One of the biggest tools an interior designer has in attracting new clients is his or her porfolio.  From Day 1, I've made it my goal to flush mine out as best I can.  My very first portfolio started out with photos of only one project and I had glossy 8x10s printed out at a photo store and put them in a pretty ring folder.  It wasn't much to look at it but it did help me get some new clients.  Each time I had a new project to add, I'd comb through the portfolio, removing older projects and inserting new ones. 

 Nowadays, there are so many great tools & programs available for creating cool photo books & portfolios that I decided to break out of the printed 8x10s.  When submitting for the DC Design House, I was required to produce a portfolio of my work and so I made a new one on blurb.com  (photo above of my portfolio.)  I put my logo on the front cover and filled it with photos of recent projects:

I was really happy with how it came out.  The one thing I did notice was that there was a little bit of a strange yellow tinge to some of the photos and it made some of my greens a bit off.  Also, I didn't upload high-res images (which I should have) and many of them came out a little blurry, so, next time I'll be sure to do high-res images. 

I included a "press" section and also a section at the end showing some of my current in-progress projects with notes. 

For my family photo books I use snapfish.com, but it doesn't have the flexibility blurb.com has.  I loved being able to make a pretty dust jacket for the book too.

Most of the time, it's my online portfolio that attracts new non-referral clients.  Having a web presence has been my company's biggest asset.  If you don't have a website, there are even sites out there that you can use to showcase your work.  I recently went to a talk by Michael Boodro, Editor-in-Chief of Elle Decor- about Elle Decor's new online Designer Registry.  which can do just that.  It's a listing of designer portfolios that prospective clients can browse through by location to find a designer whose work they like.  I've done a designer registry with them but desperately need to update it. 

I know many of you have successful design businesses & I'd love to hear how you do your portfolio!

xoxo, Lauren

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