“Walk softly and carry a big portfolio book” – or something like that! Fused Perspective is the latest of my portfolio books, which I try to always carry while walking softly (in movie star outfit, can’t help it).
During the past 3 or so years I have created 5-6 different portfolio books using a variety of Blurb products such as the trade book and magazine format. They have to be affordable as I tend to update them at least once a year and I travel with them and wear them down very easily. The trade book is great, cheap ‘n good, small and lightweight, a really good choice. The glued binding tends to come undone though when beaten up in a camera bag and it does not lie flat, nowhere near it. Would be brilliant were it available in landscape format. Last year I used the magazine format, to try something different. It is a good option, nice big spreads and still affordable. I went a bit (ok totally) overboard and made an 88 page magazine for my portfolio. You can just see the “argh” expression on people’s faces when I hand it to them. No one should really be asked to look through an 88 page portfolio!
My latest portfolio book, Fused Perspective (I’m a title genius I think), was made using the Blurb Brochure format and mercifully only features 20 images, 10 in a Music portfolio, 10 in a Personal portfolio. It is by far my favourite portfolio so far, the thick paper and lie flat saddle stitch binding makes for a big beautiful double spread. I like my pictures on big double spreads (if you can’t make it good, make it big!). I try and make these books in 1-2 hours, to keep them simple, fun and fast.
I have found it incredibly helpful to always carry some form of portfolio book or magazine. I do not own an ipad or any pads for that matter, anyway I prefer paper. No amount of explaining can have the same effect as simply handing over a small (NOT 88 pages) portfolio book to show people what you do, what you are passionate about. It can break the ice and open doors for you, get jobs, spark conversations, strangers in new countries will be much more interested and even help you get pictures. Yes I do tend to pull the portfolio book out of my bag way too much, it’s like granddad and his slide projector, but from meeting with companies to showing it to strangers in the field, there is a very positive effect by having a portfolio book on you.