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Portfolio Reviews

Inside View: Photographer Dana Goldstein’s Top 7 Tips to Prepare for Online Portfolio Reviews

  1. Have copies of your presentation in two locations! I used Canva’s pro app to make two shorter ports of recent work, and it worked great – I used the app in presentation mode when I shared my screen EXCEPT during 1 of my 12 reviews, the app was having issues connecting. NO PROBLEM – I had already downloaded the PDFs of the final apps so I switched over to the PDFs without missing a beat. So I would say have two locations open just in case one has a glitch.
  2. If possible, use images that aren’t already on your website. I am fortunate to have had recent shoots and images for a new project, so I was able to avoid the chance of it just being a repeat of things they could have seen just by checking out the website.
  3. Have your website open and waiting ANYWAY. In one review, the reviewer asked if I had additional images from specific shoots, besides the portraits. I quickly logged into a specific gallery on my website and began sharing that screen. For all reviews going forward, I also had that page up and ready to go if I needed it.
  4. LinkedIn is always your friend. In my last review, I got the reviewer on the schedule, but she was also joined by an associate as she had been having childcare issues and couldn’t be sure she could stay on. I had five minutes to look him up and found that he’s a skateboarder, like my daughter, so I was able to open the conversation with that connection, and I mentioned it again in my thank you email. He shared a link to a friend’s project with a young girl skateboarder in response, and it helped solidify a new connection (who is now a LinkedIn contact himself).
  5. I thanked each reviewer for participating in this new type format, and asked how it was going from their side, since it’s all a work in progress. They all said they were so excited to be able to meet photographers from all over the world. One said, “I just met a photographer in Africa!” So if you’re outside the main cities, emphasize how meaningful it is for you as a creative to be able to participate from where you are. Gratitude is important and memorable.
  6. I had a digital promo card ready to go in the chat as soon as the review started. (Also created on Canva) Don’t wait till the end to give this, as you might get cut off rather abruptly in a group review format, and not have a chance to exchange information. I also mentioned that I was dropping it in, since not everyone keeps their chat tab open in Zoom.
  7. Do a run-thru with someone who’s not on your WiFi. Some formats do these lovely dissolves between images or virtual “page turning” but depending on the other person’s connection, it may look choppy. I wanted to do the dissolve, but my daughter told me from school (she was on Zoom on her phone) that it looked halting and choppy and was distracting, so I did clean image breaks instead.

Be Ready With Your Purpose

To get the most out of your online/zoom portfolio reviews, be ready with your purpose. What do you want to get out of it? Have your points of interest and questions ready to keep the topic flowing in the direction that fulfills your goal. 

Consultants for Portfolio Review


Who are consultants you recommend for portfolio/website review?


Consultants can be a game changer because they know the business and they know how to shape your website/portfolio to fit the current market. When you aren’t hearing back often from clients, give a consultant a try and see what they have to say. I believe in them so much that I just created a section on my website for them.

Don’t Speak

We have better odds that clients will remember our work if we don’t speak as they flip though your portfolio pages.

Portfolio Viewings


I often hear portfolio viewings are so crucial, yet I’ve never seen any locally or within driving distance. Should I consider traveling to a larger area such as NYC to have this done?


Yes, a one on one or group showing with your portfolio is extremely valuable. I’d highly recommend these for a photographer at any level of their career. Bring them some chocolate!

Do You Still Need a Printed Book?


(Agency Access): Do you still need a print book?


(Agency Access): The answer is YES,


When a client is seriously considering you for a job, they want to see your book. When your rep goes to visit a client, they need a book. When you go to portfolio reviews, you need a book. Some folks have moved on to iPads which is a good move if you do video. Clients still love to see your images in print and there are never technical difficulties with a print book. Make at least one big, beautiful, no plastic sleeve, full bleed, to die for book. It won’t disappoint. 


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