Last year I created a website which acts as an online portfolio and showcases my best photographs. This year I want to make a printed portfolio that compliments what I have done online.
I hope the online portfolio will help me to get in front of potential clients but when I am face to face with a client a printed portfolio will be easier to look at together and will hopefully enable me to stand out from other people. It means that I won’t have to rely on a wi-fi connection or be caught out by low batteries or electronic malfunctions. And it means that I have complete control over how my photos are displayed to clients so that images are not affected by low resolution screens or screens that are set to the wrong display size or colour settings.
A printed portfolio shows that I have taken the time to prepare and come along to meet with a client with images that I am ready to show off. So much better than just telling them a url to to look up. There is something about the tactile nature of a book or prints that makes the experience of looking at photographs more memorable.
There are any number of distractions that can interrupt viewing on a computer, especially email notifications or adverts but a printed portfolio allows clients to focus directly on my photos with no opportunity to navigate away.
On the downside, it is more costly and time-consuming to update a printed portfolio than it is a digital portfolio. Also, if it is too big, a printed portfolio can be a real pain to carry around and then there is the problem of keeping it smart, neat and not battered or dented at the corners.
Despite the failings of a printed portfolio I think it is still a useful tool for today’s photographers.