Portfolio print size

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by PeterDendrinos, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. PeterDendrinos

    PeterDendrinos Member

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    I am in the process of creating a traveling portfolio. A packet of my work I can show folks that might be willing to sell my work. The question is, should it be done in 8 x 10 for ease of handling or 11 x 14 for the “Big Image” appeal.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Pete
     
  2. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Well Peter, you asked for it - take this for all it's worth from somebody who's never sent out a portfolio like you're thinking of doing.

    I'd say keep it on the smaller size to keep the production and shipping costs down for you, and for ease of handling for the folks at the other end.

    I would think the people looking at your work, if they were really interested in selling them, would recognize their value if seen as 4x5 contact prints and would then ask to see enlargements. I think I'd go 8x10.

    All you have to do (!) is make sure they're the best you've ever done :smile:

    Murray
     
  3. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi pete ---

    i like small and intimate too, but ...
    depending on who you are sending to, some folks are really into BIG.

    just to give you an example .. i went to an ad agency a while ago. dropped off my book ( well printed, well presented 8x10s ) and the buyer told me that they have been looking at portfolios from all over that are all 16x20 and bigger ... printed on watercolor paper &C &C &C ... nope, i won't print 16x20 inkjets.

    i would print it the way YOU like to see it. i think someone once told me if you do what you like, people will notice you. i think that pertains to presentation too.

    as murray said:

    good luck!
    john
     
  4. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    As an alternative to what you question, I prepared a CD of my work. Complete with a bio, tech and contact information. I send this out to contacts as a point of entry.

    I make it known that I will be happy to provide actual prints if they are interested. Thus I can print 11X14 or 9X12 both mounted and matted to 16X20 for actual presentation.

    The cost of a CD complete with mailing is about a couple of bucks...not bad for an effective means of depicting my work. The prospective client can take their time in viewing the CD and not feel like other things may be calling for their attention.
     
  5. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    You don't even have to work on the inkjet prints from scratch: All you have to do is, take 8x10" well-printed photos, flatbed-scan at 300dpi at 100 percent, and print them out on a good printer. That will do the job automatically. You can blow up the size a little without losing much quality.

    The only thing you might have to do is to adjust the color a bit. It works from RC to a certain kind of inkjet paper. At least, this way, you can minimize the difference.

    I wouldn't go any further on this since this is an analog photography site, but I just wanted to make a note that some people would accept the digital version of the original prints. It's more like handing out a good-quality sample catalog. And of course, a CD, too.
     
  6. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Not do discourage anyone from this practice as it is a good way to show work to those that request to see it. But sending CDs on "cold calls"... unsolicited inquiries without some sort of printed imagery can be a waste of time and money. I am affiliated with several galleries and can tell you without a doubt that most just throw them away. There are a million wannabe photographers out there and these galleries get upwards of 5-10 solicitations a day. Most are much of the same old, same old and don't even get a second look. Cards, prints, etc at least get a quick look before they go in the garbage. Cds go straight in the circular file. They are not interested in taking the time to boot them up on the machine. In the very rare case that they see something printed that they like, they might take the time to look at your CD.

    Also... never send anything to a gallery unsolicited that you want back... even if you enclose return postage. Except in the rare case, or if you have called ahead of time and arranged return, you will never see your material again.

    To answer Pete's original question, make them the size that you think they look best. And remember the saying "your portfolio is only as strong as its weakest image". In most cases it will be the only chance you get with a particular dealer. If they look at you once and are not interested, there won't be a second opportunity.

    Good luck!!

    Bill
     
  7. wilsonneal

    wilsonneal Member

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    My book is at present 8x10 and it feels too some of the time to me personally. I find myself being self conscious of its smallness.

    On the other hand, seeing how people treat the book as evidenced by how it is returned (it's gotten some nicks and scratches and impressions), my philosophy is 'this has to be a tool that can be forever lost'. I cannot invest any emotional energy in what happens to the book, and only have images in it that are easily replaceable. The very fast look that it usually gets before someone decides to award a job or not doesn't merit, in my opinion, a larger image or the best prints. It's not being viewed in exhibition lighting; the glossy pages interfere with subtlety in the prints; the binding doesn't allow people to lay it flat and linger over an image.
    Neal
     
  8. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    My "new and improved" portfolio is 11 x 14. It's all a matter of style as well. I like things upscale and flashy, so I'd have the appropriate portfolio case/book as well.

    Some don't want to hear this, but a simple website as a supplement is a 'must' in today's digital world. Also I'd have all the images in your portfolio available on a CD with web ready (low quality JPGs) and 'personal print' ready images (PDF).

    Some told me that if art were sold on art's merit, marketers would have nothing to do.

    Regards, Art.
     
  9. UKJohn

    UKJohn Subscriber

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    Pete,

    Just as an aside to your original question I have one of my own...

    I have also been considering creating a portfolio, something I have been thinking about for a while now, and have purchased a leather covered portfolio from a company here in thew UK called Plastic Sandwich. Its pretty classy and the size will allow me to have upto 9" x 9" prints.

    However, I have been debating whether to print the selected prints on FB or RC paper, I cant quite decide. Can I ask what you were intending to do with respect to printing?

    Cheers

    John
     
  10. PeterDendrinos

    PeterDendrinos Member

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    I print on fiber strictly. Therefore, fiber is what I will put in there. I also have some digital work that will go in there that is on an Epson luster paper. However, I do not talk digital here, its taboo. :rolleyes:

    Pete
     
  11. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Good point. I've had my website up for 12 years now and it has done far more for me than sending a portfolio around. A simple card advertising your website with a couple stunning images and maybe a "leave behind" print will go farther than sending a portfolio IMO. In my experience most that have been teased by the website and want to see more make contact to see the actual prints. Saves time AND money on everyone's part.

    Let it be known I am not trying to be discouraging. I've spent a lot of time and money on various self-promotional packages and such and have learned from experience that flashy and expensive doesn't mean a thing. The art directors and dealers have seen more than their share of fine, leather portfolios and expensive prints. Just give them a few really great images that show them what you can do, that you have a consistent vision and aren't just some guy with a camera and an expensive hobby and you may get a second look.

    Bill