EP 06: Five easy ways to build a photography portfolio from scratch

Aloha folks! Thanks for listening to another episode of the Photo Business Help Podcast! Today is a Photo focused show where I’ll share my favorite ideas for building a great photography portfolio from scratch.

If you’re new to the show, and the show is pretty new, here’s a little bit about me…

Laura Kane Scher Photography 
Natalie Jennings 
Photo: Laura Kane Scher Photography

After 10 years shooting professionally and over 5 years teaching and mentoring hundreds of photographers, I wanted to reach more people. I left my teaching career (high school English) and grew my four digit photo side hustle into my 6-figure business, and I have every intention of continuing to grow and learn and aim higher.

The lifestyle tips and business-building-know-how in this podcast applies to anyone wanting to grow in business and in life, not just photographers.

If you’re not new to the show and find yourself tuning in regularly…hell yes and thank you mucho! I’m so glad things are inspiring you and helping you on your journey. If you have a minute and want to share the love, head to and say a few words about the show. I try to read reviews every few shows, too. So listen for yours next.

Episode Six Photo Business Help Podcast 
Photo Focus How to Build a Portfolio From Scratch

Okay, so you’re just starting out in the photo biz and you feel like you have nothing to show! You’ve done a handful of gigs for free, or maybe you’ve been paid already but you’re not feeling like you’ve found your ideal client yet.

So what do you show on your website and social feed?

  1. For those of you not in alignment with your ideal client yet, remember to only SHOW WHAT YOU WANT TO SELL. Why? Because you’ll just get more of what you’re showing, and if it’s not your favorite work, don’t share it just because your portfolio is a little thin.
  2. Take your camera with you…everywhere. I mean, everywhere. You get better by doing, and if you don’t really like shooting, then maybe photography isn’t for you. Say you’re at a barbeque to a party and someone’s kiddo is extra cute…ask if you can take a couple of portraits if you’re inspired. Maybe the light is gorgeous, or they have cake all over their face. Whatever caught your attention, try to capture it! (with permission of course). If you get even ONE killer image out of it, that’s one more thing to add to the stack. And who is going to know that you didn’t get paid to shoot it? And does that really matter anyways?
  3. Start a daily challenge. Google has everything, including photography prompts. Commit to one new one a day, a la college-style. Maybe it’s an exercise in texture, or shadow, or emotion. Maybe only 1 in 7 really moves you. There you go. Another one! That’s two than you had at the beginning of the week, and two stellar images can go a long way towards building your brand.
  4. Look for great light, not a great subject. Try getting in the habit of grabbing for your camera when the light is magical THEN looking for something to shoot. It might be a tree or a dog in the park, or your hot coffee on a table. Whatever. If the light knocks you sideways, the photo will most likely turn out pretty great, too. There’s at least 3 for the portfolio.
  5. Relax. Listen to your heart. Really. I’m over how cheesy I sound sometimes. It’s true. You will gravitate towards what lights you up, so try to listen to yourself, not what you think other people or your clients might, maybe, possibly like.
Photo Business Help Facebook group community. Natalie Jennings holding wine glass and iPhone

I hope this helps! I’d love to watch your new portfolios grow. Join our online group on FB and share your new favorites with the group! Head to FB and search Photo business help or @photobizhelp

Until next time, in all the you want to achieve, consistency is key.

Love and light,




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