I get this question all the time so I wanted this episode to answer it with practicality! Today you’ll be learning tips for building a portfolio from scratch with images you love! I’ve had to do this not only when I first started, but also when I moved states. I had no portfolio in my new location and no client base. So having gone through this twice now I feel I have some wisdom to share. Before answering, I wanted to give you a FREE resource to help those that are just starting. This class, 5 steps to launching your photography side gig, will help you launch with the right foundation in place! It will walk you through set up to make sure you’re doing things right.
There are more than enough people willing to model for you, especially when it’s free! This is valuable because you’re able to build a portfolio and advertise. Now, I will advise you to give them a style guide. You want them to help showcase your style and work so giving them instruction is vital! If you don’t have a style guide you can grab mine in my shop. It’s called a Client Experience Guide because it’s packed with more than just styling tips. You’ll also find it useful for sessions with paying clients! Family and friends are often the people that want to support you and this is a perfect way for them to do it. Slowly but surely you’ll know how to build a portfolio with images you love!
This is something you post online that calls for specific models. For example, you’re looking for a family with 2 older kids and 1 baby. I include 5 free images for their time, I kind of treat it like a mini session, then upsell the full gallery! And this is usually a full session, so I’m shooting for 30 minutes to an hour. The amazing thing is I’ve never done one without the clients buying because the session itself was free! They get the full gallery 60-100 images for a discount of $200 as well since it’s a model call. You can book these in local mom groups and they let it happen because it’s free! But note, this still needs a contract in place! It protects you and the client and if you don’t have one you can grab mine in the shop.
Keep in mind that you want to show what you desire to shoot more of. Use locations that showcase your style. The same goes for outfits on your clients. Think of yourself as a museum curated. Only showcase the most excellent images. You want to display what your photography looks like. Curate your feed on IG and select only the images that are the best of your work. I have an entire masterclass on this featured in Behind the Lens. If you aren’t a part of that membership, you are missing out! So check it out and let it serve you!
There you have it! Some easy tips for building a portfolio of images you LOVE (especially if you are just starting out). Don’t forget to grab that free class or any of the resources listed above and start curating that portfolio!
Ask Family & Friends to Model (3:21)
Host an Official Model Call (6:16)
Social Strategies (11:07)
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