Brad and his portfolio adviser

Portfolio Day

Yesterday was Portfolio Day, so I thought I would share some of the most valuable advice on portfolios I’ve been given over the years!

First though, let’s talk about Portfolio Day. It was started by designer Audrey Gonzalez in 2018 as a way for freelancers to share their portfolios online as a sort of virtual job fair, and has grown into a worldwide event in the years since. It’s a quarterly event, so if you missed it yesterday, you’ll have a chance to participate again in July. If you want to share your portfolio, or if you’re someone who hires freelancers, check out the #PortfolioDay hashtag and account on Twitter!

Show The Work You Want To Be Hired For

As creatives, we’re going to take on work that we don’t necessarily love sometimes. But that doesn’t mean we have to show it in our portfolio! Make sure your portfolio is focused on the kind(s) of work you want to be hired to do. If you want to be a food photographer, you probably don’t need any photos of your kids playing soccer next to a photo of ice cream.

Your Portfolio Is Only As Strong As Your Weakest Image

Worry less about hitting a certain number of images in your portfolio and more about the overall strength of it. When people view your work, their perception of your ability is going to include your weakest image.

Start Strong, End Strong

Not only do you need to focus on the overall strength of your portfolio, but you’ll want to make and leave a lasting impression with the viewer. Start with an amazing, attention grabbing image, and end with an image they can’t forget, and you’ll be off to a great start!

Tell A Story

Think about the sequencing of your photos. Don’t just let them be in whatever random order the filenames dictate. Tell a story with the flow of your photos, take the viewer on a journey through your work if you can.

Think About Image Pairings

As you’re thinking about sequencing, also consider how photos look next to each other if you’re creating a physical book or creating a web page layout. If you have a two-up, maybe the images compliment each other with similar colors. Or maybe they contrast with opposite colors. Maybe the subject matter mirrors each other, or creates an interesting/funny juxtaposition.

Be Who You Are, Not Who They Want You To Be

Just because you work or want to work in a certain genre doesn’t mean you have to conform to what everyone else does. Take a chance and do something different so you can stand out from everyone else. Make sure your personality comes through in your work. As they say, there’s only one you, and your perspective is unique. It might take some time to find your voice and style, but it’s worth that time, effort, and experimentation to get there!

Show Work You’re Passionate About

One of my favorite portfolio meeting stories is from Jeremy Cowart. He told of a meeting he had with a potential client in the entertainment industry. He started off by showing them his celebrity portfolio, and they flipped through it quickly, unimpressed because it was the same type of shiny photos of famous people they saw every day.

He thought the meeting was basically over as soon as it began, but then remembered he had a book of photos from a personal project he had done after the Haiti earthquake. He pulled it out and handed it to them, and their eyes lit up as they started to look through it. This was something different that they didn’t see every day, so it caught their attention. They loved the stories of the subjects, and how Jeremy was able to capture such captivating photos with minimal gear. They could see the passion and heart in the images.

They ended up hiring Jeremy for some of the biggest campaigns he’d done at that point in his career, and it was all because he showed work he was passionate about.

More Helpful Resources

If you’re a KelbyOne member (or want to become one), here are a few courses to help you build an amazing portfolio:

Building a Winning Portfolio: Editing and Sequencing Your Images with Stella Kramer

Become a better photographer through editing and sequencing! Join Stella Kramer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo editor, as she teaches you how good editing and sequencing can help to do a better job of telling a story with your work. You’ll learn the basics of editing and sequencing, the importance of knowing your objective, how to deal with critique, why you should stand behind your work, and the value in letting go. Stella brings all of these points home in a series of live edit and sequencing work sessions with three different photographic projects.

The Art of The Edit with Peter Hurley

It’s all about the edit! You’ve just had an awesome photo session and now you need to narrow it down to just the best ones. How do you do it? Join Peter Hurley as he walks you through a series of live headshot sessions and then talks through his editing process with the subjects at the end. Peter is joined throughout the class by Scott Kelby, and together they edit through multiple different shoots that Scott has brought in. Editing is all about narrowing shots down to just the ones that will go into your portfolio to help you get more work. Learn how to develop this muscle and find your own shabangs!

Professional Photography on a Budget: The 5k Challenge with Zack Arias

(NOTE: The portfolio section of this class begins at Lesson 9). What could you do photographically with five thousand dollars? Join Zack Arias as he sets out a challenge to show what can be done on a budget of $5,000. Zack does everything from buying the camera gear to covering his expenses for a weekend of travel in New York City, and even hiring a photo editor to sit down and help him edit his photos down to a tight new body of work. At the end of the project he’ll have new gear, an interesting experience, a new portfolio, and money left over to do it again.

Getting Your Portfolio Online Using Adobe Portfolio with Scott Kelby

Take advantage of the online portfolio option that is included in all Creative Cloud subscriptions, and showcase your work! Join Scott Kelby to learn how to use the latest templates and features found inside of Adobe Portfolio. In this class you’ll learn how to get started with Portfolio, how to build a single gallery, how to add multiple galleries, how to add a contact page, how to add an about the artist page, and how to customize the most important settings to make your portfolio reflect your personal style and taste. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to use once you learn the basics.

You can see Brad’s portfolio at, and keep up with him on Instagram and Twitter.

#TravelTuesday is here again with me, Dave Williams, and today I want to talk about documenting our journeys.

I’ve talked a lot before about shooting behind the scenes so our friends and followers can gain an insight into what we do, how we do it, and a little extra on who we really are. More important perhaps than that is shooting behind the scenes for ourselves.

I’ve also often said that we need to take travel photos that are above and beyond a souvenir shot so we can stand out amongst a crowd and sell our images. Forget that for a moment…. only a moment, of course.

Filling our personal photo album with memories of our journeys is a huge part of life. When we go somewhere as photographers we can often become so focussed on shooting the location with our ‘big camera’ that we forget about our phone or our compact, or even our back-up camera. Don’t do that!

Souvenir shots of ourselves or out friends and family when we’re out shooting are invaluable. They serve as reminders of everything about that shoot, even evoking memories of the sounds and smells, and the temperature!

I’ll be totally honest and give this tidbit of info here and here only, and it’s a once only offer so don’t quote me saying this in any other context: –

It doesn’t even need to be a good photo!

Souvenir photos – which are important memories – are essential to bring our journeys back to life. Forget social media, I’m talking about shooting for yourself. Next time you’re out and about on a photographic mission, take some memory shots.

Much love

On Friday, here on the blog, I made known something personally risky, and I was holding my breath to see the fallout I would experience on social from admitting that “I like Olive Garden. Well, my friends, I was absolutely delighted to learn that in this, I am not alone.

If you go to (seen above), you see these slow panning videos of their entrees, even their salad. It makes you want it. It makes you need it. You’re are now my OG Brother.

As it turns out, I have many “OG Brothers” who love that mountain of breadsticks and gargantuan bowl of salad as much as I do and weren’t afraid to admit it. People from all over, from different walks of life, all coming together to say, “Yes, Scott, I like Olive Garden, too!”, and well, it still brings a tear to my eye.

Thank you for accepting me, and my “casual dining but I know it’s not ‘real’ Italian'” occasional food craving place where we get takeout and enough breadsticks to feed a Texas high school varsity squad.

Five “hot picks” for food you wouldn’t think of ordering at places you go to for something entirely different.

While we’re taking a brief respite from all this non-stop photography and Photoshop stuff, today I want to share five surprisingly awesome dishes you might not think to try, but if you do try them, you will thank me (and your Cardiologist will curse me). Here goes:

1. The hot dog at Steak n’ Shake

Nobody thinks to go to Steak n’ Shake for a hot dog, which is a shame because they’re shockingly yummy. In fact, they’re so good they’re not even called “hot dogs” at Steak n’ Shake. They’re called “Steak Franks” thank you very much, and each one is made with love (well, they taste like that anyway). You can get them with their famous chili on top, and/or cheese and onions, and getting a hot dog at a burger place like this will make you rethink everything and change your worldview forever. True story. Ask anybody.

2. The Double Cheeseburger at Dairy Queen

Nobody thinks to go to Dairy Queen for a cheeseburger, which is a shame because theirs is literally one of the best around. Way better than Wendys, McDonald’s, Burger King, etc., and you can get a Blizzard for dessert (try the Heath Bar Blizzard), which is just off-the-chain good. It comes with a set of defibrillators just in case, but you probably won’t have to use them, which is a good thing because that Blizzard tends to get a bit drippy by the time you’re done with that cheeseburger, and drippy ice cream and electricity don’t mix all that well. I’ve been told (I’m asking for a friend).

3. The Homemade Potato Chips at Zaxby’s 

Nobody thinks to go to Zaxby’s for homemade potato chips, because you’re hopefully there for their new Signature Chicken Sandwich, which (and this has been confirmed in recent real-world tests), is right up there with Popeyes. In my eyes it has officially won the “chicken sandwich war of 2021” (or at the very least, they have signed a truce with Popeyes and are now against the Russians). They give you crinkly fries when you order it as a “meal,” but you can request the chips instead, and they’ll swap ’em out for you. It’ll take an extra minute or two because they have to make the chips up fresh, but you know what? That means they’re fresh! Get the Ranch or Teriyaki dipping sauce because it activates the chips.

4. The North Atlantic Cod Fish Sandwich at Culver’s

Nobody thinks to go to Culver’s a fish sandwich. However, if you like fish sandwiches, and have endured either McDonalds or Wendy’s fish sandwich (I’m not entirely sure either is actually made from fish, and if proven to be somehow fish-based, it’s probably made of Nordik Angler, which tastes similar to a dirty sock you might find inside a discarded washing machine at a landfill), then you’re ready to step up to this sea swept beauty. It’s crunchy and yet very light. The breading is more like fish lovingly snuggled in tempura, lightly killed, and then gently laid upon some fresh bread from a French bakery, but the kind of French bakery that would actually be in the kitchen at a Culver’s which is probably not French at all. This, despite the fact Culver’s serves French fries, which I’m sure the French might have a word or two to say about that, but anyway, if fish is your dish, this one is probably the best around.

5. The Buffalo Chicken Wrap at Jersey Mikes

Well, probably somebody goes to Jersey Mikes for a wrap, but I have to wonder about that person (what I’m saying here is: I have to wonder about me because I go to Jersey Mikes just for this wrap). Now, I like their Italian sub a lot (I get it “Mike’s Way”), but once I tried their Buffalo Chicken Wrap, I can’t bring myself to pull the trigger on that I-sub anymore. It’s big. It’s chickeny — it’s big and chickeny. Give this one a try, and you’ll be astonished and perhaps a bit frightened at how good it is. Heads up though: the whole time you’re eating it, you’ll be thinking, “Man, this would go perfect with some Olive Garden salad and breadsticks!” Well, that’s what I was thinking.

There you have it. Five “hot picks” for food you wouldn’t think of ordering at places you go to for something entirely different.

Here’s to a great week, and don’t forget, you could try one of these hot picks every day for lunch and then hit the OG on Friday night. Awwww, yeah. One more thing: remember, you after your order arrives you can stop for a sec and make some great food photos! Make sure you ask to sit outside (under an umbrella or overhang), or indoor by a window (actually, don’t sit indoors — COVID). See how I just neatly tied this all together and made it relevant to photography right at the very last second? It’s a gift. I’m blessed. ;-)


I realize that the first thing I’m about to reveal is controversial enough that I will probably lose readers. People will unsubscribe, and tell me how disappointed and disillusioned they are with me, but it’s something I came to terms with this last week and I feel like I need to just say, get it out there, and be done with it.

So, what is this revelation I had this week? Well, it’s more like an admission than a revelation, but since I just really came to grips with it this week, well, here we go:

I like Olive Garden.

—Scott KELBY

There. I said it. “I like Olive Garden. ” I do

I really like their salad and their breadsticks (especially if you get a dipping sauce with them), and I like some of their entrees, like their “Tour of Italy” and their Lasagna, and I like their Chicken & Gnocchi Soup and their Zuppa Toscana soup, too.

Look, I’m not saying it’s my not favorite Italian restaurant, but I must admit, I do like it, and I’m looking forward to my next Olive Garden takeout. When you do their curbside takeout, for some reason they give you like 71 breadsticks for every dinner you order. So, if you’re a family of four you can expect around 284 breadsticks and at least two 55-gallon drums of salad, which will last you until summer. Well, it does me, anyway.

Then there’s my other revelation

I don’t know if you caught my post on Monday called “Don’t be that guy” but it got a LOT of reaction over on my Facebook page with over 150 comments. Most everyone pretty much felt the same way I did, which is just don’t be that guy when someone simply shares something nice that happened to them, but here’s my other revelation:

“That Guy” never realizes he’s “That guy”

Human nature being what it is, it didn’t take long before, sure enough, a guy showed up and not only became “that guy,” but he became “Super that guy.” He wrote that he agreed with me and that everybody should use whatever tool works for them and you shouldn’t worry what other people use. But then (wait for it…wait for it…) he went into a whole thing about how PCs are better than Macs, and that they’re over priced and more stuff like that.

You realize, my buddy never mentioned PCs. He didn’t compare his new computer to anyone else’s. He didn’t say you should get one. He didn’t recommend them. He just said, “Can’t wait to get some native apps and start playing,” but this guy couldn’t leave it alone.

Of course, people starting calling him out on it, saying, “Dude! You’re being “That guy” and even I commented, “Do you not realize what you just did?” but that did not deter him. What’s “That guy” do when people point out he’s being “That guy?” Why of course, he doubles down on being that guy. Then he triples down. He just could not see, no matter how many people pointed it out, and tried to help him understand what he was doing with his whole PCs are better line of attack. He’s so “That guy” that even “those guys” where like “Dude, back off. You’re giving other “That Guys'” a bad name.”

Well, it just got uglier from there, because “say it with me” – “That guy” never realizes he’s “That Guy” no matter how obvious it is to everyone else. Ugh.

You know I bet would help “That Guy?” Some nice salad and breadsticks. Just ‘sayin’. ;-)

Have a great weekend, everybody! :)


How To Nerd Out On Your Camera w/Jeff Leimbach| The Grid Episode 466

Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna are joined this week by photographer and KelbyOne instructor Jeff Leimbach! If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I really wish they would talk more about gear on The Grid,” then this is the episode for you! It’s all about nerding out on cameras this week, so grab your camera and dig into the menus while you’re watching!

New KelbyOne Course: Working Smarter & Faster in Lightroom

If you want to get twice the work done in half the time, you won’t want to miss Terry White’s class on working faster and smarter in Lightroom Classic. Terry pulls together his favorite productivity tips for boosting your workflow. From importing through making selects, to editing and export, you’ll find new ways to improve your experience. Once you get up-to-speed on these techniques, you’ll wonder how you got along without them.

(Editor’s Note: This is the second of a two-part guest blog from our good friends Dave Clayton and Alan Hess. If you missed part one from Dave, it’s right here!)

Alan here. It’s good to be back as guest here on Scott’s blog as the He Shoots, He Draws podcast only really exists because of Scott. Dave and I met at Photoshop World. Dave and Glyn met through Scott in London. Glyn and I met at Photoshop World. So really, if you love the podcast, thank Scott, if you hate it, blame me. 

I never planned on being a host of a podcast. I had been a guest on other podcasts, and I was the first guest on the He Shoots, He Draws podcast because I was such good friends with Dave and Glyn. I would see Dave and Glyn at events during the year. Dave stayed at my house when he came to Adobe MAX in San Diego, and we emailed and messaged back and forth regularly. 

Then Covid.

In March of 2020, just about everything changed. Suddenly there were no more events, or concerts, or sports, or gatherings of more than like two people… Everyone was suddenly working from home, and there was an underlying fear and anxiety about the future. I considered myself fortunate, as I was working on a project for Rocky Nook, and my wife could work safely  from home. I could still talk to my friends which reduced the everyday stress and helped with my sanity. 

I can’t tell you how I became the co-host of He Shoot, He Draws because it really wasn’t a conscious decision. I knew Glyn was working on his dream of moving into a new house and had other projects he was working on, and Dave was going to continue to host the podcast. Dave asked if I wanted to sit in on a few interviews because I knew the people he was talking to, and having a third person in the discussion can make for good listening. I had so much fun chatting with Dave and the guests that my role started to morph into a more permanent thing. Dave would tell me that he had a guest lined up, and I would get excited and ask to join in.

Let me give you a little peek behind the curtain of how the podcast is put together. Dave and I chat every week on Zoom about how things are going in our lives. How the family is dealing with whatever the latest crazy news is, the virus, the vaccine, the election, TV shows, movies, and then we think about who would make a good guest. We contact the guest and ask if they want to be on the show, and everyone (except for Mr. Brad Moore) has agreed so far. (Editor’s note: I never turned them down, I just said scheduling would be tricky for me being a new parent and working around my work schedule!) We pick a day and time, not as easy as you would think with an eight hour time difference between England and California.  

Then Dave sends me copious notes on the guest with the full interview outlined and… okay, thats not true at all. We both do our own research and come up with different things to ask. I know Dave usually has a list of questions and things he is interested in talking about, and I have a few notes of things I want to know. But in reality, once we start stalking, it usually just ends up as a chat more than an interview. We all record our own audio, then send the files to Dave who puts the whole thing together and pushes it out on all those podcasting places. 

Every guest we have had on has brought something new to the show, but what I have found even more interesting is how much we all have in common. The passion that our guests have for their creative endeavors really comes through. It fills me with hope, and keeps me from that creative dark place, which is really needed now. At the start of the pandemic, when all the events ceased, I put down my camera didn’t pick it up for long time. Listening to others who were trying to keep their creativity going, who were going back to get an advanced degree, who were starting their own podcast, who lost their job and had to look for a new one during a global crisis, gave me hope. I hope that it resonated with the listeners as well.

There is a faint light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s hope it isn’t a train.

Things are getting better. I have had my first vaccine shot and my wife has had both. There are signs that events and sports might start to look more like they did before the pandemic. We might even see concerts soon. Please stay safe, wear your masks, get your shot, thank you for listening to He Shoots, He Draws

You can see more from Alan at, and keep up with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And check out his amazing Concert Photography course on KelbyOne!