To Print Or Not To Print?

As a professional fashion photographer you take pride in your photography portfolio. It is a culmination of hard work dedication and creativity. It can be a bit ominous at times. All of your painstaking years of work summarized in a few pages.

Your photography portfolio should develop with you. Over time your styles, techniques, and skill changes. So when this happens depending on how you have chosen to display your portfolio this can either be a quick fix or leave you with quite the dilemma.

In the beginning of my career as a professional fashion photographer a printed book was the standard. With portable technology not being high enough quality or portable enough, there were few questions as to how you would showcase your book. Really the only big decision was whether you would go with a bound or sleeve version. I was partial to sleeve styles so I could switch images out depending on the client I was going to meet with. It was also a bit more cost effective.

printed copy

Now, with rapidly advancing technology you can now use a tablet to display your fashion and beauty photographic work. With newer tablets you can get a rather large display giving your work that extra wow factor. They are expensive but convenient, you just need to format the images, check colour profiles, upload, organize and done. No trips to the lab and everything is convenient particularly for last minute meetings.

ipad pro

Each format has its pros and cons. A traditional book is much more versatile in the sense that you can have one printed in as large or small as you would like. Colours are accurate providing you know your labs colour profile, and it’s hard to beat the quality of a nice crisp print. The downside to traditionally printed photo books are their size. Depending on the style you go with they can be pretty heavy, if you have several appointments in a day you might just get a decent work lout lugging it around with you. They take time, it may take up to a month to have it printed and shipped, and they can be quite costly.

do what you want

A tablet is also versatile in different ways; you can use it for more than just your portfolio. They are light, screen resolution can be excellent. You have a lot of flexibility, change things up as much as you would like. Gifs and videos are also a big plus. The down side of a tablet is they can be very expensive initially, and heaven forbid you crack the screen its expensive to replace. One word – fingerprints. The size and proportion is limited to the screen so what you bought is what you are stuck with.

Last year I headed to London for some meetings, and to show my commercial photography book around. I decided to bring an iPadPro with me to display my work, I have done it a million times in Toronto, and it is a norm here. There however, it was perceived as a bit ahead of the curve. Traditional books are the norm there. So this is a bit of a market bound decision. in Tokyo on the other hand that iPad was loved If you are intending on traveling with your book, just do a quick search or reach out to some local talents to find out.