How to Curate a Fashion Portfolio for Your Next Job
13 Sep by Dan Blake
What is a fashion portfolio?
For fashion stylists, photographers or makeup artists, fashion portfolios are ultimately a type of resume – but for your creativity and ability as an artist. Think of them as a snapshot of imagery, but only you at your very best, wow-ing the client or recruiter to win you the job!
In fact, they’re so important some freelancing creatives report that they’ve rarely needed to submit a CV or resume, winning their commissioned jobs on their fashion portfolio (and by extension, website and socials) alone!
Often referred to as your ‘book’, fashion portfolios differ from a ‘specific portfolio’ produced for an interview to a College, Uni or specific brand, or Fashion Designer. For Fashion Stylists, Fashion Photographers and Makeup Artists the portfolio will be an image library of up-to-date published editorial and test shoot works, carefully curated to inspire.
Digital vs. Print
Back in the day, I used to carry (and still possess) my print portfolio. Some artists, mainly serious Fashion Photographers still prefer the printed version of their work, choosing carefully the paper, matt or gloss finish, and the size and format of their printed imagery. Although beautiful to behold, printed portfolios are expensive to produce, heavy to carry and of course, require updating… did I mention expensive to produce?!
So most of us have gone digital (breathe a sigh of relief!), opting for curated iPad presentations of editorial and test shoot works to bring to your “go see” meeting. Here’s why:
Digital portfolios are:
- Easy to edit and produce (unlike tearing out pages from magazines or fiddling with prints)
- Less costly in the long run
- Quick to edit rapidly
- Less heavy to carry
Here are 5 Hacks to Curating your Fashion Portfolio for your Next Job:
1. Present in the Right Format
Know how to present your portfolio. Your Portfolio should be in landscape format, not portrait. That’s right, make sure you’re holding your iPad landscape as you present it. This allows for you to show two images per slide, just like you’re flicking through the pages of a magazine. Occasionally, pop in a DPS (double page spread) which will be one landscape image filling the whole slide to break it up.
2. Start and End with the Strongest
Have you ever been asked to memorise a list of images or items? Maybe a shopping list or something similar? If so, you might have noticed that it’s easier to remember the very first and last items on the list, but the ones in the middle are a bit hazy. Well, this is known as the Primacy (first) and Regency (last) effect and is to do with the psychology of your mind and who we remember – discovered by psychologists Ash (1946), Murdock (1962), and Glanzer & Cunitz (1966).
The point here is – you want to be remembered! Start and finish with your very strongest images as your client is more likely to remember these above all others – it’s science people!
3. Leave them Wanting More
Your client will have made their mind up about you in the first 20 or so slides. Frankly, it’s easy for us to overestimate the value of our own works and put too many images in the hope that they’ll wow the client. Less really is more, though. Only put the best images in and leave them wanting more. 30 well-curated slides ought to do it. If you’ve shot a published editorial of 12 or 14 styled looks but you have 10 other published editorials to include you’re going to have to choose the best 4 or 6 images say to show them a snapshot or teaser of the story.
4. Curate Your Book for the Client
One of the joys of digital portfolios is that they’re easy to edit. You can easily make different variations of your portfolio for different types of clients. For example, a commercial e-commerce client may appreciate clean product and fashion shots rather than high-fashion creative content that they’ll find difficult to relate to. A fashion editor, however, may want to see your raw creativity and trend awareness and may find the commercial (or wearable) images dull!
5. Brand It!
Just like your social media and website, your book should also be branded. Start your portfolio with your logo, name and title in a distinctive font or with some graphic design.
Remember, the client may have similar portfolios from Makeup Artists or Photographers etc. So spell out which you are, e.g. Joe Bloggs, Fashion & Celebrity Stylist. This should be a starter slide. Also end with a slide with your contact details on it e.g, email, telephone and website.
Build your Fashion Portfolio with LCS!
If you’re considering training as a Fashion Stylist, Fashion Photographer or Makeup Artist, LCS expert Tutors will help you build, produce and curate your portfolio to get your industry ready. Check out the following courses: