If you’re considering starting a home-based photography business or looking to refine your current photography skills, creating a portfolio is vital. When I first started out, I had no idea what to create and where to start. But I wanted to capture my “first impressions” of various places and people I would travel to. So I gathered up my equipment and got to work. Here’s what happened after I created my first portfolio. It’s pretty much the same story for all of my portfolios.

First impressions count, so I wanted my photo to do the same.

I wanted my photos to stand out and to catch people’s attention before they even get to read my portfolio. I knew that if I was able to create an amazing photo, it would stick out among the thousands of other photos on my computer. After my first bad photo, I learned a valuable lesson. If I want to fail, I should take plenty of photos and don’t worry about whether they’re good or bad.

What I have found is that you can rarely please everyone, so if you’re not happy with your first portfolio selection, you’re not alone! The more photos you take, the better you’re going to get. And if you’re determined to improve, you should continue taking photos, over. Doing this will show in your portfolio.

To start creating your best portfolio, pick a background or subject matter that you are most interested in. You can either take photos inside a studio or outdoors. Having an interest in your subject matters because it shows in the photos.

Now that you have your subject selected, you need to choose the colors and effects

. Again, your photos will speak volumes for you if they’re rich, vibrant, and captivating. Choose a color palette that will compliment your skin tone as well as the photos that you’ve taken. You don’t want the colors to clash unless it’s absolutely necessary. Otherwise, stick to neutral colors such as taupe, ivory, and gray.

After you’ve picked the right colors, you’re ready to choose a look. This one is entirely up to you. Take a few photos in various poses and moods of the same subject. Pick one and use it as your basis for all your future photos. Whatever look you choose, don’t stray from that one! It will be a signature look for your work and you don’t want to change it.

Once you have your photo collection completed, you’re ready to upload them into your portfolio.

There are several places you can do this, but probably the most popular is on your own website or MySpace. You can also upload your photos to several stock photo sites. Depending on where your photos have been posted, you may find them cheaper than at the photographer’s studio. Just make sure you’re dealing with a reputable site and they’ll have wonderful customer service to help you with any questions you might have about uploading photos to their site.

You can’t go wrong with one single photo. In fact, it should be a single photo because only one picture tells the whole story about you. You can always change your photos once you’re established in the photography business. But for now, your one photo is enough to get your name out there. And if that one photo is an outstanding piece of work, who knows what kind of work you could eventually produce.

Now that you have your photos uploaded, you need to find a way to put them on display.

You can use them on your blog or in your portfolio. You can display all of your photos in your portfolio. Or you can just have them posted on your MySpace or Facebook profile. Just decide which way works best for you.

If you’re a beginner, start with one photo that shows a side of you that no one else knows. Maybe you’re a shy person, so display some photos of you doing just that. If you’re creative, display some of your artwork. If you’re hard-working, display your most recent photographs. Whatever you do, don’t post more than one photo per page because it will look like you’re promoting yourself.

One thing you want to avoid at all costs, no matter how great you think you are, is posting something completely private on your blog or Facebook page. This includes pictures of your personal belongings and even your family. If someone finds one of your posts and decides to contact you, they could be putting themselves in serious danger. Be safe and be ethical!

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