This is no time to grab a plastic notebook and stick in some pictures. "Buy the highest-quality portfolio you can afford," says Seeley, who suggests looking in stationery stores, catalogs and art-supply stores.
An 8-by-10 or 11-by-17-inch portfolio is best because anything larger becomes unwieldy, and anything smaller doesn't have much impact.
Make sure to get a portfolio with a zipper, which will keep pages from becoming dogeared, says Matt Taylor of Wildwood Designs in Santa Ana, California, who provides residential and commercial cabinetry. He uses his portfolio often, especially when helping clients decide on a design.
Protect your photos and other visual materials with sturdy, plastic sheet protectors.