For many photographers, their initial point of contact is your portfolio. A well-crafted portfolio presents your full brand and shows your breadth, style, and skill set. It takes a lot of work to put one together, but the benefit of a well-considered portfolio is that it rewards you with work and helps others understand who you are.

These tips can help you as you develop your own portfolio of photographs.


Tip 1: Create a website online.

These days, having an internet presence is essential if you want to draw in customers. Remember that not everyone uses social media, even if you already have an active Facebook or Instagram account where you share some of your work in addition to everyday content.

Having a dedicated page that showcases only your best makes a difference. With websites like Journo Portfolio, Squarespace, Wix, Pixpa, Format, or PhotoShelter, you can quickly and easily create an online portfolio that looks professional.

You can also design your own portfolio website using Canva’s free templates and tools, which offer a variety of services, from image hosting to licensing or selling prints—all of which are available on a monthly plan.


Tip 2: Build your foundation.

If you’re just starting out, research other people in your industry’s rates and set your prices lower to draw in new business. You can also approach new business owners and offer them to let you shoot their products in exchange for pictures, or you can invite friends—including their kids or even pets—to model for you.

Just be careful not to undervalue yourself too much. Experienced photographers always say, “Taking unpaid labour reduces both the quality of the work and the industry as a whole.”. It is a business, photography.


Tip 3: Don’t overlook prints.

Having a paper copy of your portfolio never hurts, especially for those occasions when you have an in-person meeting with a potential client. The thought of printing your images and lugging them around sounds almost ancient in this day and age.

It’s an easy method to examine your shots in stunning analog detail and get a better idea of how the finished product will look in print.


Tip 4: Pick an area of interest.

A too-broad portfolio can appear unorganized and unfocused to a potential client or editor, even if you are equally skilled at shooting fashion editorials and matric dances in addition to handling business events on the side.

Select one or more areas of expertise that you are most enthusiastic about, keeping in mind how you would like to be characterized as a photographer. To keep things structured, group them into different parts in your portfolio.


Tip 5: Develop your own style and stick with it.

Style can refer to anything, from the way you post-process your images to the way you light your subjects. It should ideally showcase what sets your photography apart from other photographers’ and reveal something personal about you.

To ensure that your portfolio is more than just a jumble of experimental approaches and duplicated styles, it’s crucial to create your own artistic style, even though it could take months or even years of shooting to figure out.

Additionally, a good visual identity will indicate to clients whether your work fits their needs.


Tip 6: Choose photographs that tell a story.

In the same way, try not to get connected to pictures that you put a lot of effort into but didn’t end up perfect. Even if you faced freezing weather, travelled underwater, or dangled from a helicopter to obtain that photograph, it won’t make the picture better if you must justify the extent you went to.


Tip 7: Edit and always seek feedback from individuals.

Selecting your best photos will undoubtedly be a challenging task. You may adore a certain shot, but it may be technically poor, or it may be wonderfully exposed but uninteresting. Leave them out. Even though “killing your darlings” could hurt, you could try using a picture editor application to save some of them.

Nevertheless, you must crop pictures with an indifferent eye. After a thorough culling session, give it some rest for a day or two and revisit it with new insight.


Tip 8: Organize the photographs so they make sense.

One of your best images should be the one that a visitor to your website sees first. It should reflect your style as a photographer and be mysterious enough to draw the eye and compel further examination.

The last picture ought to leave a lasting impression while also signaling the conclusion of the adventure.

Your portfolio ought to broaden to reflect your growing clientele and professional standing. Continue adding content to your website or printing off your collection as needed, always keeping in mind the fundamentals of image optimization through editing and sequencing.


Tip 8: Display deliberate work rather than merely doing it for credit.

You want to demonstrate that you have covered stories about the war in Israel, that you have taken incredibly close-up shots of Trevor Noah during a concert. That’s all well and good, but you’re simply hurting yourself if the pictures aren’t good. A bad picture of an interesting subject, famous person, or location is still a bad picture, and it detracts from the experience of your good but average shots. Consider carefully what you choose to include in your portfolio.


Tip 9: Never fear seeking help.

  • People have a lot to teach you. Everyone, even your mentors and classmates, has a different viewpoint.
  • Enrolling in a program can help you on your photographic journey.
  • Talking to expert photographers helps, it teaches one how to bring everything together in a portfolio, and how to show what your work stands for, what you want to be known for, and even what you’d like to be booked for.”


Tip 10: Develop relationships and follow up.

One marketing tool that can assist you in expanding your network is a portfolio. Send a follow-up email and give the reviewer a business card or postcard so they may look you up later. The meeting is the beginning of your relationship, be personable, and touch base on a regular basis.

It’s also critical to avoid giving up after a rejection. You should not automatically assume that an editor won’t be interested in a piece you’ve written just now. Don’t let every meeting end in disappointment if it doesn’t work out immediately. It’s possible that the reviewer will contact you years later.




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Heimburg. J [October 22, 2023]. How to make a photography portfolio in 5 steps. [Accessed May 8, 2024].

Cadello. J [unknown date]. How to make a photography portfolio that stands out.
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