One of the most important things for any professional photographer is having an expansive professional portfolio.
Indeed, you could have the most amazing resume and worlds of experience, but without a great portfolio – you’ll struggle to find more work.
So, you might be wondering to yourself, “well, how do I expand my professional portfolio then?”.
Luckily, we’ve got all the answers for you. This guide will help you by explaining these 3 amazing tips for portfolio expansion.
Therefore, if you’re ready to learn more – then read on for the answers!
As we mentioned earlier, having an expansive professional portfolio is critical to any photographer’s success. While having an excellent resume and lots of experience is important, the professional portfolio slightly outweighs them.
The fact of the matter is, a professional portfolio can show others what you can do. It’s a collection of proof. A resume might be able to explain how good you are and how experienced you are, but a professional portfolio will show it.
Not only this, but certain clients will be looking for something specific, and if your work fits into what they are looking for, then it makes things a lot easier – and also increases your chance of employment.
It’s also important that we point out that in the United States alone, there are an estimated 140,000 professional photographers. With such huge numbers, you’re going to need to be able to stand out in front of the crowd.
Your portfolio can help you to do this. It showcases your tone, your voice and your talent – so be sure that you’ve got an excellent portfolio first, and then look to expand it. Here’s what you can do.
Shooting at night time when the light is incredibly low is one of the most difficult and challenging tasks you can do as a photographer.
As you will likely already know by now, every camera and lens is different, and they handle low light much more differently.
As a result of this, you will find that few photographers will actually snap things during these times and conditions.
What that means for you is more opportunities.
If you can get this right and manage to take photographs that are meaningful and high quality during the night time, then you will be able to expand your professional portfolio.
You are essentially going beyond your niche and beyond what many professional photographers will look to do. This means plenty more work available and plenty more work that is unique.
As we said earlier too, you might find a client that is looking for a particular style of photography.
In this instance, let’s say this is night time photography – you can now show a lot of examples of night photography that is high quality.
This will help you stand in front of the crowd and likely increase your chances of getting more employment.
You know, one of the types of photography that is largely overlooked is the use of costumes and makeup in the shoot. Of course, one of the best places that this sort of photography will work is if you attend an event like Comic-Con.
However, let’s say that you’re usually a nature photographer and your niche is all about natural settings. You could actually incorporate costumes and makeup within this type of photography that perhaps you hadn’t thought about doing before.
Let’s say you’re doing a shoot of a landscape over a cliff edge. You could get a subject to be in front of the camera while you’re getting your shot, perhaps dressed as an animal or a part of nature.
Of course, this will all come down to you. However, if you are able to get this style of photography right, you will be able to expand your portfolio to a niche that is very untapped.
Resultedly, you should be able to offer much more and gain more clients.
Remember though, if you choose to do this – be sure that you’re not making the costume the main focus of the photograph, and try not to draw the audience’s attention too much to the costume.
As we mentioned in the previous section about Comic-Con, events can be a gold mine for where you can take a whole host of different photographs.
Not only this, but depending on the event, you might be able to get involved in business networking.
There are so many opportunities with events. Not only will you be able to expand your professional photography portfolio, but you will also be able to expand your contacts and even your options for further revenue.
For example, while you might notice a number of reporters at this event, photographers might be limited. Even if there are a few, you might be able to snap some photographs in different angles and of a higher quality.
As a result of this, you might even be able to freelance for local newspapers or the event holder themselves.
The one important thing about photographing events though is to make sure you are, of course, photographing the major point of the event, but also that you are photographing everything else that you might not consider important.
For example, some photographers might get excellent shots of the build up process and the pre-event.
These are usually very overlooked by reporters and photographers alike – so you could expand your portfolio by being the niche photographer of niches!
The reason these tips are so successful is because they are areas that many photographers overlook so much. However, these niches are very sought after by a number of different clients.
You have to consider that with so many professional photographers in the country, and indeed, globally, you need something that many people want – but not what many photographers offer.
However, it’s critical that we point out that it’s all well and good being in the right place at the right time, but the quality of the work has to be impeccable.
If you are taking subpar imagery, the chances are that your portfolio will be expansive – but it will not generate clients.
So, it’s important that you’re looking into these sub-niches, but it’s also important that you are taking quality photographs. The way to do this is of course by getting some excellent equipment.
As a professional photographer, you will likely have an excellent camera – but how good will it be when taking photographs in the night, for example? You need to test out plenty of different lenses and cameras to get this right.
On top of this, you may need to source some more advanced computer software which can help you with your photography. Take a look online for examples of software that can help you before you buy straight away.
It’s also important to remember that if you attend events, you might need to get a special pass to not only attend, but to take photographs in the first place.
The amount of money that you charge for your work should be researched thoroughly with your competition and your general needs. However, one point that we must stress is the importance of consistency.
Let’s say for example, you’ve been charging X for all of your other work. You cannot start to charge Y for these images. Not only does this put off some of your potential clients, but it can really complicate the process.
It’s also important to be realistic about it. With so many professional photographers in this business, you likely cannot afford to start overcharging for some of your products.
However, it’s important that you recognize your own product and how likely it is to be unique.
Once you have taken plenty of photographs and you have an expansive professional portfolio, it’s now important that you know the next steps.
Generally speaking, it’s important that you take the time to place them on your professional blog and showcase your work. Understanding how important this blog is for your employment chances is very key.
Next, if you are at an event – it’s important that you try to get your name out there as much as possible, so be sure to hand out business cards and maybe even offer your services to businesses, organizations and individuals at a discount rate.
Expanding your professional photography portfolio is very important. It can help you source some extra work and improve your exposure as a professional photographer.
Once you understand how you can utilize these niches, you can improve your chances of work!
We hope this has helped!
If we can't teach you, no one can!