Photographers often ask me how often they need to add new work to their portfolios. The answer is a question: what type of book do you have?
If you have a printed book, your budget may prohibit printing new pieces on a regular basis. At a bare minimum you should update a printed book at least once a year. If you design your printed book so that pages are easily replaceable, you can slide in new prints when they are available but be wary if you use shiny plastic sheets. Only buy the best and remember that Office Depot is not the place to buy portfolio supplies!
You should also note that it’s not likely that anyone will see your printed book unless they like what they see on your website. Keep that in mind. And, ensure the custom or template design you choose allows you to quickly edit out work. The easier it is for you to change your online portfolio, the greater the opportunities your prospects have to see those new “WOW” photos.
Emerging photographers should buy a tablet; the iPad is the only one I’ve tried. You can add work as soon as you shoot it to upgrade your electronic book as your best work is likely to be what you shot last week. Established photographers can quickly tailor the iPad for clients with particular needs even just prior to an appointment. There are many apps designed to show your work at its maximum brilliance.
So, how often should you shoot new work for your book? If time allows, the best course is to shoot new work weekly or at least monthly. Plan personal work around the type of clients you want to attract, and get it in front of them ASAP!
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