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Portrait of a Young Man as The Artist
Metal Screwposts
This is my new portfolio cover:

It is sleek and will match my inevitable MacBook.

I've been trying to choose pictures to put in it. I'm limiting myself to 12 to 15, shooting for 12. I'm trying to choose a progression of sizes and theme. So far i'm thinking of starting with either the tomato or the skewed capitol picture and ending with the other. I figure from there I can progress between organic to in organic with steps in size of subject heading towards either spectrum end.

I'd try to group black and white photos as well as tose that are highly digitally altered, if I even include those. I'm haven't made a decision about the lomo photos. some or really good but they'd likely not fit in with the rest... well unless I were to include a group of lomo photos in there. That may work.

What would you do? Include the fake lomography or are they too close to digital art to include in a mostly photography portfolio? It is mimicking a photographic style and they are among my favorites in all my stuff. I'm just not sure it's the image I want to portray.

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

15 comments or Leave a comment
alyska From: alyska Date: October 23rd, 2006 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
it'll be a thin line to tread. most people (though it depends on your audience, really) expect to see photographs (with minimal editing) in a portfolio. if you want to include those that have further post-prod work in there, tat's fine, but i'd definitely make a note of it.

there's a weird stigma on people who are "digital artists" as opposed to "photographers." i think both can be done very well, or very poorly. most pros and those in the education field want to see that your photography is solid (which i think yours is) before letting someone run rampant with photoshop filters.

the matc people many times say "if you can't do it in a traditional darkroom, we don't want to see it in your prints." (until we specifically work on digital post production, but that's another class entirely.)

so who's your audience? how do you want to represent yoursef? how do you think of your work? also, if you're aiming at getting shows at coffee houses, etc, it's good to separate your work thematically to give a better idea of a cohesive whole (it's one reason i have more than one 'portfolio.')

once you suss those out, it might be easier to answer.
abmann From: abmann Date: October 23rd, 2006 03:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Audience is important. I bought a screwpost portfolio so I can swap photos in and out so that, depending on the presentation audience, I can adjust what to show. Much of that deopends on wher I go. What I'm really looking for are a core group of photos that display my strengths rrespective of subject; hypothetically, these photos will remain mostly unchanged between presentations. This does assume some cohesion specific to the artist though. :)
nidea From: nidea Date: October 23rd, 2006 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
One of the problems with my textile portfolio, said my professors, was its lack of cohesion. My presentation didn't help organize it, visually, since I didn't really rework things; maybe I did some digital scans, but mostly I just put the items in a box. And since the work was done over 3 years, the variations were big. My friend Jann's was great, because she always uses the same sort of colors in her work (rich earthy jewel tones), no matter what it is. Photographing objects, no matter how different, in the same style, also looked great for other people's books.

So, cohesion helps show people what your "eye" really is. The idea of a progression is great. Also make sure that people don't have to turn the book to see things right-side-up... suit your prints to the size of the book for vertical and horizontal. Sometimes a small print is more dramatic due to more white space around it; sometimes a large print is more effective. If you show a photo on the left and right side of a spread, make them speak to each other in some way -- they will be seen as one composition whether that is your intent or not.

I don't know who your audience is, but since I enjoy digital manipulation, I'd include a section for it. Make sure it has its own cover pagel. Pay attention to your typography - choose a title font and copy font that work well together, if you do more than one.

Eeks, I am inspired to rework my book now! Thanks.
alyska From: alyska Date: October 23rd, 2006 02:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
ah, yes. in the world i work in, what enid speaks of is the ellusive BRAND. you know, that thing that makes people recognize your work without even seeing your name attached.

a cohesive presentation, layout, font selection. it's all darned important. just please don't use comic sans. we haaaaatses that sorry excuse for a typeface.
nidea From: nidea Date: October 23rd, 2006 02:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
lol. :)
alyska From: alyska Date: October 23rd, 2006 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
hah! his journal style trumps your attempt to invote my ire!

down with comic sans!
abmann From: abmann Date: October 23rd, 2006 03:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Woo godlike settings!
ralinad From: ralinad Date: October 23rd, 2006 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)


Yeah, there will be NO comic sans. Its my third most-hated font... right behind brush script and sand.

Also - a progression is great, but also your start and finish. Both should be strong, don't put all your best work at the end. People will remember the first and last pieces the most, and there is NO room for weak work, as it will stick out horribly. 12 pieces sounds comfortable, but choose 16-20 and be brutal in culling out a few.

I ought to put together a photo portfolio at some point, the above is coming from my design/advertising book... which I should also re-work. They're never "finished", so keep your files in a way so its easy to rebuild.
abmann From: abmann Date: October 23rd, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Ha!


Brutal is easy enough. I don't honestly think I have 12-15 pieces worthy of a potrfolio yet. But we'll see when I sit to gather it. I have plenty that I like and are indicative of my abilities now; who knows if they're good enough to display or show.

I thought your website was pretty much your portfolio?
ralinad From: ralinad Date: October 23rd, 2006 03:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Ha!

I don't really know what my website is. Anything I find relatively okay I'll put there, but as far as having something to bring around and "show", I don't have anything put together. I'll put my few favorites on titanvisuals.com, but that site really isn't built yet, and I've shifted to putting the vanilla work on flickr.

Thats the thing - I really don't know what to do with the ones I consider showable. I just don't kwow enough of how this works, but I certainly do have at least a few showable pieces, and there are a bunch of galleries I pass showing photos of a lower caliber... do you just walk on in with your book? I can really only see that working if you can get it to a point when they're all "wow" photos.

Off the top of my head I can really only think of 5-6 pieces I would want in a walkabout portfolio. More if its a certain audience...

OMG papyrus... like that isn't overused. I'm on an Akzidenz Grotesk kick lately, but I default to gill sans and garamond classic an awful lot.

abmann From: abmann Date: October 23rd, 2006 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Ha!

I use Bell MT for my display at work - it's what font my journal ues as first tier in the CSS. My signature is Eurostile on all my photos.

As far as I can tell, it's good to go to a gallery and set up an appointment to show your work. My plan is to go in person and set my appointment but I'll haev my portfolio in my bag in case the person would like to review it sooner rather than later. :)

Otherwose, it's just knowing when shows are taking submissions which seems annoyinglly difficult.
abmann From: abmann Date: October 23rd, 2006 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm way off from that point. I was talking to lady_fox about that yesterday. I generally refer to it as "vision," an artistic way of creating their art that is characteristically them and how they view/work with the world. I have mental milestomes that I have yet to hit before I'd say I am near "vision."
abmann From: abmann Date: October 23rd, 2006 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd say that I'm thinking in this fashion does give me a slight advantage when I sit down to print up my work. However, whether my current body will afford me thsee decisions is another story. Do I have the work to create a portfolio as I want it?
From: que_emocionante Date: October 23rd, 2006 02:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
i like the idea of including the lomo photos together, because they are really fantastic. (i was looking through your flickr the other day and remembering how much i like them!) you're right about them mimicking a photographic style, too. i don't see a big conflict between photographs and lomo'd photographs.

also, your portfolio is snazzy, good job.
abmann From: abmann Date: October 23rd, 2006 03:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I'm hoping to find a way to group like photos and still have the progression that I want. Essentially keeping the story intact while displaying flexibility in subject but consistency in technique.

boo! This should be easier.
15 comments or Leave a comment