The sole purpose and goal of building your photography portfolio has to do with putting your best work forward. The term “best” as subjective as it is, should be replaced by the most effective in the right situations. Before you even begin putting this portfolio together you should specialize your work. If you’re going to be a landscape shooter, then be a landscape shooter and put that forward. No wedding clients want to see the landscapes that you can shoot or the photos of pets that you do–they want to see photos from your weddings.
So when you’re building your photo portfolio, here are the questions that you should ask yourself to make it more effective.
– How is the composition? Does it work with the various rules or does it break them well enough to work for my portfolio?
– Does it elicit any sort of emotion?
– Why would someone sit there and stare at this image and not just move right on to the next one?
– Who would like an image like this? Can I pitch it effectively in a competition, to a photo editor or to a gallery?
– Who could I show this image to that would want to share it on social media to allow me to gain more exposure, followers, and potentially sales?
– Who would like images like to and would want to buy prints or license the images for use?
– What specifically about this image draws a person’s eye into the scene?
– What do I need to do to make this image better? Do I need to crop it? What about an inversion? Black and white? How can I edit it to make it more effective?
– When should I show this image to people on my website? Is it ready for show?
– Where does this belong in my portfolio of work? Is it effective enough to make someone want to keep clicking through my work?
– How can I make this image better?
– How can I market this image in my portfolio?
– How can I use this image to market my own skills as a photographer in my portfolio?
– How can I use this image to better represent the type of work that I am capable of doing and that I can do?
– Does this image belong in my portfolio or is it just best off being in my pile of experiments to grow as a photographer?
– Why does this belong in my portfolio?
– Why is this image potentially worth it to someone else?
– How should I show off my portfolio? Digitally? In a book? Snail mail with beautiful presentation?
– How can I grab someone’s attention and make them pay attention to my work with this image or this set of images?
– Does this photo project need more time to cook and develop?
– How will I pitch this project?
– How will I use this image in my plan and goal to move further ahead this year as a photographer?
– How can I go about getting sales off of this image or related to this image?
– Is this the type of work that I want to put forward to get the clients that I want?
– What clients do I want?