portfolio showings

I have had a lot of calls in recent weeks from photographer friends, at all stages of their careers, who were getting their portfolios ready for meetings with art buyers, photo editors, creative directors, reps and anybody else who hires photographers.

yes, it’s Photo Plus time again and people from all segments of the photo business descend on NYC for a few days of shop talk.

Part of the reason photographers attend is the hope to steal a few minutes of some art buyer’s day to show them their work.

Having been through a portfolio showing on more than a few occasions, I thought it would be helpful to offer a few thoughts on the process.

1. Have a handful of photo/creative friends to help with the editing,flow and pairing of your images (my good friend, San Francisco-based photographer Michael Winokur, helped me with my edit, as shown at left). You are only as good as the worst picture you show. Put your killer images at the beginning and end of your portfolio.

2.. Good meetings don’t always mean an assignment and a bad meeting doesn’t always mean you won’t get an assignment. Some of this is purely timing (having the right work in front of someone at the right time) and some of it is just luck. In short, don’t get too excited when a meeting goes well and don’t get too upset if a meeting goes poorly.

3. Listen to what reviewers are saying for patterns about what is working and what is not. Don’t make any decision based on one person’s feedback. Opinions can range widely, so use your gut (and your friends guts) in the end about what to include and what to eliminate.

4. If you are really torn about what constitutes a good edit, you might consider hiring a photography consultant.


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