Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video What is a portfolio and why does it matter?, part of Creating a Photography Portfolio.
- [Instructor] So as we begin our conversation about portfolios, let's start off by asking well, what is a portfolio and why does it matter? And we can think of a portfolio as something that we view on a computer, something we carry with us, maybe it's a book of images or a box of prints, or something that we can view on a mobile device as well. Now regardless of the delivery method of the portfolio, I like to think of a portfolio as essentially being made up of three things. First it's a selection of our work, it isn't everything. And that selection hopefully is a distillation of things.
It's like our work concentrated into this smaller form. And then last but not least, a portfolio is a showcase. The intent is to showcase the work that we've done in a way that is appealing to the viewer. Now when we think of a portfolio, essentially we start off with something like this. We start off in Lightroom, or another application, and we have all of the these images. Thousands and thousands of photographs. Now if we were to show someone all of our photographs, it actually wouldn't be very interesting. And in a sense all of those photographs are kind of like clutter.
And what a portfolio's about is about taking that clutter and finding some sort of clarity. And here, what comes to mind, is that Einsteinean idea that what we try to do is, out of clutter find simplicity. And in a sense, that's what we're trying to do when we're creating a portfolio of our own work. Now what does this clutter look like? Well sometimes it just looks like a bunch of images kind of stacked on top of each other. And the way that we try to find simplicity is to organize these. Maybe we just spread them out a little bit, so that the viewer can take them in.
Or maybe we decide to layer on top of that some sort of form of organization. So that here, like this grid, we're able to view all of these different images at once so that they all kind of fit together like different puzzle pieces. Now often we'll start with some sort of a clutter, and with this clutter we can either decide to simplify by organizing and spreading out, or we can say you know what, what if we just want to whittle this down? What if we want to get rid of some of these photographs, and try to find a few images, maybe just two images that belong together.
Then once we have those we can ask ourself, well how can we organize those or display those so that it's more appealing or more interesting. And essentially, what a portfolio is it's going from here, clutter, to some sort of display of our images that's beautiful and intriguing and draws the viewer in. And so in sum when we think about this question of what and why, in regards to a portfolio, well, what portfolio is is something which gives us the ability to say more with less.
Why do we create portfolios? Well I think one of the best reasons to create a portfolio is so that we can do more of what we love. We create a portfolio with the work that we want to get hired to do more of. And so that really is one of the best intents to have when you think about creating a portfolio of your own.
- What's a portfolio and why does it matter?
- Top three things every portfolio needs
- Clarifying and defining your vision
- Examining and evaluating your work
- Defining your motivation
- Making your own road map
- Developing a personal brand
- Developing a manifesto or mission statement
- Building the portfolio website
- Expanding your business with print