How to Build a Commercial Portfolio

Commercial photography is notoriously hard to get into. In this video, I go over my complete workflow for shooting commercially viable portfolios from inception, through the shooting process, and into post-production.

Building a commercial portfolio is a real dark art, and there isn't a great deal of information on the internet about it. When starting out in your career, people want to see your previous campaigns, and as you advance, they want to see your personal voice. Finding the balance between these two places can be a real challenge. Having spent a lot of time talking to agents, art buyers, and directors, I have slowly started to formulate a more concise idea as to what people want to see in order to book you for big campaigns, and it is very different from what I initially tried to show. 

In this video, I go through a test shoot working with a professional stylist (Elle) that I have used to add the portfolio that I use both on my website as well as in my book that is sent out during pitches and meetings. I start with the concept creation and how I go about working out what is needed, then film throughout the shoot, explaining how and why I shoot and light each image. At the end of the shoot, I go through my data management as well as post-production and the final image selection process. 

Although there is a lot more to it than this 30-minute video shows, it gives a good insight into what goes on during a shoot and what is required from a portfolio in order to grab the attention of the bigger clients. 

Scott Choucino's picture

Food Photographer from the UK. Not at all tech savvy and knows very little about gear news and rumours.

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