Selecting Portfolio Images

February 5, 2015

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If you're new here, I'm Lauren, owner of this little corner of the internet.  I am a creative to the core who is constantly inspired by good light, sweet love stories, pretty little details, exploring new places, and creative projects.  Here you'll find a little exploration of each!

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This time last year, I was beginning to prepare to head to Santa Barbara, California for a conference called United.  Little did I know, that the conference would create an incredible experience!  This experience came from numerous factors: the friendships made, the speakers who inspired, and the little tips and tricks that I gained!  One of the best of these tips and tricks came from Justin + Mary who spoke on narrowing down your portfolio.

Of the many tips that resonated with me one of the best take-aways from their talk was to make sure that there is variety within your portfolio!  Now some of you who are reading are probably thinking, oh gosh, this girl is nuts!  I don’t mean that within one gallery that there should be portraits, dogs, weddings, landscapes, and photos of architecture!  What I do mean is that there should never be too many images from the same event in one gallery.  Even if you absolutely love a certain wedding, displaying too many images of it may be received by clients as a lack of experience!  Hello?! Why hadn’t I thought of that before?!

So adding on to that solid piece of advice here are my few tips and tricks I’ve learned as I am rebranding and selecting images to fill my galleries:

  • Before you even set out to create your portfolio, think about what you want to tell your audience (i.e. potential brides or clients) about your work. Should they expect candid moments?  Great! Make sure that you then have no stoic or posed-feeling images in your portfolio.  If the images you give your couples typically have much more of an editorial flare to them, that’s what you should place in your portfolio.  This is the first impression a client gets of what to expect for their own experience.
  • Pick the best of the best.  You don’t have to show every image that you’ve ever taken.  You should be choosing from 10-20 images that display your best work.  This means all your verticals should be straight, your editing should be seamless throughout, and your work should speak for itself.  Make sure though that your images are conveying the message you decided that you want to project!
  • Show what you want to shoot! This is a common phrase among photographers, showing the work that you want to be shooting.  What does that mean?  If you want to shoot coastal and elegant weddings, should you show barnyard farm wedding? No.  If you want to shoot Kate Spade inspired weddings, that’s what you should show! If you don’t have any images of the things that you want to be shooting, make them!  Plan a styled shoot, photograph shoes from Nordstrom, photograph current clients’ portraits in the manor in which you want to be perceived!  Do whatever it takes to make your dreams come true!

The image below will forever be a favorite: it captures the moments in between and pure joy.  That’s the experience that I want each of my clients to have and expect!  

An Elegant Blue and Purple wedding at the Grand Hotel in Baltimore by Maryland Fine Art Photographer Lauren R Swann

 

This time last year, I was beginning to prepare to head to Santa Barbara, California for a conference called United.  Little did I know, that the conference would create an incredible experience!  This experience came from numerous factors: the friendships made, the speakers who inspired, and the little tips and tricks that I gained!  One of the best of these tips and tricks came from Justin + Mary who spoke on narrowing down your portfolio.

Of the many tips that resonated with me one of the best take-aways from their talk was to make sure that there is variety within your portfolio!  Now some of you who are reading are probably thinking, oh gosh, this girl is nuts!  I don’t mean that within one gallery that there should be portraits, dogs, weddings, landscapes, and photos of architecture!  What I do mean is that there should never be too many images from the same event in one gallery.  Even if you absolutely love a certain wedding, displaying too many images of it may be received by clients as a lack of experience!  Hello?! Why hadn’t I thought of that before?!

So adding on to that solid piece of advice here are my few tips and tricks I’ve learned as I am rebranding and selecting images to fill my galleries:

  • Before you even set out to create your portfolio, think about what you want to tell your audience (i.e. potential brides or clients) about your work. Should they expect candid moments?  Great! Make sure that you then have no stoic or posed-feeling images in your portfolio.  If the images you give your couples typically have much more of an editorial flare to them, that’s what you should place in your portfolio.  This is the first impression a client gets of what to expect for their own experience.
  • Pick the best of the best.  You don’t have to show every image that you’ve ever taken.  You should be choosing from 10-20 images that display your best work.  This means all your verticals should be straight, your editing should be seamless throughout, and your work should speak for itself.  Make sure though that your images are conveying the message you decided that you want to project!
  • Show what you want to shoot! This is a common phrase among photographers, showing the work that you want to be shooting.  What does that mean?  If you want to shoot coastal and elegant weddings, should you show barnyard farm wedding? No.  If you want to shoot Kate Spade inspired weddings, that’s what you should show! If you don’t have any images of the things that you want to be shooting, make them!  Plan a styled shoot, photograph shoes from Nordstrom, photograph current clients’ portraits in the manor in which you want to be perceived!  Do whatever it takes to make your dreams come true!

The image below will forever be a favorite: it captures the moments in between and pure joy.  That’s the experience that I want each of my clients to have and expect!  

An Elegant Blue and Purple wedding at the Grand Hotel in Baltimore by Maryland Fine Art Photographer Lauren R Swann

 

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This time last year, I was beginning to prepare to head to Santa Barbara, California for a conference called United.  Little did I know, that the conference would create an incredible experience!  This experience came from numerous factors: the friendships made, the speakers who inspired, and the little tips and tricks that I gained!  One of the best of these tips and tricks came from Justin + Mary who spoke on narrowing down your portfolio.

Of the many tips that resonated with me one of the best take-aways from their talk was to make sure that there is variety within your portfolio!  Now some of you who are reading are probably thinking, oh gosh, this girl is nuts!  I don’t mean that within one gallery that there should be portraits, dogs, weddings, landscapes, and photos of architecture!  What I do mean is that there should never be too many images from the same event in one gallery.  Even if you absolutely love a certain wedding, displaying too many images of it may be received by clients as a lack of experience!  Hello?! Why hadn’t I thought of that before?!

So adding on to that solid piece of advice here are my few tips and tricks I’ve learned as I am rebranding and selecting images to fill my galleries:

  • Before you even set out to create your portfolio, think about what you want to tell your audience (i.e. potential brides or clients) about your work. Should they expect candid moments?  Great! Make sure that you then have no stoic or posed-feeling images in your portfolio.  If the images you give your couples typically have much more of an editorial flare to them, that’s what you should place in your portfolio.  This is the first impression a client gets of what to expect for their own experience.
  • Pick the best of the best.  You don’t have to show every image that you’ve ever taken.  You should be choosing from 10-20 images that display your best work.  This means all your verticals should be straight, your editing should be seamless throughout, and your work should speak for itself.  Make sure though that your images are conveying the message you decided that you want to project!
  • Show what you want to shoot! This is a common phrase among photographers, showing the work that you want to be shooting.  What does that mean?  If you want to shoot coastal and elegant weddings, should you show barnyard farm wedding? No.  If you want to shoot Kate Spade inspired weddings, that’s what you should show! If you don’t have any images of the things that you want to be shooting, make them!  Plan a styled shoot, photograph shoes from Nordstrom, photograph current clients’ portraits in the manor in which you want to be perceived!  Do whatever it takes to make your dreams come true!

The image below will forever be a favorite: it captures the moments in between and pure joy.  That’s the experience that I want each of my clients to have and expect!  

An Elegant Blue and Purple wedding at the Grand Hotel in Baltimore by Maryland Fine Art Photographer Lauren R Swann

 

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COMMENTS -

  1. you have officially made me want to review my portfolio Haha. What great advice! Thank you for posting this! I love it :) im going through my portfolio tonight :)

  2. Brooke says:

    Great advice for creating a portfolio!!

  3. Natalie says:

    Love this post! Such great tips!

  4. Jennifer says:

    Such fantastic advice. Thanks for sharing!

Selecting Portfolio Images Tips + Tricks | for Photographers

This time last year, I was beginning to prepare to head to Santa Barbara, California for a conference called United. Little did I know, that the conference would create an incredible experience! This experience came from numerous factors: the friendships made, the speakers who inspired, and the little tips and tricks that I gained!

This time last year, I was beginning to prepare to head to Santa Barbara, California for a conference called United. Little did I know, that the conference would create an incredible experience! This experience came from numerous factors: the friendships made, the speakers who inspired, and the little tips and tricks that I gained!

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For Photographers