Building a Portfolio as a New Photographer


Bride and Groom portraits at their Southern Estate Wedding

Building a portfolio as a new photographer is very important but can also be difficult at times. I still remember asking myself, “Where do I start?” “What do I do?” “How?”

No need to ask these questions any longer! I have included my top 7 tips below that I wish I would have known when starting to break into my career and building my portfolio.

  1. Start with what you have and use it often. What I mean by this is take your family and friends out to shoot with you and work on your posing, lighting, and camera. Any practice betters you as a photographer. 
  2. Shoot for free. I know, that “free” word is hard to hear as you just invested about $5,000 to start your business but you don’t have to do that for long. These first free shoots will get you out practicing with real people and will give your business growth by word of mouth. 
  3. Hire models. Believe it or not, you can hire professionals to model for you to get those detailed images that you are dreaming of in your head.
  4. Go to a workshop or invest in a mentorship. This is my biggest and best advice. I would not be the photographer that I am today without my mentors that I have invested in. If you invest in a mentor through a mentorship, they will most likely invest in you 110% more. AND you get a new friend!
  5. Create a styled shoot or attend one. Sometimes creating a styled shoot it can be intimidating so if you are not up for creating one, find one to attend!
  6. Learn your camera & practice editing. This will help you in dealing with lighting situations and being a better all-round photographer. 
  7. Market yourself right away. Don’t wait to put your work out there or tell people that you’re a photographer! Plant that seed as soon as you can. 

I would love to know if any of these tips helped you or if you have any questions for me. Please leave them below and I will answer any questions that you have!

Want to learn more?

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Have we connected on Instagram? I would love to be your friend! Find me here!

  1. Alexa says:

    This is such good advice Monica! So often photographers have no idea where to start in order to help get their business built and these are wonderful tips.

    • Monica Ebbing says:

      Thank you so much Alexa! I hope that it will help those who are unsure of where to start or what to do. 🙂

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More about Monica

I'm Monica, a wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Georgia! I believe whole heartedly in marriage and your love connection, not just a pretty wedding day. My heart is to serve you to the fullest.