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The Importance of a Portfolio

Lesson 1 from: Creating and Maintaining a Useful Digital Portfolio

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

1. The Importance of a Portfolio

Lesson Info

The Importance of a Portfolio

Let's dig in real fast because there is a lot to learn on this because we need to teach you the wise and the house of a portfolio inside of light room. So first, the why all of us, whether you're just shooting for yourself or whether you're shooting for a business, you're shooting weddings could be portrait's. Could be lifestyle could even be landscapes or travel photography. Or, like you said, it could just be for yourself and you're playing around. But you also want to share those images with world or with your family or wherever you want to be. There, there so many reasons to have a good active portfolio now, depending on whether you're running a business or whether you're doing this for personal, there are two different ways to set this up. I'm gonna assume that you're running a business, but if you're not, if you're doing it for personal, I'll try and give you kind of an idea of how to do it. Um, and you can just run with it from there. And of course, it's all gonna fit to your us...

e case and what makes the most sense for you, so adjust things as needed. This is the way I do it. I think it's a very good way. But there are other derivations of this way that that can work. So there. I don't want to be the person that says there is no right and wrong because that's not true. There are rights in their wrongs, and there are a lot more wrongs than there are rights. I can promise you that. But there are some ways to do this differently that if you take the principles I'm teaching you, then you will be able to succeed even if you do it a little differently. As long as you're following the principles, the principles air these number one. You're shooting a lot of images that you don't need and you never will need. And so they need to be. You need to be willing to throw things away. So once you've determined that it's out of focus, it's bad exposure or the people look horrible. Get rid of it. It's not worth keeping. The only time that there's an exception to that is when you're doing a wedding that you could be sued if they want to see something and you don't deliver, so those go ahead and keep him. But get him out of light room and just keep them in a folder or the drive somewhere out of your view so that you don't have to pay attention to it. But otherwise get rid of everything, especially if it's personal. Get rid of everything that's not acceptable to use a photograph and try and hone down and get really good at your editing skills. Eso that you're willing to kind of kill your darlings because, as Shakespeare says, brevity is the soul of wit. That's true. Brevity is definitely the soul of a good photographer. If you can tell something in a couple pictures rather than 30 pictures, you're going to do it. The same is true for your entire life's work. If you can tell your entire life's work in 1000 images rather than 50,000 images, you're going to be better at telling that life story okay, so that's the first thing you gotta be willing to get rid of some stuff. The second thing that you need to understand is that you need to have access to all the things you keep. That means that you have to be able to find it. And if you have 20,000 images over the course of the last 10 years of photography and you have toe every time you want a picture, you have to hunt for those pictures, and then you have to adjust those pictures and do something with those pictures. By the time you get done with that experience, you're either going to be frustrated and stay tired and not wanting to do it again. So you were not gonna you be predisposed not to go through this process again or you'll have missed the boat. I'm going to tell you a sad story. It's a story from my life, and it's very sad. I was just out of college and I had just done my master's thesis on my master's thesis was a work of both. I wrote a paper, and I also photographed because it was kind of a combination. My my studies were in the history of photography, and so I needed to write a paper and I needed to photograph something that were went with that writing. And so I went and interviewed some great photographers from the country of Sweden. They came from a group called Teal, which means 10 photographers. And these 10 photographers were really, really influential throughout the world in the 19 fifties. And then they just kind of disappeared. And so I went and discovered them and talk to him and figured out what happened. Turned out, they just went home. But the rest of us are like they must have dried off the face of their They must have died, whatever, because they're not in America. And so that's our our American centric way of thinking. If you're not in America, you must be dead, you know? So anyway, I found him. We talked to him, We had a great time. So I photographed a lot in Sweden, and then I those images kind of went public, and this was a long time ago, so the Internet wasn't really a big thing back then. This is as we're starting to learn how to do email and stuff like that. So, like, and, uh, but it turns out that a company saw my pictures of Sweden on the Internet, which were all taken on film and now is shooting digitally. So I wasn't shooting film anymore, and they called me and said, Hey, we saw your images from Sweden and we want to license those images, Um, for printing as Prince that we will then sell in my Kia. So all those prints that you can buy a Nike Air there, those they wanted to sell my stuff there and I was just out of college. I was like, That's it. This is great. I'm going to be making money all that right from the beginning, you know? And I was so excited. So I went back and I grabbed all the film. And it's a long, laborious process with film to go through it and choose it. And then I had to scan it because they now had to be digital. And then once I scanned it, I was like Well, I can't let them just see the stuff without being retouched and get rid of the dust spots and whatever. So I retouched it whatever. And so two weeks later, I called him back and I said, OK, I've got a website up for you to choose and they said, Oh, we've already gone print. So I lost it. I didn't get to do that like that. My first success story was actually a failure because it took me so long to get from the point of someone being interested to the point that I could show the work and get them choosing things for me to deliver that I lost the client. So that's a sad story, right? You can all cry for me and whatever, but But I learned a very valuable lesson, and that is, if I don't have access it to it immediately, it's of no value to me. So if you're gonna shoot the shot, you need to make sure that you have a way to access it and find it when you need it. So we're going to talk about ways to do that, and that's gonna be in your portfolio. Your portfolio is going to be the place where you find stuff. Now let's say I shoot a wedding, and so I'm looking at a wedding right now inside of light room, and I've chosen the 59 best images from that wedding. Those are the images that I would want to show somebody that might be valuable to my career. That kind of stuff. Now there's 500 mawr images somewhere else from this wedding that I do not need myself because they're not of any interest to me. Because these are the better ones. But they're of interest to the bride groom. And so therefore I delivered the images to them by way of website. Maybe you did it by the way of a disc or you printed him. You made an album. However you delivered him? Doesn't matter. The only ones you care about are the ones that you think are valuable either artistically informational e or in some other way to get you a future job. So those are the things you need to be concerned with. So those are the only images that need to be accessible to you at a moments notice. If the bride comes back to you and wants images from that same wedding day, no problem. She's going to tell you what day she was married. You're going to go back to your archive. You're gonna open up that year. You're gonna open up that day and you're gonna open up all the files and you're gonna deliver whatever she wants you. She's the one that's helping you find him because she knows when she was married. The way you're gonna find your images that are important to you is by virtue of the catalogue and by virtue of the options you have available for sorting.

Ratings and Reviews

Anna Newman

Jared was a terrific teacher and I changed my workflows to include his suggestions right after the class. I can find my photos now and have begun successfully selling on Adobe stock.


For us amateurs, professional advice on how to keep it all together with our photo portfolio. Motivates me to put in the time to get organized to save time later.


While it was useful information, it did not meet my needs. I thought the class was on developing a web Portfolio in Lightroom.

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