Start setting expectations with potential clients, before they’ve even reached out to you.

We’ve All Been There…

Every photographer at some point, has started a session with a new client who’s expectations are different than theirs. Maybe they want to dictate the poses, or didn’t agree with the lighting.

Sometimes they aren’t happy with the final edits…

The gallery is beautiful with a moody style, documenting their family for who they are in a candid way. But they wanted a light and airy edit, and more images of everyone looking at the camera.

Their disappointment in your work, leads to them re-editing your images or asking for a free reshoot. But what if this could have been avoided?

What if your portfolio made sure their expectations matched yours before they even contacted you?

We all know our portfolios are important to showcase our work and build a reputation. But portfolios are more than just showing your best shots. These collections of our images start setting the boundaries between photographers and clients right away.

3 Tips to Reach Your Target Audience Through Your Portfolio

Only Show What You Want to Shoot

What you show in your image gallery will be what you get hired for. The more niched your portfolio is, the easier it will be to always reach your ideal client.

If you want to shoot outdoor adventure photos for a living, don’t include wedding photography on your portfolio site. If you want to shoot food, don’t include fashion photography in your photography portfolio examples.

If you shoot in multiple subcategories, have a separate portfolio for each. If you shoot both maternity photos and newborn portraits, keep separate albums or use different pages on your website.

Show Consistency By Showcasing Your Style

A portfolio helps a potential client determine if your styles will mesh well. If you have an image with perfect composition and exposure, but it’s not your typical style, don’t include it.

Your portfolio should state more than just the fact that you know the technical aspects of photography. It should display your artistic style too.

If all of your images in your portfolio are consistently dark and moody, someone looking for a light and airy photographer will know you’re not a good match. Avoiding the disappointment of an unhappy client who may try to re-edit your work.

Showcasing Your Style Includes Posing

If your style is lifestyle, candid images, don’t include perfectly posed images with everyone looking at the camera. If you normally work outdoors with natural light, don’t include that one session you did in a studio.

Consistency in your style of posing shows potential clients what they can expect. Someone who is looking for perfect smiles and staring at the camera is not going to be happy with images from a photographer who shoots with a documentary feel.

Building Your Reputation through Your Portfolio

Following these steps and having a niched portfolio will help build your reputation. Having a reputation for the style of your work helps your ideal client find their way to you. Always remember, show what you want to shoot, and set expectations through your portfolio to reach your target audience. And avoid the troublesome sessions that weren’t a good match.

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Written by : Oak Five Studios

Oak Five Studios was inspired by my own journey through postpartum depression. I want other moms to know you’re not alone. You’re not a bad momma. And with the right support system, we can raise awareness and fight PPD.