How to organize a photography portfolio

A portfolio is a “passport” to meet prospective client. When I had just stepped into the photography about 5 years ago, it is not usual to meet clients with 8R prints stored in a portfolio folder. Today, my “passport” is pretty much presented on my website. I would only meet up with clients for an informal meeting and perhaps just to get to know each other.

Throughout my career in photography, there was a period of time where I had struggled to put my portfolio together. Does photo A or photo B works better? Does the client prefer photo A or photo B?

A common dilemma among photographers (or any other artists, stylists) is that should you feature your own personal work in your portfolio, or should you feature work you’ve done for your client? Not all of us take on big budget shoots on a regular basis, so in pursue of monetary compensation (to support the ever expensive studio equipment and expenses) we often neglect the artistic satisfaction of personal work.

Ironically, portfolio reviewer Allegra Wilde suggests that we should feature and prioritize personal work than commissioned work – in order to get commissioned for a job.

Watch Allegra Wilde and commercial photographer Chase Jarvis talk about it here.


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