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Building up your portfolio


Text and photos by Albert Pedrosa

Portfolio matters. It’s a visual gallery of who you are and what you see. It is your brand and describes what makes sense to you and how you make your choices. It is everything that defines your taste as an artist and a portal to the world you created where your creativity resides.

When I was starting up, the idea of creating a portfolio had never interested me. I was in the stage where confusion and a mix of failure and frustration made my hands full. There’s so much that I wanted to try and the thirst of creating something worth of an inspiration to move forward was illusive and demanded more effort for perfection.

    It was a never-ending battle of what worked with the norms and what I wanted. I fear that if I would veer far from what’stested and proven, I’d lose approval. I’d even question if I have something that is worth the investment of time and effort. The life of an artist is complex and full of ups and downs.

    After all the turbo drive of wanting and doing it more, you start to realize that you are now building up something that is worth appreciating. The journey of creating images from all the different hurdles and creative hiccups becomes a compilation of your work that is seen as your portfolio.

    One way of adding glitters to your portfolio is attending workshops where everything is set and pre-planned. You’ll almost always guarantee to have excellent results. However, I caution you when filling up your portfolio of images gained from workshops: true portfolio images should come from your own effort with your own planning based on your targeted result.

    After a year or so of shooting, as you scan through the images that you included in your portfolio, you start to reminisce the frustrations and temporary triumph of every photo. You’ll also discover your strengths and weaknesses. You are now ready to capitalize on your edge and challenge yourself further on your weakness.

    The idea of doing it more doesn’t necessarily mean doing it better. Putting yourself to a different challenge every time is what makes it worthwhile. It will show in your portfolio how you have grown and developed a finer taste as you brush aside old photos and replacing it with images closer to your art.

    As you build your reputation as an artist, your portfolio will support your vision and creativity. A portfolio is never done. It tells the tale of your journey and the many challenges you have taken. In the end, it’s your show and you don’t want to see another person’s take on your portfolio when you recollect the past.

    Build that portfolio and let it be the evidence of your work and art. Keep on shooting everyone!

    Albert Pedrosa is a Cebu-based commercial photographer who also teaches photography. He loves shooting beauty and fashion.(

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