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How to Make a Rough Cut of Your Photography Portfolio

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In this lesson, the sixth in a series from Chamira Young's course about making portfolios, you'll learn how to make a rough cut of your group of images by eliminating the photos that are not the best. 

In the previous lesson, "How to Assemble Photos for a Photography Portfolio", you learnt how to review your photo and identify those that were worthy of being included in your portfolio. Now it's time to take action. 

Identify and Mark Photos That Are Not Up to Scratch

  1. First, mark those photos that are not up to scratch in whatever software you're using—or by physically removing them from your collection if you have printed your photos. It should be easy to do this for photos that are off-topic, poor quality, or out of focus, but it can be quite challenging for photos that you are attached to. It might help to remind yourself that you want to show your best to whoever is looking at your photos.
  2. You don't want to spend too much time on this process. You're really just going through and marking the ones that your gut is telling you may not be up to par. In the example below, the rejected images are identified using Control-click on a Mac and assigned a grey label.
  3. At this point, it might be a good idea to enlist the help of a teacher, friend, or family member who is capable of being impartial. This can be beneficial because they can look at your work objectively and give you their first impressions of it. If you're able to work one-to-one with them, even better, as you can observe them and see how they react to the work. Have your chosen help-buddy sit down with you at your computer and cycle through the photos, or you can print your photos off and have them review them that way.
selecting rejected imagesselecting rejected imagesselecting rejected images
In this example, the rejected images are identified using Control-click on a Mac and assigned a grey label.

Remove the Rejected Photos

  1. When you have identified and marked the photos that aren't up to scratch in whatever way works for you, remove them from the portfolio folder. In the example shown below, they have been identified in grey and will be moved to the Rejects folder.
  2. When you have completed the task, take a short break and get away from your computer. When you return, review those photos that you marked as rejects. Looking at them with fresh eyes sometimes gives you more perspective, and you may find that perhaps you removed a photo that you should use in your portfolio. In that case, you would just move it back into the appropriate folder and remove any labels you have applied.
Remove the Rejected PhotosRemove the Rejected PhotosRemove the Rejected Photos
In this example, rejected photos have been identified in grey and will be moved to the Rejects folder.

Review the Selected Photos

Finally, take another pass through the photos that made the cut. Are you happy with your selection? In the next lesson, we'll show you how to make your final edit and isolate the best photos for your portfolio.

Keep Following This Course

Discover more lessons 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 for Beginners". 

In it, Dan Scott will take you on a comprehensive journey through the world of Photoshop where you will learn everything you need to know to become proficient with this multi-faceted software.

More Resources for Photographers

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

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