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Web, Print, Tablet, PDF: What Kinds of Photo Portfolios Do You Need?

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Read Time: 6 mins

Need help assembling a photographic portfolio? In this lesson, the fourth in a series from Chamira Young's course about making portfolios, you will learn the preparations needed before you make your portfolio, including information about formatting your images, selecting proper layout software, choosing a website service, testing tablet apps, and exploring various printed forms of portfolios.

Organise Your Photos into Related Groups

By this point, you've gone through and selected the photos that you want to use in your portfolio. Now it's time to organise those photos. Divide them into related groups. You can organise them based on the:

  1. subject matter
  2. skill set you're trying to display
  3. an event
  4. even a series that relates to each other

No matter what form of portfolio you decide to go with, this will help you arrange your portfolio into galleries or projects down the line in a way that makes sense. 

Brett GundlockBrett GundlockBrett Gundlock
Photographer Brett Gundlock organises his photos by event, which you can see here on his left-hand menu.

For example, photojournalist and Envato Tuts+ instructor Brett Gundlock organises his photos by event and series, with each event in a gallery with a series of photos related to the event.

Decide on What Type of Portfolio Your Need

Once you've organised your photos into related groups, you will need to select which type or types of portfolios you need. Depending on the type of portfolio that you decide to create, you'll need to format your images accordingly.

If you're formatting for the web, you would have those photos in a different colour space versus if you were formatting for a printed portfolio, for example. There are some specific additional preparations that you'll need to make depending on the type of portfolio that you choose. 

PDF Portfolio

If you're going to create a PDF portfolio, you'll need to decide which layout and design program you're going to use. And also consider preparing a template, so that the layout is consistent and includes the elements that you want on each page, such as your name and contact information. Adobe InDesign is a program that's great for this.

Once you have your images ready to go it's simply a matter of placing those images into your document. Working from a template will make it easier for you to swap in or add updated photos in the future.  

Tablet Portfolio

If you're preparing a tablet portfolio, you'll need to decide which app you're going to use. Look for reviews online to see what users have to say about each app, and pay close attention to the list of features. Try to find an app that's relatively easy to use. Once you've selected an app for your tablet, it's a matter of creating various projects and galleries within it.

It helps if you've gone through your photos beforehand. So you know how you'll organise them. And then you can add these images to your galleries via Dropbox or the tablet's own library, or any other service that's compatible with the app. From there, you can create slideshows of your work that you can send to their device, or share via email or social media, if that app allows.

Print Portfolio

If you're putting together a print portfolio, you should have an idea of the physical form that you would like it to take. This format should compliment the type of photography that you do. Once you've identified a theme, it's a matter of finding or purchasing the physical materials. This involves ordering online, or going to buy the materials In person. Assembly will most likely be required once you've chosen and printed your photos.

Alternatively, there are some services online that allow you to upload your photos, and purchase the physical encasing for your portfolio all at the same time. They may even assemble it for you and ship it to you.

Think about the physical size you want your photos to be and on what type of paper or material. Larger prints always have more impact. So consider going larger than 8.5 by 11 inches, or A4 size paper.

Web Portfolio

For your online web portfolio, you'll first need to select a website service. There are countless options available, so we'll get into the specifics in a second. Consider where your photography portfolio fits into the grand scheme of things. You could have your portfolio be your main website in general or you could put it on a subdomain. You could have it be its own separate portfolio on its own separate domain as well.

There are many great services that make it easy for photographers to create great portfolio sites. like Format, Zenfolio, Tumblr, and WordPress. Bare in mind WordPress, gives you the greatest flexibility in customising your site as little or as much as you want, especially with their countless themes and plug ins, however, this means there's also a larger learning curve. But if you're already comfortable with WordPress, this can be a great option for you. Or you can have someone build it for you. If you decide to go with WordPress, then you'll need to sign up for hosting and begin setting up your WordPress site and getting a domain name.

Don't get overly concerned or intimidated with what service you use. You can always change in the future. You may select one option and then out grow it down the line and switch to something else. This is natural. More important is the photography itself that you're showcasing. 

Next Steps

If you dream of creating a photo book as your portfolio, this guide will help you select, edit and sequence your photos successfully.

Keep following this course for more on how to make a photography portfolio.

Free Video Courses: Follow Envato Tuts+ on YouTube

Want to get more great tips on everything related to photography? Follow Envato Tuts+ on YouTube and access FREE courses like "Photoshop Retouching for Beginners". 

Abbey Esparza will teach you the secrets of Photoshop image retouching in this free course.

More Resources for Photographers

Here are more top tutorial and resources for Photographers to try from Envato Tuts+:

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