Online Portfolios

Hi everyone,

I'm a newly-minted architect here in the State of Colorado. I have been out of the work force since May of 2019 to raise my 3 kids while my wife climbs the career ladder, "she's much better at it than I am." I earned my license during 2020 and early 2021 and I'm looking to join the work force again or possibly start my own business. I was looking for some thoughts on portfolios.

I haven't updated my resume or portfolio since 2013 and I'm doing both online.

Question 1: All of my experience comes from the one firm I have always worked for. Everything I did for them is their property according to their employee handbook. I'm still on good terms with the principals but would like to own the visuals of the work I did for them. My workaround was to take photos of my prior built projects and credit the work appropriately but retain the rights to my own images without having to ask permission down the road. Is this a sound way to build my portfolio, especially if I decide to start my own business?

Question 2: Are there any good online resources that describe someone's transition from architectural employee to an independent architect? 

Question 3: Are there any excellent examples of portfolios online that inspire you?

Sep 23, 21 10:50 am

The AIA position (can't remember the specific handbook, I think it's Rules of Conduct) on using firm work for a portfolio is that you can show work that you had a role in, but you must clearly identify the firm the work belongs to, your role in the project, and demonstrate what parts of the images are your work, and what parts are someone else's. Regardless, the best practice is to sit down with your (previous?) employer and talk with them about using the work you did in your portfolio. They'll tell you how they'd prefer to be credited.

As far as examples, I actually really like Sean Godsell's "Houses". It's not digital, but it's composed in a breathtaking way that is really aesthetically pleasing, and visually tells the stories of his projects in an extremely convincing way.

Sep 23, 21 12:12 pm  · 

"own the visuals of the work I did for them"

You do not, nor will you ever. This is a major reason to go on your own if it matters to you.

Sep 23, 21 12:59 pm  · 
1  · 

@ ivanmillya

Thanks, I'll have to reread that section from the AIA. That was what I recalled being the standard. I was most interested in perception from peers. I tend to err on the side of giving proper credit, asking permission, or just not using it if it is too ambiguous.

I'll have to check out that book by Sean Goodsell, it looks good.


Yep, I knew those were the terms from the get go. I wish the circumstances were different, especially when it comes to crediting up and coming professionals when they are usually doing the bulk of the grunt work. I wish there was more support for use in portfolios. Taking my own photos is about all I can think of doing at this point considering I'm not a wordsmith. 

Sep 23, 21 3:33 pm  · 
2  · 

use whatever you can/need to get that next job...just give proper credit and be very clear about your role in all of it. also just keep your online portfolio private and only send a link to potential employers without downloading privileges, afterwards just remove or change the link.

Sep 23, 21 4:16 pm  · 
1  · 

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: