How To Build A Photography Portfolio (Complete Guide)

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Right away, you will realize that photography is amazing. There are countless aspects to it that you will learn when going forward, and it is only going to make you better at something, and that too, without any hassle.

If you are looking to get into professional photography, you will need to build a portfolio, and in this article, we are going to teach you how to build a photography portfolio. Once ready, it will help you get better at photography, and you will be out of the woods in no time.

How To Make A Photography Portfolio

I do understand that most people might find this incredibly complex, but creating a photography portfolio is a lot easier and simpler than one might think, and we are going to help you do just that in this post because we find it incredibly important that everyone knows what needs to be done.

#1- You’ll Need To Take As Many (great) photos as you can

The first thing that you will need to understand is that if you are willing to start creating your own portfolio, you will need to start taking as many pictures as you possibly can.

a guy taking pictures on the streets

However, you must also remember that you cannot just settle for mediocre images because good quality images are a lot better than some average photos, and we want to avoid those at all costs, and that is what is important in the first place. So, always be certain that you are looking into that.

#2- Capture and produce high-quality images

Your photography needs to be high quality, and this is something that I cannot stress enough. I do understand that this might seem like I am suggesting that you should invest in a really expensive camera, but that is not the story at all.

You do not need an expensive camera, however, what you do need is a good set of eyes that allow you to take the pictures you should be able to taking for your portfolio. You need a creative drive that will keep you going.

#3- Keep it simple, and don’t go overboard

You are just getting started, and this means that you do not need to be creatively gifted, and your photographs do not need to be on the same scale as some of the other photographers.

taking picture of street with iphone

I do understand that this might be an issue that most people run into, but hey, the process is much simpler if you are looking into it, and if you do keep it simple, you would be good to go.

#4- Identify Your Interest, Demand, And Niche of Photography

A common mistake that I see a lot of aspiring photographers make is that they have little to no knowledge of their own interests in photography.

This results in the photographers taking all sorts of photos but never really settling for the right one. As someone who is trying to make a career in the field, you have to be sure that you are fully aware of your own interests, demands, and the type of niche you want to look for.

#5- Get Creative With The Photos

Another thing that I am going to tell everyone who is getting into photography is that you should have the courage to get creative with the photos you are taking. You have to be sure that you are doing everything that you possibly can to let your creativity out.

picture of milky way in camera screen

Remember, your creativity is unique to you, and if no one else is doing it, it does not matter that you shouldn’t. Your creative style is what will set you apart from everyone else in this highly saturated world of photography.

#6- Choose Images with Impact

Moving forward, since you are trying to build your portfolio, I would highly suggest that you are choosing images that have an impact, images that give a message rather than random images of all the random things that you can come across.

I do understand that it does sound snobbish at first, but taking images of random things that are without any sort of depth is not going to get you far, and we are trying to avoid just that.

Therefore, the best thing that you should be looking into is the fact that you need to choose images that have an impact and send a message.

#7- Have a Consistent Style

Every established photographer has a style that they have been using for a long, long time. But you will realize that this is not something that they have developed since the beginning.

photograph of some buildings on street

If you look at the old pictures taken by professional photographers, the style was all over the place. It took them some time to actually find the style that speaks for them, and then they decided to take that further.

You will have to go through the entire process and don’t worry if your style is too similar to the other person’s because all of these are natural, and you should not really run into any issues as long as you are being patient about it.

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#8- Find groups for people who share your interest

If you are looking to hone your craft even further and truly develop a style and a portfolio, I would highly suggest that you are looking for groups of people who share the same interest in photography.

That should allow you to have an understanding of the type of pictures you should be taking and how you will never go wrong in that instance.

#9- There are lots of simple ideas for building your photography portfolio in any niche

Now that you are done looking at some other tips that I have for you, I am going to tell you a lot of simple ideas that you can use to build your photography portfolio. So, it is always a good thing to understand and get started with.

Headshot Photography: if you are looking to get started, you can take headshot photography as a serious way to make your portfolio.

There are so many famous photographers who have built their careers around headshots. Take Martin Schoeller, for instance. One of the most influential photographers.

If you’re dreaming about a photographer career but not sure how to start, check travel photographer vacancies and start exploring the word.

Travel photography: Another great way to get started is by getting into travel photography. You can build your entire portfolio, and the best thing is that, in most cases, travel photography can easily cover other aspects, such as landscape, and portrait photography, too.

Sports Photography: While it might not be something that everyone would be into, another great way to get started with photography is sports photography. So, if you are looking to get better at it, you can just look into sports photography and see if you want to build your portfolio around it.

Landscape Photography: Landscape photography is something that I love. It does require some traveling or finding angles that are otherwise not something that people look into, but there is something about the symmetry and the concept of it that allows you to take some stunning pictures and express yourself at the same time.

Automotive Photography: Moving further, we are also looking at automotive photography. Now, this is something that is not for everyone because you need to have a certain understanding of cars and other automotive aspects as well, but if you are good at it, feel free to express yourself, and you are good to go.

Concert Photography: Moving on, another great thing is concert photography, which is another aspect of event photography, something that is incredibly diverse. Concert photography is slightly difficult to get into, but if you start small and build your portfolio around it, then why not.

Food photography: Although I never could get into it, I know the fact that the generation Z has played a massive part in taking food photography to the next level.

Not just that, you are getting photographers who are getting better and better at their craft just because the newer generation is starting to show interest.

Wedding Photograph: If you are looking towards becoming a wedding photographer, a great way to get started is wedding photography as it is going to help you a lot, and you can establish everything perfectly and without fault.

Fashion Photography: Over the past couple of years, fashion photography is the one thing that has become a lot more common and, honestly, for all the right reasons.

It might seem like it is not something that is substantial, but if you look closely, you are looking at something that delivers excellent ways of becoming even better than before and getting some amazing results, too.

Real estate photography: From the looks of it at first glance, real estate photography might look like something that is boring but to be honest, it is one of the most creative art forms because it makes you look at something so ordinary, so good.

Street Photography: Street or urban photography is something that you should always look into because it is actually very versatile. A lot of times, if you can pull off good street photography, you would be able to pull off any other style of photography, too.

Astrophotography: Moving further, astrophotography has become all the rage these days, and to be honest, one could almost say that it is just getting started. Astrophotography is a bigger niche than some of the other art forms, but it actually attracts a lot of attention.

Fine Art Photography: Fine art photography is a bit more technical and, honestly, not as easy, but the best thing is that it helps you get your foot in the door and allows you to take the type of pictures you want to take.

Fashion/Modeling Photography: If you are looking to get things done in terms of having a portfolio, you can start looming into fashion or modeling photography. You will be exploring various styles of photography here and will ultimately get better.

Wildlife photography: The last one that we are going to talk about is wildlife photography, and you should be able to get things done with ease.

Wildlife is not as easy as it might sound. You are not just taking pictures of animals; you are traveling to harsher conditions, spending a lot of time outside, and putting yourself in potential danger, too.

#10- Identify Your End Goal in Photography

Now that we are done talking about the types, you can actually start understanding things better. However, the one thing that I would highly suggest is that you should identify your end goal better in photography because it is actually a lot more important than you might think, and you cannot really overlook this.

#11- Make your passion prominent.

If you are looking to build your portfolio and you want to be certain that you are doing the right thing. I would highly suggest that you are making your passion as prominent as possible because that is going to help you achieve what you are willing to achieve.

It is not the simplest, but it helps a lot. Make sure your photos are speaking for themselves and are circulating at all the right places.

#12- Ask for Feedback

Asking for feedback is definitely the right thing to do because when you are getting feedback, both positive and negative, you can easily tell what needs to be changed and what needs to be kept. It is always the right way to go ahead.

#13- Create a Photography Portfolio Website

The internet has inherently made it easier for us to spread information and go to lengths that were previously unreachable. So, this means that you should go ahead and create your portfolio website.

image of a camera on laptop

I know some people are using services such as Instagram and Facebook, but I still believe having a dedicated portfolio website is a great way to get started.

#14- Optimize your portfolio for all devices

Another thing that I would suggest is be sure that your entire portfolio is optimized for all the devices there are. What does that mean?

Well, you see, when you are in the process of taking pictures, you will have to be certain that your pictures are looking good not just on a camera or a computer screen but also on a tablet and a mobile phone because these days, people use all sorts of devices to browse the internet.

#15- Six Sites to Showcase Your Work Online

As a photographer, you will need a place to showcase your artistic work online, and to be honest, a lot of times, things can be confusing. Below are some of the best places where you can showcase your work.

person using laptop with camera on desk

Photoshelter: Photoshelter describes itself as a digital asset management platform that effortlessly lets you manage, collaborate, and share your images and videos with the world. It is a bit difficult to use, but once you master it, the sky is the limit.

Foliolink: Next up, we have Foliolink, and it is exactly what you think it is. If you are looking to make an excellent portfolio, the service allows you to create and manage elegant portfolio websites.

Zenfolio: Another great service is Zenfolio; the service lets you create websites that can be used as your very own portfolio. You can actually look into various templates and choose the ones that you want to.

FolioHD: if you do not have much time to go through the woes of getting a dedicated website created, you can use FolioHD and get started with your own website. The uploads are fast, the templates and themes are amazing, and you have a lot of choices

500px: Perhaps one of the oldest photo-sharing platforms, 500px has managed to amass a loyal follower base ever since it started back in 2009 and still is one of the best services you can use.

Pixpa: If you are searching for an easy-to-use service that lets you make a portfolio website on the fly, then Pixpa is the way to go, as you will not really have any issues.

#16- How many pictures should be in a portfolio?

This is a question that we keep getting all the time, and to be honest, there is no upper or lower limit. Photography is all about getting better and better at what you do, and if you are looking for something that allows you to get creative, you can take as many photographs in your portfolio as long as they convey what you want them to convey.

#17- What should be in a photography portfolio?

Ideally, I would suggest that you are keeping the best shots in the portfolio. The purpose of any portfolio is to be able to show the shots that you want to show off. You shouldn’t just put in any random shots.

#18- How do I get my photography noticed?

If you are looking to get your photography noticed, there are a number of ways through which you can do that. You can start using various platforms for that, and remember, if your work is good and speaks for itself, then you will not have a hard time finding the right exposure.

#19- How much does it cost to do a portfolio?

This honestly varies. You can expect anywhere from $60 to $80 per hour for this sort of work but based on your region, your experience, and everything else, this can vary. It surely requires a bit of work here.

Final Verdict:

There you have it, folks. If you have been trying to figure out how to build a photography portfolio, this whole post more or less explores everything that you need to do to get started. Surely, it is overwhelming for a lot of people, but the more you look into it, the better you will have an understanding.

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  • Celebrating childhood in photographs and emotions through photos. My aim is to transfer all my photography experience by sharing useful camera-related guides and individual reviews so you can get an idea about everything before buying.

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