Creating a Print Portfolio - The Concept

Photographers spend thousands of hours honing their skills, not to mention thousands of dollars in collecting the equipment necessary to practice photography. They have been inspired, worked to plan the shot, maybe had to travel to a location, setup their equipment, measured the light and applied their artistic interpretation, clicked the shutter (probably multiple times), and possibly brought the raw image into the computer to edit until their vision is realized. Then what happens? If a recent report is accurate, we upload and share 1.8 billion photographs every day, which means most likely the newly created photograph winds up on the Internet along with a tidal wave of billions of other photographs.

Granted, some of those photographs are selfies, pictures of the kids, or Lolcat meme’s. Do I really want my work interspersed with cats that cannot spell, and a collection of duck lip selfies? For me, that is not how I would like to display my photography.

I have always had a collection of prints depicting my work; many hang on the wall of my office. Recently, I decided it is time to build my formal print portfolio. After moving to a new city this past year, I found that I lost the recognition of my work that I enjoyed previously. Now it is time to start the process of getting my work seen locally to build that recognition again.

Before starting to make prints, I need to establish exactly how I want my portfolio to work and what benefits I expect to receive. I created the list below as a guideline to the creation process.

  • Exhibit my work to prospects
  • Demonstrate my skills as a printer
  • Provide for the ability to easily update or replace prints
  • Be easy to view without having to be at a desk

Each of these items have a profound effect on the final design of the portfolio and must be weighed together to achieve the optimum result, which is a portfolio that highlights my work in the best possible manner.

In future articles, I show how I evaluate each of these needs to establish tangible design goals.