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Author Topic: Portfolio reviews  (Read 3552 times)
Codger
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« on: March 23, 2013, 03:02:16 AM »
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I know many of the multi-day workshops include some sort of portfolio review as one of the event's features, but that usually involves two or more days away, and several hundred dollars invested.  I'm looking for some suggestions for where I can get a good, straight evaluation using pro standards of a set of images I would submit by email, along with a more modest fee than expected for an outing.  Any comments, names or contact info would be appreciated.
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stevesanacore
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 04:41:25 AM »
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I'm not exactly sure what you are looking for, but, there are many photography consultants that would be happy to review your portfolio for a fee. I think you will have to quantify what your market is in order to choose the consultant as it would be a waste of time to show a landscape portfolio to a fashion photography expert. Many photography consultants have written books on building a portfolio, maybe you should start there?
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2013, 10:07:53 AM »
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As the previous poster noted, we are missing the crucial piece of information, what type of photography you do. If fine art b&w, then try Brooks Jensen, of the LensWork fame:

http://www.lenswork.com/econsultations/econsultations.html
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2013, 01:15:58 PM »
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Good point.  I shoot landscapes of scenes around the western United States.  Over the past dozen years I've sold, on average, a hundred pieces every year.  Some are small -- mounted and matted 16x20 and 22x28, but probably half are framed and glassed or plaque-type pieces ranging 32x40 up to six feet on a long side.  I'm technically sound and work with 6x7 MF film.  I feel a need to go up a notch in the caliber of image I seek and show, but I believe I need an objective "kick in the pants" to see and shoot differently.  I'm looking for someone who is "there" but who remembers what it's like where I "am."
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bcooter
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2013, 03:19:20 PM »
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Remember, when you ask someone their opinion, they are obliged to tell you.

Usually they feel obligated to tell you to change something, they could be right, they could be full of bull.

If I was selling "fine art" prints I'd first decide what I want to be.  Thomas Kincade and play to the middle in volume, or Basquiat and just follow my own heart. 

Anybody reviewing those two artists works would probably be negative on both.

If your doing this for money, the only two voices worth listening to is the person that pays you and yourself.

If your not doing it for money, don't listen to anyone.

IMO

BC
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iluvmycam
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2013, 04:07:57 PM »
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Portfolio reviews are pretty much a waste of time. Join a bunch of forums and post your work to get the reviews for free.

A large port review would cost me $1800 for 4 days and I could show my stuff to 20 low level critics. I spent the $1800 on direct placement of my photos with museums and some of the most prestigious rare book libraries in the world.

Museum results are still out. (Got in 2.5 of them so far.) But the rare book libraries are a great success for my letter size bound portfolios. (Got into 12 of the biggest in the world.)

I also maintain a portfolio of other photogs work I find online. Usually the images are low res, so it only produces a 6 x 9 or so on a 11 x 14 paper. I write the photogs name on the back. I have 3 levels of work I distinguish on the forums.

Like it, but wont save it.
Save it, but wont print it.
Best of all is print it.

Where you would fall into this in my eyes would be what I thought about your work. (One other categry, I don't like it, feel sorry for the photog and close it down asap.)
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iluvmycam
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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2013, 04:09:01 PM »
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Good point.  I shoot landscapes of scenes around the western United States.  Over the past dozen years I've sold, on average, a hundred pieces every year.  Some are small -- mounted and matted 16x20 and 22x28, but probably half are framed and glassed or plaque-type pieces ranging 32x40 up to six feet on a long side.  I'm technically sound and work with 6x7 MF film.  I feel a need to go up a notch in the caliber of image I seek and show, but I believe I need an objective "kick in the pants" to see and shoot differently.  I'm looking for someone who is "there" but who remembers what it's like where I "am."

Your selling that amount...your doing good. Are you face mounting them?

Want to do better, hire Lik as a consultant. (He is probably too rich to bother as a consultant!)

Here is one of the biggest PR's in the country if you still want to show your stuff.

http://www.fotofest.org/2012biennial/portfolioreview/
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 04:17:52 PM by iluvmycam » Logged
Codger
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 01:41:56 PM »
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Very interesting info from your link.  Thanks for mentioning it: I had not heard of this event before.  I can't do it this year, though, and it will be a while before another rolls around.  I wonder if any of the LuLa readers has tried doing this.  Anybody else have an idea or suggestion? 
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JerryReed
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2013, 05:10:14 PM »
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I hesitate to disagree with someone who is consistently selling one hundred pieces a year.  I do not sell nearly that number.

I favor portfolio reviews, and especially those multi-day reviews, such as FOTO FEST not in order to have the reviewer tell me how they would have made the images differently, but to gain effective exposure to people who can show my work to buyers, to whom I have no access. 

Perhaps, my view is in the minority here.  I attend to get exposure for my work that I would be unable to get otherwise.  I select reviewers who own galleries, and use it as an opportunity to pitch my work.  I look at the reviewer's website to see what their customers buy - reasoning that they would not be showing what they cannot sell.  Sometimes I am clearly not a fit.  Other times, the gallerist is already already representing someone whose work is close enough to my own that my time would be better spent with someone else.

Then, there is the unexpected.  In two instances, one that happened to me and in another case to another artist, the reviewer said they liked the work, but it was not right for them, but that they knew someone for whom it would be perfect.  In my case, the reviewer got up walked over to the desk where another reviewer was conducting a review and recommended me.  The person to whom I was recommended saw my work later that day, and has been representing me since then.

In reading all the responses that you have received earlier than my own, the comment that reflected most closely my own was, Cooter's, to pay attention to opinions of your customers and your own.

If you are selling one hundred pieces a year, you have to be doing a lots of things right.  Maybe changing what you are showing is not in your best interest.

Jerry Reed
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2013, 07:23:56 PM »
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Jerry, I appreciate your thoughtful response.  I only learned (or understood what it was) of FotoFest yesterday.  I can't make it this year but will plan for the next one.  My sales have come through a gallery showing my work for more than eight years.  It closed about a year ago.  The past six months away from its foot traffic I've sold only about 30 pieces and a lot of those had to be discounted from the gallery pricing to finish the deals.  I've decided to take this time and re-evaluate and re-direct what I'm doing.  I'm encouraged by your explanation that these reviews are as much for exposure as for self-assessment.  I look for and visit other photographers' websites several times a week, so I clicked on the link to yours to see what I might learn.  I'm impressed.  You've chosen a very select niche and look for your creativity and your work is refined and expertly done.  Thanks for your input. 
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JerryReed
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2013, 08:41:23 PM »
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You have not missed Foto Fest.  It is held every other year.  This is the off year.  FotoLucida is held this year in Portland.  Maybe I will see you next year in Houston at FotoFest.  Until then good luck.

Jerry Reed
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FredBGG
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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2013, 10:32:48 AM »
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While I am not a full time landscape photographer I do enjoy shooting landscape.
However I do buy a fair bit of landscape and fine art photography.
I also shoot film. I'd be happy to look at your work and tell you what I like.

Another suggestion. I think there is a lot more to be learnt from joining a group of photographer
for discussion and "shot and tell".

I meet with some friends that are passionate photographers. We meet about every two months and bring our prints.
Yes prints... no iPads. It's a very interesting group. Motion picture DPs, a world famous landscaper (dirt,rocks, trees etc not cameras),
actors, a park ranger, a physicist and more. This is much more interesting and fruitful that a review by a "teacher". No one tells you
what to do, but we all come out with ideas... most right out of our own heads. The trick is to get your brain going.

As the famous Helmut Newton said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18wmonxTjX0&feature=share&list=PLD22E66923E2F8D9C

Also it's what people like that is important that is why the notion of critique is all wrong.

Art is not like a tool. In a sense it does not have to work or have specific functionality.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 10:34:45 AM by FredBGG » Logged
JerryReed
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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2013, 04:45:17 AM »
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Codger,

The recent announcement of the Palm Springs Photo Festival, carried with it an insight that alerted me to an implication about portfolio reviews, which I had been previously unaware, and thought that I should share, since in earlier posts, I had been an advocate of portfolio reviews.

Here's the thing, as I have adopted the practice of reading the bios of the reviewers looking for those reviewers who owned or were representing fine art photography galleries, I became aware of what a small proportion of reviewers that they represent.  On closer reading a great number of reviewers listed their occupations as, "previously with XYC publication", or freelance designer/photographer.  Most eye-opening were a new class of reviewer.  These reviewers describe themselves as being effective in helping photographer to develop their body of work, create website and collateral materials to prepare them to market their work.  Others describe themselves as artist's representatives.  It is worth noting that the intention of this class of reviewer is to develop work for themselves.

In brief, this means that when paying for them to review one's portfolio, the artist is paying to earn the opportunity to become their client, enabling the reviewer in their full time role to make money.  Am I reading this wrong?

Jerry Reed

http://review.palmspringsphotofestival.com/connect-2013/
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Codger
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« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2013, 10:50:35 AM »
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Hey, Jerry:  I've done some of that resume reading myself and was beginning to sense some of that myself.  FotoFest still seems like the best option so far, but I'll keep looking at other alternatives in the meantime.  Thanks for the heads-up.
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pixjohn
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« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2013, 06:15:40 PM »
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I did a portfolio review with APA and found it a waste of money. It is only good if you need someone to stroke your ego. One reviewer I could tell did not want to be there. Another  reviewer said you have great work. keep it up? I see post from eyeist.com an online reviewer, but don't know much about them.
 
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yaya
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« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2013, 08:43:03 PM »
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You may find this link useful: http://2013.palmspringsphotofestival.com/connect-2013/portfolio-reviews/
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Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Mamiya Leaf |
e: ysh@leaf-photography.com | m: +44(0)77 8992 8199 | www.mamiyaleaf.com | yaya's blog
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« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2013, 12:33:32 AM »
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YaYa, thanks for the link to another possibility.  I've done a quick overview, visiting four of the subtopics and the event looks like it deserves a longer examination.  I wonder if any other LuLa readers have any experience with the Palm Springs sessions.  I read more than a dozen testimonials on the PS website, but I know those were selected.  Anybody have any words of wisdom?
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BlasR
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« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2013, 08:54:55 AM »
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$1800.00 for a reviews?

Send me 10 photos, I will do it for $800.00...then I will send 9 photos back, I will buy one from U for $300.00

so U will only spend $500.00...then I will give U tip, how U just can make $300.00 all the time U want me to reviews your work.

What do you think about that?  Or trust your self, or pay me to to tell you how U can do it...Oh Alain Briot Can do it as well...http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=alain%20briot&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CDIQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.beautiful-landscape.com%2F&ei=BfpSUZHjNabj4APLh4HIDw&usg=AFQjCNG0gXx6StMglhGFKkG8HeyYhZyRpA&bvm=bv.44342787,d.dmg
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JerryReed
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« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2013, 05:00:35 AM »
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Blas,

Do you own a gallery, or are you a collector?

Jerry Reed
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BlasR
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« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2013, 07:18:42 AM »
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Jerry,

I own a gallery in Santo Domingo, Zona Colonial.
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