Becoming a Photographer
A portfolio is a showcase for a photographer's best work. When a photographer puts a portfolio together it is with the intent of using it as a means of advertising his or her talent and expertise. When creating a portfolio a photographer must do their best to choose the absolute best work as it is what the client is interested in most. Whether it is for wedding photography or to present to a gallery, a photographer's portfolio must be polished and professional.
Photographers can purchase portfolio cases at most photographic supply stores. Work presented in these cases looks professional and keeping your prints this way helps to organize them and keep them safe.
Portfolio prints are usually 8" x 10" and between 10 and 20 in number. Before submitting a portfolio for any reason it is in the photographer's best interest to find out the exact requirements of submission. Portfolios need to have continuity of subject and style. A scattered looking portfolio makes a photographer look unprofessional even if his or her work is good. If a photographer has different styles the same style should be continuous in one part of the portfolio, while any different styles can be represented in a separate part of the portfolio, or in a different portfolio all together. The same rule applies for subject matter and also color and black and white. Black and white prints should stay with black and white prints and not be mixed in with color prints.
The prints in a portfolio should be professional and ready to be sold. All pertinent information should be attached to the print. This means that the photos should be matted in the way of prints for sale, and the work should be signed.
The best of a photographer's most recent work is what is desirable in a portfolio. Clients want to see what a photographer has been doing recently. In this sense what matters is what's done now, not in the past. Showing work that has been done years previously doesn't show what the photographer is doing now. It is important to update portfolios consistently.
For portfolios kept in a digital format, it is good to contact the person, organization or publication the photographer would like to submit to. Specific requirements should be gotten and followed to the letter. Especially for those photos being seen in a publication, adhering to required guidelines is important. Formats for publication differ from one publisher to the next.
Some acceptable formats for saving you prints to digital are TIFF, JPEG, GIF, EPS. As mentioned previously, it is important to consult with the publisher or other entity as to requirements.