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  1. #1

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    Portfolio for College Admissions

    Hello! I'm not sure if my topic applies to this category, but it seemed most fitting.

    I am in the midst of organizing my photography portfolio for college admissions, meaning I am one of the younger APUG-ers, and also a devout film user at that (film is still alive among the the young!). But that's just a side comment. I have 23 final prints that I want to include in my book. All my work that I'm including is my most recent, dating back to January of 2007.

    I often work in themes, executing photo shoots based around an idea. I shoot my photographs as narratives in an editorial context, as if they were going to be published in a magazine. So in one theme, for example I have a theme simply titled Love, I have three different editorial-style narratives represented in that set. I'm not 100% sure if these mini-sets are visually telling, so basically I'm not sure if anyone will be able to differentiate between the three sets I have within my portfolio. I don't want the photos to be viewed as one entire set, but as three seperate sets or essays.

    Is it okay to place a brief statement at the beginning of each theme, giving a title and a synopsis of the work?

    Thanks for your help in advance!

    --Paolo

  2. #2

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    One suggestion, if there is a particular school you are considering, see if they have an admissions agreement with a 2 year college or community college. Most of the admissions agreements do away with the portfolio review (as well as cost about 1/3 per hour of the 4 year colleges)

    erie

  3. #3

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    Hi Erie. Yes, I've looked at the admissions requirements of the schools I'm considering. Some of them suggest working in themes (as I am doing) as others are vague and simply say submit 15-20 of your "best" images.

    But in any case, I'm definitely going to a 4-year college to get a BFA. I want the full college experience.

    --Paolo

  4. #4
    VoidoidRamone's Avatar
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    Which schools in particular are you applying to? And also it seems odd nowadays to be sending actual prints to schools rather than slides or a cd. In any case I would strictly adhere to what the instructions say and don't inlcude writing if they don't ask for it.
    -Grant

  5. #5

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    The school here (MCAD) suggested very highly that my portfolio contain shots that were all in the current aesthetic being pushed at the school.

    On the other hand, the other schools I talked to were varied as to what they wanted.

    So my advice would be to treat your portfolio like a resume and tailor it to each application.

  6. #6
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    Paolo,

    FWIW, you might want to put your stuff up in the Portfolio section of APUG and ask people here to comment on ur pics and "vote" on them (or on the themes, as the case may be). The comments you get from the many knowledgeable people here may be helpful in deciding what to include. I'm sure if you did the portfolio and then started a new thread explaining what you're doing and why you need everyone's help, you'll get a ton of useful comments.

    Hopefully, that may help you decide. Good luck with your application!
    Michael McClellan
    Documentary Photographer
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    http://www.MichaelMcClellan.com

  7. #7
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    I was accepted into a colleges fine arts program (no photography in the course) with an entrance portfolio consisting only of 4x5 B&W contact prints. Follow your heart, more than your head...if you've 'got it', they'll recognize it.

    Maybe you could put each sequence of prints into three different folio's, and place those within whatever container your sending them in. If you put the Roman numerals I, II and III on the folio's they'll figure it out. Also, if they don't ask for written material they probably won't read it.

    Intimidating and exciting times for you!!!

    Murray

    P.S. If you don't get in because your work wasn't "...all in the current aesthetic being pushed at the school", would you really have wanted to go there anyway?
    Last edited by MurrayMinchin; 06-28-2007 at 06:01 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by zenrhino View Post
    The school here (MCAD) suggested very highly that my portfolio contain shots that were all in the current aesthetic being pushed at the school.
    A school with a POV like that is one to be avoided.

  9. #9

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    Wow, okay thanks for the suggestions everyone!

    I'm looking at NYU-Tisch, School of Visual Arts, Parsons, Art Institute of Boston, and SUNY Purchase.

    I live in Manhattan so I figured that I would do interviews as opposed to just sending in slides. According to my college advisor, I'd be a more effective candidate in an interview setting. But I like prints better than slides anyway.

    Also, I like the roman numeral idea. One of my good friends told me to put a cover sheet or an inventory at the beginning of the portfolio, giving the title, year completed, and size. Would it work to put I.I, I.II, I.III etc for folio 1 and then II.I, II.II, II.III for folio 2 and so on? (I think that makes sense...)

    Again, thanks to everyone for your help! I really appreciate it!

    --Paolo

    PS - I'm not an APUG subscriber so I can't create a portfolio. And I am credit card-less so I can subscribe... but you can have a look-sy at my work at www.paolomorales.com. The work generally follows themes of teenage life as I am 17... just a note about the work. Those aren't all the pieces but all the ones I like. I'm only including the first three sections and excluding the Portraits section -- that part is just up there for my friends.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjm1289 View Post
    ...www.paolomorales.com. The work generally follows themes of teenage life as I am 17...
    Dear Paolo,

    Nice stuff. In fact I could be cynical and say too nice in some cases -- too many people seem to be enjoying themselves, and the colors are all appropriate instead of generic-art-student-cyan-or-cross-processed.

    One thought. When I was your age -- well, a little older -- I had a choice of art school (BA Fine Art in photography, Coventry College of Art and Design) or law school (University of Birmingham).

    I chose law because it's a degree in bullshit, which is an AWFUL lot of what you need to earn a living in photography: you can pick up the technical skills quite quickly (which I did as an assistant in a London advertising studio).

    All right, times have changed almost 40 years on, but there are still photographers who will take on assistants who haven't been to art school. Have a little think about it.

    Remember, too, that a portfolio critique is a two-way thing. You might care to look at http://www.rogerandfrances.com/photo...0critique.html for a view from the other side of the critic's table. It's not written with your situation in mind (applying to a college) but you might still pick up a couple of ideas.

    Cheers,

    Roger

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