How to Build Your Photography Portfolio: A Guide for Beginning Photographers

If you are a new photographer, knowing how to build your photography portfolio can be hard!

As a photographer who struggled with this when I first got started in the couples + wedding photography realm. I thought it might be helpful if I put together a list of everything I recommend doing to start your portfolio off strong!

5 Ways to Build Your Photography Portfolio

ONE | Embrace Networking: Attend Meetups

In photography, networking is more than just a buzzword—it’s a critical step towards growth. 

One of the most effective ways to connect with fellow photographers and potential models is by attending meetups. These provide a platform to engage with others who share your passion and enthusiasm.

But don’t just limit your interactions to photographers; models can also become a valuable part of your network. When I was starting out, I attended meetups not only to capture images but also to learn and build relationships.

TWO | The Power of Free Work

Yes, you read that right! And, trust me, I totally know that is kind of a hot take.

As a beginner, I offered complimentary sessions to couples. This allowed me to refine my skills and gain experience in capturing intimate moments. Social media platforms, particularly Instagram, proved to be treasure troves for finding potential models.

I reached out to couples whose images caught my eye and offered them a free session in exchange for their time. Don’t hesitate to explore this avenue; oftentimes, people are eager to collaborate when it involves a free photoshoot.

THREE | Leveraging Influencer Collabs

An added tip that can give your portfolio a boost is collaborating with local influencers or individuals with a substantial online presence.

When you partner with someone who has a significant following, your work can reach a wider audience. Sharing your images on their platform introduces you to new potential followers and clients.

Remember, geographical boundaries shouldn’t restrict you.
If the opportunity arises, consider traveling to collaborate with influencers or models beyond your immediate area.

FOUR | Expand with Workshops and Content Days

Investing in workshops and content days is another pathway to refining your skills and expanding your portfolio.

While these events can be overwhelming due to the collaborative nature of photography, they push you to think creatively and experiment with different perspectives. The photography industry requires dedication—whether it’s in terms of time or finances.

Workshops and content days are worthwhile investments in your growth as a photographer.

FIVE | Building Relationships + Connections

As you immerse yourself in the process of portfolio building, remember that forming strong connections with your models is important. Even when you’re offering free sessions, delivering exceptional work can lead to future paid projects or referrals.




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