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The Good Book top tips for an effective portfolio

Let’s begin this discussion with a personal story. It belongs to Terence Patrick, an American photographer with a long list of commercial and editorial clients, and experience as a portfolio reviewer. His story contains a lot of clues about building a great portfolio. “Working with a skilled editor, hiring a proper retoucher, learning how to really articulate one’s vision are the intangible things that can accelerate one’s career in a way that also can’t be replicated so easily by others,” he says.

The portfolio that Patrick had been using for most of his career was a classic leather-bound book with the screw-post plastic sleeves from a vendor in New York called House of Portfolios. “While I got work from that portfolio, the 1990’s-era presentation was in serious need of an upgrade.” He then began working with photography consultant, Beth Taubner, “doing an overhaul edit of my work, going deep into my archive to unify my personal and commissioned work to show clients my brand, and not just what I had previously considered the flavour of the moment to be.” He could see that by relying on advice from other photographers and editors, he had put together edits that reflected current trends and not really who he was or what he was really trying to communicate. “I believe many photographers approach a portfolio from a short-term, sell now, mentality. I suffered from years of trying out new styles that were in vogue and it took me a while to really understand who I am as a photographer,” he states.

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