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Portfolio question

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Old 07-22-2005, 04:20 PM
inskip inskip is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 84
Portfolio question

Can anyone give me any guidlines for creating a carried portfolio?
One thing I've been wondering about is if it you would put both portrait and landscape images in the same book? Meaning that people would have to turn the book this way and that to look at the images. Is this okay or considered a Faux Pas? What about displaying images of diffferent sizes?
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Old 07-26-2005, 06:45 AM
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T Paul T Paul is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: USA
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Well perhaps there is no single "right" way to prepare a portfolio. But here are a few suggestions:

Traditionally, keep all your sheets of paper the same size. The image size and dimensions can and do vary, as it is not uncommon to crop images or use different camera formats in the same portfolio. However, by having the same paper size you bring uniformity to the portfolio. On another note, it’s probably not a good idea to make your client keep turning your portfolio around in order to view the photos. If you cannot crop your images so that they have the same orientation; instead perhaps create two portfolios, one in portrait format and one in landscape format….or at least two sections.

The print sizes should be no smaller than 8X10 and no larger than 11x14. This is for ease of viewing (you want your work large enough to be seen), shipping (you want to be able to overnight it without costing a small fortune) and carrying (you want to be able to get around town without causing any accidents). Try to imagine going to your interview carrying a gargantuan sized portfolio, getting into the elevator, hitting people in the head as you walk through small corridors and so on. Not a pretty sight.

Another thing to remember is that printing 'full bleeds' (no borders) is not recommended - most clients prefer a small white border 1/2" minimum around the edges. This will help the photos stand out and make it easier to place them into those protective sleeves without getting fingerprints on them.

Finally, when setting up your portfolio remember that you will have two images showing at the same time; left page and right page. Always strive to choose images that play off of each other such as a similar concept or color tones.

There are many sources for portfolio boxes, books and cases. Here are a few that you may want to check out:
House of Portfolios
Light Impressions
B&H Photo
More Tips

How to Create a Portfolio of your Work

Last edited by T Paul; 07-28-2005 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 08-09-2005, 08:35 PM
emarts emarts is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Northern, NJ
Posts: 135
Since I also run a small printing business, I always print my photos on high quality photo paper and pull them out of the portfolio to show to my prospective customer. I find that they like to see the image unincumbered by the acetate sleeve. Also, they'll hold it up to different light sources and examine it closely. Sometimes under a loupe.

Also, sometimes I even offer to leave the prints behind instead of business cards.

Anyway, if I don't get the retouching job, I might get some printing work out of them.

Edit: One other thing. Now this might sound snobbish but I have a good reason for this. I never, ever send my portfolio to anybody. If someone wants to see my stuff, they have to make an appointment so that I'm in the room at the time they are viewing my work. I have a 90% success rate of getting the job if I'm there than if I just send off the portfoilio for them to review when they get around to it. If I'm there, I'm in control of the sale. If they insist on seeing my work prior to my arrival I will direct them to my website, where I will create a gallery just for them. But I will be sure to make an appointment or I will call them when the online gallery is ready, and I will go over it with them over the phone.

Now you might think that you'd get less interviews that way, and you might be right. but I'd rather get 9 sales out of 10 appointments than send out a portfolio 50 times before anyone calls.

And yes, I've been told that busy art directors would rather have you send the portfolio. But then that puts them in control of the sales process. You may as well get a regular job then. If you act like a hungry art student, you'll be treated like one.

My 2 cents.

Last edited by emarts; 08-09-2005 at 08:48 PM. Reason: Additional info.
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