This Handmade ‘Ultimate Photography Portfolio’ Took 18 Months to Build


NYC fashion and commercial photographer Dani Diamond recently embarked on a mission to create “The Ultimate Photography Portfolio.” By combining his love of photography with his skills as a woodworker and about 18 months of design & development, he was able to create something truly unique: a wooden, leather-bound, laser-engraved, 11×17-inch portfolio that’s unlike anything we’ve seen before.

The project was inspired as a kind of response to the Instagram problem. While social media helps Dani book clients and showcase his work, he doesn’t think people appreciate the work like they used to. “Now people are just swiping and swiping,” he laments in the BTS video above. “They don’t take their time to really sit there and analyze an image. So about a year and half ago, I decided ‘I’m gonna sit down and make a portfolio.’”

But not just any portfolio—not something he could buy online. He wanted to build one that would showcase his work in a unique and personal way. The result is hand made out of rare Wenge wood, bound in dark leather, laser-engraved by Lumiere Custom Co, and featuring high-quality prints on Moab paper that he hand-picked from 25 different options.

The finished product—which sits inside a leather bag that he also custom-made out of the same leather used in the portfolio’s binding—is a work of art in and of itself.

Here are a few behind the scenes photos of the making-of that Dani was kind enough to share with us:

And here’s the final product, complete with leather carrying case:

To see the whole build process and hear more from Dani on why it was important for him to create a physical portfolio of his work, check out the full video at the top of this post. And if you’ve never browsed through Dani’s work, you can find more from him on his Website and Instagram.


Credits: Photos and video by Dani Diamond and used with permission.



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