The Business of Boudoir »

Just Who Are You Trying To Impress?



Psst.  I’m going to tell you a little secret.  

My portfolio does not represent my best work.  *gasp*


Potential clients or other photographers?  What goes through your mind when selecting images that are supposed to represent your body of work?  Images that show off your epic skills that will make every photographer in the world ooohhh and ahhh over your work or ones that you think your potential clients can identify with?  What you choose to display in your portfolio plays a large part in the type of client you will draw in.

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 8.51.52 AMPIN


How many is too many or too little?  Ohhh!  The decisions!  

The layout of my website plays a huge part in the number of images that I include in my portfolio. The image above is what a client sees when they first click on the portfolio link.  This tiled view calls for 28 images in a 16:9 ratio. If I were to have 29 images there would be an arrow to navigate to a second portfolio page with a single lonely image preview or if I were to include 27 images there would be a bare naked spot in the gridded layout. Once upon a time I had three pages of tiled previews.

28 x 3 = way too many


I think I can say with a fair amount of certainty that we’re all emotionally attached to the images we create. I know I am and I’m not gonna lie, there are a few in my portfolio that are there for me because I simply don’t have the heart to cut them out. I love them. They stay. The rest of the images that make up my portfolio aren’t necessarily images that make my heart sing but rather were carefully selected to represent the demographics that I want potential clients to be able to identify with.

When selecting my images for my portfolio I keep the following criteria at the forefront of my mind:

  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • Body type
  • Variety in poses


To quote Critsey Rowe from this article “Your website IS your STOREFRONT and will make the first impression on potential clients when they stop by to check out what you do and have to offer.

Bella Boudoir Portfolio 2PIN

Maintaining consistency within the images displayed in my portfolio plays a large part of my selection process.  Not all of the images I choose are in landscape orientation or do they fit well into the 16:9 ratio that my website calls for *and* I’m also very big into shooting and showing in storyline.  With this in mind, I show a blend of storyboards and full 16:9 ratio landscape images.

The result from maintaining consistency in size is a portfolio that shows a nice variety in a neat and professional manner.

There it is.  My whole portfolio.


PS:  You may or may not find it interesting that I only update my portfolio once a year.

Petra Herrmann

The Business of Boudoir co-founder, Petra Herrmann, owns and operates Bella Boudoir located in Kansas City. In addition to running her studio, Petra also teaches through Level Up, a master class aimed at shooting smart and shooting to sell. Petra is the proud inspiration for FloricolorUSA's Boudoir Collection and is known for her naughty, voyeuristic, and romantic style of capture.

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  • October 22, 2014 - 8:03 PM

    Elizabeth Zimmerman - Oooh, I love this. But damn — just another thing to consider & re-work! Ha! Thank you Petra!ReplyCancel

  • October 23, 2014 - 11:42 AM

    Christie Conyer - Perfecto! Love the info and gives me something to chew on.ReplyCancel

  • December 6, 2014 - 11:14 AM

    Sandi Shipley - I am loving these articles, thank you for your insight and honesty! Looking forward to reading more. And your work is amazing!ReplyCancel

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