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Author Topic: Portfolio reviews  (Read 3531 times)
JerryReed
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« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2013, 07:24:29 AM »
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What is the name of your gallery?  Do you have an online presence?  I would be interested to see what work your patrons purchase.

Jerry Reed
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BlasR
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« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2013, 10:49:24 AM »
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Jerry,

Click down to my website..


I do not take work from anyone, I do my own, and its working just fine!!!!
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SecondFocus
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« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2013, 11:59:30 AM »
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I am very much going to agree with bcooter yet again.

Perhaps it was last year at the Palm Springs Photo Festival when I realized that the biggest growth specialization in photography was quickly becoming "portfolio reviews". There seems to be a never ending supply of photographers of all shapes and sizes ready to cough up a credit card for more critique to send them on to great success.

As to the Palm Springs Photo Festival, which is great by the way, I have gone every year, but I live here... I know a few photographers have had some good come from getting their work seen by the right people in portfolio reviews. And that has been both in individual reviews and the big open house review where everybody has their work open in a big meeting room and everybody can come through and look and talk with you.

I also know others who have thought it was a huge waste of time and effort and money. One photographer I know who has been successful for 3 decades was working to move into another genre. He worked hard for a year to build a new portfolio. Came away from an entire day of reviews quite disgusted with what he heard. He promptly took the same portfolio to a convention/trade show of companies that were his new target genre, walked around, showed his work and picked up six new clients.

For myself after spending so much time working in bodybuilding and fitness, I never saw the value of portfolio reviews for myself. Very few people know the specialty and the industry as well as I do and outside of it, mainstream does not know a good bodybuilding or gym photo from a bad one or why it is one or the other.

My point would be buyer beware. Determine what you are trying to do and whether any specific reviewer can help you get there. Otherwise the best reviewers are the people voting for you or not with their checkbook.
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Ian L. Sitren
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2013, 01:08:17 PM »
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... 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?...

This got me thinking. If we replace a few words, it might read like this:

"when paying for doctors to review one's health, the person is paying to earn the opportunity to become their patient, enabling the doctor in their full time role to make money."

In other words, the fact that someone is making money while trying to help you shouldn't be viewed as negative in and by itself.

To follow the medical analogy: say you have, god forbid, a serious health issue; would you rather seek and follow a free medical advice many around you would be happy to dispense, or would you rather pay a specialist for it?

Granted, photography is not about life-or-death like medicine, and not everybody needs a portfolio review, but if you feel something is not right (with your health or portfolio) I still think it pays to pay for an advice from a specialist, a carefully chosen reviewer. Someone in your field, whose work and opinion you admire and trust.
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Slobodan

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« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2013, 01:23:43 PM »
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Sometimes I think there's more money to be made on photographers than actual photography  Roll Eyes
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JerryReed
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« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2013, 04:46:56 PM »
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I like your medical analogy.  Keep in mind the person who is reviewing is being paid to evaluate the artist's portfolio in terms of its suitability for being shown in a gallery, and to recommend how it might be improved if needed (in their opinion). 

But since the reviewers I am writing about, do not own a gallery, they are without a means to effect a remedy to your situation.  They are doctors without a license to prescribe or fill a medication for your condition. 

What they are offering is an opportunity to make an appointment for further sessions, during which they will be developing a promotional plan for you, etc.

It's like the question: "How many chiropractors does it take to change a light bulb?"

Answer:  Only one, but it take 20 visits.

Jerry Reed

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2013, 05:25:39 PM »
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... But since the reviewers I am writing about, do not own a gallery, they are without a means to effect a remedy to your situation.  They are doctors without a license to prescribe or fill a medication for your condition...

Again, this isn't necessarily as bad as it seems.

At the risk of boring everyone with the analogy: a doctor with a license to prescribe a medication might select the one where he gets the most kickback from the pharmaceutical company (legally or not), not the one you might benefit from the most.

The same goes for a number of other advisors: investment ones for instance, might offer their services for free or for a flat fee. In the first case, you pay nothing, but they get a commission from the sale of securities. Meaning you are not sure if their advice is based on your best interest, or on where they would generate the most in commissions.

The same with portfolios and galleries: if they own a gallery, their advice might be geared toward getting you into their gallery, which is not necessarily the best gallery for you.

As usual, caveat emptor (buyer beware) Wink

EDIT: Jerry, just noticed how my medical analogies turned out to be quite appropriate, given your own medical background Smiley

Also, checked out your web site and your Paper Work - brilliant and fascinating!
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 05:32:02 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

Slobodan

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JerryReed
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« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2013, 05:58:01 PM »
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No gallerist that I have met would choose to show someone's work that would not sell and sell well.  Should they choose an artist's work that does not sell, they earn nothing for the space that they are taking up, that could be better used.   On the face of it, to persuade (should convincing be required - not in my case I assure you) an artist to show their work whose work will not sell would be against the gallerist's best interest.  To  suggest otherwise in unsupportable. 

Ergo, no offer made to show my work would be against my interest.  In the words of the Bill Withers song, " If it feels this good being used, use me up."

Thank you for you kind words about my work.

Jerry Reed
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2013, 06:25:58 PM »
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No gallerist that I have met would choose to show someone's work that would not sell and sell well... Ergo, no offer made to show my work would be against my interest...

Fair enough.

However, i had the opposite scenario in mind: where the artist's work is better than the gallery. Of course they would love to have you. It's like Hollywood A-listers: is it in the best interest of their long-term careers to play in any movie they are offered?

What if the gallery in question is at the same time selling the proverbial Elvis portraits on black velvet? Would you like to be associated with such a gallery? Wouldn't that cheapen your work for collectors?

Also, if working with one, ten or 100 galleries simultaneously would require the same amount of time and effort from you, then of course "no offer made to show your work would be against your interest." But working with galleries does require at least some time and effort on your part, so it makes sense to prioritize, be selective, and work mostly with galleries that provide the most sales and prestige. Me thinks.
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Slobodan

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JerryReed
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« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2013, 07:52:40 PM »
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I have not yet encountered NYC galleries showing paintings on velvet.  I have already responded to the other hypotheticals that you proffered.

Jerry
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Ljupiter
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« Reply #30 on: March 28, 2013, 11:01:03 PM »
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I must say its nice to see you are not giving your hard work away
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nik
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« Reply #31 on: April 01, 2013, 12:39:48 AM »
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Who of your favorite landscape photographers are still alive? I'd suggest reaching out and asking some of them. They may not all get back to you but you will get some replies. I was lucky enough to bump into one of my heroes once and asked him there and then (i had some of my work from a recent show with me) what he thought of it. I got answers, helpful, harsh, to the point. And a bit of praise to keep me going.

Best,

Nik
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Codger
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« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2013, 12:55:59 AM »
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That's a suggestion worth mulling.  Yes, there are several shooters active whose work I admire and even attempt to emulate as I analyze their approach to different subjects and situations. I wonder if guys who photograph the western U.S. would see me as a potential trespasser to "their" territory: my list is people who reside and specialize in that area.  As the old sales training line goes: "what's the worst that could happen?"  Thanks for the input, Nik.
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