What are the Best Tips for Assembling Photography Portfolios?

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  • Written By: Dana Hinders
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 March 2020
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If you're interested in earning extra cash from your photography skills, you'll need to assemble a portfolio of your best work for clients to review. Assembling photography portfolios can seem like an overwhelming task for someone who is just getting started in the professional photography business. However, the experience can be a great way to assess your skills and reflect on how far you've already come in your career.

The most important point to remember when assembling photography portfolios is to focus on quality instead of quantity. Don't show prospective clients every photo you've ever taken; provide examples of your very best work. Showing 20 or 30 outstanding images is much more likely to make a favorable impression than showing 100 photos of average quality.

Photography portfolios should be organized into categories such as family portrait photography, fashion photography, or wedding photography to make it easier for prospective clients to quickly assess your skills. Even if you have amazing sports photography shots of the local football team during the championship game, someone interested in hiring you for a bridal photography shoot is unlikely to be impressed with these images.

Since evaluating photography is somewhat subjective, it's important to get a variety of opinions on your portfolio. If you're currently enrolled in a photography class, your instructor can be a wonderful resource for critiquing photography portfolios. Otherwise, turn to friends, family members, and fellow photography enthusiasts to see which images they find the most appealing.


While the content of your portfolio should be your primary concern, presentation is an important element of photography portfolios as well. For example, if you choose to mat your photographs, all of the mats should be the same size to help bring a sense of uniformity to the work. A clamshell design, cloth-covered portfolio box is a great way to present images in photography portfolios, but there are also a number of binders, carrying cases, and folders available.

Having your own online portfolio website can be very useful in addition to the traditional photography portfolio. Get a website under your name or a similar sounding URL, then create a basic online photo gallery. A link to your resume, plus testimonials from some of your previous clients, may also be useful in helping to line up new assignments. If your specialty is artistic photography as opposed to photojournalism, an artist statement may be included as well.



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