How to Build An Amazing Portfolio from Total Scratch for Super Cheap

This lesson is for those who are newer with little to no photography content (or in need of a refresh to speak better to your ideal clients.)

If that’s you, read this lesson throughout, and then go through the Build phase.

It goes without saying, we all start from scratch. So, don’t be embarrassed about it. It’s 100% normal. No matter where you are in your career, it’s totally okay to be portfolio building with intention.

And this lesson can help you with getting some clarity about how to move forward with some different options.

You can pay to get the content, or you can do it for free (minus the time investment and sweat equity).

OPTION 1: Organized-For-You Portfolio Shoots (Paid)

Invest into workshops that include portfolio shoots. You own a business, and sometimes it requires investment, especially if you are wanting to get to where you are wanting faster.

For a commonly used option in the wedding industry, you can check out sites like, join their FB group at

You can also post to your local wedding Facebook groups asking if there are any styled shoots taking place that are open to others.

For building a more intentional body of portrait work or commercial work, you can attend workshops in a very particular style that you are looking to build. Or you can simply reach out to individuals who fit the aesthetic you are wanting to achieve for that particular project brief.

If you post into Facebook groups within that niche, it’s very easy to learn about workshops that offer these styles of shoots.

As for the workshops themselves, this is really all about networking and asking around. You might be able to find some great styled shoots & creative workshops in your area, but there are many, many creative workshops all around the world nearly year-round.

OPTION 2: DIY Styled Shoots (Free or Very Inexpensive)

If you aren’t wanting to partake in paid workshops or paid styled shoots, you can put together your own portfolio shoots.

For detailed information on wedding styled shoots, check out Lesson 2.BONUS.01 for wedding pros. It’s inside the end of Phase 1 – Build.

For detailed information on portrait portfolio shoots, check out Lessons 2.BONUS.02 for portrait pros. It’s inside the end of Phase 1 – Build.

They are BIG lessons with loads of detail.


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