Feel free to comment below.

Portfolio

$14.99
Portfolio is a highly personalized and customizable app that allows you to do just about anything with your portfolio. You can brand it for your presentations, and even lock the interface with a PIN so your client won’t see tha management interface.

Foliobook

$9.99
Foliobook allows you to create your own magazine-like home page in an easy way. Use it horizontal or vertical, change around your presentation to fit your needs.

[Read more…]

Building an Awe-Inspiring Online Portfolio in 5 Easy Steps

Building a portfolio is easy. There are hundreds of free tools available that allow you to throw together a few photographs, and use that to show your work to potential customers.

The hard part is making it good.

A great portfolio does more than just showcase your work. It converts visitors from lookers into paying clients. It allows them to not only see what you do, but become so motivated by it that they can’t help but take the next step.

And best of all, to be a truly spectacular online portfolio, it must also help you put everything together quickly and efficiently, giving you more time to do what you love.

How do you know where to start? Lets walk through 5 steps that will help you put the whole thing together

Start With A Question

Let me ask you a question. How would you define the word “portfolio”?

In many cases, a photographer will say their portfolio is a gallery of their best images, ready to showcase the work they’ve completed for other customers.

And I would agree – that’s the starting definition. But it’s truly more than that. A portfolio is a collection of creative works that are used to showcase your skills, and hopefully motivate the viewer with enough information they agree to buy.

Using that definition, your portfolio becomes more than just your gallery of images. It becomes the entire presentation you use within your online presence to motivate and showcase who you are, in hopes they move to the next step.

So in order to build a truly awe-inspiring portfolio, you have to ask yourself:

What do people truly need from my portfolio in order to move from looker to client? [Read more…]

How To Make Your Portfolio Better Than Your Competitions

Competition is fierce in the world of photography.

One of the driving factors in creating a successful business is having a dynamite portfolio. Yet what should you put into a portfolio to make it different from your competition? And not just different, one that stands miles above the crowd, and says “I’m the one” over and over again?

You may think the obvious choice is to have a variety of photographs. Yet your portfolio is really a lot more. Your portfolio not only shows what images you’ve taken in the past; it also shows your business savvy, your thought process, and your personal style.

Let’s take a look at how to build up a dynamic portfolio that can stand over and above your competition’s portfolio.

Photographs

The first and most obvious is photographs. That’s what people are coming to you for, so that’s what you need to show them. Yet a portfolio should be more than your select favorites. A portfolio should also be built to show your talent based on what people need and want. If they are getting married, showing them wedding photographs is great. But if you can also show wedding photographs from their reception site, you’ve just taken your portfolio up a notch. [Read more…]