Portfolio - How to?


TPF Noob!
Dec 18, 2009
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Cheshire, UK
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Im looking at sorting out a portfolio as ive got a couple of interviews lined up for various things and I am wondering what the industry standard, or should you be unique with it?

Specific questions:

1. What size prints would you recommend?

2. How should i present them, folder, book?

3. How many images should i include?

4.Is it alright to have any overlap, for example two images of similar content?

Thanks in advance!
Well i'm hoping to get into Sport Photography, however i do do some other stuff aswell.

So would you suggest just a case with images inside, or creating a book with the images inside the book, like a posh photo album?
If there are standards, I don't know what they are. Most photogs I know have their own idea of what works and what doesn't and if any one of them is right, I don't know who it is. But it is safe to assume that the more artsy the client, the more artsy your portfolio can be. The more straightforward the client is, the more straightforward your portfolio should be.

If you meet a client about possible sport shoots, don't be too artsy in the presentation. They only care about the shots.

The thing that few people here seem to understand is that there is no such thing as having one portfolio. A portfolio should be tailored to the client you are about to meet. A portfolio is constantly being re-arranged to fit the situation. And that means that whatever form your portfolio takes, it should not be a permanent thing. It needs to have the ability of being re-arranged.

Hope that helps.
Which industry?

Fine art?
A nice Pina Zangaro Camden Portfolio Case would be nice: Pina Zangaro Camden Portfolio Cases - BLICK art materials

You want to stand out from the crowd, not be Industry Standard.​

I would disagree with you. Standing out from the industry is good, but it should be because of your images, not because of you portfolio case or you above and beyond portfolio design.

And also, from many of the photo editors and art buyers that I've talked to, it bothers them when people go overboard, trying to stand out, especially when it is (usually) making up for a lack of image quality. Your portfolio is only about one thing, and that's your images. The presentation should be very clean, simple and professional looking. But other than that, don't get too hung up on it.
Specific questions:

1. What size prints would you recommend?

2. How should i present them, folder, book?

3. How many images should i include?

4.Is it alright to have any overlap, for example two images of similar content?

1 - I use 8.5x11 inch prints, larger is fine, but personally, I wouldn't go larger than 11x14.

2 - I use a Itoya Pro Folio. They are inexpensive, look good and archival. You can spend more if you want, or get a case to hold mounted prints, but I prefer the simplicity of sliding in the photos I want to use.

3 - 12 to 20 is the standard. I have twelve images in mine.

4 - You can, but since this is your one shot to impress a buyer, I would have no overlap.

A few other things:
Customize the portfolio to the client. If they only use football photos, then only show football pix.

Have all of your horizontal images together, and your vertical together. That way the client only has to turn your book once.

Never include a photo that you have to explain. They should speak for themselves.

Never include a photo of something you don't want to do. Hate doing portraits? Then don't include any. If you do, that will be the photo they love and they will want you to shoot lots of them.

Only include your best shots. It's better to have 12 fantastic shots than 12 fantastic ones and 2 so so ones.

Never complain about a previous client or job. You can talk about some problem you encountered during a shoot, and how you overcame it. That will show that you are a problem solver, and you'll complete the assignment, no matter what happens.

Have Fun,
^^^^ Very good advice. Especially about not including any so-so images. 12 fantastic images make a fantastic portfolio. 12 fantastic images and one mediocre image make a mediocre portfolio. I've heard this same advice from many photo editors.
I would use a book. I printed mine with PaperKiwi as they are affiliated with the camera store I work at, and I was quite happy with the results.
I agree with what most where saying. It needs to be able to be rearranged. I have several of them around all centered around different subjects. Scenic, Nature, fashion, arctiture and so on. I will grab one of those as a base line and then change out what I think needs to so show off to a potential client. For the actual Portfolio I favor 11X14 prints and plain black binding. I like it clean and simple. I think alot of people go overboard. Then again I also have one on my PSP lol. Them and Ipads are getting very popular but I would still keep a printed one on hand as I feel there is no substitute. Here is a real good video on them I enjoyed I think you will also. Presentation and Portfolios | Fashion Photography Blog

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