As photographers, our portfolio is often our main selling tool. It’s on our website, our tablet or maybe even in print. It’s how we showcase our work to potential clients and how we get work. So, if it is your greatest asset, why aren’t you updating it?
It should be carefully curated: not every photoshoot will make it to your portfolio, especially if you are a commercial photographer. Nonetheless, it should be updated regularly. It should reflect your current body of work, not your experiments from 2 years ago. If someone hires you based on your portfolio, they will expect the resulting images to be similar. If you style has evolved and it doesn’t show in your portfolio, clients will end up disappointed.
If your images can be dated (for example events), then you need to have recent images in your portfolio. You don’t want clients to see only images that are 6 months old and give them the impression that you haven’t shot since. It’s not only for events, it can be true in other genres like fashion or architecture. Most of my clients are architects in Toronto and they know each others’ work. If I only show images of buildings that were completed two years ago, they will know.
You want to show your very best work to improve your chances of getting new clients. It’s likely that your work is improving with every new photoshoot. If you keep images from 2 years ago in your portfolio, then you’re most likely not showing your best work. And you might just miss some opportunities.
I know we get busy with photoshoots, retouching, administrative stuff and more. But updating your portfolio is really, really important. If you keep putting it off, just schedule a reminder in your calendar every 2-3 months.