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A portfolio, if you do not know already, is a collection or series of your work with a unifying theme or style that portrays your talent at its best. A portfolio is a way to present your work most often to a potential employer. Hence, we cannot stress enough on the importance of an impressive portfolio in the competitive world of photography. However, putting together a portfolio can be quite an overwhelming experience and almost unsettling for someone without the mastery over the craft bestowed by a degree from the best school of photography in India. One has to remember that a degree is earned after accumulating an impeccable volume of skill which aids in creating a portfolio that speaks for you as a photographer. Here is a basic guide to help you create one without losing your sanity.
You have to decide the intent of your portfolio. Whether you want to present it to a potential employer or to a potential investor in your business or to get your work exhibited in a gallery? Each one requires a different approach when you are presenting your portfolio to an employer you would want to showcase different techniques whereas for an exhibition you must create a portfolio that has a strong underlying theme. Make sure that you create a portfolio that will elicit the reaction you want from your audience.
There are two main ways one can display their portfolio: (i) through paper, and (ii) through digital media. With the advancement in technology the internet is our be all and end all. So, most photographers nowadays showcase their work in the guise of a digital portfolio on social media or their own website which also helps propagate their brand.
Paper on the other hand creates a different impression on the viewer. You cannot even begin to compare the experience of seeing a mesmerizing shot physically in front of you with viewing it through a barrier of the computer screen. So, for walk-in interview a portfolio on paper might be a feasible option. However, be wary of the quality of prints, folder’s size, shape, and style because they all combine together to make a potent impression.
Do not make the mistake of choosing all your favourite shots out of unbridled excitement and put them in a folder in the name of portfolio. A portfolio needs to have an underlying theme, style and colour scheme which should all be decided based on the audience that will view your work. Also, remember that no one has the time or patience to flip through pages and pages of photos so keep the number restricted to 20-30 so it’s satisfying yet keeps the audience wanting for more.
Consider everything from the thickness of the borders to the colour of the background sheet of your portfolio. You can include a touching statement which outlines your work, titles for the work, a contact sheet containing thumbnails, date, and location of the shots and many more. It is essential that you take honest opinions and guidance from a professional to create the portfolio of your dream.