At this point in your career, you should have an understanding of your emotional brand, your physical brand and how they work together. Having the knowledge of how to communicate both verbally and visually who you are and what you do is very important as well. The next step is presenting your vision.
The editing process has a lot to do with your imagery coming across cohesive. Begin your edit by looking for similarities in the images. Start by looking at color, shape, subject matter and contrast. These are the variables that bring images together and make visual relationships. If your style is consistent in all your specialties, then it becomes easy to pair your images together and show your work based on your vision, not necessarily by specialty.
In today’s market place, your number one vehicle for communicating your work is your website and your social media platforms. In the coming months, keep an eye out as we continue to create content on the best practices for social media marketing and communicating your vision effectively.
Template websites are the most common platform as they have strong content management backends which allow the user to control the updates easily and frequently. The front end of these template sites is looking more and more beautiful as well. There are always trends in development. As we saw last year, many front ends showcased the tile look and now the designs are moving back towards full image navigation. An important fact to remember is that the average commercial viewer only stays on your site for about five clicks. What this means is that viewers need to know who you are and what you do within seconds of landing on your site. This is where and why the editing process is key. When you organize your images into categories, keep in mind the hierarchy. User behavior usually shows that they go to the first category then to your about page. In that case, your first category should be the main specialty that you want to market that way you are giving an immediate nod to who you are and what you do. Your about page should have a personal touch to make you human. I can’t tell you how many bios I read that start off with “when I was 10 my father gave me my first camera and I fell in love with photography”. That’s all good, but when I read bios that really get into the core of your personality and tell me about your likes, it helps the viewer connect with you. For me, the more real you keep it, the more interest you will pique from creatives.
Video bios are another way to give a sense of your energy, personality and overall vibe of who you are.
The website companies I currently recommend are:
All of these sites have extremely user-friendly backends to work within and top-notch design options.
The second vehicle for showing your work is an iPad. I like an iPad when you work in motion, as well as have multiple areas of focus and personal projects. It’s a great tool when you have meetings with creatives and you can hook it up to a TV in their conference room. It is also a great accompaniment to your printed book.
Here are a few examples of iPad apps that work well:
Now, here’s the loaded question; do creatives still like to see a printed portfolio? The answer is …. Yes!
In today’s tech-centric world, creatives still appreciate the tactile feeling of a beautifully printed portfolio. The smell of the ink, the feel of the paper and the attention to design and layout is still very much relevant and respected.
Below is a list of bookmakers and companies that my clients have worked with.
When choosing a printed portfolio, it is important to take into consideration your brand. If your images are very feminine you might consider having a fabric portfolio. If your images are slick and modern, you might choose a metal or plexi cover and if your images are rustic you might want something like aged leather. Many clients will ask how many pages should be included in their printed portfolio. My recommendation would be around 20-30 spreads.
Remember, your vision and brand are communicated in the ways you showcase your imagery and voice. Starting from the way you speak on the phone all the way down to your printed portfolio. All of this little attention to detail will impact the creative when they are remembering the look and feel of your brand. So remember: BE YOU!
Jennifer Kilberg’s unique insight into the photo industry is a result of her extensive experience and understanding of all aspects of photography since joining the industry in 1996. In 2004, Jennifer started FluidVision Inc. and has worked with a diverse international client base of photographers and illustrators of all styles and specialties. As a strong communicator, Jennifer enjoys working with all types of personalities, and her loyal client base is a testament to her ability to build long-term relationships. Jennifer has worked with Agency Access clients since 2009 in both Campaign Manager programs and other types of consultations.
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