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Building a Photography Portfolio to Get Work

If you want a job, you need a portfolio.  Sure a good-looking résumé with excellent credentials and references will seal the deal, but employers and clients want proof.  How do I know?  Well, I’ve been on both sides of the table.  I have interviewed for plenty of jobs over the years (some staff others freelance).  I’ve also been in charge of hiring for an agency and now my own company.

No one is going to hire a creative professional solely on word of mouth or good grades in school (but both of those things help).  If you are applying for job in the creative industry, you’re going to need a portfolio.

The Essential Portfolio

A good portfolio is a personal statement about a designer, photographer or artist.  As such, there are no one-size fits all approach that will work for each individual.  The best advice is to look at sample of other people’s portfolios.  Many schools (especially art schools) will have student shows where graduating students show off their work.  Other colleges may have a job fair.  If you are in school, then starting attending these events as soon as possible.  For those who’ve already graduated, there is a wealth of online portfolios you can find on the Internet.  The key step here is to start looking well before you need a portfolio so you can create one you like.

© AS Photo Project

What is a Portfolio?

A portfolio is a collection of your work samples that can be shown to prospective employers or clients.  It should represent the diversity of the person behind it, but not try to show everything.  Most folks need their portfolio in at least two mediums.  For example a photographer might have a traditional flat book with glossy prints, but they may also want a website for an online presence.  Be sure to consider all the scenarios in which you’ll need to present your work to those who want to hire you.

  • A good portfolio is a personal statement about a photographer or artist.
  • There are no one-size fits all approach that will work for each individual.
  • The best advice is to look at other people’s portfolios.
  • There is a wealth of online portfolios you can find on the Internet.
  • The key is to start looking well before you need a portfolio so you can create one you like.

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The WebRecital is a dedicated User Interface/User Experience professionals who come together to provide design and research workshops, portfolio reviews, and educational outreach to the greater Seattle area.
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