What is “Portfolio Photography”? I have been asked this before, more than once, so I thought I’d elaborate a little bit here. Portfolio photography is when a photographer focuses more on selling the person rather than clothes or a product. This is what I tend to do more than anything these days.
When I work with models, sometimes the product is actually them. I shoot head shots for actors to get auditions, portfolio shots for models to expand their own portfolio with different looks or to move to a better agency or actually get in with an agency. All of this is done within the fashion, glamour or editorial styles. So really it is fashion and glamour based portraiture.
When you look at the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, which is actually coming out very soon, those photographers are sometimes referred to as portfolio photographers. Because although the maker of the swimwear is listed in the credits, the photos are really about the models. SI wants you to fall in love with the models, buy the issue and then buy all of the follow-up “special edition” magazines they print up. I buy them, it is great inspiration, plus I usually get a bunch of models contacting me to shoot those styles with them every time the magazine comes out so I need to know the look they are wanting.
So how does one become a “Portfolio Photographer”? Well, I just kind of fell into it so I don’t really have the best answer. It’s just something that works well with the way I shoot. Because, even though my style is all about me, the photographs are all about them. And like the old saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” 😉