Heya FashionPhotographyBlog.com readers!
I know I promised all of you a post on portfolios so… Here goes nothing.
By now you all should know how to create some pretty pictures. (If you don’t – tsk tsk, what have you been doing all this time?! – check out some of the post series on FashionPhotographyBlog.com dedicated to teaching new photographers the basics.) So, what do we do with our beautiful pictures we cherish so much!? Stick them in a portfolio!
Why do we need print portfolios when iPads and the internet exist? Easy! Things look different printed. Considering that print is the end goal for most of us, it’s helpful to show off our images in a printed format. iPads are a fine and dandy way of showcasing your work but it’s not tangible. With a printed image, you can get close and personal with it. Plus, the detail and richness of color that comes with a good print doesn’t compare to what is seen on a computer screen.
Choosing a portfolio can be a bit daunting – there are so many sizes, colors and options! Let’s break it down a little bit.
The “industry standard” is a big old 14×11 leather bound book. These are already pretty heavy (and pricey) so anything bigger and you may want to consider a gym membership. Granted, it’s completely up to you what size you want. Just realize, the sizes of portfolios DO NOT correlate to the size of your cameras sensor. Sometimes you have to get creative when laying out your book! (We’ll get to this in a bit).
Things to consider before going to order your book:
1. Have you established your brand?
Before making a commitment such as having your name embossed, make sure you have established how it is you’re going to brand yourself and you’re not going to be changing it any time soon. Got it? Good. Once you’re happy with your branding, try to choose a font that matches your logo/paperwork/masthead. This way there is a sense of cohesion and everything that belongs to you looks like it belongs together.
My logo is a top secret font that I use purely for my name.
However, the font for everything else associated with my brand (paperwork, website, promo cards) is done in Helvetica. So, to keep it consistent, I decided to use Helvetica on my portfolio. After all, being the nerd that I am, Helvetica is my favorite typeface. If I one day decide to change the top secret font that is my current logo, I have trusty Helvetica to fall back on. Plus, my current logo is so thin that I was afraid it wouldn’t look very good when embossed.
‘Alana Tyler Slutsky’ embossed in the front of my portfolio
2. Do you have a budget?
Portfolios are expensive! If you’re going to have a book custom made, make sure you do it right. DON’T CUT CORNERS! You’ll regret it in the end. If you’re on a budget, look at the options offered by different companies. After exploring your options if you’re still hung up on a certain type of portfolio that you can’t afford, save up for it.
3. Stick to the standard or deviate from the norm?
As mentioned before, the 14×11 black leather bound portfolios is the “industry standard”. Just because it’s the norm doesn’t mean you have to stick to it! There are some crazy portfolios out there – clear, metal, neon – you name it and I’m sure there is someone who can make it for you. That being said, think long and hard about whether or not you should stick to the industry standard or show a bit of personality through your book.
Personally, I went with a 14×11 black (fake) leather book. After all, it’s a standard for a reason. Let your work speak for itself rather than your book being louder than your images.
4. Do your research!
With the overwhelming number of options that are out there, make sure you look long and hard before committing to your portfolio. In a way, it becomes an extension of yourself. Make sure it represents you well.
I hope that this post helps you plan your portfolios better. Stay tuned till next time because we will be getting to the fun part.. We will looking into the different types of portfolios & where to get them.
Until them –
Feature image: Steven Klein for Interview Magazine