May 29, 2013

How To Make A Cosmetology Portfolio

One of the most important things that every professional cosmetologist must make is to learn how to make a cosmetology portfolio. As a showcase of your skills, talents and capabilities, your portfolio is equal parts a marketing tool, an advertisement and a resume. As such, it would be a big mistake to take your portfolio lightly. Without it, it would be very difficult for you to prove your abilities as a cosmetologist or show evidence of your skills to prospective clients and employers.

How To Make A Cosmetology Portfolio From the Ground Up

By building your portfolio, you also get to build your reputation as a stylist. Here are tips to get you started today:

Creating Your Portfolio

A portfolio is a hard or soft copy of the following:

  • Your training and education, including diplomas, licenses and certificates
  • Photographic evidence of your skills
  • Photographic evidence of the work you have done and currently doing
  • The different styles of hair, makeup and other treatments you are capable of doing
  • Your special achievements, including certificates of recognition, letters of referral and appreciation, client testimonial, etc.

As mentioned earlier, your portfolio may be a hard or soft copy of all relevant documents that support your claims. As such, you may use:

  • A binder that contains all the necessary documents along with photographs
  • A clearbook
  • A CD or DVD that contains a presentation of your work

What to Include

Make photocopies of your diplomas, certificates, licenses and letters to use on your portfolio. It is recommended that you make more than one set so that you still have something to use in case the first one gets lost or damaged or if you have to submit it to a client or prospective employer for review. Keep the original copies in another binder or folder and store it at home.

You will also need several reproductions of the photos of your work. If you have been featured in a magazine or an online writeup, cut it out, photocopy it or print it and include it in your portfolio. If you are using a CD or DVD, copy the links to the articles online so other people can view them.

How to Make a Cosmetology Portfolio Stand Out

1. Always take photographs of your work.

You could hire a professional photographer for studio shots but if you are watching the cost, consider investing in a camera with a good resolution so you can take clear, crisp photos that will show off the details of your work.

Zoom in on the model’s face and hair, depending on what you want to show. Use good lighting for the task and do not just rely on the camera flash. If you can, take the photo outside under natural light or set up a small studio. Ideally, take the photo from the shoulders up and do not be afraid to get close to your subject to find the best angles.

2. Offer variety.

Variety in your work shows off your versatility and creativity, so provide images that showcase the different makeup and hairstyles that you have done. It doesn’t matter if you used the same model for the styling sessions. What clients and employers want to know is how well you can style the hair and face. Choose photos that show different looks and hairstyles. To make your presentation pop out, use “before” and “after” shots. This is especially helpful if you want to show how well you can work on the needs of different clients using different beauty tools and techniques.

For example, use photos of your work on short hair, long hair, straight hair, curly hair, color treated hair, etc. You could also include photos of your work on people with pale skin, tanned or dark skin or problem skin, along with the different looks you were able to achieve using makeup and other styling techniques. Note that photos should be a good representation of your talent, skills and creativity.

3. Keep your portfolio updated.

Trends in makeup and hairstyles tend to change very fast. Some trends, for example, last only a few weeks. Keep your portfolio updated constantly so that you are always showing what you can do with the latest styles and techniques.

4. Offer your portfolio online.

There are several platforms you can utilize that will help showcase your skills and allow you to reach a wider market. Uploading an animated or live action styling session will help people see what you can do. You could even provide short tutorial videos so you can build your own channel and build a following.

Cosmetology is one of the most exciting, dynamic and rewarding industries but only if you know how to keep up and be competitive. If you want a successful career in this field, start building your reputation today by learning how to make a cosmetology portfolio that defines your skills and abilities.

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