You should begin your creation of photographic portfolio by taking some time to get clear on your goal, purpose and audience. Doing so will make the process a lot easier.
The main goal for a portfolio for example, could be to get you noticed in a particular photography field, to present a clear, visual representation of your photographic vision and to show consistency in your shooting skills. Each portfolio you create has to have a specific goal.
The purpose of a photographic portfolio could be aimed at finding work whether as an assignment or a full-time job, or creating images that will be exhibited in a gallery.
In addition to knowing the goal and purpose for your portfolio, it is also important to understand the psychology and motivations of your viewer/client to be able to make a winning image selection. It is essential to anticipate the needs of your audience and interpret what they would expect to see in such type of portfolio.
For example, if your purpose is to impress gallery owners , you need to select images that not only make your artistic intent clear but also are images that they would like to exhibit in their galleries with the believe that others will buy your work.
A wedding photographer may want to include in their photographic portfolio emotional candid images together with formal portraits from the big day in their portfolio selection. While a fashion photographer may want to demonstrate through his photographic portfolio images versatility in the studio as well as on the street.
To help you in this process ask yourself the types of images your client will want to see. Getting clear on this now, will later help you to round out your final portfolio image selection as well as ensure that you will show work containing the right style and content to get the job.
How do you get to know the interests of your client I here you ask... If it is a publication, take the time to look at several of their issues by taking note of both the style of images they use as well as the type of photos they prefer.
Books such as Photographer's Market are also an invaluable source for background information on publications and which types of images they are looking for.
In addition, it is important to research your field and the size of the market you are in. In bigger markets, photographers often can specialise in tiny niches while in smaller markets, they will need to show a more varied mix of images in their portfolios. Either way, make sure that your portfolio image selection removes any doubt about your photographic abilities.
Get to know which photographers are considered the very best in your field of photography. Review their images with a critical eye, scrutinising them carefully – what lens could have they used? What direction is the light coming from? What is the composition and the viewpoint of the picture? The more you analyse pictures that you like, the easier it will be to apply such techniques towards making similar ones yourself.
Consider attending photography workshops and conventions, and joining professional organisations, even if you do not aim to become a full-time professional photographer.
They are the perfect places to find continuous support, further education and guidance on your journey in photography. Review a comprehensive list of Professional Associations and Photographic bodies here , and apply for the once you have interest in.
Knowing your portfolio goal, purpose and audience will allow you to make better image selection choices and assist you in writing your accompanying the artist statement you write.
So now that you clear on where you are going, let’s start the photo editing process by gathering all your best images in any form.