I am currently working for an interior design firm and doing interior consulting on the side. My latest "side" client has requested to see my portfolio. The problem is I haven’t updated my portfolio since I graduated four years ago. I’d like to use some type of software that I can compile pictures, descriptions and make a funky background for a marketing style portfolio, but what do I use and where do I find it” Do you have any recommendations of websites with free templates or software that is designed for this application”
(submitted by Ashley T.)
Thanks so much for emailing us with this question. We, too, have been looking for good sources for digital portfolio assembly. Here’s what we’ve managed to come up with:
I use both a Mac and a PC, and I have iPhoto on my Mac. I have actually created a book with iPhoto, as has one of my good friends. The finish quality is quite nice, and the process is extremely intuitive and slick, but there’s a drawback – you don’t have as many layout / custom options as with Blurb (see below). However, iPhoto is part of Apple’s iLife bundle, which includes iWeb, GarageBand, iMovie HD, and iDVD. What does that all mean to you” It means that you can coordinate your marketing / portfolio efforts by creating your own website, blogsite, and podcasts and/or by burning a version of your printed book to DVD to show to / send to clients. Geek out!
Though I haven’t actually used it yet, it appears that you can create some really professional looking printed portfolios with Blurb. Check out their “view sample spreads” button to see examples. Their system gives you the options of custom borders and backgrounds, four different book sizes, and hard or soft covers. And, though you probably won’t need it, you can create up to 440 pages of pictures and text. If you can’t show your potential clients your range with 440 pages, then I don’t know what to tell you!
Photoshop Elements for PC / Photoshop Elements for Mac
A friend of ours uses this to showcase. Basically, it’s a more consumer-oriented version of it’s professional big brother, Photoshop. Elements allows you to artistically edit, enhance, and show your photos through both printing and digital means. You could download a free trial to play with it, and the software is only around $100. You can either create digital slide shows (.pdf files) or print pages.
And, of course, there’s always…
Cheap and readily available, it’s great for digital presentations, but not so good for printed ones. Plus, the standard templates are a little stale. One good thing, though: There is a way to save a PowerPoint file in such a way so that the end user does not have to have the software on their computer in order to view it. Therefore, you could burn it to a CD and give to a client to view with confidence.
Hope this helps, and if anyone reading this has any other sources, please do pass them along to us and we’ll add them to this page!