Scratching Tree

Sophomores! It’s almost time to submit your portfolios. Are you in need of some tips on the design of your portfolio? Have you been wanting to see examples of portfolios? Want to hear some encouraging words from upperclassmen who’ve made it through portfolio? Meet SOPH Return. A space where past sophomores return the favor by sharing and reflecting on their portfolios. Here, you can view past sophomore portfolios, learn from the feedback they received, and rest knowing that you’ve got this, we’ve been in your shoes, and we are here for you!



Nia Musiba


What is your nugget of wisdom for sophomores?

Hey Sophomores, my biggest advice is to trust in yourself. You’ve totally got this! It’s going to be stressful for a bit and you’re going to work pretty hard and then you will look back on it and say, “wow, I had nothing to be so worried about!” And on top of it, you will have this awesome, well-composed body of all of your amazing work, which is pretty cool! My other piece of advice is to start on your actual deck a little earlier than you maybe think you need to. Personally, it took me a little longer than I thought it would to get my deck to a spot where I was happy with it. And my third piece of advice is to reach out to people! Between upperclassmen in the program, professors, and classmates, we’ve all got your back and we’re totally rooting for you and ready to help, so use us! Anyways, that’s all I have for you, good luck and I believe in you!

Camryn Perry


Camryn Perry Portfolio

What is your nugget of wisdom for sophomores?

Having a mentor that I trusted and got along with was really what got me through portfolio. Since it was the beginning of the pandemic and there was a lot of worry and uncertainty going around, having someone there that I could not only talk to about my portfolio but just about the stresses of life in general was invaluable! Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions and to reach out to others to look over your portfolio besides your mentor, because the more eyes on it the better. Most importantly, don’t be afraid of receiving feedback!


Noel Anderson


Noel Anderson Portfolio

What is your nugget of wisdom for sophomores?
Give yourself enough time to work on the process and written sample! I did not and it didn’t turn out how I wanted. (new paragraph) Also, don’t sweat the small stuff too much. The reviewers are looking at your overall ability level and presentation. Maybe one of your images is fuzzy and you run out of time to fix it, that’s ok! And lastly, the number doesn’t matter. As soon as you’re in upper division classes, everything changes and no one cares about the number. Good luck!


More portfolios are on the way! Check in weekly for more updates.



One important thing to keep in mind: these portfolios from here on out are all from before the digital age of portfolio review. The requirements for the review have changed since they were made—most were set up as spreads, for instance, and not single pages as was intended. It’s important to review the 2021 Sophomore Portfolio Review guidelines and info session deck for portfolio dimensions and format.

Makayla Lovrak


Makayla Lovrak Portfolio

In regards to the design of your portfolio (the type palette, the page layout, how you sized or edited photos, content density and flow, etc.), what would you have done differently?

Looking back at the way I designed my portfolio, I’m generally still very happy with it. It perfectly served its purpose by being simply, understated, and letting my work shine brightest. However, I wish I would have played with white space a little differently. All elements felt really static and I think I could have used page layout skills I have now to make it more experimental. That could mean feeling a little more comfortable with laying things out more asymmetrically. Also, I really wish I would have put my folios at the bottom not the top like I did. It makes the bottom feel pretty bare. I would have moved them to the bottom completely, or kept them at the top and added additional footers signifying my name or something.

Gianna Zanzi


Gianna Zanzi Portfolio

Are there important aspects or skills in design you know of now that would have been helpful while going through the review that you overlooked?
Never underestimate the power of good photos and editing! When it came time to photograph my projects, I knew that I had wanted to stage them a bit with props (flowers in vases, shoeboxes to make things different heights, etc.), and had reserved the W+K light box in 290 for about 5 hours on a Friday night. I used my phone to take the pictures, and spent a fair bit of time photographing each one of my projects in different angles and different positions so that I knew that I had some options for when I had to arrange them in my portfolio. Something that I had underestimated, though, was how long it would take to edit each photo. Schedule a couple of days to do this at least, because you might have to do a couple of passes on the photo to make sure that all of the photos of a single project have the same color grading, and that each folded edge has been cleaned up to look nice and seamless. When looking back at this process, I think that it was the photo editing that made my portfolio feel a little more professional, and not just like another school project, which made it worthwhile! Good luck, Sophomores! You’ve got this!!

Mia Dorsey


Mia Dorsey Portfolio

In regards to the design of your portfolio (the type palette, the page layout, how you sized or edited photos, content density and flow, etc.), what would you have done differently?
I probably would have just omitted the funky stuff I was trying to do with the numbering. Looking back at my portfolio, its honestly a little bit distracting. I do like how I had some images take up the entirety of the the pages. People were looking at this to see my work and the large images helped accomplish that!

Kami Gould


Kami Gould Portfolio

What are some specific points of feedback you received on your portfolio? Optional: How would you resolve any negative feedback?
I received feedback that I often took the safe route and employed a lot of similar solutions for different projects. After portfolio, I’ve felt a lot freer to experiment and get weird since failure now is less of a huge thing. I think this feedback really resolved itself, as I felt like playing it safe for portfolio was better than taking a risk and missing the mark, but now that I’m on the other side I have a lot more opportunity for experimentation.