During the last week I’ve finished my first printed portfolio, and I had it judged by three professional photographers receiving great feedbacks and tips. A printed portfolio is a necessary tool for every photographer to present their work to agencies, art directors, etc… The beauty of it is that it involves a lot of other skills, that are not closely related to photography: sense of design, style and personal taste. I’ve really enjoyed working on it because it’s a very creative process. Not only you can see your finished work, nicely printed on paper of your choice (for mine, I’ve used the Ilford Smooth Pearl, a beautiful luster paper, which holds nice contrast and deep blacks), but also you work creatively to reinforce the style of your work. There are a lot of ways to present a portfolio: you can choose a classical portfolio case (which I used), where you can change the order of the pages or change the photographs to target different clients, a portfolio box, where the prints are standalone (better for fine art photographers), or a custom-made book, which is the nicest one in term of impact on the viewer, but has also the limit of being a finished piece that you can’t upgrade. All of these convey a different meaning to your work, but they all offer a high level of customization.
These are a few images from my people portfolio: some of them are brand new, and some less, but they all have been shot in the last year. I used a simple, clean-looking portfolio case and layout, which I feel reflects my work. I encourage every photographer or any aspiring one to print their work and lay it out in a book, or in any way you want it to be, because it’s a great way to think about your work, and mostly, to see it done, finished. There’s no right or wrong, we are in the land of personal taste: that’s the beauty of it.