Experienced IDer...Portfolio2

Hello all of you again. Wanted to ask about how some of you have went building your prof. portfolios and all, the last post was more about what/how much should be put in to it. Know my question is how do I go about this, as I dont work for the companies anymore and I really dont have ties there to get updates as to when products are coming up/if at all. Also, I have freelanced a few places and would like to put that into my portfolio if some of that goes to market but I have no way of knowing. I dont have a talk every day realtionship with the companies and people I worked with at freelance, but I do get along them. So how would I ask about this as I have moved since then and dont even know if the people are still there? I have tried to check the companies websites and review to see new products, but they dont always put out everything on their site and some other work is only in stores. So that puts me into a tough spot because I would ideally like “money shots” of the products to put into my portfolio but dont know now to get them if i can at all?
Thanks for your help