How to Put Together a Photography Portfolio

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A portfolio is a collection of your best and most-defining work within your career. It is a great addition to any professional, but in a field such as photography, it is required to have a portfolio to show prospective jobs and clients. It also assists in keeping your work and priorities in line. It defines who you are as a professional, impresses clients and displays your best work.

Things You'll Need

  • Desired type of portfolio
  • Scissors
  • Pen or marker
  • Resume copy
  • Business cards
  • Printed sheet of portfolio contents
  • Pieces of your best work
  • Decide what type of portfolio you want. This depends upon the size and quantity of your work. Portfolios are sold up to sizes of 5 feet by 4 feet as large lightweight briefcases to hold large boards and paper prints. They also can be small, like a binder, and your work goes within laminated sheets to protect it. Also, choose the theme of your portfolio. As a photographer, you can have a different portfolio for each camera, or for different subjects, such as "Commercial" or "Landscape." Or, you can just combine a few pieces from each of the subjects in one portfolio to have a variety.

  • Pick pieces of work that are tailored to your target audience. You are most likely putting this portfolio together for prospective jobs or clients. So choose your most recent pieces or work, your best and most impressive. Use the original photography print or work, or else create duplicates. Use good quality paper, brightly colored ink and precise measurements to size of the portfolio.

  • Print a copy of your resume to be placed as the first page of your portfolio. This will have your objectives, work experience and special skills. Insert this into the first laminated page.

  • Skip the next laminated page (which will be another printed out page listing the contents of the portfolio), and begin to insert your prints and photography into the laminated pages. Order the portfolio however you choose, but it is common to put the most recent work in the front pages.

  • Write up a list of the portfolio's work. List them in order of how they are viewed in the portfolio, and include a date, description, and if applicable, the company you did the work for. Print this out. Insert into the portfolio page after the resume.

  • Insert a few of your business cards in the portfolio's pocket, or else in the laminated sheet with your resume. This will be to give to prospective jobs or clients when they are viewing your portfolio.

  • Add a burned computer disk of all of your work to your portfolio. This will be beneficial to hand to people who interview you, so they can keep your work with them and review it later. It will also leave an impression in their mind because you went through the extra effort.

Tips & Warnings

  • Personalize your portfolio as much as you like, but remember to keep it professional. Mat the prints and photos if you like, or use different colored portfolio cases, for example.

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  • Photo Credit Courtesy of Photobucket
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