You've asked a lot of disparate questions – too many for a coherent "stucky", IMO.
Originally Posted by jnanian
Regarding the last, one must take advantage of any and all available forms these days, unless your target is extremely targetable. If your forte is physical prints, then you must include those as the basis of your outreach quiver. That has been discussed elsewhere. The work had better be top notch, no matter how many you end up with. Websites, though entirely necessary, are also nearly universally reviled as 'portfolios'.
Many, including myself but for somewhat different reasons, are now producing instantly obtainable, ultimately transportable, cost negligible e-book portfolios that can coherently contain one's best work, supporting descriptions, and mission statements. I have written a basic how-to article to assist others, Making an iBook, on some of the considerations of producing an e-book one such platform.
Last edited by ROL; 05-20-2014 at 10:40 PM. Click to view previous post history.
In my former life, helping kids get into college often meant helping them put their work in a portfolio to be submitted with their application. The rule of thumb was often that less is more. One sheet of slides, or it's digital equivalent was the maximum. The reasoning was entirely based on what a viewer was willing to go through before getting overwhelmed. Within that framework, we would include work from at least two different projects, trying for three, but with enough of any one series to show the continuity and depth of the thought behind the work. This was not an easy task.
As I say, the deciding factor was the viewer–in this case overloaded college application readers. The set of people who will be looking at the portfolio, and the setting in which it will be viewed are as important as what is in it in the first place. Multiple versions of ant portfolio to accommodate different scenarios, then, would seem like a very good idea.
I think that a good Portfolio is rather like a book, it should show chapters of your work and essentially it's a short Précis.
It's also important to be able to talk about your work (in a portfolio) and to be able to contextualise the images, motives, reasons for shooting what your showing and what you hope to do with it.
Presentation is part of the key to a good portfolio as well, I don't slip prints straight into plastic sleeves preferring to mount them behind thin card so they look more like my exhibition prints, I might make small prints and put 2 on a page. I did this for one set from a past exhibition using two facing pages 2 prints on each choosing the 4 images very carefully chosen to work as a whole.
Sequencing in a portfolio needs to be considered carefully just as you would for a book or exhibition. I would produce an electronic version as well as a physical portfolio of prints ensuring they have a similar style/look.
For the one and only portfolio review I've done, my prints (12, IIRC) were matted as they would be to put in a frame. I had them in a nice black box, but they had us put them out on the table so the reviewers could see all of them at once.
A talk I went to in Boston about 8 years ago was by a gallery owner in NYC and she said you need to have different portfolios for different audiences. Sometimes, it's important to show one complete body of work; others you want to show parts of several projects to show your range. As far as packaging, I would incline towards making it all look nice and gallery-ready because that shows you care about your work and the time of the reviewer.
For number, I'd never go more than about 15 - people's eyes tend to start glazing over soon after that, I'd think. Since it's supposed to be your best work, you should show you can edit it and only show the absolute best.
its not really a lot of different questions, it all boils down to the same question
Originally Posted by ROL
how does someone who has never made a portfolio for themselves make one ...
( it really doesn't matter if it is for a job, gallery, school or for personal bragging rights / to show friends )
different people have a different approach for the same thing ...
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Loose prints are easily damaged and require extra care when handling. I prefer to present something that invites the viewer to pick up and examine my work closely.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
I have an art portfolio of 12x16 prints of my work that I carry with me when I travel, plus assorted matted and wrapped prints on different media and from different camera formats. People can touch them (cotton gloves provided) but if they damage a print that is considered a sale.
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Last edited by Poisson Du Jour; 05-22-2014 at 01:22 AM. Click to view previous post history.
“The photographer must determine how he wants the finished print to look before he exposes the negative.
Before releasing the shutter, he must seek 'the flame of recognition,' a sense that the picture would reveal
the greater mystery of things...more clearly than the eyes see." ~Edward Weston, 1922.