What is the Value of a Print Portfolio to Photographers?

Photographer Erik Almas has put his finger on a very important aspect of a photographer’s marketing mix: the printed portfolio. Somehow, with the deluge of social media, websites, email, and other forms of instant communication, the printed portfolio has taken a back seat in the last decade or so. In this video, Almas spills out how he started out marketing his work using a printed portfolio, and he explains why these hard-bound beautiful books will never go out of vogue:

There is something fascinating about looking at enlargements of beautiful compositions and artistic expressions captured in two dimensions. The gratification that one gets holding these pictures in hand and looking at them is difficult to reach by any other means. Large screens, tablets, smartphones, websites you name them, none of them have anywhere near the same effect when it comes to actually displaying someone’s work. It is hard to imagine that they are a sort of novelty these days; about a decade ago they were the norm and the principle way to market one’s work.

personal touch with printed portfolios

Printed portfolios provide a personal touch.

A key reason that printed portfolios are such important tools for marketing a photographer’s work is that they’re personal.

“I am doing this and I am sharing this because I do think in my heart that personal connection is almost being lost a little bit in all the social media visual bombardment that we have, and I do think we get more and more aware of it, aware of the sort of social media fatigue, that we do want to connect with people again, that we do want to see people face to face, and it is not about the screen.”

printed portfolio work

It’s always a good idea to have a printed portfolio.

Rather than one master portfolio, Almas maintains three separate portfolios, and each of them reflects a distinct style of work that he enjoys.

“They are big, and they are heavy, but I think it leaves an impression that people get to see the work in the size that it is presented.”

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