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Photo book layout case study: Photography portfolio for Los Angeles photographer Gina Cholick

I approach building a photography portfolio differently with every photographer. Their work is unique and requires different presentation. Their unique photography brand story reveals itself to me during the editing process. There is much to be learned from reviewing other photographers portfolios, and it is helpful to understand the process involved. It is important to remember however that what works for one photographer will absolutely not work for another. This example of the photo book layout for Los Angeles photographer Gina Cholick gives you a glimpse into the process I go through putting together a commercial photography portfolio.

(By the way, did you notice that amazing tabletop that the portfolio video was displayed on? Well, that’s a custom table designed by Gina’s partner Josh from JNK Arts.)

photo book layout for photography portfolio

When Gina came to me, she had a wedding portfolio which she was not feeling as connected to. Her real passion was her fine art work, and she had a strong fine art portfolio and had had several gallery showings in Los Angeles. She did not see a place for herself in commercial photography. Being somewhat familiar with her work already, I begged to differ. Not only did I know she had work that was commercially viable, but I also knew that her creative and artistic work would set her apart and lend itself to the commercial world very well.

photo book layout for photography portfolio

She sent me her fine art work and lifestyle work that had been sitting in her archives and I pieced together the story of her creative style and I wove the overarching feeling of breath and the elements that surfaced as recurring themes in her work. 

photo book layout for photography portfolio
Working with Monashee on my portfolio was a wonderful experience. Right away, she could see and articulate my strengths as a photographer. That understanding was clear in her edit. I love the flow she created while sequencing both my website and printed portfolio. Working together to tighten the edit with my preferences was an easy and pleasant process. In the printed book, she paired images beautifully and had insight in the spacing and design that really complimented my style. In the past, I’ve been told that my work was too artistic and been encouraged to fit into a more generic mold. Monashee saw my unique vision as a strength and the edit we created together feels authentic to who I am as a photographer. I normally go to portfolio reviews for my fine art work but Monashee’s encouragement gave me the confidence to schedule a review with someone from an ad agency, and her curation helped land me my first agency meeting. I am excited for the next steps of my career and I highly recommend working with Monashee. Gina Cholick

Los Angeles Photographer

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Book printed by AdoramaPIX using dark grey linen and lustre paper.
  • With a commercial portfolio, it is not as simple as stuffing in all the best shots. The flow and image choices should be intentional and all come back to the overall brand messaging that you want to send.

  • Many wonderful images were left behind. But leaving work out is equally important as adding work in. It can be really hard for a photographer to part with work that they are attached to, or that is something they are very proud of. I always have conversations with my clients to explain my reasoning. If it is very important to them, then I find a way to work it into the story. 

GINA CHOLICK

Gina Cholick is a fine art and commercial photographer based out of Los Angeles, California. She studied at Montana State University School of Film and Photography and continued her learning through an extensive career as a lighting technician and producer. This experience has given her a deep understanding of all that goes into commercial photography production. She connects to nature through her lens, chasing light and adventure to explore the elements and the human connection within it’s vastness.

MONASHEE

I curate photography portfolios and mentor photographers who are tired of taking any photo jobs that pay the bills and are ready to step into being creative commercial photographers known for their unique style or niche. I live in Vancouver, Canada with my husband and twin girls.

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