Here's how to organise a portfolio day in the studio

Photo credits header: Ruveysa Sahin

A portfolio photography day not only offers the chance to present your work to potential clients, but is also great for making new connections. By meeting other creatives on such a day, you expand your network. In this blog, we would like to give you some tips so that you too can get started with a portfolio day.

A portfolio photography day: what exactly does it involve?

Portfolio days are regularly organised at our studio. This is usually done by one photographer: he or she then books The Loft or The Playground, and invites a number of other photographers to share the costs. You can also be hugely inspired by each other's working methods on such a day. The organiser asks several models, allowing the attending photographers to practice and experiment to their heart's content. Nice if you like to learn how to work with different types of people, or experiment with various light sources. Such a day is often fully catered for and time slots are almost always used.

Would you like to host such a day? Nice! Then start by looking for and booking a venue. After all, without a venue, you can't invite anyone either. Our daylight studios are perfect for this: we have a huge number of square metres of space, high windows and ceilings for the most beautiful, natural light and amazing furniture and props. The neutral colour palette in the rooms gives you the perfect background to experiment. Both beginner and expert friendly!

Studio:The Loft Photo credits: Roanne Smit
Studio:The Loft Photo credits: Roanne Smit

Coming up with a theme for your photography portfolio day

Think of a theme you want to stick to that day, and invite models. Usually this is about five or so, but you can decide on your own number. Are you a maternity photographer? Then organise, for example, a newborn shoot, a family shoot or a mom-to-be shoot. Give detailed advice in advance on what styling and colours the models can wear, and collect some samples or mood boards of poses. Maybe you are a branding photographer, and want to create some strong portraits. For this, invite models with their own business and ask them to bring some personal props, such as their laptop, notebook or diary.

Of course, you can also opt for boudoir photography, a bridal-themed day or fashion photography.

Then invite some photographers who fit within the theme. There should also be a match between you and them, and you can check beforehand if it clicks between you. Ideally, you should have a similar style, but this is not necessarily the case! Finding it difficult to drum up a number of photographers? It always works well to post a call on Instagram stories. There are also plenty of photographers who organise these kinds of days more often, and already know our studios well. You can always send them a message to exchange experiences. Examples are Lonneke Noordeloos and Karlijn van Gestel.

As for costs, you have several options for this. You can have each photographer pay part of the studio rent, or divide the amount among the models who sign up. Or a combination of both, of course.

Studio:The Loft Photo credits: Ruveysa Sahin
Studio:The Loft Photo credits: Ruveysa Sahin
Take good care of your guests
Nothing makes models feel more at ease than good care and comfortable surroundings. Consider whether you want to arrange catering or perhaps do your own shopping. Maybe there is a company willing to sponsor you that day, in exchange for beautiful images. And otherwise, our team knows very good hotspots nearby where you can pick up food. Think small amuses, fresh fruit, smoothies... and maybe lunch is necessary too. Good to know: coffee and tea are already available with us: you are guaranteed good oat cappuccinos.
Studio:The Loft Photo credits: Roanne Smit

A lasting memory of your portfolio photography day

Leave a lasting impression by giving your guests something personal as they head for home. By making a nice goodie bag, for example. Ask every photographer present to make a contribution: this can be in the form of a discount voucher but also in a beautiful gemstone, a personalised card, photo frame or notebook. This gift is sure to impress everyone who attends, and is a great promotion for yourself at the same time.

Want to make it a real experience? Then consider adding an educational element. Invite a speaker who can contribute something valuable to your guests. This could be a renowned photographer sharing his or her experiences, a marketing expert or a professional make-up artist. An inspiring and informative speech can enrich your portfolio day and offer participants new insights.
Now you know all the elements for a successful portfolio shoot day
By following these steps and paying attention to every detail, you can organise a successful and memorable portfolio day that will take your work to the next level and boost your career as a photographer. Above all, be inspired by the beautiful images in this blog, and don't be afraid to ask advice from other photographers.
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