What is a portfolio?
A portfolio is simply a collection of your work, not having to necessarily be your best work, but most importantly have an underlying theme, in this case being a set of work relating to NGO photography.
What is it for?
It is important to focus on what it is being used for when putting together your portfolio, is it for applying for a job with an English or International NGO, for a sensitive subjaect matter or an event, and taylor your portfolio to this.
Try to make it stand out!
More likely than not whoever you are showing your portfolio to has seen many, try make yours the one to remember!
Paper or Digital?
This is up to you, portfolios come as PDFs, Jpegs, websites and hard copies in folders, boxes of prints or books. There are advantages to both hard copies and digital versions. The convienience of being able to email it to potential employers can be extremely uselful but do not forget the impact a beautifully printed image can have while presenting your work, it is all too easy to quickly flick through a digital file.
How to present your portfolio:
There are many ways/styles of portfolios but it does depend on weather you have chosen a digital or physical portfolio. The way you present your work can have a huge impact on how it is received, it should reflect your style as an artist however it needs to have a professional feel to it.
Chosing the content:
Start with a large selection of images and work down, aiming to have 20–30 images. Getting other peoples opinions is vital when looking at such a large body of work and trying to sort it so get as many second opinions as possible from friends and family to professionals that could one day be judging it. Remember to focus on who you are trying to impress, what theme you want to show and if there is anything not perfect about a photograph leave it out. Better to have less brilliant images than lots of mediocre ones.
- An artist statement outlining your concept/theme or personal information.
- A list of shots
- Titles of photographs and brief explanation
- Thumbnail contact sheet
All the above do appear in portfolios although non of them are compulsary and you should pick and chose according to which suits your style most. However bear in mind not to over crowd it with long blocks of text, you want the images to be the main the focus.
The most important thing about making a portfolio is making sure people see it so jump on any opportunity to get it seen or hear others feedback.