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Lessons:14Length:1.3 hours

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Free Preview: The Photographer's Portfolio


  • Overview
  • Transcript

How do you take a body of photographic work and edit it into a cohesive, professional portfolio? The Photographer's Portfolio demystifies the portfolio, how to make them, and how to use them. In this course you will learn how to best present your work in a way that communicates your personal vision as a photographer, builds your confidence, and helps maintain a fulfilling photography practice.

1. Introduction

1.1 Introduction

Hi everybody and welcome to the course the photographer's portfolio. In this course, you will learn what a portfolio is, why you need one, how to go about putting one together and how to interact with your core audience. My name is Shamir Young and I'm an artist and photographer with a passion for creativity and productivity. This course is for photographers who already have a body of work of some kind. While it's great if you have some experience in photography, by no means do you need to be a higher level professional. However, you should be ready to show your work off. The truth is, no matter what stage of the game you're in, everyone needs a portfolio. As photographers, we all have images. But how do you show these images to people who might potentially commission or hire you? This course will help you understand the basic needs of a portfolio from the editing stage to the final presentation. You will learn how to best present your work in a way that communicates your personal vision as a photographer. The concept of effectively constructing your portfolio is of huge importance in building and maintaining a fulfilling photography practice. So here's an overview of what we will be covering in this course. First, we'll talk about what a portfolio is and why it's important for you to have one. Then we'll discuss the different kinds of portfolios, be it print or digital. And the various purposes and benefits. We'll also cover how to set goals and craft a vision for your portfolio. Then we'll walk through the process of gathering your photos together and narrowing down the finalist to use. We'll cover the basics of editing for space and clarity. And we'll also chat about understanding your vision and how it applies to your presentation. Then, we'll talk about the process involved for putting each type of portfolio together. Finally, in the conclusion of the course, we'll discuss some best practices for presenting your work and how to best interact with your viewer. For this course, you will need most important, your own group of potential photos for your portfolio. I recommend less than 100 for the exercises that we do in this course, but you can always add more photos later. Also, you will need a computer with an internet connection. Other optional materials include layout software that can create PDFs, a tablet, and various physical paper products depending on the type of portfolio you ultimately decide to create. Consider this, your real goal in the portfolio review isn't to get work, it's to get another portfolio review. You want the reviewer to remember you, to think about how you might be helpful to them or someone they know, and to ultimately take another look at your pictures down the line. Maybe they visit your website. Maybe they ask to visit your studio or maybe they request that you visit them again. In any case, the vast majority of hires and purchases only come after the second viewing. At the earliest. I want to stress that you can have a number of different portfolios that are best suited for certain situations and themes. For example, if you're an architectural photographer and a corporate headshot photographer, it would serve you best to have two different print portfolios or two separate galleries on your website showcasing your skill in these separate areas. And if you tend to focus more on architectural photography in general, and less on corporate headshots, then you would want to show more of your architectural work. And how you show your work can vary. I actually recommend having more than one way to do this. You're portfolio is a flexible, living tool that can be adjusted according to the needs of the situation. It's key that you're familiar with your strengths, your images, and also the needs of your potential client. If you're a photographer and you don't have a portfolio then you need to start at least one now. Don't wait until you have what you feel is the perfect body of work. Let's move on to the next lesson. In the next lesson, we'll go into more detail about what a portfolio is, and we'll also the discuss the various types of portfolios and their different purposes. Are you ready? Let's get started.

1.2 What Is a Portfolio?

In this lesson, we'll talk about what a portfolio is and we'll also look at an overview of the four main portfolio types and discuss their different purposes. So let's talk about what a portfolio is. A portfolios is a collection of your past work that represents your photographic focus as well as the type of work that you want to get in the future. It can be used as a tool to showcase your work and it demonstrates your abilities to your target market. It can take on many forms such as digital or printed, and many photographers choose to have more than one portfolio. So yes, you absolutely need a portfolio because, when done effectively, it can attract the type of work that you want. And it's advantages are many. It represents you. It opens up a dialogue between you and your target market about your work and your mission as a creative. Choosing the right type of portfolio for your personal goals is one of the most important decisions that you will need to make. So first we have the web portfolio, which is your images on your own website. The purposes and benefits of a solid web portfolio is that it's always there, and it's also easy to refer people to with a link. Generally it's expected that you have a web presence at minimum, because it is your online presence you want this web portfolio to allow your photos to be the star of the show. So, it's generally recommended that the design be clean and non intrusive, so that viewers can focus on looking at your work. Next, we have the PDF portfolio, which is a collection of your images in a multipage PDF. The purposes in benefits of a PDF portfolio is that it's easy to send to clients electronically, or refer them to it from your website. It's something that they can take with them. They can download it via email or get it from your site and look it over on their time. Next, you have the tablet portfolio which is a collection of your images on your tablet. The immediate purposes and benefits of a tablet portfolio is that it's portable and doesn't necessarily have to rely on an internet connection. If you're using a portfolio app, you can take it with you to show people one on one in person, and even allow the viewer to scroll through the photos at their own pace. And finally, we have the print portfolio. Now in the digital age, a well put together printed portfolio can arguably have the greatest impact simply because there's nothing like viewing high quality photos printed on high quality paper that's professionally presented in your encasement of your choice. It's great for presenting to reviewers. While it can take considerable effort to put together, it is traditional and has an impact all its own. Examples of print portfolios include hand made books, leather satchels, display cases and archival boxes with prints. Really the sky is the limit. And so, as you can see, you have a variety of ways to display your work in a portfolio. You want to choose the form that is the most appropriate for whoever will be viewing your work, and also for your brand. That brings us to the end of this lesson. In this lesson, we talked about the different portfolios and what their purposes and benefits are. In our next lesson, we'll look at the difference between putting together images for a general portfolio versus assembling images for a series.