The Brutal Questions For a Better Photography Portfolio

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer product tutorial photos (20 of 22)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 2.8

What images do you have in your photography portfolio? Lots of photographers have one and while some photographers choose to carefully choose the images they show to the world, others will simply throw them up on the web and not give a damn about the views.

This post is not for those people.

Instead, it’s for the more discerning photographers among us that want to know how to actually develop a better portfolio of images. To that end, you need to be brutal on yourself in order to actually make yourself better.

These are some major questions you should be asking yourself as you put together your portfolio of images that showcase who you are as a photographer.

  • Does my portfolio show the absolute best that I’m capable of creating or capturing?
  • Is there consistency in the way my images have been rendered?
  • Why would someone pay for my photos?
  • Can I honestly say that someone would want to pay for these images to license them or hire me to create similar work?
  • If no one would pay me for this image, then would someone want to put it in a gallery blown up and printed really large?
  • Can I honestly go to a gallery owner or curator, show them this image and please them with it?
  • Who would buy or license these images?

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Instant film cameras 2015 (7 of 8)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 3.5

  • Do I even have a target audience that I’m going after?
  • Why the hell do I not have a target audience?
  • Why would someone care about my photography?
  • What emotions does this elicit?
  • Why would someone want this image from me vs from a more famous person?
  • Can I honestly say that this image has signature elements of my creative vision?
  • Do I have a creative vision that I’m trying to market?
  • Why is this image important to me?
  • For each and every single individual image that I have in my current portfolio, what would I be comfortable paying for from an outsider’s point of view that doesn’t give a single fuck about an image of my cat, dog or kids?
  • Is this an image that I’m truly proud of?
  • Am I proud of it for only personal reasons or creative reasons?


  • Why would this image matter to someone?
  • How does this image or series show off what I’m capable of doing this?
  • Is this reflected in captions or artist statements?
  • What’s my plan for pitching my portfolio?

These are just a few to ask yourself, they’re indeed brutal and are bound to help you create a better portfolio.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.