Header image by Triggertrap user Spencer Pritchett
It’s spring, everyone! Yes, after a long, tough winter, the sun is finally back out, there are leaves on the trees, and thoughts turn to all things fresh and new. And where better to start freshening up than with your portfolio?
Remember your portfolio? Maybe you started putting it together a few years ago to show off your best work and in turn get you the best jobs - but it’s been a few months since you gave it any thought. It’s on your website, hopefully doing its job and attracting new clients, but is it really giving the best impression of you it could be? And is it showing off the photographer you are now, or the photographer you were in 2013?! Who knows, you could be missing out on some massive opportunities!
Luckily, Triggertrap is here to help. Below you’ll find our in-house photography experts’ top tips for spring cleaning your portfolio and ending up with a collection of work you can really be proud of.
1. Is this person still you?
Take a look over the images in your portfolio. Consider whether they reflect the photographer you are now. Maybe you’re more interested in long exposure landscapes now, and when you put this together you were doing a lot of portraits. Your portfolio should always be a quick and easy way for potential clients to identify whether you’re the right choice for the job. Express your versatility with a range of styles, for sure - but make sure your specific talents and interests rise to the top.
2. Lose the older work
In the same way that your portfolio should show who the photographer is now, no one wants to see that your best work is from five years ago. It was your greatest then, but if you’ve been working hard on your craft in the intervening years, there must be newer stuff that’s much better. Chances are you’re a much better photographer than you used to be - so be proud of your latest and greatest work!
3. Trim off the weak stuff
This is an easy one, but one where you might have to be a bit ruthless with yourself. When it comes to your portfolio, quality is far more important than quantity. You might want to show that you’ve done a wide range of work, but only the very best of the best should be in there. Be honest, be brutal, and get rid of the weaker shots. Your portfolio will be much tighter and much more impressive as a result.
4. Don’t be afraid to re-edit
In tip two we suggested that you’re probably a better photographer now than you were five years ago. Well, that likely applies to your editing, too! If nothing else, evolving technology and the picking up of new tricks and techniques means that your editing style and subsequent images have definitely changed since some of your portfolio’s older images went in. Grab the originals, get into Photoshop (or your preferred editing suite!) and bring them up to speed with your latest work.
5. Crit with a friend
As with anything in life, getting a fresh pair of eyes on a piece of work is always a good idea (you wouldn’t believe how many people proof-read this blog post before it went up!). Get a friend who’ll be as honest and (hopefully) constructive with you as possible and look over each other’s portfolios. There’s a good chance they’ll have an interesting perspective on what constitutes your finest work or what they’d be looking for if they were interested in hiring you. Be brave and you’ll end up with a really considered portfolio of work.