Creating a portfolio is a required tool for any photographer. It helps showcase the photographer’s skill, creativity and range. It is a tool that helps photographers attract new clients and land permanent jobs with photography studios. A fashion photographer may also shoot photos of fashionable home decor and homes themselves. Creating a fashion specific portfolio is required for any photographer wishing to enter the world of fashion photography.
Decide On a Theme, Pick Your Shots
Every eye-catching portfolio has a theme. Your theme will depend on the type of fashion photograph in which you are interested. For example, if you are interested in model photography, your portfolio should consist of a series of modeling pictures. Additionally, the entire portfolio should have a consistent color balance and image quality throughout the entire set.
Now that you have decided on an overall theme for your fashion portfolio, you are ready to begin choosing your shots. If you are a new photographer, you may have limited options. However, with each new photo shoot you will be able to pick the very best shots and add them to your portfolio. Many photography schools will spend a significant amount of time preparing students for creating a portfolio – feel free to use your pictures from school.
As you begin selecting pictures, you will need to consider the audience for the portfolio. To determine the audience and their desired reactions, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this portfolio intended to find private clients or permanent employment?
- Are there any specific types of images I would like to show my audience?
- What niche of fashion am I most interested in?
- Will this portfolio be aimed at a single audience or will it be a multi-purpose portfolio?
- What is the intended reaction from this portfolio? Awe, surprise, impressed or shock?
Carefully considering and addressing the above questions will help you narrow down what images should be included in your portfolio. They should be targeted towards your decided-upon audience and showcase proficiency in your chosen niche.
Make it Available Online
The internet has changed the way almost every industry does business; fashion photography is no exception. Having an online portfolio will dramatically increase your exposure and allow you to present more range than a traditional portfolio. Your online portfolio can help you attract private clients and is an ideal place to send potential permanent employers.
An online portfolio should be streamlined and artistic. Depending on your technical experience, it may be worth hiring a website designer to ensure it imparts an artistic impression. It should contain two or three sections, at most:
- The Gallery – Unlike a physical portfolio, an online portfolio can contain several different galleries. You may have a black and white gallery, a sepia gallery and a full-colored gallery. You also have the option of portraying different aspects of your fashion photography interests. However, be wary of overloading the gallery section with too many sub-galleries. Choose three or four galleries that will showcase your range and capability.
- A Contact Section – This section should have a form that potential clients or employers can easily fill out if they are interested in hiring you. It can also include other methods of connection, such as links to your social networking profiles. Allowing people to regularly follow your work enables you to regularly impress potential clients.
- An “About Me” Section – This section is entirely optional. It will include information about you. It will discuss your photography background, life story and anything else that may be interesting to potential employer and clients. This section is optional because it can detract from the direct nature of an online portfolio. However, some photographers have found that it provides a personal touch that clients enjoy.
You Can Create a Stunning Portfolio
Your portfolio is your most important tool in the photography world. It helps ensure that you are able to find new clients, secure permanent employment and showcases your best work. Place a large amount of effort into crafting your fashion portfolio to ensure a long and fruitful career.
Youssef Amid is a professional fashion photographer in Miami. When he started out, he was overlooked dozens of times for failure to present a portfolio. His advice: “Portfolio is #1. Never, ever go to an interview empty handed.”