Are you wondering how you can build a photography portfolio when you haven’t had any shooting time? Then keep reading and learn how to build a photography portfolio and attract paying clients.
Starting your new photography business can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Remember success is not an overnight thing, patience and kind words are key! That of course mixed with hard work and remembering to breathe.
Perfection may not exist, but progress certainly does. This is made with practice, which is the topic we will be covering today!
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How To Build A Photography Portfolio And Attract Clients
Whether it’s an online gallery, interactive PDF or an Instagram account, having a place to showcase your abilities in the art world is imperative to success. Getting a portfolio in the first place is a daunting task, but not impossible! Below are my tips to success:
Practice Makes Perfect
It’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice. All the photography basics learned from the internet, a course or friends: angles, lighting, location, communication, and posing etc. There are many things to consider as a photographer when you’re doing a photoshoot with a client.
Start off with friends and family. They know you and usually put you at ease. If you are looking to take more niche activities such as sport or wildlife, reach out to the local photographers and ask to shadow them for a day. This may be assisting on the sidelines, holding equipment such as lighting, but it is all experience and understanding on how certain shoots work.
After you’ve done a few test shoots, it’s time to practice with the public. Through this you’ll gain the experience of working with clientel, exprience the customer side of the business and also have a more varied portfolio. To get started on this, offer your services in local social media groups, or ask around!
You want a portfolio that showcases that you know what you’re doing – and the more galleries and photos you have, the better. However, it is important to remember that quality is better than quantity in this case. Only showcase work you are proud of.
Draw Inspiration From Others
Remember art class? Looking at great artists and copying works, objects and techniques? Photography is no different. There are so many fantastic photographers out there, both celebrated in art galleries and famous on instagram, but also not. Take time to scroll on Instagram, Pintrest, or your places of choice to see what works.
Here is a board of inspirational photographers I created to keep myself creative:
There are artists out there who say don’t copy others as it will stunt your individual aesthetic growth, so if you feel like that is not the route for you, don’t do it! It is your art, so do what you feel is best.
Develop Your Own Style
This is where studying other artists help. What do you like from others and what do you feel you can improve upon, or just make different. What feels like you in an image? Are you the kind of person who wants a warm cosy aesthetic? Crisp clean lines and sharp images? Intimate black and white blur?
What makes you stand out from all the other photographers? Your style, your personality, and the way you capture people and moments. Try to step outside the box of your photography comfort zone and try new settings and techniques! You may suprise yourself! By developing your own style, technique, aesthetic, and voice, you set yourself apart. People have something to remember you by, instead of being “just another photographer with pretty pictures”.
To have a consistent style once you have settled, try to use the same editing technique on the photos to keep your portfolio uniform.
Find Your Niche
Nowadays, everything is about specialising. Photography is no different. People look for specialists in their area: weddings, family portrait, sport, wildlife… you name it there is a speciality for it. Find what side you are most passionate about and hone your niche to this particular event.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t branch out into different areas of photography. Take myself for instance. My passion is animals – in particular horses, so I focus my work on Equine photography and competitions. But I also enjoy other aspects and take bookings for portraits, product shoots, as well as enjoying taking my camera around for events.
Promote What You Love
If you find out you really enjoy doing sessions with couples onsite, guess what your portfolio should be based around? Couples in situe. Your enjoyment and passion comes out int he quality of photos you take!
When someone who’s looking for a couples photographer sees your portfolio, they clearly see right away what kind of photographer you are, and what you’re really good at. This allows the customer to imagine what it would be like to work with you and what product they can take away from it.
The customer really likes your style, and your work leads them to want to work with you. Or maybe they take a look at your portfolio and decide you’re not the photographer for them. In both scenarios, this is ok, because you want to attract your ideal clients and turn away the wrong ones.
To get started with an online portfolio, you can use social media, or you can have a website. To help you get started WebHostUk is offering 25% off WordPress hosting. Use code NYW25 to get your discount or click the image below.
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The most important advice I can part with is this:
Trust in your abilities, take time, and don’t expect immediate success overnight. Make sure that you continue to have fun and stay passionate about your work, even if this means taking extra time or asking for help.
Did you find this post on how to build a portfolio when helpful? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below!