When I launched this month’s main giveaway I was pretty hard on Flickr. I said some cruel things. Feelings got hurt. And then I felt bad, joined Flickr to put my money where my mouth was, and guess what? Still hate it. But it has its uses. I’m not sure how people can do it, must have more time than me. For a million reasons I can understand people using – and loving – Flickr. Just not for use as a portfolio.
So to that end we ponied up and made this month’s Giveaway a copy of Evrium’s Professional Fluid Galleries. I’m pleased to announce that the winner is Jakob Swartz Sorenson. But everyone else can have a coupon for $50 off if you email me soonishly. The coupon expires April 15, 2009 – so it’s a limited time offer. Email me if you want one.
Assuming you have any professional aspirations – and not all photographers do, that’s OK – a portfolio is not the depository of every image you’ve ever shot. It’s a piece of visual communication designed to communicate certain things about you and your visual style to others, usually prospective clients. It’s a professional tool. As such:
A portfolio should be built to communicate to your specific audience. If you’re looking to book wedding work, a portfolio with a bunch of images from the airshow is a step in the wrong direction. Want wedding work, show the clients your best wedding work. People want to hire people who are experts in their area, not the guy who shoots everything.
A portfolio should be created to visually support your style and brand. Your marketing should be consistent and it should be all you, baby. Your vision and your passion direct it.
A portfolio should be – and this is where I need to go back to my own and do an overhaul – your absolute best foot forward. Don’t show alternate frames or the ones that just have personal meaning to you – put those in your Flickr account and keep the portfolio lean. How lean? That’s up to you. Leaner than mine, I think.
One of the best things you can do to fine-tune your portfolio is bring in a new set of eyes. Eyes that are not attached to your images, eyes you respect. Ask those eyes to look at your portfolio and do an edit.
Have a great weekend, shoot something you love. And if you have time left over this weekend, don’t forget to calibrate your monitor and back up your images. 🙂