Can I just say, I couldn’t be more proud. You, you glorious creature, are really doing it. You’re going to try this whole photography thing as a career.
You won’t regret it. Promise.
Now, one of the first and most important things you need to do in the beginning is build a portfolio.
This is your calling card to the ideal customers who are going to go apeshit over what you’re all about. You know, the one who’ll pay actual money for you to work your magic for them. But first they need to see your stuff. Your portfolio shows your subject and style, that je ne sais quoi that marks your work as distinctly yours.
Here are some quick and easy ways to get your portfolio built so you can get out there and start taking clients, you little hustler.
Ready? Here goes:
1. Shoot for free.
I know, I know, I’m always telling you NOT to shoot for free. But in the beginning, it’s a great way to build connections and a collection of shots that best represent you.
2. Leverage your shoots
Maybe that first shoot is free, but what about lining up future engagements for cash money? Or maybe your subject would sing your praises on her network? What about a testimonial for your website? Who else is at the shoot who might need your services? Take that one shoot and turn it into more business down the road.
3. Organize your files
It’s easy to set out in the early days full of excitement and passion but no plan. Don’t make the mistake I did and try to go back and organize months of shots after the fact. Create a filing system that works for you BEFORE you’re swamped. You’ll be so happy you did when you’re juggling shoots and clients and trying to find those wedding portraits you took back in the summer…
4. Get feedback from your target market
Is street fashion photography your thing? Then check in with the local style influencers to get their take on your work. Likewise any audience you’re hoping to work with.
5. Be creative.
This sounds obvious, right? Photography is inherently creative, right? Well…. Yes. But there’s a caveat: you still need to stand out. Take chances. Try crazy ideas. Challenge yourself to keep pushing your skills and comfort level. This will push your work into ever more unique directions.
So there you have it. Go build that portfolio. Soon you’ll be building your very own photography business.
And to help kick start your journey into photographer rock stardom, here’s a couple of my favourite freebies for you!