Building a Professional Photography Portfolio Without Clients

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A photography website or portfolio can help photographers appeal to their target market. How would clients decide to hire someone whose work they haven’t seen yet? It is through a video or photography portfolio that couples hire photographers and videographers for their weddings. The same goes for all possible clients that a photographer or videographer may have. But the problem is if the photographer or videographer is a newbie who doesn’t have clients yet.

For example, a couple is expected to choose wedding cinematography packages for their upcoming nuptials. They request to see the portfolio because they have been impressed with the competitiveness of the pricing of the packages. However, you cannot present anything because you haven’t had the chance to have clients just yet. What happens now? Thankfully, there are many ways you can build your portfolio without needing actual clients. You can ask for help from your friends and relatives.


You can use your own children to show clients that you’re good with kids, too. If you don’t have children, ask your nieces or nephews or maybe a friend’s daughter or son. Although you may have your work cut out for you — because children aren’t the easiest subjects to photograph — this will show how patient you are with your subjects. Couples who are unsure of how to react before a camera will appreciate that.

High School Seniors

Every year, there are thousands of high school seniors graduating from your local school. Approach the school administration and ask if you can be their official photographer. And yes, you’re willing to do it for less the price than they can afford. The key is to have the experience of photographing high school senior portraits. If you’re into videography, you can also shoot the seniors during the weeks approaching their graduation. You can then make a collage or mini movie out of their activities and show that during their graduation rites.


Wedding photo album spread

It is not advisable to shoot a wedding as a beginner because well, you know, it only happens to be the single most important event in a couple’s life — before they have kids, of course. You wouldn’t want to ruin it with your inexperience. However, you can always ask a couple whose wedding is based on a small budget if they trust you enough to capture their wedding photos and videos. If they agree, then you should do all you can to set the bar high even if it’s just your first time. You can also take photos and videos of a wedding that already has an official photographer and videographer. You can be the backup photographer and videographer.

Real Estate

There are a lot of real estate agents looking for photographers and videographers to make a beautiful portfolio out of their listings. You can offer your services for free since it’s going to be a win-win situation for them. They get photos and videos of the estates they’re selling for free, and you get to have the experience of photographing gorgeous properties.


The easiest thing to photograph is, of course, your own food. Make it a habit to take a photo of your food, whether you’re dining at home or at a restaurant. As an added bonus, you get to eat the food after you’re done shooting.

There are plenty of low-cost to no-cost ways of building a photography portfolio when you don’t have clients. All you need is a little flexibility on your part, as well as a wide imagination and creativity. The next thing you know, you’ve got a pretty satisfactory portfolio to present to clients.

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