In the Industry Insider section of issue 4 of [RE]TOUCHED Magazine “YOUR PORTFOLIO” we asked a few brilliant artists Webb Bland, Pratik Naik, Daniel Meadows, Simon Webb, Todd Riddiford and Milton Menezes to share their perspectives on creating portfolios with impact. In this issue they discuss:
- the importance of having a portfolio and how it differs from having profiles on photo community websites such as 500px.com, Flickr.com or Behance.net;
- how to effectively leverage a portfolio to get work and establish/strengthen a brand;
- how often should a portfolio be updated/refreshed and whether there is value in creating unique portfolios for every opportunity;
- the pros and cons of print vs. digital portfolios.
In this blog post we present a short excerpt from Pratik Naik’s article.
Houston-based Fashion, Beauty and Advertising Professional Retoucher
Online portfolio: www.solsticeretouch.com
I’ve been in contemplation about this for the last few years. I have found that most of my work seems to come more from being seen on social media than having a website. The name and word of mouth that stems from social media has become more important than a portfolio. Which also explains why my website is so outdated in comparison.
I would definitely not rely on just one or the other, so don’t have all your eggs in one digital basket. However, know that your clients will mostly come from various avenues and the best bet for me has been social media and word of mouth. Social media also goes hand-in-hand with having an online portfolio because potential clients will go to your website from your social media. So one becomes the lead, while the other serves to validate.
The Contents & Structure
I’ve been analyzing websites that seem to be the most impactful. A good one to look at is my colleague’s site, Nick Leadlay. It presents the strongest shot of the series before opening up the entire series when you click on it. I feel like a portfolio should only encompass the strongest images in your book. Avoid personal attachment. I don’t believe in a number, as it depends on the layout.
For example, if it’s a website that has a scrolling layout, then having the best solo shots seem to be the primary emphasis. Having the best work up front would be key. I don’t feel like there’s a wrong way to organize it, as long as the layout is clear and identifiable. If a client can’t get around the website, it’s pointless. It’s also about what you want to do with your career. If your emphasis is commercial work, then categorize your layout accordingly. Have a clear message for anyone viewing your work.
I’ve been in a unique position in that I haven’t had to use my portfolio and approach people directly with it. It has almost become my imaginary agent because people who come across it contact me on their own. I have yet to approach clients and put my work in front of them directly.
If you feel your work is outdated, it’s time to change. There are some images that are timeless and can be kept. Others can adapt due to changes in personal style. For instance, I’ve become more attached to images that have definite texture and sharpness and I tend to want to show clients those images more than ones that aren’t as detailed. For me, it shows clients the most restraint while still being at a level of perfection that I feel most clients will identify with. They also seem to be the images that get the most responses on social media, so my next update will concentrate on images of that style…
Read more in Issue 4 “YOUR PORTFOLIO”, now available in PDF format.