When I used to work for a photography agency, I’d get to sit in on a few meetings with photographers as they presented their books. Having just started in photography, I was always impressed with their photographs. My boss, however, was not.
A comment she made frequently was, “Their photos are dated.” It took me a while to figure out what she meant. She wasn’t just talking about the fact that photographic style changes every year, and that some of the photographers haven’t adapted to the new styles. In fact, in most cases it’s better if you stick with a style. She meant that the photographers didn’t have any new work to show. Some of their “newest” photos were actually a few years old.
If you are in an industry that relies on portfolio of work to determine whether or not to hire you, you need to keep producing content. You can put it under “Personal Work” if you haven’t been hired in a while. If you haven’t been hired in a while, you need to ask yourself, “Why?” It could be that your style is not marketable, or it could be that you’re not doing enough marketing. Regardless, if you’re marketing yourself, you need to make sure you demonstrate that you’re still working, even if it’s on personal projects.
To stay ahead in a competitive creative field, you need to be constantly creating.