Creating a professional event photography portfolio is an important step for photographers looking to break into the event photography industry. In fact, it’s arguably as indispensable as their cameras, because without an easily-accessible tool to easily demonstrate what they’re capable of, it’s virtually impossible for event photographers to win new business.
Displaying your best work through a professional portfolio is therefore the best way to showcase your talent, skills and abilities to potential clients.
Here are some key elements to consider when creating a professional event photography portfolio:
1. Select the images that best represent your style and skill level.
Choose images that are well-composed, shot with good lighting, and capture the emotion of the event. Select images that are representative of the type of event photography you specialize in. For example, if you specialize in wedding photography, include images that showcase a variety of wedding photo styles to appeal to clients with different aesthetic tastes. You could even include a gallery that includes photos of you ‘in action’ shooting at different events, to give potential clients a glimpse of your dedication and professionalism (you’ll need help from an assistant to capture those on-the-job moments).
2. Organize your portfolio so that it’s visually appealing and easy to navigate.
Once you have selected the images for your portfolio, you can organize them by event type, date, style, or any other criteria that makes sense for your portfolio. You should also include captions for each image that provide a brief description of the event and the photo, highlighting any particular noteworthy aspects of the photographic process or treatment.
3. Consider the design and layout for maximum appeal.
Choose a portfolio design that’s professional and visually appealing, and that represents your style ‘personality’. Consider the size and resolution of the images you include (high-resolution images will look better and will be easier to view on a variety of devices) and add any other elements that you think will help your portfolio stand out, like vivid, entertaining or emotionally-powerful descriptions or anecdotes to accompany the photos from the various events.
4. Make your portfolio easy to access and share.
Once you have created your portfolio, make sure it’s easy to access and share. You can showcase your portfolio either on your own website, or use a portfolio hosting service such as Behance, Carbonmade, Pixpa or Portfoliobox. You should also consider creating a portfolio page on social media sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram to make it easier for potential clients to find and view your work.
5. Be creative about promoting your portfolio.
In addition to sharing your portfolio on social media and attending networking events to promote yourself and your business, you can also submit some of your collections to photography contests, and include a link to your portfolio in your business card, promotional flyers, and your email signature. You can also create strategic partnerships and collaborations with local charities or businesses in your area that offer opportunities to promote your work. The more creative you are about expanding the reach of your portfolio, the easier it will be for potential clients to find and view your work.
Bonus Tip: If you’re only starting out, hustle to help your portfolio grow.
If you’re just starting out, it’s likely you don’t have a portfolio that’s substantial enough to impress potential clients, or that conveys what you’re really capable of. So, to build your initial portfolio, you may want to consider offering your services – either at reduced rates or even for free if you think it’s a great portfolio-building opportunity – to friends, relatives, colleagues or any other contacts who would be happy to give you a shot at their next event. Just make sure that the terms are clear at the outset, so that there’s no misunderstandings about your role.
Using these tips, you should be able to create a solid portfolio that showcases your skills and abilities as an event photographer and helps you attract potential clients.