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    Do ' s and Don's of compiling a photography portfolio


    The message Do ' s and Don’t compile a Photographportfolio first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Ana Mireles.

    Do you have problems landing? Do you continue to show your work but you do not get any customers? Maybe it's time to review your photography portfolio. Whether you do a digital or printed portfolio, here are some things you need to do to improve the way you present your photography.

    Example portfolio travel photography

    Compile a portfolio

    No matter what kind of photographer you are, a good portfolio is the most important tool you need to secure a job. The first thing you need to understand is that composing some great photos is not enough. Your photography portfolio must be an example of your work showing your technical skills and personal style.

    Flower and nature portfolio

    Do not place watermarks

    Let's face it, if someone wants to steal your photo, they will find a way to do this. A watermark can be trimmed or deleted. Instead, it becomes more difficult for the viewer to appreciate your image. Watermarks also give an amateurish look to your portfolio as a whole. See the difference:


    Watermarks can ruin a photo and do not really protect your rights

    To legally protect your images, you may be protected by copyright. Read ImageRights – Investigation and prosecution of copyright to get to know this concept. Another security measure is to never publish or distribute high-resolution images. For this I recommend correctly understanding my previous article about Pixels, resolution and format of images in Photoshop.

    Don't stay with one portfolio

    Another big mistake is to collect all your best photos & to display them in one portfolio. You may think this shows quality because it is a ' best-of ' but it can make you look like a master of nobody. It is also a waste of time for your customer. They want to see relevant examples that show how you would do their work, not how good you might be in other things.

    You can specialize in different types of photography

    Take these two photos, for example – they don't even look good together. And let's be honest, someone who needs a food photographer doesn't really care how I can photograph a street show and vice versa. If you are not convinced of limiting your practice, review these 5 things to consider before you decide to specialize or not in your photography.

    DO what you sell

    I spoke earlier about the importance of different portfolios. This means that each must show a different specialty that you offer. It is always important to be consistent and to organize your work well. For example, a portrait portfolio should not just contain photography with people. Let me illustrate this:

    Different types of photography. Specialization photography

    Take the two photos above, the photo on the left comes from a photo shoot I made for the press file of a theater piece. The photo on the right is a task behind the scenes that I did for a short film. If I am preparing a portfolio for a film or theater producer, I can record both. If I am preparing a portrait portfolio, I should not include it on the right.

    Ask for help

    It is always useful to ask for advice once you have put the photos on the shortlist that you want to use. If you can reach a colleague or an expert, it would be great, but if you don't, ask a friend. We often have an emotional attachment to a photo that we have taken that is actually not great. An external point of view can help you choose your best images.

    putting-together-a-photography portfolio

    Try placing two similar images of the same subject and asking them which one they prefer. A friend can also help you decide if you place too many or too few images in your portfolio. Keep in mind that you should never add anything that is not good enough to reach a certain number. Also don't overdo it – editors are busy people and have many portfolios to review.


    In short, there is no specific formula for putting together a photography portfolio that is great, but I hope you found these tips useful and time-saving. Remember that the most important thing is that you have a strong amount of work.

    If you still have to work on that, here are some good readings to help you:

    • How to put together a portfolio without customers.
    • 6 simple photography techniques to diversify your portfolio.
    • Use a photography project to compile your portfolio.

    putting-together-a-photography portfolio

    The message Do ' s and Don’t compile a Photographportfolio first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Ana Mireles.

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