Expanding Your Photo Portfolio December 29 2009, 0 Comments

Challenging yourself to work outside of your area of expertise will make you a better photographer. With the new year just arrived, it is an excellent time to lay out a plan that will allow you to increase your photographic skills while expanding your portfolio.

Choose six areas of photography that will be spread out over the year. Each category should be scheduled for two months. These areas may include: landscape photography, product photography, still life photography, portrait photography, children and pet photography, high fashion photography, wedding photography, and candid photography. Each will demand its own set of skills which, when developed, will make you more marketable.

Lay out the year. For example, Product photography: January and February; Still Life photography: March and April, and so on. Be sure to choose topics where you know you need work. Remember, the point is to expand your portfolio and make yourself more marketable.

Once you have taken the first two steps, decide where and what you will photograph. When shooting out doors, choose the time of day you will be taking images. Since color changes throughout the day, you may want to schedule both morning and late afternoon shoots. Mapping out where you will shoot and knowing what your subject matter is will keep you focused. The goal for each two month segment is to create 12-20 photographs that are strong enough and varied enough to be used in a portfolio.

Using a basic textbook such as “Photography” by Upton and London can be particularly helpful while engaged in this kind of skill building. This text covers a wide range of photographic principles and situations, the ideal companion when working out of your comfort zone.

Finally, keep a log. Write down the date, time, camera settings and lenses used. This information will be useful for duplication of product photography or studio work. It will also help you remember what you did to capture that image you just love! So, get to it!