Lessons: 14Length: 1.3 hours

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3.4 The PDF Portfolio

In this lesson, we'll examine a PDF portfolio and discuss the details that you need to take into consideration when putting together this type of portfolio. Remember, your PDF portfolio is a multi-page document that displays, and most importantly, shows off your work. So let's take a look at a PDF portfolio that I created from the group of images I was working with in chapter two. And so here we have page one of the document. I laid it out in Adobe InDesign and exported from there. While I was working, I made use of the program's master pages to create a simple clean template for myself. After that point, it was simply a matter of placing the images in the document. InDesign is only one of many options available for creating PDFs. You could also use Adobe Bridge, for example. Or, if you're on a budget, there are a number of free options online. In whatever program you're using, be sure to pay attention to your PDF export settings when you're done working. While it's tempting to want to put your images at 300 DPI so that they display the clearest, this can also make your PDF size very large, so be careful of the size. The larger your photos, the larger your document. You don't want to make your PDF too clunky or too large of a download, because if it takes forever to download or load in a web browser, people may abandon it altogether. Furthermore, if you plan on emailing your PDF portfolio to somebody, make sure it's within the limits of what can fit within their email. Sometimes, certain email clients have limitations on the size of attachments that they can receive. Sometimes the limit is 10 MB and sometimes it's more. So be mindful of this. If your PDF is too large, your email may bounce back to you. I recommend formatting your images beforehand in software like Photoshop, and really optimizing them, and making them a small manageable size without sacrificing too much quality. As you can see I kept the design simple and clean, and moving on to the second page here, you'll notice that I have the images large, filling up as much of the page as possible. The design is minimal so that my work can speak the loudest. And also for the vertical images that are placed side by side, I tried to select images that related to each other. I also tried to portray a natural progression of the images and group similar images together as you move through the document itself. Under each image, I have basic contact information in case they want to contact me, even if they're in the middle of reviewing the document. So, I have my website, as well as my email address. All you'll notice that these are both hyperlinks. So if they click on them, they'll be taken to that destination right away. The text must be readable, especially because it may be viewed on a smaller device such as a tablet. And you could include a bit information about your photo as well if the backstory is important. Or if you have titles for your images, then you could include those as well. Also, keep in mind that your PDF can be an interactive tool. And so while I do have hyperlinks here, you could also include other links to other resources. Possibilities include linking to additional images on your website. And if you do this you could also choose to have quick instructions at the beginning of your document. Just so they know what they can click on, or at least to let them know there are active links within your portfolio. I'm going to head up to Fullscreen Mode, and you'll notice I chose not to have the images run to the edge of the page, simply because leaving white around the edges allowed me to fit most of the images without having to cut any information off. Additionally, if someone were to print the document, the printer wouldn't be able to print to the edge of the page, anyway. The nice thing about a PDF portfolio is that it can be viewed on any device. You can design your PDF portfolio in a number of different ways, but the overarching theme here is to allow your photos to be the star of the show. And, to include easy to find, vital information about how you can be contacted. And here on the final page, I included my contact information once again. If you have a phone number, you can include that as well, not just on the final page, but also on the other pages. That brings us to the end of this lesson. In this lesson, we reviewed the essential components that go into creating an effective PDF portfolio, and I recommend having several PDF portfolios handy, depending on the subject matter and who you're sending it to. In our next lesson, we'll take a look at examples of print portfolios.

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