Now that you’re web savvy with your Facebook, Twitter and (hopefully) an online portfolio, it’s just as important to maintain a hard copy of your portfolio as well. Employers tend to vary in their desires of presentation, so be prepared to jump through hoops to give them what they want.
When creating your hard copy portfolio, keep in mind that your presentation will mean a lot. Try to create something professional. Whether your photos are nicely bound into a book (simple and completely flawless), or individual photos in some kind of box/briefcase/pouch/etc., they should be absolutely stunning.
My favorite approach: A plain book with large photos on each page. Make them big enough to stand out. The background paper should be neutral—nothing to distract the viewer—and of a high quality. Basic stock paper probably won’t do unless there’s just something special about the color.
The binding is up to you, but make sure it isn’t too fragile (you don’t want it falling apart after the first interview you have).
The cover: Make sure it’s clean and sleek. No loose paper or corners of photos should be peeking out of the sides (I’ve seen this before).
Have a few copies of your portfolio. Somebody may want to hold onto it; in the event that they do, you’ll want a few extra to show.
If you don’t want to create a book of your work, that’s fine. Instead, consider carrying a CD version or a few samples that can be given away. And always, ALWAYS have your business card on hand (with—do I need to say it?—a web site listed!).
Finally, the prints that you do have should be exceptional. Search around for a great place to have your photos printed or, if you want to save a dime or two, a printer for home use. Don’t just pick one though, some are a much better quality than others for photo printing. This is not something to be stingy about.
Kodak printers have had great reviews for their photo quality and durability. But don’t take my word for it, shop around and get what works for you.
If you are interested, check out their news release for their newest printer: the ESP 9250. It’s supposed to be user friendly and cheaper in the long run.