How to Make a Fashion Photography Portfolio

A fashion photography portfolio is a tool in the photographer’s hand to forward and promote his work in order to get recognition among the right circle of people- the people who can give him more work. But for this to happen, they must like your work. Now this is the tricky part. How do you know what a magazine editor or a photography agency wants to see? What kind of themes do you choose while compiling your portfolio? And, how do you promote your work further, after making of the portfolio? This article strives to answer these questions.

Clarity of thought

When someone looks at a photo, and if that someone has a considerable amount of experience in the industry, he/she will not be just floored by the aesthetic beauty of it all; what they would actually be looking for will be the clarity of thought- what is the photographer’s thought behind clicking this photo, the way he has? Your photos in the portfolio must conform with a certain definitive style and theme.

This is not to say that they should all be of the same place, same person, and clicked back to back, in one go. That is not what we mean here. Actually, the photos can be of different models or objects, but when seen in totality, they should hold a certain meaning to them, and thus, a unifying theme. When the viewer sees this quality in your portfolio, he would definitely give you a chance to meet. Now what kind of theme would work for a particular viewing, depends upon your research about the company/ person before sending in the photos. You must go through the company’s/ person’s previous works in order to gauge their likeness. The models or the objects in your photos must have an innate quality in their expressions or poses, as if they are communicating with the viewer. The viewer must feel something in his/ her heart upon looking at the photos.

If it’s for fashion, show variety of fashion

Fashion photography is about clothes, colours, and textures and their impressive use to highlight clothes and accessories. Photographytoremember says that if you are approaching a fashion magazine by sending in the portfolio, ensure that you add a variety of photos with various kinds and colours of clothes.

Include both indoor and outdoor. The meaning is to display your expertise in as many styles as possible. You could add variety to it by including vintage, retro, underwater and surreal styled photos. In addition to this, you could also mention, at the back of the photos, the client for whom you clicked those photos. If that name is a popular one, half of your work is done.


There are industry standard portfolio dimensions. 8″x10″ or 11″x14″ do the trick usually. You can even go for the bigger dimensions if the photos are for an exhibition in photo gallery. But attention must be paid that while enlarging the size of the photo, it doesn’t become hazy or pixilated, as this will destroy its charm.

Number of photos in a portfolio

While inserting photos in your portfolio, you should not overcrowd it with all the photos that you can lay hands on. The additions must be selective and according to a theme as mentioned in the beginning here. Saying this, at least 10 photos need to be there in your portfolio.

The overall look of the portfolio

Since it is meant for important business purpose, it should not be made too fancy with girlish, using glitters and stars on the cover. It should carry a slick and classy look, preferably leather-bound, with your name at the right bottom side of the cover, in golden colour, it should reflect an air of seriousness and respect for the art form with clearly marked photographs. It could also contain notes for each photo, telling about the client for whom it was clicked.

Never use one single portfolio for different jobs

A portfolio is created depending on the kind of client/ company it is to be sent to. Different fashion lines will like to see a differently done portfolio. Different country or region also has effect on the kind of fashion preferences of the people there.

All these factors are needed to be kept in mind. Also, if the project is based around black and white photography, you will need to send in a portfolio of your black and white compositions. Likewise, if the project demands expertise in underwater fashion photography, you will need to send your underwater photography samples to the concerned person.

Important- you could also create your portfolio on line by using various social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

You should always do your research about the company or the editor to whom you are sending your portfolio. This will give you an idea about what they are expecting to see in your portfolio. So, all the best with creating your portfolio.

Post Author: Susan Van