Print Edit and Project Pitch: A Fresh Update for Alyson Aliano

Jul 31, 2017
Consulting Case StudiesPhoto Editing

Hi, photographers! I recently worked with Los Angeles-based editorial and commercial photographer, Alyson Aliano, to revamp her in-house print portfolio. When we initially spoke, she had concerns about why her book wasn’t being shown as much at our portfolio events and was looking to receive feedback from our clients. After reviewing her print portfolio and thoroughly navigating through the projects on her site, I noticed a slight disconnect between the content presented in her book and her website edit, which I felt missed the mark on representing her lively and youthful style.

In her print portfolio, Alyson focused on emphasizing her portraiture work because she wanted to break away from the lifestyle trend saturating the Los Angeles market. Since she shoots a combination of portraiture, lifestyle, and youth culture work, from a marketing and branding perspective it was important that she fleshes out her edit to show diversity in her portfolio, while keeping her style consistent. All in all, the goal was to make her work feel robust and complete.

Preview Alyson's original portfolio:



Not only was my concern that her portfolio was lacking more of her upbeat lifestyle work, but also there was no apparent narrative to the sequencing of her images and the layout of her photographs didn’t seem carefully considered. At first glance, her format felt a bit stiff with lots of white space that should be taken up by her vibrant photographs. With the print edit, my objective was to tell a narrative through the entire book and make projects flow together that you normally wouldn’t think fit. I wanted to showcase her lifestyle horizontal images, pair verticals that work well together, and only single out vertical images that are dynamic.

Below is a look inside Alyson's updated portfolio:

The cover of Alyson Aliano's portfolio book

First page of Alyson Aliano's portfolio

I started by searching for images that should be emphasized as full double-page spreads. For example, one photo that stood out me was a gorgeous lifestyle image of a couple in a car. In Alyson's previous edit, it was simply on one page. By making it a double-page spread in her new edit, it allowed for more dramatization.

I also selected photographs that would be great opening and closers to her book, so that it felt like it had a beginning and an end to the story I was creating for her body of work. In the original copy of her book, the last image was a young boy looking directly at the camera. Although a lovely image, I kept expecting to see more as I turned the page because it didn't feel like a closer. 

The pages of Alyson Aliano's portfolio book
With portfolio edits, part of the process is always gaining the photographer's trust. I had to make bold decisions and statements that would set Alyson's portfolio apart from others we have in-house. After a few back and forth conversations about the opening image, she finally agreed to stick to my original edit. 

Hi Meli, 

Looking at this with my better half, who as my better half, has confirmed that your edits are the way to go.

You officially have your own folder on my desktop, called” MELI!”

You and Glenn share a brain, I just press the shutter.​

Below is the full edit for Alyson's new portfolio:

Portfolio edit of Alyson Aliano's book

Check out Alyson's newly updated print edit:


After the edit, Alyson requested that I find a theme, story, or interesting topic in her body of work that we can pitch and promote to clients. When browsing through her portfolio, I spotted a common theme: West Coast youth culture, trends, and lifestyle. I pulled images together from various projects and sequenced them to present a narrative that the client could envision for their campaigns.

The first client that came to mind was PacSun, which is a California lifestyle fashion brand catering to teens. It was important to not only select images that fit PacSun's clothing brand, but to also feature photographs that represented the lifestyle of their target customers. It goes to show that you can curate an edit to pitch to clients with work that already exists in your portfolio and get creative about what type of clients your work is appropriate for.

Alyson Aliano's Project Pitch for PacSun

Alyson's Project Pitch for PacSun

Afterward, I connected Alyson with her Account Executive, Rachel, to set her up with a list build of potential clients like Zumies and Roxy to pitch her project to. All in all, Alyson was very happy with the results.

Thank you Rachel and Meli, 

Have a great weekend, thank you for a really fresh look.

If you're a photographer and looking to update your portfolio or need an edit, please reach out to me!