Crafting PDF Portfolios for Stephen DeVries

Nov 20, 2015
Consulting Case StudiesDesign

A little while back I teamed up with the marvelous, Sean Stone to craft a series of PDF portfolios for Birmingham-based food and travel photographer Stephen DeVries. We knew from the start that we wanted to create two PDF’s—one for Stephen’s food work and one for his travel work. With this in mind Sean jumped into creating both edits, here is what he had to say about the process. 

Whether editing work for a website or a postcard, real estate is the first consideration that will guide choices. In the case of a PDF portfolio, you’ve got multiple pages, and how to best use them will vary from photographer to photographer. After wrapping up Stephen’s website and print portfolio, I had a good sense of his work and style. His photos are richly textured with lots of flavor and color, so it’s easy to create mood and narrative by assembling multiple images on a page. This also creates interesting compositions, and keeps page count low while showing a greater range of work.

Prior to Sean completing the edits, we decided as a team that a vertical orientation would be the best fit for both PDF’s. Most photographers shoot primarily in a horizontal format with a few verticals thrown in, so we typically go with a horizontal format. Stephen was the exact opposite; he shoots primarily in a vertical format with a few horizontals thrown in, so it was only fitting to go with a vertical layout for his PDF. With that in mind Sean created an edit that either featured 4 verticals grouped per page or 2 verticals and one horizontal. Now that we had the format decided and the edits were completed it was time to jump into the design portion of the PDF’s.

First up on the docket was the cover pages for each PDF. I knew from the start that I wanted to feature one of Stephen’s gorgeous images, the title of each PDF and his branding. I wanted to make it super easy to determine which PDF you were looking at. Here is a shot of both the cover of the Travel PDF and the cover of the Food PDF.

The covers of both PDF's

Once we had the cover pages finished up it was time to move onto the interior pages. The first thing I did was set up the grid for the 4 image pages and the grid for the 3 image page. After I set up the grid and placed all the images I tackled the placement of Stephen’s logo. In the end we placed his logo at the bottom center of each page. Although it may seem unnecessary to include a logo on each page, its important to have an element of your brand on each page just in case one page gets separated from the rest. Here are a few of the interior pages from both Stephens food and travel PDF’s.

Interior pages from Stephen’s food PDF

Interior pages from Stephen’s travel PDF

The last thing to tackle was the contact page which would finish off both PDF’s. We included Stephen’s address, cell phone, email and web address which are all pretty standard forms of contact. Here is a view of that final page.

Contact Page

Now that we had each PDF all finished, it was sent off to the marketing department for outreach. Click on the respective images below to view both of Stephen’s PDFs.

Be sure to check out Stephen’s food and travel work on his website If you are interested in a PDF portfolio of your own or any of our other services please feel free to check out our consulting page or shoot me an email!

Tags: design food and drink pdf portfolio samantha mccafferty stephen devries travel