Creating a portfolio — Digital and Hard Copy

As a freelance photographer, it is important to have a clear collection of your work which is on trend and relevant in the current world. Its also important for your portfolio to be relevant to who you are showing it to. If you want to be a wedding photographer — your portfolio is going to have to relate to weddings.

Its important to have both a hard and digital copy of your portfolio. A hard copy is great for meeting photographers and agencies for interviews and portfolio reviews, and a digital copy is a handy way to send out your work efficiently to many different agencies and potential clients.

Think of your portfolio as your CV — it needs to be up to date. You wouldn’t hand out a CV with details that were from 5 years previously — so why would you show off your old work in your portfolio. It needs to be your strongest work, and the most relevant — does it fit in this current time?

Your work needs to be easy to navigate. Whilst you may have lots of work that is good, but doesn’t relate to each other, it can make your portfolio look messy and unorganised. Try to categorise, to make it easier for your potential client. You also don’t want to overload the person viewing your work — keep it to a sensible amount of images.

One word — SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This makes it easier for clients and agencies to find you. It’s possible to use portfolio services which enable you to take control of your own SEO. You can also use this for your personal website.

Its also great to have a PDF portfolio. Keep this small, so that it can be easily emailed and won’t take forever to open. Its a great way to send bulk amounts of portfolios to several different clients and agencies at once. Make sure you keep this updated though.

When it comes to a hard copy, its up to you how you want to present it. You can use a smart folder or leather case — consider using a nice box too. A nice box with some protective image sleeves offers a nice touch, but also makes it easier for you to regularly update your images in your portfolio.

Controlling your marketing is a crucial part of your work too. If your work stands out to a client, they are probably going to look you up. A strong website is important, but also consider using Instagram and Twitter as platforms for your work. Keep your Instagram and Twitter fresh, with a constant stream of work — you can link these to your website too. Keep an eye on privacy settings if you have personal accounts such as Facebook for social use. You don’t want your potential employer to look up your name, only to find photographs of you that time you were passed out at the Student Union dressed as a zebra.

This might all seem overwhelming at first, but its important to take these steps one at a time. Make a list of everything you need to update or address — starting with your website is an important base, as you don’t want your potential client to look up your name and find a shoddy, messy website.

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