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1.3 The Editorial Portfolio

Building a unique portfolio to approach editors is the first step to receiving your first assignment. In this lesson you’ll learn how to create a personalized selection of images that reflect your photographic interest.

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1.3 The Editorial Portfolio

Portfolios are very important. They are the first connection potential employers are going to have with your work. Basically portfolios are a tight selection of your best images. Editing your portfolio and picking your best shots is an art in itself. For this, I recommend working with a peer, someone who understands what you're trying to accomplish As I said in the last section, it's important to have a clear vision of what you want your photography to be. It's important to define yourself and the type of photography you make. The goal is for your images to pop in photo editor's heads when they're researching a certain type of photo. For instance, as a documentary photographer like myself. I specialize in close repertoire style photography. Connecting with the subject, digging deep, and making close, personal, intimate photos. When I'm approaching editors. I'm showing my personal project, which are an example of exactly that style of photography. This is the work that I wanna be doing, and this is where I put the majority of my effort. My photo stories are a great way to explain my strengths as a photographer and my abilities. I usually have a wide variety of images in my edits. So I can point to certain photos for certain assignments. For instance, if an editor is looking for portraits, I can point to some of the portraits I've shot in my previous project. That being said, I often have other portfolios with me to show more specialized clients some of my other abilities. I keep these portfolios on my laptop, and bring them out at their request. For instance, a portfolio for more general assignment photography, or a portrait portfolio. This is an important thing to utilize on your website. You wanna show photo editors the variety and depth that you have as a photographer. Your personal website is gonna become your main portfolio and platform for your photography. You wanna keep your work edited tight, keeping your best stuff at the front. You have to understand that most people only spend a couple minutes invested in your website. So they don't wanna be bogged down and confused with who you are, as a photographer. It can be very painful cutting away some of your favorite photos. But weaker photos can do more harm than good in your portfolio. There's a popular saying in the industry that you are only as strong as your weakest photo. Okay, so here we're going to quickly walk through a portfolio, an actual physical portfolio. This is a nice metal book made by a company called Pina Zangaro, Pina Zangaro. I believe they are widely available and they have a nice variety of photo portfolio. You can see here it's a metal fine and really interesting layout here. You can undo the screws here, take pages in and out. The pages are secured on the back here with a thin invisible strip. Quite slick, very nice. This photographer made specific prints for this portfolio book and produced the whole thing. Other photographers make physical books. Other photographers like myself just work with physical prints. And move them around in a story that way. So yeah, gonna look at this portfolio here. This photographer is more of an architecture style, interior style photographer. So first, it's basically a little bit of variety. Just looking at different angles and looking at shooting space in a different way. Showing the technical abilities, coming in for tighter, showing a nice variety of stuff. You know what I mean. Showing different settings, situations, obviously this is a very specialized portfolio. She knows what she's looking for to photograph. So yeah, less variety than maybe some other portfolios, but that is something that I recommend. So yep, going through here, showing different stuff. I recommend keeping a portfolio around 20 images maximum, between 12 and 20, unless you're showing a larger body of work. But photo editors basically just wanna get a quick kind of understanding of your style. And like I said before, you wanna keep a nice variety going, and keep them engaged. Yeah, so that's where editing is very important. Here we are, moving into bit of a different style, a little more portraits, more food style, tighter more abstract stuff, so this is good. Different layouts. This could be an ECF magazine, you know what I mean. Front cover, Cooking Today. Today we make these things. So, yeah. Interesting different tones and lighting. Then here, a different food shot. Nice cool food shot here, and yeah, nice sort of overview style photo that's popular. So yeah, that's it. I'm not sure exactly how many photos that is, but that gives you a good sense of who the photographer is and what they do. The only one criticism I would say is just to edit it tight. And keep the vision as tight as possible. So photo editors don't get confused and don't get overwhelmed with a lot of images. So yeah, that's, that. [SOUND]

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