Based on my experience, here are 11 components of a successful portfolio:
If you are promoting to different markets you should create different portfolios to support those markets, i.e. food, automotive, lifestyle.
Pacing your portfolio to have a strong opening, middle and end is very important. You want to hold the viewer’s attention and build their confidence in knowing who you are and what you have to offer.
Go with 15 to 30 spreads max. Show enough of your work to clearly demonstrate your style and vision, but not so much that you lose your viewer’s interest.
Especially if a client calls your book in more than once – you do not want them seeing the same images as previously viewed.
Be sure to match the color and feel of your portfolio to your overall brand, as well as to your photographic style. The best time to ensure this is to take a look at your portfolio before you print it, as your brand plays a strong focus in your marketing plan.
Since you spend so much time and money building and creating your portfolio, ensure that you also invest in producing a quality printed piece. Make sure the pages are scored evenly – and that there is no glue mess or unevenness. If you do not have good crafting skills, I strongly recommend going with a custom bookmaker – they can also assemble your pages. Remember, your pages must be able to flip easily and lay somewhat flat without diluting the quality of your images.
I am not a fan of plastic pages – pre-scored Moab, glossy and matte work well. You should get a sample pack to see what showcases your work best. You will find that different paper choices will need to be handled differently in terms of binding and post systems, so make sure if you are working with a bookmaker that you let them know what type of paper you have selected.
11 x 14 landscape, 12 x 12 orientated, 11 x 14 portrait or 11 x 17 landscape.
An iPad is a great addition, especially if you want to show multiple focuses – personal work, projects or video.
Portfolio companies that I like
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