To be a designer or a photographer is to let your work do the talking. Your designs and photography are a portrayal of your skills and abilities. The best way to showcase this is a portfolio. It’s the perfect way to organize your best work.
This blog post will focus on an online digital portfolio. Yet a lot of these points will stand true for a handmade portfolio as well. An online digital portfolio has its perks; one can keep updating it and make changes. It gives a message of professionalism.
Your portfolio is an epitome of your talent. So while displaying your talent, you need absolute perfection.
Here we have made an effort to present you:
Top X things for a perfect design or photography portfolio
Purpose of your portfolio:
The most initial process should include deciding the purpose of your portfolio. This should answer your question WHY. Why are you creating this portfolio?
a. College/university application
b. Job / Event prospects
c. Attract clients or business
Often we think about this after we have mapped everything else, but this can mess things up. After deciding everything, you might realize this doesn’t serve your purpose. This will just lead to time consumption.
Therefore, remain proactive.
(The initial stage remains the same for both design and photography).
Which field of design or photography?
Start by remembering which field you are specifically applying for and what kind of photos or design will fit the best for that area.
Designing: For a design portfolio, you may add different areas of work in the portfolio as it represents your wide range of skill sets. There is a thin line between showing your exceptional talents in different areas and looking disorganized or unfocused. Thereupon bear in mind to not overdo it and string along with your primary focus.
Photography: Sticking to one main category and including its subfields is important. This will bring out the best of you and you can showcase your skills required for this category.
Yet this is subjective. If you are applying for a university where your diversity of work is demanded, then add more categories. But remember to be organized and don’t be all over the place.
It’s time to shut the door on all the not-so-perfect designs or photos.
Select the approximate number of photos or designs you wish to add in your portfolio. Remember, less is more.
Quality > Quantity
Eliminate designs or photos which don’t represent the best version of you. Eliminate pictures that are out of focus and designs which look unfinished.
We are likely to want to add designs or photos in which we have put most of our efforts but ultimately, the results matter more.
Your portfolio is a medium of conversation between you and your audience. Try presenting a message or a story through your designs or photos.
“The only highs and lows your viewer should experience is in their emotions”
Editing has secured an important part of our lifestyle. Groom your designs and photos in the best manner possible. Improve all the imperfect aspects.
With editing tools being in the picture, your designs or photos don’t stand a chance for excuses. It should be perfect from tip to toe.
Once you have selected and edited your designs and photos, ask for critiques on your designs and photos from your mentors or friends. Sometimes we overlook basic principles of design or photography. This is a good way to cross-check that everything is in place.
Selected photos? Edited them? Got some criticism? Great!
Now it’s time to take all of this and display it on a digital platform.
You can build your website to present your portfolio or else there are hosted platforms that let you create a personal website for free and in a few steps.
Some of them include:
Research well about these sites and decide which site is suitable for your area of work. Also, consider which website can help you gain more attention from your viewers.
Canvass different portfolios online
Take a glimpse of the portfolios of various professionals. This will flower new ideas of promoting your photos/ designs and different skills of presenting your portfolio. You might also realize what things you lack and thereof you can work on it.
This will help you master your skills in presenting your photos or design.
Design your portfolio
Talking about the representation of your photos/design, it’s time to decide your style of presenting the photos. You can get very creative with this step. Go for out of the box, unique ideas. Don’t mirror the ideas of other professionals. Don’t hop on the bandwagon.
You are in this field to create your style and identity. By mirroring ideas from the internet, you are stealing away your moment of spotlight.
Also remember, the internet is accessible to your viewer as well. Think about the chances of them viewing portfolios of the same professionals you are trying to mirror.
Start and finish
“Beginning is to grab the attention; ending is to leave footprints on the mind”
Your start stands important. After seeing your first photograph or designs, the viewer will develop expectations. It’s your job to fulfill those expectations and leave them speechless. Your starting is a gist of what you are going to show further in this portfolio.
Think about the saying, “out of sight, out of mind”
If your end design or portfolio isn’t spot on, it’s more likely that the viewer will forget about your portfolio.
Your portfolio is the beginning of a discussion and that can only reach them if you give them something to remember.
Some additional details you can add in your portfolio:
a. About: you can start by stating a few lines about yourself or your work. This is highly subjective, so you need not worry. But don’t make the description too long; you still have to be known by your photos or designs.
b. Skills and experiences – a lot of websites for a portfolio may provide you with a section where you can add your previous work, information and skillsets.
c. Client reviews: you can add your client reviews. This looks professional and gives concrete feedback about your work.
d. Contact information: you can provide your telephone/mobile number, email id as well as different networking sites where they can see more of your work.
These are the top X pointers you can follow to create a professional portfolio.
Everything has a story to tell, even your portfolio.