Interviews With Pro Photographers

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Interviews With Pro Photographers

Ross Eason: Getting Portfolios Through The Door

Show your clients what they want to see.

Do you need a special portfolio to show your clients or is a general website enough?

Portfolios are required by all professional photographers, but you can often get a better result by targeting the photographs you show to potential clients.

“I show examples in the style of work that I want to shoot”, explained Ross. “I also refer to my website when talking with clients. In fact, if I’m visiting a client, I’m not surprised if they have already been to my website before I get there.”

But if visiting a client, Ross will show a smaller, more specific set of images.

“For instance, I have a specialty for working in confined spaces. “I have a very good client who manufactures boats, so while I wouldn’t offer my services to their competition, I could approach other people who needed photography in confined spaces, such as a caravan or motor home manufacturer. “There wouldn’t be much point showing the caravan manufacturer photographs of glassware or white t-shirts, so I would custom design a folio of images that was relevant to their needs. I would show the photos on an iPad or give them a printed PDF, depending on the structure of the meeting.

“Personally I don’t have a single, definitive portfolio, but a little while ago I produced an A4 colour brochure. It was very generic, showing a cross-section of the work I do, plus some of my personal work. There’s a short blurb about me and my website details, and I use it as a giveaway or an introduction.

“If I’m reading the local newspaper and I see XyZ is moving to the Sunshine Coast or doing a project nearby, then I will research the person who is responsible for the photography and send them a standard letter with the A4 brochure. It is presented in a large envelope, padded with cardboard, so it arrives in good condition. “The letter says I hope they don’t mind if I follow up in a few days to discuss it with them.

This is a great introduction because in a few days, when I ring up the company and the receptionist asks what I want to talk about, I can honestly say it’s about the documentation I sent last week! This will usually get me through, compared to a cold call when inevitably they are out!”

Ross Eason M.Photog., HLM is a commercial photographer in South East Queensland. He is an AIPP National Vice President and has been in business for over 30 years.

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