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After choosing your niche in commercial photography, it’s time to build your portfolio. 

Commercial photography portfolio is the number one thing your potential clients will expect from you to provide, therefore, make sure you have a great one. In this blog post you will learn how to build a portfolio that will help you land paying clients. 

Train your eye

First of all, you need to develop a photographic eye for commercial photography. Your eye is your most important instrument. It’s even more important than your camera and lenses. If you neglect this step and immediately start shooting, you will just waste time on shooting images that will not look good enough. No matter how talented you think you are, start training your photographic eye. How? Examine the works of famous commercial photographers while trying to understand what’s good about every single shot. Examine the lighting, the contrast, the choice of an angle, the composition and any other details that make the shot stand out. 

Shoot your own projects

Take time on doing your own projects that fit your niche. Your portfolio should include the kind of work you want to shoot. No one will be willing to hire you for shooting things you have never shot before. Working on your portfolio may require shooting for free, so be ready for it. 

Shoot low-budget projects

Try to keep your eye on opportunities that both pay and help to build experience. There are three factors that may affect your choice of projects: portfolio, people and price. If you have at least two of these, go ahead and take that project. If you think it will really boost your portfolio, and the clients are easy-going, you should consider that project even if it isn’t paying high. On the contrary, if the project pays really high, but will add no value to your portfolio, and the clients are difficult, you might want to reject it.

Assist other photographers

Assisting a commercial photographer may be very helpful. For example, you can get an insider’s view of what’s going on the set and build set etiquette skills. You can see how the photographer runs a production, how he/she interacts with other people on the set, what every team member is supposed to do or not to do, etc. In other words, you can learn some spoken and unspoken rules of a production process. Another benefit of assisting other photographers is that you can gain some great networking opportunities. This is a chance to meet and introduce yourself to a number of working professionals, build connections, and land future jobs.

As soon as you have enough photos to create a portfolio, think how you are going to show them. Preferably you should have two portfolios – web and printed. Even if you already have a website for other work such as wedding photography, consider building a separate website for your commercial photography as each website should be designed to target a specific audience or market. 

As to your printed portfolio, you may need to show it when you meet your prospective clients in person. A printed portfolio is a chance to impress and get a deal so be aware of what you put there. Always give priority to the quality over the quantity and include only your best work.

Becoming a commercial photographer requires not only talent but also hard work. If you are ready to build your portfolio, just rent a photo studio and get started. Click here to learn how to choose a photography studio rental.

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