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Old Nov 18, 2004, 1:40 PM   #1
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Hello,

It looks like time has come (after a couple of offers that got me unprepared) to build a portfolio. Now the question is what kind of pictures should I include? Does it have to be really big (i.e. how many different parts, how many pictures in each)?

I've been wandering over the internet and looked at the web sites of many photographers and they're all different (which is good, of course). But even though I'd like to hear from some of the proshere on the forum if they have any advices on how to build the very first portfolio. I'd say it needs to be simple and has to be able to give people an idea of what kind of photographer I am.

I already have plenty of photographs that (I think) might qualify for the portfolio. I'm open to any suggestions of what kinds of photographs need to included.

Thanks a lot,

Kirk
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Old Nov 18, 2004, 2:10 PM   #2
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Depending on what you shoot, you may want to assemble several different books.

ie:
  • one to show your fashion images, only shown to fashion buyers. [/*]
  • one with your portrait work to show potential portrait clients [/*]
  • one with architecture shot only shown to architecture buyers. [/*]
  • etc[/*]
These are daysof very high competition and high specialization, and someone looking for a corporate shooter doesn't want to see shots of food or fashion in your book no matter how good they may be. In the larger markets the generalist is a dyeing breed. It is getting bad enough that some shooters are maintaining different company names for each type of work they do and try tokeep the knowledge that they do multiple types of work a secret from their clients. In the smaller markets the generalist shooter is still alive and doing fairly well for now.


Presentation is everything(next to the images) and a good display book really helps, something like these http://www.pfile.com/cgi/cart.cgi?db...;method=phrase

One thing to remember when showing your book to potential clients, the product you are selling is yourself, your ability to deliver the required product in a timely manner, not the images in your portfolio. You yourself, and the image you project need to fit the clients expectations.
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Old Nov 18, 2004, 2:31 PM   #3
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And show your ABSOLUTE best. They will assume that is what you are showing. If you slip a few in there which are not your best because they fit your theme... you are selling yourself short (and they won't know it.) Either don't use that theme or break it into sections. Anything to not use the sub-best work.

I second what PeterP said. You are selling yourself as much as your pictures. Be professional (in every way that means- like how you dress, talk, the quality of the paper, the quality of the portfolio), be on time, be prepared.

I know someone who has a favorite set of portfolio brands, I'll ask them what they use.

Maybe you know this, but realize that large high quality prints are not easy to make. I've got many shots which look good on the web, but just don't have the data/resolution to make a good print at the size needed for a portfolio (13x19.) Learn what size prints they will want, and use that size in what you display. But something that you think is really nice might not cut it when put to paper. It's a painful lesson, but it's reality.

Eric
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Old Nov 19, 2004, 9:08 AM   #4
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Just read this article, it should answer all of your questions.

http://luminous-landscape.com/columns/portfolio-8.shtml
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Old Nov 19, 2004, 1:08 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot for all your replies guys! Now it's time to get some work done... it's going to be some challenging process.
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Old Nov 19, 2004, 2:46 PM   #6
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This company makes very high quality archive portfolio cases. They are expensive, but several people I know have tried many brands and found these to be the best in the 13x19 size. I haven't used them (I can't make prints that large) but eventually I'll probably buy some.

www.talas-nyc.com
568 Broadway,
New York, NY 10012

212-219-0770

I just took a quick look at their web page. Wow, expensive (at least more than I expected) but they do look nice.

derbunk-
Nice link. Thanks for posting that.

Eric
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Old Nov 19, 2004, 4:31 PM   #7
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Thanks for the link Eric! I'll be visiting NY on Christmas and going to stop by that company.

So far I think Prat's Mera PortBooks collection is pretty good. I've been to the local store today and actually took a closer look - it's of very high quality, very sturdy case. They also have some additional pockets for additional stuff like cards and CDs. They are a bit pricey though - $220 on sale for17*14 book with 30 sheets.
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Old Nov 19, 2004, 9:48 PM   #8
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The number of pictures ro include really is tricky to say. I remember reading an interview with one guy who said he wanted to see six at a maximum, other people say anything up to 20, and the head of one really big photo agency said he only wanted to see the photographer's one best photo, because if they didn't always exceed that standard from then on it proved they were getting lazy and he'd fire them straight away.
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Old Nov 20, 2004, 5:19 AM   #9
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I'd say the number of photographs in portfolio depends on the kind of photography you're doing. For example if you're applying for a portrait photographer position it should be enough to have up to 5 different portraits (showing different techniques). But if you're applying for a architecture photographer you'd want to show more work of yours. I'm not sure if this is a right approach but this is how I see it. And I absolutely agree with PeterP that different books have to be prepared (even though it's somewhat tricky and expensive).

Once again thanks for all your posts! I really appreciate your help.
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