Whether you are in the photography business or any other type of business, you will need a portfolio to show you work (hey remodelers, need a photographer?).  Not only is it a must to display your work online, but you also must have a print version to show at client meetings or when online viewing is not practical.

At first we tried lugging our laptop and a large monitor to not only display our work but also to present our product to the client.  This worked well if you exclude the awkwardness in the beginning while we were setting up.

We also have tried prints, but the only way to show great prints is getting them professionally printed.  Our laser and inkjet printer just doesn’t cut it to show great work.  We thought about a professional portfolio book from an online company.  But a portfolio book is a permanent display of a set number of photos, certainly not dynamic enough to adjust for different clients.

I will have to say a portfolio book is probably a must and should contain a large variety of subjects.  Put a lot of though into what photos should go into the book and how it is organized.  Make sure the color is adjusted to meet any color profile the company may list on their web site (if they do not, call them before sending it).  Viovio.com offers quality for a decent price.

For showing your work online, choose the best and organize it so it is easy to get to what the viewer wants.  I would get on my soap box and tell you not to use Adobe Flash to display the photos, but no one ever listens.  Whatever format you choose, make it lightweight to download, easy to navigate between photos, and for goodness sake, no music!  Your initial photos should be sizable enough to view on a laptop but allow a full screen view to get a close look.  We have found that instead of using our own website, we link to a third party.  Smug Mug offers us easy uploading, a place to show our work, and a place to transmit to our clients.  We have back links to our site and they handle SEO for us.

We have considered getting an iPad, which will solve a lot of our dilemmas,  Portable, clear viewing, and able to hold a large dynamic set of photos.  It however is no replacement for the online and print portfolios.

One of the things you’ll face is trying to figure out which photos or products to include.  For every piece of work you do, take a second to ask yourself if it would be good to include in your portfolio.  Keep a finite set of photos, and for every one you  add, pick one to replace.  For us, our work got better as time went on, so it was easy to find ones to replace.  But also make sure you have some of your work for all interests.  It is of no use to show a Real Estate Agent selling $200K houses what you can do for a $3 Million home.  Best piece of advice, update often and keep it current.

The above advice applies to any industry, not just photography.  Whether you are a homebuilder or cupcake makes, you need something to show off how good you are.

Thanks for reading 🙂