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  1. #1

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    building a portfolio

    in a recent thread an OP asked questions about building a portfolio.

    some posters gave advice, some was old, some was new
    ... maybe this thread could be
    a how to make a good portfolio stucky thread ?

    no more than 10 images, some say 15 others say 20 ?

    some say the images should all be one large series, like a photo essay,
    others say it should just have your best work, nothing really in common because
    it IS a series of your best work ... but no art.

    if you were going to make a portfolio to go to art school, technical photography college, whatever (or even a job portfolio )

    what would you include and how would you present it?

    is genre work, not a generalist portfolio OK or a faux pas ?

    i know there are people who teach art here on apug, what sort of advice do you have for someone putting together a post graduate ( college level or beyond )
    portfolio of their work ?

    and how should it be presented
    website? self published book? pressbook? matted/drymounted/overmat in a clamshell portfolio box ?

    or something totally unique?
    im empty, good luck

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    In the past I've used a general Portfolio of images to present a short sequences of images from different projects. This is usually alongside a second portfolio showing a project in progress that I'm trying to get exhibited, or get sponsorship for.

    I tend to go for 20-30 images actually in a Portfolio case, and have additional boxed prints available if required. I'm about to revamp my portfolios in the next few weeks after some printing sessions.

    Ian

  3. #3

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    hi ian

    i sort of have the same approach ... for everything but portrait work, but not really.
    i usually have 2-3 views from an assortment of projects if i am trying to get architectural work.
    but somewhere between 15-20 images, if it is more portrait.editorial work a variety of portraits
    maybe of people they might know, or stories they might have heard of / read ... and a few tear sheets of the work in print.
    if i am showing the portfolio "locally" there is 1 image that the paper i worked for sold for ad campaigns all over the place
    it was on billboards, in print, on sides of buses &c and i make sure to end with that ...
    people figured out where i shot it from and now everyone uses that view ... lol its kind of funny to be honest.

    i also have a special portfolio which is of people at work and where they work, that i sometimes bring, like you do, work in progress ...
    the images go in a leather bound book and the person and his/her workplace are each "spread".
    all the images in that portfolio are printed the same aspect ratio/cropping whether they are 35mm, 6x6 5x7 &c to give it a continuity.

    i used to have my website have more of the images, and the portfolio/s be a "taste" my site is being rebuilt this summer and i will probably do something similar
    as i used to do ..

    john
    im empty, good luck

  4. #4
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    What about size of the photos? I hear that usually galleries like 30x40 cm - because this is most common paper size for exhibitions and selling. Of course there are different approaches - but I am interested what is most common.

  5. #5
    cliveh's Avatar
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    I would suggest no more than 25 images at about 10" X 8" size. You don't need to mount them and you could take them along in a Tesco carrier bag. Some students put too much emphasis on presentation in an expensive leather bound portfolio. We know you can throw money at the presentation, but it is the images which will show your worth.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  6. #6

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    hi darko:

    i have both 11x14 + 8x10 portfolio ...

    ===

    clive,

    if a perspective student / applicant showed loose prints would you look at them differently than
    one who would bring, trimmed and dry mounted ones?

    i was always taught dry mounted in a box &c is acceptable, but loose prints ... not as much so ... i guess one looks more "polished"

    i had a roomate in college applying to architecture school who had everything spiral bound at a copy shop
    they looked extremely nice, and didn't cost much to present them in that form.
    im empty, good luck

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    clive, if a perspective student / applicant showed loose prints would you look at them differently than
    one who would bring, trimmed and dry mounted ones?

    i was always taught dry mounted in a box &c is acceptable, but loose prints ... not as much so ... i guess one looks more "polished"

    i had a roomate in college applying to architecture school who had everything spiral bound at a copy shop
    they looked extremely nice, and didn't cost much to present them in that form.
    No, what we need to see is the image, what is it about, context, composition, the way you think. The presentation is the wrapping and that needs to be discarded as it it purely superficial.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  8. #8

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    I'd disagree.
    You may be one of the rare people who will take into account the image and only the image, but few others will be uninfluenced by how the image is presented.
    The "packaging" may also give a clue as to the overall sensibility that informs the photographer, especially now that those who are bothering to make portfolios are quite often artists using photography as a medium, rather than photographers trying to get work as photographers ... if you see the distinction I am trying to make?

  9. #9
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdeeh View Post
    I'd disagree.
    You may be one of the rare people who will take into account the image and only the image, but few others will be uninfluenced by how the image is presented.
    The "packaging" may also give a clue as to the overall sensibility that informs the photographer, especially now that those who are bothering to make portfolios are quite often artists using photography as a medium, rather than photographers trying to get work as photographers ... if you see the distinction I am trying to make?
    pdeeh, I think I see what you mean, but is this not more in the fine art genre (if I may use that phrase). For example red paint splashed over the image and mounted in a steel box for example? I thought the OP was thinking more straight photography.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  10. #10

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    hi clive

    fine art, straight photography, portfolio pieces to get into a school to show to friends, or to a perspective client / gallery ...
    its all the same in my eyes ... besides, id be worried a loose print would be damaged by being handled, besides looking pretty, the packaging protects ...
    im empty, good luck

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