If you want to make a splash in the world of interior design, you will need an interior decorator portfolio. Your portfolio is your calling card in the world of design. It shows potential clients just what you are capable of doing and why they should hire you for their job. With a well put together portfolio, you might find you're actually turning business away!
Why You Need an Interior Decorator Portfolio
Interior design is obviously a visual business, and to get clients on board, you need a way to show them what kind of work they can expect from you. You can't very well traipse around with new clients through past jobs to show them your work in person, so a portfolio is a handy way to show off your past successes. Portfolios are also great ways to demonstrate that you are capable of working within different interior design styles and that you are comfortable decorating all kinds of different spaces, from bedrooms to home studies, and everything in between.
Although it may go without saying that your portfolio will be your selling point with potential customers, your portfolio is equally important to potential corporate employers. Many interior designers go it alone and work for themselves, but others work under the umbrella of larger interior design companies. If you want to get a job with a large interior design firm, your portfolio is much more crucial than your resume. These design firms will want to see your past work, laid out for them in portfolio format; they will be paying attention to the quality of your work AND the quality of your portfolio set up itself. A good portfolio demonstrates to them that you know how to frame and sell your work effectively.
How to Create an Interior Decorator Portfolio
There are a few simple steps you can follow to make sure your portfolio shows off your strengths in the best light possible:
Choose the Portfolio
First things first - you have to choose the case that will hold your portfolio. Some people simply use notebooks or notebook style flip photograph books. Other people prefer to have leather bound briefcase style portfolio books that allow for large photos. Although the choice really comes down to personal preference, be aware that it doesn't pay in the long run to skimp on your portfolio. A bummy portfolio case is a bad first impression to make. You should also keep in mind that while you can get a portfolio case large enough to carry boards, and while the visual effect of boards may be striking, they are ultimately not as easy to show to customers as a flip book or fold-out portfolio book.
Choose your Photos
To put a portfolio together, you will need to take an extensive and detailed set of photographs at every job you do. Take photos from every angle possible, take photos of the overall room, and take photos of individual parts of the design that you want to play up. With all of your photos in hand, choose the ones that you think do the best job of showing off your creativity and your work; enlarge them as needed and put in your portfolio case.
It is a good idea to choose photos that show off different styles and types of design jobs to show off your versatility. Remember also that not every job necessarily merits a place in your portfolio, and also remember that your portfolio can be a place to show off any work that you have done that you are particularly proud of but that wasn't strictly a part of a paying job.
The Finishing Touches
You need a little bit of text placed among the photographs in your portfolio. Some designers like to be expansive, telling where and when a job was done and a little bit about the styles and inspiration behind the job. Other designers like to keep it as simple as possible, just including a line or two of descriptive text with the photos. Remember that you will be there to explain things fully to your customers when you present your portfolio.Technical drawings of the jobs for which you include photos also are a nice touch to your portfolio.
Interior Decorator Portfolio Alternatives
Many interior designers are turning to the internet to solve their portfolio problems. You can set up a website with a portfolio, following the same logic about photo choices and what additional information to include.