Create a Portfolio
No matter if you are new to the industry or are a seasoned professional, the article that follows can help you craft an image that is inherently impressive and highly marketable. In order to attract interest in the services you provide, you must have an attention-grabbing portfolio that makes clients want to hire you and only you.
The foundation of your portfolio should be comprised of somewhere between five and ten examples of your very best work. The key is to focus on the quality of the pieces, not the volume of work. If you are just launching your career as a retoucher and have not yet amassed a sizeable body of work from which to choose, fear not. It is possible to utilize online Photoshop tutorials in order to create your samples. Simply use your own images in order to avoid stealing someone else’s work.A few of the best sites include:
After you have assembled no less than five, but hopefully ten examples of your work, you must make sure they are online and ready for prospective clients to view. I strongly suggest that you display before-and-after images as part of your online portfolio, as this technique is the best way to showcase your skills as a retoucher. Make certain to obtain permission from all photographers and clients, as necessary.
Engage the services of professional web designers and developers who are able to establish a website using a domain name of your choosing. This is a bit costlier than other options, since you will be responsible for paying hosting fees, the cost of registering your domain name and the rates charged by the designer and developer for crafting your website. However, this also represents the most professional route, because you retain complete control over the site’s appearance. You will be able to stand apart from competitors by having a site that is truly your own.
It is also possible to make use of online website creation and blogging platforms, which afford you the opportunity to integrate a domain name of your choosing without the need for a web developer or designer.
WordPress is a particularly good choice, because it is designed to optimise search engine placement, is fairly simple to use, offers integrated blogging capabilities, is customizable and costs nothing. There are essentially two ways you can use WordPress, with the first requiring you to download and complete WordPress installation on a hosted domain of your own (if you have one). Because the site will be accessed via your domain name alone (www.yourname.com), you must still pay fees for hosting and domain registration. Alternatively, you can open a WordPress.com account and take advantage of their free servers to create your site (www.yourname.wordpress.com). Be sure to review all site building instructions and build your online presence by using one of several preexisting theme templates.
If you lack the time, the motivation or the funds to create a site of your own, multiple online portfolio sites exist onto which you can place your images, descriptions and additional information at no charge. Such sites frequently boast active online forums as well as abundant resources that can be of great value. Furthermore, these sites tend to be search engine optimised, and can give you a personalised online address to which you can direct prospective clients. The only negative about such sites is the fact that they tend to project a slightly less professional image than the prior two options, which may have a slight impact on your ability to attract business.
A few sites worth exploring include:
- www.behance.net (seasoned professional)
- www.deviantart.com (semi-pro)
- www.flickr.com (novice)
As is the case with virtually any endeavor, the degree of benefits you will reap from establishing an online presence is directly related to the amount of effort you devote to carefully crafting it.