This epic photography portfolio took 18 months to craft by hand
Nowadays, most photographers only display their work online. However, we’ve recently seen how it can limit you and negatively affect your work, especially if you mainly share it on Instagram. So, photographer decided to make a printed, tangible portfolio and he raised it to a whole new level. He built everything from scratch, from woodwork to the carrying case. It took him 18 months to finish it, and he ended up with a unique portfolio he can be proud of.
Dani has been a photographer for ten years, but he’s been a woodworker for even longer. So, he wanted the front and the back cover of his portfolio to be made out of wood. He used wenge, which is an exotic and expensive type of wood. As he only had one piece of it, he got some help from a local woodworker who had a lot of experience with exotic types of wood. They did the rough work, and Danny did all the fine work in his own workshop.
The next step was to choose the leather for the binding. Dani took the wood with him to a leather shop so he could choose the ideal color. He ended up with ten pieces of leather, and then he finally chose the one that matched perfectly with the color of the wood. He wanted to make the portfolio pages removable so he could update it. So, he attached everything together with screws.
When this part was finished, Dani ended up with an 11 x 17-inch portfolio “skeleton.” He took it to a friend who has a laser machine, and he engraved Dani’s name on the front page. And now, printing time!
Dani reached out to Moab and they gave him 25 samples of paper. He narrowed the choice down to ten types and printed his photos on each. He carefully observed them in different lighting conditions, and then he chose the paper that best compliments his photos.
Now was the time to select the photos for the portfolio. Dani invited his friends over to help him narrow down the images they loved most. They also helped him with the layout, so that the ordering of the photos is logical and aesthetically pleasing. He printed them out on an Epson P800 printer and added them between the beautiful wooden front and back page.
Although the portfolio itself was done, Dani added a “final touch” in the form of a custom made carrying case. He made a matching bag from the same leather he used for the binding. He lined the inside with some suede and even made the straps himself.
It took the incredible 18 months to complete this epic photography portfolio. And it sure looks elegant and unique. While there’s nothing wrong with displaying your photos online, it sure is different, and kinda more personal, to have them printed out. So, I hope that Dani’s video will inspire you to make a physical portfolio of your own, something that will reflect not only your photographic style, but also your personality.
Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.