How to Build a Commercial Photography Portfolio

If you are beginning a career in commercial photography, it is vital to have a good portfolio of your work. A portfolio of commercial photography is as important as a calling card, and it is one of the things that potential clients will expect you to provide. Follow these tips to build a good commercial photography portfolio that will help you land important work.

Step 1 - Take Some Photographs

If you intend to move from amateur to commercial photography, the first thing you will need to do is create a portfolio of work that reflects these fields. There are 4 basic areas of commercial photography that you will need to cover:

  1. Travel - Be prepared to take shots of sunsets, hotels or tourist attractions in your area. Start creating a range of photographic stock images which can help to show your client your style and range.
  2. Fashion - Build a range of photography that show your ability to take different kinds of fashion shots: commercial, beauty or editorial, for example.
  3. Advertising - Take shots of your favorite products being used by models, showing size and details. The focus should be on the advantages and appeal of the product, rather than solely on the product itself.
  4. Product - Take a series of shots of shots of a product close-up and by itself. The focus should be on the appearance or packaging of the product.

Step 2 - Turn Your Work into a Commercial Photography Portfolios

Clients and businesses can be looking for different varieties of commercial photographer. One client might require an attractive series of nature shots, while another might be only interested in fashion. Do your research, and understand what the customer needs from this particular shoot, and create a portfolio that shows off your best work in the fields they are interested in. You can prepare for this by keeping all your work in one place (such as a large folder or set of drawers), and having a working file into which you put the right kind of photographs. In this way, you will always have the relevant work to hand. Targeting your client like this will help you to impress businesses and future employers.

Step 3 - Include Focused Written Information

Most commercial photography portfolios will come with a small piece of written information about the images in the portfolio. These should be short but informative, without too much technical details. Commercial clients don't care about the shutter speed, but they might like to read about previous clients you have had, and the context behind particular shots. You should also give each picture in the portfolio a title, and include an index of photographs at the back, so that clients can find a particular shot easily.

Step 4 - Go Digital

In the modern technological age, there is no reason why any commercial photography portfolio should not be available either online, or as a computer file. Most commercial businesses and clients will probably expect your commercial photography to be available in both a digital and hard-copy format. It is only professional to digitize your work.

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