Lessons: 14Length: 1.3 hours

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1.4 Crafting a Vision For Your Portfolio and Setting Goals

In this lesson you'll learn how to formulate a vision for your portfolio, as well as how to set actionable goals so that you can make progress on building your portfolio.

1.4 Crafting a Vision For Your Portfolio and Setting Goals

In this lesson, we'll discuss how to craft a vision and set realistic goals for your portfolio. Your portfolio is a calculated marketing tool that should help you get the kind of work you want. So first, let's talk about formulating a vision for your portfolio development. The more clarity you have on what you want to get out of it, the smoother the process will be for you. So consider the following. Ask yourself what you want the end result to be. Are you trying to get a job interview? Do you want to land a gig for commercial work? Are you trying to initiate an initial discussion with the reviewer from a fine art gallery? Or do you want to get more work writing for travel web sites? Or do you simply want a web presence that adequately represents what you do as a hobby? It's up to you, but be crystal clear about your objectives, because this will directly shape the images you decide to include in your portfolio, as well as what form you choose for your portfolio. Next, be clear on what audience is going to see your work. This affects both the work you include as well, as how you present your work. Keep in mind the type of work your audience will want to see. Also, keep in mind that you may need multiple portfolios. This is especially true if you have multiple specialities, such as corporate headshots and nature work, for example. This would require your work to be seen by two separate groups of people who have different expectations. It's safe to assume you wouldn't show an editor of a corporate magazine, your nature work. This is commonly solved by having multiple galleries on your website, organized by topic. Or by creating multiple PDFs or print portfolios so that you can pick and choose the correct portfolio for the correct scenario. Next, keep in mind the medium you used to present your portfolio. Will it be paper, or will it be digital? If you're presenting your portfolio in person to a more traditional venue, you would want a print portfolio. However, if you're showing your work to a younger representative in a laid back coffee shop, a digital portfolio on your iPad may be the best fit. And next, take physical action and look at other photographers' portfolios. Get familiar with what you like or don't like. And lastly, I want to reinforce that you don't have to feel like your work is perfect in order to create a portfolio, because you may never feel like your work is perfect. Interestingly enough, this is what drives us as creators to improve. You should view your portfolio as a living, breathing creation that will grow in quality as you grow in your craft. As your work advances in quality, you can update your portfolio accordingly. Now, let's talk about some guidelines for effective goal setting. Because without goals things tend to be left unfinished or not started at all. It's important you set some personal goals for your immediate future. Your career will thank you for it. Here are some useful guidelines, especially in relation to this course as far as goal-setting goes. First of all, look at your existing body of work and determine what strengths and weaknesses you have. Decide if you need to take additional photos to solidify your portfolio or move towards a particular theme. Next, decide what portfolio types were the best for, not just for you, but for your audience. Ask yourself what type of monitor or device your potential client most likely will use. This should weigh heavily on what type of portfolio you decide to build as well as how you build it. For example, if you're trying to get your work into a busy art gallery, keep in mind that they're probably used to flipping from photo to photo very quickly when reviewing their artists. So when building your website, make sure that the navigation is easy for them to go from photo to photo very quickly, either by using their keyboard arrows or straightforward navigation on each page. Next, have a third party hold you accountable. This can be a teacher, a fellow photographer, a friend or even a family member. Tell them you are embarking on a journey to create at least one portfolio that communicates the type of work you want to attract and also does your work justice. And finally, set a date of completion for yourself. And mark it on your calendar. Whether you're using a calendar on your computer, or a paper calendar, or a combination of both, setting a hard deadline for yourself improves your chances of success drastically. That brings us to the end of this lesson. In this lesson, we discussed how to set goals and craft a vision for your portfolio based on your desired end outcome, as well as for the audience who will see it. We also talked about to set realistic goals for yourself as you embark on creating your portfolio. This also brings us to the end of this chapter, where we discussed what a portfolio is. We also got a better feel for why you would want a portfolio in the first place. In our next chapter, we'll walk through the steps of sorting and selecting photos for our portfolio.

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