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5 Tips for Building Your First Fashion Photography Portfolio

by luxirare

It’s often hard to break into the world of fashion photography. It’s even harder if you’ve got no previous work to show off to future employers. Just because you’re only just getting started, doesn’t mean you can’t have something which shows off your amazing ideas and work. Building a professional-looking fashion photography portfolio is a brilliant way to do this. However, a successful portfolio is a lot more complicated than simply sticking some pictures in a book. Your fashion photography portfolio needs to include images that advertise your talents so that company owners and agents see your passion and style. 

If you dream about being a fashion photographer, before you can start the job, you’ll want to build a portfolio that shows off your style and your skills. Keep reading below to find out how you can build an amazing portfolio.

  • How to Build a Portfolio on a Budget

Building a professional-looking portfolio doesn’t have to cost a huge amount of money. Hiring stylists and models is often the most expensive part, but you should remember that you’re not the only beginner in the market. There are a number of stylists and models just starting their careers who will be grateful for the chance to be included in your portfolio. The best thing about it is that you’re able to help each other out. Stylists and models will often work for small amounts of money (or sometimes even free) to get their own portfolios and to practice their skills. Working with other beginners in the industry will allow you to produce the photos you need to build a portfolio and start your career journey. 

  • Paper or Digital Photography Portfolio?

The fashion industry has changed a great deal in the last decade. Today, most work is completed digitally. It’s now much easier to edit photos than it’s ever been before and it’s often easier and cheaper to showcase these portfolios online. Online photography portfolios (including online blogs) are a brilliant way to advertise your work and you can even make some money selling ads if your work is popular!

Most photographers use templates to build their online photography portfolios. Templates are a brilliant choice for beginners in the fashion industry. They guide you through the process of building an online portfolio, offer you the space you need for creative expression, and allow you to show off the best parts of your work. Format is a brilliant choice of online platforms for people wanting to build an online photography portfolio. Use Format to design your online photography portfolio today and you won’t be disappointed. They even offer a basic plan which is perfect for beginners who are just getting started in the market. 

However, there are still a handful of agents and editors that prefer to be given a paper copy of a portfolio, so it’s a great idea to have both options available. Paper portfolios allow you to physically organize your photos and place them where you want them. 

  • Choosing Which Photos to Use in Your Portfolio

In the age of information overload, it’s hard to stand out from others. Making a good first impression is the key to inviting opportunities into your life, and showcasing your best work is the building block to building important relationships in the fashion photography industry. 

One of the most important parts of creating your first portfolio (whether online or on paper) is showing off your style. Beginners often have no previous experience or credentials to show future employers so instead, they have to rely on their creativity to get the job. Once you’ve got some professional experience behind you, you will be able to produce another portfolio which includes work that’s been published. Your portfolio needs to show your best photos so that you can show possible future employers that you are serious and have an interest in the fashion photography industry. Until you have enough published photos, you should include pictures that represent you and tell your story. 

Not all of the photos you include in your photography portfolio have to be linked to one another. However, you do need to try and create a sense of togetherness. Beginners will often be able to achieve this by ensuring that all of their shots share something in common (either a similar color or shape used). Another way to do this is by carefully choosing which poses you include in the portfolio. You want models to stand in fun and unique poses which also show off the clothes they are wearing. Having a creative and stylish eye is key to a good photo, but you also need to show possible employers that you understand the industry and how fashion works. 

  • From Start to Finish

It’s important to remember not to save your best photos for the end of your portfolio. Most employers or agents will get an impression of you and your work based on the first couple of photos you show them. This doesn’t mean you should include all of your best photos at the front and place your least favorite at the back; you need to try and mix them up. 

You also need to make sure you include a variety of different styles of photos in your portfolio. You don’t want your portfolio full of the same model performing the same pose in the same outfit. Filling your portfolio with too many similar pictures will stop the viewer from seeing your style because they will be too focused on how your work is similar. 

  • Editing

Don’t feel downhearted if the photos you include don’t immediately lead to a job offer. The best thing any beginner can do is ask for opinions on their photos and use these comments to make changes to your portfolio. This may mean you have to take out some of your favorite photos and add photos, which fit better with the overall style. Sometimes you’ll need to add more or different styles of pictures.

Taking into consideration what is said during a meeting is key. You could even contact the client after being turned down and ask for advice on how you could improve in the future. This will not only help you get a clearer view of what employers are looking for, but it will also show them that you’re serious about working in the industry. Asking for feedback may mean that the employer will consider looking at your work again in the future and they may even consider hiring you as an employee. 

Starting out in the world of fashion photography can be really tricky. It’s one of the steadiest and common jobs for photographers. New jobs in fashion photography are often hard to come by, as once a fashion photographer starts in the industry, they are unlikely to want to leave. It’s a brilliant idea to get started by working on small jobs such as helping a new model build a portfolio of amazing images. You could even complete some free work to build your own portfolio and get the experience you need. Not giving up and working hard will allow you to build an amazing fashion photography portfolio that will help you find the job you are looking for. 

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