How to Organize Your Photography for a Portfolio Presentation / by Zack Smith

Zack Smith and Jennifer Shaw presenting "How To Prepare Your Photography Portfolio" to the New Orleans Photo Alliance on August 8, 2017

Zack Smith and Jennifer Shaw presenting "How To Prepare Your Photography Portfolio" to the New Orleans Photo Alliance on August 8, 2017

I was honored to speak to about 20 New Orleans photographers this week on the steps needed to create your best photography portfolio for exhibition and presentation. I spoke on a few topics I feel are important and then photographer Jennifer Shaw presented her well researched information on crafting your artist statement. Here are some highlights from our talk and critique.

A portfolio is a collection of images that you bring together to show a body of work. You can create a portfolio for several reasons.

+Gallery Inclusion for a Fine Art show

+Prospective Client like an Ad Agency

+Wedding or Portrait Client, and more

Here's an example of two of my portfolios and how I present them. I also added my "leave behind" and branding materials!

Here's an example of two of my portfolios and how I present them. I also added my "leave behind" and branding materials!

Always include your best work. This collection of work should easily show your creative style, technical proficiency, and be to the point. Your portfolio should be tailored towards the job you want and appeal to the client’s creative vision.

+What kind of work does the gallery, agency, or creative team look for?

+Research each of your target’s website, past exhibition and client roster

+Practice empathy - put yourself in your client’s shoes - what are they thinking?

Your passion for what you do will be evident in the collection of your best work. The way

you carry yourself and speak on your work will show confidence in your vision and art. Your portfolio should be presented in both the best way to showcase the work collected and it should meet submission guidelines for your client/gallery etc.

+How does the gallery or agency take submission? Most will have this clear on their website. Can’t find it? Pick up the phone and give them a call. Phones are great.

+Do they accept Digital or Print submissions? Do they return your physical portfolio?

+Ask how to follow up? Consider you’re not the only one with the great idea to send your work!