The photographer’s portfolio is worth more than any qualification, degree or association of letters. It is the summation of their talent, the culmination of their career to this day.
What a shame that so many photographers treat their ‘book’ with disdain, almost as if it is too much trouble to update. This is nothing short of commercial suicide. Imagine how any high street chain would suffer if they ignored their shop window display. The portfolio IS your shop window, whether it is a folder of prints or a website gallery. You need to dress it to impress.
Building a portfolio is the first step in any photographer’s career, and it is often the hardest. Getting good quality photographs to show potential clients is the sure fire key to success. Qualifications don’t matter a hoot when all the client is interested in is how good is your work. If you have not completed many assignments, this can be a catch 22 situation.
When I started out I was only interested in fashion photography. My idols at the time were Bailey, Donovan and Newton, so I needed a hell of a lot of practice which required lots of models and no money to hire them. I did, however, know a few friends who were photogenic and happy to be photographed in return for a few prints (and loads of encouragement). Read the rest of this entry »