A Buyers observation: Diverse portfolio's are healthy portfolio's
Diversity is a good thing.
I’ve always heard that being ‘different’ is a good thing. There is truth in that. The more variety, the more change, the more one stands out a little bit - the more interest one garners.
Having images in your portfolio that are different from one another – that diversity – is also valuable – and can be lucrative. Generating a portfolio with diverse content is not difficult – perhaps only a matter of mindset.
As an occasional Buyer, I try to find that perfect shot in as little time as possible. While the DreamsTime search engine gets me started, another venue to success is in exploring a contributors’ portfolio. The more diverse the content, the more likely it can lead to an unexpected find or expand my mindset toward future projects.
Diverse portfolios look eclectic.
‘Different is good’ applies to a healthy portfolio, as well. Look at your collection with a fresh eye – are more than one or two images taken of the same object under the same conditions? Are there photos of same place, from the same day, with the same weather conditions – maybe with just the angle changed? Uploading 18 photographs of an architecturally-interesting building – just taken from different angles - does not diversity make. Nor is it as interesting to surf as a buyer.
Diversify - Get yourself outside your comfort zone.
For me, diversifying my portfolio has taken some thought. The first change I made – I had to get outside my comfort zone.
My early uploads were primarily ‘landscapes’ because I love a good landscape. But I've cut way back on them. Not only are there already a lot of good landscape shots out there (and mine weren’t selling), but my portfolio was landscapes heavy - too much of The Same. So, I’ve diversified. I now work on scientific objects, historical items, macro and abstract textures in nature, newsworthy events, historical locales, and even models. I’ve branched out to photograph from different locations, in different weather, at different times of year, and I'm trying different scales, like The Panorama.
Diversify - Fewer is better.
The second change I made – this one was much harder - I had to critically and harshly cull my own photographs to choose the one (or at most two) that best represents the purpose of the photograph. This was really tough – they are all good (right?!) but in the end, one or two is much better than many of the same. I might take 9 or 12 shots of that ‘ Dragonglass’, but only one will be selected to upload.
Then that little voice in my head says ‘But what if a buyer likes the subject, but needs that ‘other angle’ that I didn’t upload?!?’. No problem. They can reach out to me through my now much-diversified portfolio!
Photo credits: Heather Mcardle.
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