Fall Portfolio

Theme Specification

  • 12 images total (16 for Practicum)
  • No more than two images from any single photo session/event/person.
  • 95% must be photos. No straight graphics.
  • Only 3 images from previous turned in assignments. This includes similar imagery.
  • 4 images due October 15th These will count as one summative grade. (6 for Practicum)
  • Remaining portfolio due December 14th The last 8 will count as one (or two) summative. (10 for Practicum)
  • The entire portfolio will be your Final Exam grade.
  • All images printed 8″ x 10″ (11″ x 14″ Practicum)
  • All images placed in portfolio book



  • No more than one image per single item.
  • All items are to be different in shape (example: different flower types not all same glass ware)



  • Must have a style adjective (Senior, Family, Traditional, Environmental, Candid, Glamor, Lifestyle, Surreal, Conceptual, Vintage)
  • May only use one student current photography student (Photo 1, 2, or 3)



  • Student must describe imagery idea.


Tips from ATPI:

Tip #1: A portfolio’s weakest image can make or break it. Try to include images in a set that have an even level of skill or accomplishment.

Tip #2: A strong portfolio highlights a photographer’s breadth of technical skill as well as their depth of visual creativity.

Tip #3: Show viewers stories/concepts they have never seen in ways unexpected and refreshing.

Tip #4: Let the story or concept drive the technique or execution. Let the “why” of your portfolio drive your “how.”

Tip #5: A portfolio needs both a visual coherence and unity as well as a variety of subjects or compositions. A set of images should “fit” together without the appearance of redundancy.

Tip #6: In a portfolio, order matters. Begin and end the set of images strong while sequencing them in an intentional way.

Tip #7: In documentary or photojournalistic portfolios, the “decisive moment” is still a key element in successful storytelling.

Tip #8: The strongest of portfolios make the viewers laugh, want to cry, or at the very least, feel something. Images should evoke emotion and empathy.

Tip #9: Getting it right in camera matters. Over editing can hurt a portfolio, especially when it overwhelms the photo.

Tip #10: Look at past winners as some indication what judges normally award. Notice the little things. It is all in the details.

Need ideas of what to look for when shooting? Don’t know what a particular category should look like. Try looking in the ATPI books within the classroom or through the links below. The title will take you to Google images, the “P” stands for Pinterest, and the “G1” & others link to the ATPI contest site images: