Building a Photography Portfolio

Can I let you in on a secret? Even though I’ve been a full-time wedding photographer for years, I am still building my portfolio. Yes, you read that correctly. If you’re like me, I used to think that once I had my biz up and running, I wouldn’t need to continue to focus on building my portfolio. Here I am, nearly 4 years later, and I want to let you in on why building a photography portfolio isn’t just for beginners.

Importance of an Updated Portfolio

Having an updated portfolio is key to booking the kinds of clients you want to book. Many photographers begin their journey by capturing families or doing individual portraits. But those same photographers may have an end goal of being a wedding photographer. Showing off the family or portrait sessions won’t be an accurate representation of what you have to offer (other than your editing style). 

Updating your photography portfolio is an excellent way to shift into a different niche. If you’re stuck in a rut and struggling to book those “dream clients”, start second-shooting! You’ll have work to present to your dream clients, and gain invaluable experience. 

While keeping your portfolio current is great to show off your work, I also love it to help me keep creative. The challenge that comes from shooting in different locations or at different times of the day is incredible. Not only are you challenging yourself, you have nothing but freedom to be creative. Saying “yes” to styled shoots or content retreats is such a fun opportunity to immerse yourself in the photography community and gain some new perspectives. 

Get Creative!

Every photographer has a “style” in one way or another. My style is typically true-to-color with a touch of warmth. And as much as I’m obsessed with this style, I am always up for a fun challenge. I’ve done a handful of creative shoots in the past, but I want to share two of my favorites.

80s Inspired Creative Session

If you ask most people, “pops of color” and “neon” aren’t what come to mind when picturing Sarah Yates Photo. I put together a really fun, vibey 80s inspired creative session to challenge myself with capturing vibrant colors. Not only was I challenged by the neon colors, but I was able to let my creativity flow with blur, grain, and flares. Such a different style than I’m used to, but I had a blast getting out of my comfort zone. 

Edgy Parking Garage Session

Once again, the word “edgy” isn’t something that Sarah Yates Photo is known for. I had the opportunity to capture Vena and Shane on the top of a parking garage downtown. I was able to experiment with some epic car shots, and they broke out their skateboards. To this day, these are some of my favorite photos I’ve taken – and it’s not even “my style”. 

There we have it, friend. Now that you know why building a photography portfolio isn’t just for beginners, it’s time for you to put yourself out there and get creative. Looking for some inspo? Check out my Instagram (@sarahyatesphoto) or Pinterest! You can also find more photography education and tips below in the Additional Resources.

Additional Resources:

Top 7 Free Resources for Photographers
5 Mistakes I Made When Starting My Business

Business Tips

Why Building a Photography Portfolio Isn’t Just for Beginners

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