This is Ingrid Spangler's second guest blog post for Tiffinbox. She is responsible for all the social media, as well as copywriting, promotions and marketing for AdoramaPix. She has been an avid photographer from the time she was a child, and studied film at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she learned about film theory and visual aesthetics. Her first post was about finding the perfect photography printing lab.
Hardcover photo books are fast becoming the best choice to present and distribute your portfolio. It’s a more permanent way to display your images, and while that is a definite plus, it also requires much more care when organizing and designing than just slipping your prints into the plastic sleeves. There’s also something about having your images in a book that leads the viewer to believe that the images should hold together and tell a story more than a traditional portfolio.
Here’s a general portfolio tip from my buddy Joe Holmes of joe's nyc focus on one style or genre of photography that you do best, such as landscapes or street photography or portraits. You can always do separate portfolios/books for each genre.
Another tip: Don’t let the design of your book overwhelm your images. Keep it simple. This rule goes for any photo book you make, but is especially true for portfolios.
From speaking to photographers and photo editors, it seems that the general rule when organizing your images into your portfolio is “put your best images in the front and the back; make a strong first impression, then give them something to remember you by.” While you can still use this tenet to start to set up your book, what do you do with all the prints in the middle?
Here are some suggestions for how you can sequence the images to have them hold together as something cohesive.
Organize Your Images By Color
Allow the dominant color in one image to dictate what the next image will be. This is very subtle and works very well for images that are largely disparate. Take for instance these images with lots of red tones, the next images could be something with orange or deeper red as the dominant color and so on.
Keep moving through the color spectrum until you are close to the end of the book, where you’ll place your second set of strong images to leave a lasting impression on the viewer.
Organize Your Images Graphically
Look for the strong, dominant lines in your images and pair them accordingly. This image with strong diagonal and horizontal lines is matched by an image with similar lines. For diagonal lines that go off the page, try as much as possible to have them point to the center of the book. This pairing also works because of the similar colors.
Or these circular shapes:
*Images courtesy of Brandon Remler: Fall Trees, Boys on Beach, Bridge, Guggenheim and Tunnel. Red Table courtesy of Ingrid Spangler.
Group like with like: black and whites together, images that depict the same subject, etc.
Above all, choose a high quality lab to make your photo book portfolio! AdoramaPix photo books are printed on real photo paper, so they are the closest thing to a traditional portfolio. Unique lay-flat bindings ensure that none of your images are lost to a gutter in the center, plus you don’t have to worry about matching up halves of an image that you want to span both pages. PixPublisher, the online book creation and editing program, is easy to use and powerful, you can design your portfolio exactly the way you want, sizing and positioning your images precisely on the pages, down to the pixel!
Remember, it’s your work, don’t gamble with the presentation. You may only get one chance to impress someone, make it count!