How To Build An Incredible Photography Portfolio

_CS10836If you are interested in taking your photography skills from hobby to profession, you need to have a great photography portfolio. Much like more traditional jobs have resumes and CVs, photographers need to have a portfolio to show off their work. The process of creating a portfolio can seem daunting. You may feel like you don’t have enough photos or that you need to sort through years of photographs. Perhaps you are not even sure how to get started creating your portfolio. If you want to take the step from hobbyist to professional, they you need a portfolio. Whether you are new to photography or have been shooting for years, learn how to build an amazing photography portfolio by following these tips!

Print vs. online

Before the age of the internet, photography portfolios had to be printed. But not technology has allowed for more options. With an online portfolio, you can quickly email your portfolio to potential clients or employer. However there is power in a high quality beautiful, well crafted printed portfolio. To determine what works best for you, evaluate your audience and your budget. Printed portfolios are typically a higher investment than digital portfolios but if you are frequently going to in-person interviews, then it may be more beneficial for you to have a printed portfolio.

Identify your target audience

It is important to ask yourself why are you creating your portfolio and who do you want to see it? Is your portfolio for editorial work or advertising work, for event works or are you hoping to be featured in a gallery? Do you want to only focus on a certain type of photography, such as food photography, so your target audience may not be impressed with wedding photos or portraits.

If you understand who your audience is, you can try to understand what they are looking for from a photographer and how they search for photographers. This can even help you determine if your portfolio should be printed or online.

Know your goals and choose a theme or style

It is essential that your portfolio has a goal. Why are you creating this portfolio? What type of people are you attracting to look at your portfolio? What type of photography are you interested in? What is your unique style? Perhaps you specialize in artsy black and white portraits and want your work featured in a gallery or you enjoy capturing moments during events and want to be hired as an event photographer. These two different styles would be two very different portfolios. At this point, you may have shot many different types of photos but you want to be clear on the theme and goals of your portfolio before you start choosing your photos.

Quality over quantity

Choosing photos are often the hardest part of creating a great portfolio. You do not want to use all of your photos for your portfolio. Remember that most people don’t have hours to go through your portfolio. You may also want to have a trusted friend help you with this as many photographers like to choose their favorite shots. While you will have your favorites, it can be hard for you to judge your own work. Find a friend or mentor whose judgement you trust to help you choose the very shots.

Beginning and ending

People are more likely to remember and be impacted by the first few shots and the last few shots in your portfolio. You want to pay special attention to the first few photos in your portfolio. Do they set the right tone for your portfolio? Are they going to keep your audience looking at your portfolio? Will your last photos leave a lasting impression? These are important factors in your portfolio!


The sequence of your portfolio can also be very important. You want the portfolio to feel like it flows naturally. The right sequence can help bring emotion to your portfolio, which can evoke a strong reaction from your audience. Strong reactions will help your audience remember your work!  You can sequence by mood, movement, color or composition.  You can choose one sequence or you can mix them in together.

Other Content in Your Portfolio

Your photos are only a part of your portfolio. If you wish, you can add more content to the portfolio to make it stronger and more memorable. You may wish to write an artist statement, which is a statement explaining your work or outlining your concept. You can also include a list of shots included, titles for shots or date and locations of the shot or a thumbnail contact sheet.

Building your portfolio can be daunting but it’s an excellent project for you to get a better idea of who you are as a photographer and the type of work you really love! If you want to add more sports photos to your portfolio, book a game with DC Sports Photography! It’s the perfect way to gain experience and photos of sporting events for your portfolio.

Sign up to receive updates, news and more photography resources to your inbox!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s