Once upon a time, the laminated print portfolio was de rigeur for photographers. These slick presentations cost a lot of money to make but they said “I have arrived” better than any other single promotional tool. Photo quality ink-jet printers are capable of making lab-quality output and because I wanted my glamour portfolio to be impressive so I made 11×17 prints figuring that the size alone would impress models and clients.
Itoya makes an inexpensive but great looking print portfolio called Profolio that’s available in various sizes and is available from most art supply stores in surprisingly affordable prices. I found mine at Meininger’s in Denver because they have a huge supply of portfolio presentation but Profolios are available from lots of sources, including on-line.
Since the prints are displayed behind protective plastic sheets in the Itoya portfolios, I use Epson’s Presentation Paper Matte. It’s cheap, if thin, and makes great portfolio prints for the budget minded glamour photographer. There are many other ways to make inexpensive portfolios and you can use whatever size and paper fits your budget. But all that Dom Pérignon–priced ink will take it toll on your credit card after a while.
Tip: When putting together your first print portfolio, make a series of 4×6 photographs as a preview. You can even put them in a small Itoya book so it looks like a real portfolio and can use it later as a portable portfolio that you can keep in your camera or messenger bag. But the main reason for constructing this inexpensive mock-up is to get opinions from other photographers who you know will give honest options about the images—should they even be in there—or what order they should be displayed.
Special Note: If you already have a portfolio, even if it’s on-line, don’t forget that my annual Charity Portfolio Reviews are going on through December 19th. Make your appointment now.