How to Build Your Dog Photography Portfolio - dummies

How to Build Your Dog Photography Portfolio

By Kim Rodgers, Sarah Sypniewski

Your portfolio is your calling card. It showcases your work and makes people want to book you for jobs. When building your portfolio, you want to build something that represents your style, diversity, and quality. Potential clients make their decisions on whether to book you based on what they see. Your portfolio is your one shot to win them over.

Choose dog photography images to show the world

So in order to get clients, you have to have a portfolio, but if you don’t have clients, how can you build one? Ay, therein lies the problem. Well, the best way is to photograph any dogs you can. Ask your friends and family members if you can photograph their dogs for free in order to build up your portfolio.

After you start building up a hearty collection, you can select which images to use. Again, choose images that are your highest quality, that are aesthetically pleasing, and that reflect your style well. Be sure to make your portfolio as diverse as you can, but not at the cost of quality. It’s better to have a few really great shots than a bunch of so-so ones.

Compile your first portfolio of your dog photography

You should make your portfolio accessible in two formats: the traditional, hold-in-your-hands format and the online format. You may dread the thought of creating two portfolios, but it’s not as much work as it seems, and the time spent will pay off in the long run (trust us!).

You can print out your photos and make a tangible portfolio for people to physically hold and page through. If you decide to go this route, make sure your photos are 8 by 10 inches or larger so people can actually see the details.

A traditional portfolio comes in handy when you need to display it at an event or when you want to show your work in a situation where a computer isn’t available.

You can use two sizes of traditional portfolios: 11 by 14 inches, as your main portfolio and at events like trade fairs and meetings; and 4 by 6 inches, which can be used only in silent auction displays or other situations where space is tight and you can’t accommodate your main portfolio.

Whatever size you use, just make sure the print quality is as high as possible. Again, you’ll land clients (or not) based on these images.

Whether you have a traditional portfolio or not, you absolutely must have an online portfolio. The Internet is the place your clients will most likely look for you and your work.

After you print your portfolio or upload it online, it’s easy to forget about it. After all, you’re too busy taking photos and running a business! You should, however, make it a point to update your portfolio regularly.

How often is up to you, but just make sure you do it (maybe every other month). As time goes on and you get more practice (and probably better equipment), your photos will change. Make sure your gallery reflects your current style.

Updating your portfolio regularly also encourages visitors to return to your website, and the more time they spend on your website, the better chance they have of becoming clients!