Whew we've come to portfolios. What a dooooozy. There's so much to be said! Portfolios are your potential client's first impression of you and your brand as a whole. They're important!
**So first things first... if your skill is not up to par, get it there before you start selling your services and asking for what you want to make. You can market yourself till you're blue in the face, but the fact is - if your product is not good or consistent, fix it before moving forward. Invest in you and your business. Photography courses + lots of practice are a must.
Ok, now that I've said that... The following are my top five tips for making sure your shiz is on point.
1. Choose ONLY your very best, relatable images. Be picky.
I know a lot of times it's really difficult to choose only our best, but consider this: While some images may be beautiful to you + your client, the new potential client landing on your website just doesn't understand the context behind why it's beautiful to you or your client. Leave those out.
Also, consider that when browsing the internet, if something doesn't immediately capture the attention of a potential client, they're going to go away from your website. You have a lot of value to provide, you just need to chance to prove it.
2. Consider the style of photography you're most drawn to and try to keep the images in your portfolio consistent with that style. If your style is happy and vibrant, make sure all the images in your portfolio are happy and vibrant.
For example, I would say my style is joyful and romantic. I try to incorporate lots of laughter/candid goodness in my portfolio, but also those quiet loving, editorial looking moments between a couple.
3. Consistent editing tones. While I make it known that I offer alternative editing options, all of the images across my site have consistent tones. Cohesiveness in editing is huge! You want your work to be recognizable immediately and you want it to match.
Now tones and brightness are different. I like to think I'm somewhere between moody and bright, but some sessions are cloudy, others are sunny. Naturally, it's going to look different and that's ok! Stick to one preset and make your tones consistent across all of your work.
4. Always be tweaking your portfolio. Remove some pictures, add some others. Rinse, repeat. Always continue to learn and try to look at your work with an objective eye.
I know it's hard to separate ourselves from our work.
Sometimes, opening yourself up to critique can be helpful, but WARNING! Take advice with a grain of salt. Everyone has a different style and method. Collect constructive criticism from many sources and use it as a whole to make portfolio decisions.
PS discard harsh criticism. Those people are really just hurting and want to make others feel as shitty as they do.
5. Consistently update your portfolio!
Dude... if you don't update your portfolio... what are you even doingggg? You're hurting yourself.
If it's been years since you updated your stuff, its time! You shouldn't be embarrassed to show someone your portfolio because it hasn't been updated since sometime 2 years ago. Our work changes. We get better. We develop new styles. Our art is ever evolving. Showcase that!
I obsessively tweak and/or update my portfolio at least once every 1-2 months.
Hope that helps! Got any questions or blog post ideas you'd like to see me cover? Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
PS as Co Founder of Rise Up Lab, I'm dropping a little secret! We'll be hosting small/low cost workshops at our office in East Hill. Portfolio/website reviews anyone? RiseUpLab.com