How To Build A Photography Porfolio

A candid image of a merchant pouring a cup of tea form a green jug in front of his establishment in Kolkata, India.

Are you a keen, enthusiast photographer looking to present your images to the world in a well ordered and cohesive manner? Perhaps you’d like to add a portfolio of images to your website, blog or social media platforms.

Attachment Is A Problem

The trouble is it’s very hard to be objective, particularly when your images feature loved ones or involved cost, time and travel to produce. The more you’ve invested into your images, one way or another, the harder it’s likely to be to view them in an objective manner.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. Emotive images are always what forms the strongest connection with our audience. But we need to understand that our own emotional connection with particular images or subject matter will not, necessarily, resonate with our audience in the same way. You may be making images primarily for yourself, but if your audience is important to you, then you need to consider their needs as well.

You Need Me, Mr Objective

What you need is me, which is to say someone with years of experience helping folks at tertiary level photography institutions select and sequence their work into concise, cohesive portfolios that flow seamlessly from beginning to end.

This is a process I’ve helped folks through hundreds of times. It’s not an easy task, by any means.

For me it’s an exhaustive, but exhilarating experience, requiring significant amounts of concentration, a highly developed sense of visual literacy and an empathetic nature.

For you it will be a great learning experience as I’II explain everything I do, as I do it.

A weddell seal springs to attention while resting on an iceberg near Curverville Island, Antarctica

What To Submit

Up to 30 of what you feel are your best or most appropriate images for the task at hand. To better understand that instruction, let’s break it down through two quite different examples.

Genre Specific Portfolio

Let’s say you’re a passionate wildlife photographer. Most likely you’ll need to remove any images from your original 30 that are not avian in nature. There’s no need to put in photos of, for example, the kids, landscapes or sports photography. 

The Generalists Portfolio

Conversely, if you like to photograph a whole range of things, and you want your portfolio to reflect that diversity of style, then that diversity should be reflected in the images you submit. In that case you could submit your best 30 images, regardless of the range of genres involved.

Lush terraced rice fields and palm trees on the island of Bali, Indonesia.

My Recommendation

However, even for a generalist, the genre specific approach is probably best. Perhaps you could bring your best 30 landscape images to our session. With what you learn you may be able to repeat the process on your own with, for example, your portrait photos. This approach would allow you to post a variety of different portfolios on your website, blog or social media platforms.

How to Submit

Once the session has been booked and paid for I’II send you a link to a special folder, with your name on it, that I’II create for you on either Google Drive or Dropbox. You won’t even need an account with Google or Dropbox to upload copies of your photos in this way. The process is free.

I’II accept either full resolution JPEGS or, for faster upload and download speeds, you might like to prefer to send copies of the images (but only if it’s easy for you to do so) as follows:

  • Landscape Orientation: 2,048 pixels for the longest edge
  • Portrait Orientation: 2,048 pixels for the shortest edge
  • PPI/DPI: 72

This Is What I’II Do For You

  1. My first job will be to quickly and efficiently reduce your selection of up to 30 images down to a number something like 12 to 15 images.
  2. I’II then make suggestions as to how to organize (i.e., order) this reduced selection of images to produce a superior presentation.
  3. We can use this final selection of images to discuss what it is you’re doing well, what you can work on into the future and, ultimately, what your work is really about.

Session Duration - 60 Minutes

This very special portfolio building and review is conducted over a 60 minute time frame. Prior to paying for this session please reserve a time slot, from the options available, on my calendar. (I'II post a link for you to do this over the next few days). I’II hold that session for 24 hours after you’ve selected it during which time you can forward payment.

Please Note - Google Hangouts

The session will be conducted via Google Hangouts. It's a fabulous service which is completely free and very straightforward to use. However to use Google Hangouts you first need to create a Google plus account. That's also easy and completely free. I'll add links to simple tutorials that will show you how to sign up for a Google plus account and how to set up Google Hangouts onto your computer shortly.

Cost

The cost of the 60 minute session is USD $50, payable in advance, via the following link.

The Portfolio Building and Review session is a very rewarding and highly informative process. One that I’m sure you’ll enjoy enormously. If you have any questions please feel free to Contact Me directly. And if you like what I'm offering please use the social media icons below to share widely and wildly.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru