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Old Jan 2, 2007, 5:00 PM   #1
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I am preparing to become an on location portrait Photographer.
How should I approach building a portfolio to promote my business ?

Size of Photos ?
How many photos in my portfolio ?
Different portfolios for different styles ?

Thanks for your help
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Old Jan 4, 2007, 4:26 AM   #2
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Hi Daz,

No idea, but as no one else got back to you you might want to try asking Kalypso or Frank D who both are good/great portrait photogs as they might have an idea but not seen this post.

Hope that helps (oh and would be interested in the answer if they don't post it here).

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Old Jan 4, 2007, 9:36 AM   #3
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its something u cant do overnight........a portfolio is an ongoing thing.......what is your fave shot now may not be in a couple of months........and the more pics u take the better u get

people like to see variety and creativeideas, and i think thats what u need to show,show them u understand the use of light and composition and then how creative u can be with your models and locations.

i dont do portraits, my love is landscapes but the way i try promote myself is by my site, going to gallerys and showing somephotos and leaving web addy, if they like what they see the will get back toyou.

i havespent a few yearsbuildingup mypanoramic work, so have quite a lot of shots, and after a fair amount of time and effort and of course knock backs, have found a couple of outlets this week for my work........both love the pictures,are keen on my work which is good, but one could be very lucrative :-) i have a meeting this weekend to talk the talk

hopesomeone can offer better advice

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Old Jan 4, 2007, 10:57 AM   #4
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I use a leather bound portfolio book that holds about 40 of my best prints (plus a pocket of business cards & releases in the back). They are 8x10's, but I also have another book of 12, 13x19" prints that blows people away.

Only use your very best work and build it as you go. Some of my better images I made 4yr's ago & some 4 days ago, so I'm constantly updating it. Make your first & last image the best you've made.

My current 1st image:
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Old Jan 4, 2007, 11:47 AM   #5
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I agree about the size, my last portfolios were 13*19 Machina's
The WOW factor of the large size helps :-)

Then the "IN" thing started to become having your book done at a printers and "perfect bound" very nice looking but overly expensive, and not changable. If you wanted to update your book you had to have it reprinted.

Having a good book(s) can't hurt, but having a good online-portfolio is quite desirable.
If you don't want to roll your own have a look at www.livebooks.com professional portfolio site.

One hint, don't mix image types, make seperate books for each type of imagery(portraits, children, animals, business headshots, etc.) you plan to sell.
And ONLY include the absolutely best samples of your work.
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Old Jan 4, 2007, 11:50 AM   #6
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Thanks for your help guys.

Much appreciated.

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Old Jan 4, 2007, 12:07 PM   #7
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I want to add something that wasn't mentioned.
I've seen it suggested that you don't use more than one image from any shoot. I guess the believe is that either:
- you haven't done many shoots
- it was more the setup and less you that got the good shots.

I'm not sure I agree with that logic, but I've heard it from people who look at portfolio for a living.

Also, I wanted to second the comment about continuously updating it. You MUST keep it up to date. It's not the most fun thing to do, but when someone says "can I see what you're got?" you don't want to be thinking "Damn, I meant to put that great shot from yesterday in there!"

And don't do too many. I'm sorta surprised that Kalypso uses 40, that seems like a lot. Then again, I'm sure he has 40 stunning images. I've heard 20 is a better number, but if you can keep their attention with 40 then more power to you!

And as an aside, *always* have business cards on you. You never know when someone will want one, and I've gotten business because they really did want it and they looked me up afterwards. You look much more professional if you can say "yes, here it is" instead of "actually... I just ran out...." (or some other such answer.)

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Old Jan 4, 2007, 3:24 PM   #8
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It's really 20 (front & back ;-)

I used to run my own site but now use www.modelplace.com ...it's a modeling industry site, totally free image hosting and I get tons of work from there (don't forget to put your URL on your business cards).
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