How to choose images for a portfolio from a spaz.
I would not classify myself as a speicalized photographer. I do not just photograph landscapes nor fashion nor still life. I shoot what I see. I use whatever equipment I have on hand with whatever film I found.
Thus I have a wide variety of images and subjects and styles.
To put it bluntly im a spaz.
Someday aspire to have a portfolio of work that I can present my parents to prove that I am indeed a photographer.
However portfolios seem to be a collection of ~similar~ work and so for a spaz like me the task seems insurmountable.
So I was wondering if anyone had any advice or opinions about portfolios.
Should I include my best/favorite photos which would show a great variety or should I make the portfolio more cohesive by sticking to a style or subject?
Well, I suppose your parents could be art directors for national magazines or something making it tougher ... In general, I would think there's nothing inappropriate about a mix of subjects unless you're trying to land a job working with specific subject matter or land a show in a gallery that specializes in only certain topics.
Maybe looking over your body of work, you could come up with some groupings of two or three of similar things in each group?
I guess my range isn't terribly broad, but I've hardly even thought about mixing some landscapes and abstracts in a single collection (the abstracts were of natural or structural items but too close in to really identify the object).
My 1 1/3 ¢ (2¢ after taxes)
Well, you learn something new every day!
In particular - that 'spaz' is not considered offensive in the US...
(Not a dig at you darinwc - I gather that it genuinely doesn't have offensive connotations over there; it does on this side of the pond, and I was going to have a moan and then thought to Google first!)
Another day goes under; a little bourbon will take the strain...
I have no idea what a "spaz" is, and wish that we could avoid slang.
'spaz' in the US vernacular refers to being 'a bit hyper or goofy' rather than the english version of 'spaz' being a derogatory term for being a spastic or disabled person.
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How about a portfolio of what you consider your best images.
"So I was wondering if anyone had any advice or opinions about portfolios.
Should I include my best/favorite photos which would show a great variety or should I make the portfolio more cohesive by sticking to a style or subject?"
Sorry guys I thought I explained my question in the end.
I am using the term spaz to mean erratic, impulsive, or uncoordinated.
Looking over my photos, I have an odd assortment of images that really dont mesh well together. i have not settled into a single style of photographs. If I made a portfolio of say my 50 best photos, they would be all different, ranging from color to bw, nature to portraits to street to archetechure to landscape to abstract.
However I would think going from page to page with a completely different image each turn would be annoying. most portfolios and books seem to be in a specific style or theme, and generally the images are printed with the same tone (in bw).
So, to restate my question. Is it OK to have a portfolio with a bunch of randomly styled images or is it better to stick to a similar theme?
For your parents, I think it would be okay.
just make a collection of image you think are your best..
it doesn't matter if they are all a theme or (portraits, landscapes, cityscapes &C)
sometimes when you make a group of things ( 10-20 ) that seem erratic and different
you realize they aren't as erratic and different as you at first thought.
it could be a barely visible string that pulls everything together, or not.
i guess i am echoing what jerry b said so much more eloquently
If you have a body of work that is large enough to include 50 images, then you probably have enough to put together something reasonably focused. If for nothing other than the purposes of an exercise, start with a really broad category, like color or black-and-white. Throw down EVERYTHING you've printed under that heading, then start organizing. I'm sure you can come up with some micro-groups, say 3-5 images per topic (landscapes, abstracts, automobiles, kids, whatever). When you start thinking about groupings, you'll see a tremendous fluidity between them, but also an amazing continuity as well. That's probably how you can best pull together a portfolio. I think you'll find inspiration for your future shooting from this exercise, as it will give you a bit of direction. You'll be able to look at your work and say, "Hey, I really like this image/group, I want to explore that more and expand on that idea". So, even if your existing work doesn't gel and give you a 20 image portfolio, the process of figuring that out will help you get there.
Also, if you are looking for a portfolio as a gift/representation to your parents of your work, who says you have to have 20 images? Ten to fifteen would make a more than adequate grouping.