Professional Portrait Portfolios

Put together a binder that includes the best examples of your skill as a portrait artist, as well as other documents that demonstrate your professionalism. Your portrait presentation book is your best marketing tool—it should be beautiful, impressive and professional. It should clearly represent your unique style and ability, as well as the scope and flexibility of your portraits. Finally, your portfolio should show that you’re a serious portraitist, considered so by experts, and that you operate in a professional and businesslike manner. Here’s what to include:

1.The visuals. Only include your portraits, even if you paint other subjects. You should include 10 to 20 slides and eight to 10 prints of your work.

2. Your r&eacute:sumé. Printed materials will prove you’re a professional portraitist.

3. Publicity. These are clippings of reviews and articles about you.

4. The portrait commission contract. This should clearly state what you agree to paint for the client, the number of subjects, the size, medium and price.

Whether in your studio or at a potential client’s home, your portfolio is a great tool for showing off your skill.

Loraine Crouch is associate editor for The Artist’s Magazine.

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