Updating Your Portfolio: 6 Steps to Help Creatives Stand Out

Portfolio Updates: Steps for Success

Updating your portfolio; an exciting yet daunting task that challenges creatives to put their best work on display.

It may sound straightforward, but there are many factors to consider when making changes and how to make your portfolio stand out.

Here are some things to think about when it comes to refreshing your body of work.

1. Keep older portfolio items fresh.

Revisit older pieces to see them in a new light and update with your newer techniques.

This not only helps your projects look their best but also challenges you to improve existing work.

This is especially helpful if you haven’t been creating new work recently but want to keep your portfolio looking fresh.


2. Add new work as it comes.

Sometimes it can be difficult to add to your portfolio in the midst of a busy season.

But to really showcase how active you are, try to update with each project soon after you’ve finished.

For more extensive projects, show your progress and a peek behind the curtain — this helps to keep things updated and highlight all that goes into a final product.


3. Focus on the work you want to do in the future.

It’s important to be selective in the projects that you’re highlighting — don’t hesitate to leave out items that don’t fit in with where you want to go.

Pick a specialty or two to feature and it will be much easier for clients to understand what your niche is.


4. The details make a difference.

Remember that it isn’t just about the work itself. What about your bio and other copy in your portfolio?

Can those pieces be added or edited in a way to include more relevant information or better define what you do?

Don’t forget to add the why to give context to your projects.


5. Simple is best.

Keep everything concise in your copy as well as the number of projects you’re highlighting.

No need to keep work from years ago — simply include in your bio how long you’ve been in the field, rather than keeping those older items in your portfolio.


6. Selections should impress from beginning to end.

Be thoughtful in the order of your work. It doesn’t necessarily need to be ordered from most recent to oldest.

Wow viewers with your best work first and strategically sprinkle the other favorites throughout, so that the end of the portfolio also is rewarding and leaves a good impression.


Looking for photography subject ideas to add to your portfolio? We’ve got tips for photo subjects around the house, how to photograph couples, and how to get a perfect photo no matter the weather.

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Author Kim Garrison is a product manager at Cision. She also is a snowboarder, photographer, and Washington Capitals fan.

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