Do artists still need a portfolio?

Recently, we entertained a group of photography students at the Fidelis studio. This is one of the things we like about our job, because we love to meet new people and enjoy the opportunity to be introduced to new artists and their work. Lots of great ideas were shared and we had the opportunity to answer lots of questions about fine art printmaking and self-publishing art.

A very good question about the need of a portfolio was presented, of which I replied “Absolutely!”. This led to a discussion about an online portfolio vs. the traditional printed portfolio (you’re thinking, “who uses a paper print portfolio anymore?”). Ultimately, we agreed that there is still a place for the printed portfolio and the online portfolio. We also agreed that a portfolio is most definitely needed for the lens-based artist, student and the serious amateur photographer.

This conversation was echoed in a recent article  “Do I Need a Portfolio”, shared on G+ by the talented Stephan Bollinger. Stephen talked about why there is a need, outlining that a portfolio:

One last thought. Keeping an updated portfolio of your work is a bit like maintaining a family photo album, it can be done online or as a physical book. What’s important is that you do it for yourself and for the pleasure of seeing your art (and experiences) nicely printed and presented. One day we will all be gone, wouldn’t it be nice to leave behind your portfolio for future generations to enjoy? Share your thoughts on whether or not artists still need a portfolio, look me up and continue the conversation on G+.
If you’re having a hard time determining what to include in your portfolio, refer to some of the tips in this FAP post, “How to Choose Your Best Art to Exhibit”.