Recently I came across a portfolio review video from Rishabh Wadhwa’s YouTube channel, BlessedArch. Together with Mariana Cabugueira Custodio dos Santos, a Portuguese architect working for Zaha Hadid Architects in London, they review and critique architectural portfolios.
While the criteria between an architectural portfolio and a photography portfolio are not one and the same, I believe there are a lot of parallels between the two. As a senior architect working for one of the most high-profile architecture firms in the world, I find Mariana’s insight particularly useful — especially as it pertains to how a portfolio can best tell the story of a particular design.
Relevant topics covered in the discussion include:
Storytelling: Create an appropriate pace to your portfolio. Establish a rhythm that gives your audience time to breathe and absorb.
Quality Over Quantity: Only show the absolute best of your best. Fewer projects, more pages per project. Show respect for your best work by giving it the most space.
Specialized Versus Jack of all Trades: How do you want to sell yourself? As someone who can do it all, or as an experienced expert in one particular genre?
Unique Selling Point: Why does this prospective client NEED you just as much as you need them? What can you offer that no one else in the industry can?
Accepting Rejection: If you don’t get the gig, accept it, try to figure out why, improve, and give it another shot at a later date.
Our portfolio, while only being one facet of how we can sell ourselves, is very much the most important piece of the marketing puzzle. Whether digital or printed, getting it right can often be the decisive factor in landing your next job.