Expand Your Photography Portfolio With These 3 Tips
In a creative industry like photography, you can have loads of experience to put on your resume and numerous professional contacts who can vouch for your skills, but still struggle to get a job if you don’t have a high-quality portfolio.
There are about 140,000 professional photographers in the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which means your portfolio needs to stand out if you expect to get work. And since more than half of photographers are self-employed, it’s up to you to make your portfolio the best it can be.
The best way to do this is to take on personal projects where you dedicate time and resources into boosting your portfolio. Even though it can be discouraging to work for free, a day’s worth of work can prove to be a smart investment if it expands your portfolio and sets you up with exciting new jobs in the future.
That being said, here are a few ideas for photo shoots to help you get started:
Shoot at Night
Capturing photos in low light is one of the most challenging tasks a photographer faces, making it one of the most important kinds of shoots to practice. Since different cameras and lenses handle light differently, experiment with different combinations to get a better grasp of how to push your equipment to its limits and get the best quality photos.
Once you start to get the hang of shooting in low light, you’ll know exactly how to handle this challenge when you’re on site. And this is sure to impress potential clients.
If you typically shoot nature or architecture, one way to expand your portfolio is to get photos of people with makeup and costumes. You can get involved at a local theatre to take photos of actors during a dress rehearsal. You also can go to a convention like Comic-Con to get photos of cosplayers in their elaborate costumes.
Or, you can get a few friends together to help you photograph costumes and props in different outdoor settings, as adding a character to an environment can lead to creative ideas.
Once you’ve added these kinds of photos to your portfolio, you might find it easier to land a job shooting for a theatre company or professional performers.
Go to Events
Shooting photos at an event is one of the best ways to add to your portfolio because there are often so many things going on that you can capture different kinds of shots. Some non-profit events can’t afford a photographer, so you might want to get in touch with some local event organizers to see if they’d like some photos of their event.
Plus, an advantage of the event business is that essentially every industry holds an event, so you could find yourself shooting a corporate meeting one week, a dog show the next and a fundraising gala dinner the week later. So, as you start to get more paid jobs at events, you’ll be able to get unique shots each time and your portfolio’s breadth and diversity will continue to grow along with your client base.
I hope you found those quick tips useful. Please take a moment to share this article with your friends and followers if you enjoyed it!