I saw a couple job ads on a site for photographers the other day. I’ve been a computer and network guy for almost twenty years, so getting a job as a photographer would be a big change for me. The ads asked for a portfolio of work. Whether or not I apply, I’ve started thinking about which photographs would make up my portfolio. It’s not easy to choose. What are the criteria? What kind of things would other people look for in my photographs to see what kind of photographer I am? I have 9,000 online pictures to choose from… and another few hundred wasting away as negatives on a shelf.
I’m tempted to put my favorite pictures into a portfolio, but that would probably be the wrong thing to do. Seems to me that a portfolio should represent my ability to take different kinds of pictures, not just show off pictures that I like. I don’t take a lot of pictures of people, but that’s how one makes money as a photographer. weddings and portraits are the meat and potatoes. The candids and landscapes that I favor only make up a small part of a career. Unless you’re Galen Rowell, Ansel Adams, or Clyde Butcher.
I submitted this picture to National Geographic’s website, but they didn’t take it. I’m photographing a friend’s wedding this summer… that will be my second wedding. I’m starting to think that most photographers stumble into a career instead of purposefully trying to do it.