PORTFOLIO BUILDING Q + A: PART TWO
Welcome to part two of the portfolio building Q + A!
In this installment, I talk mostly about portfolio presentation. I got a lot of questions about showing portfolios at portfolio review events, so I go over print sizing, paper choices, and other helpful details. As someone who has run portfolio review events and served many times as a reviewer, I've really seen it all when it comes to portfolio presentation. In this talk, I'll share what I think are the best practices. I also talk about writing a strong artist statement to compliment your portfolio.
One more thing before you dive into the Q + A...
In the audio, I list a few of the top portfolio review organizations in the U.S., but I also want to mention that many smaller organizations offer more accessible portfolio reviews for newer artists. If one of the big reviews doesn't feel right for you just yet, check out a smaller review. Nonprofit photography centers and schools often host mini reviews and those are a great place to start. Take a look at the schools near you to find one. Also, if you don't feel ready for a portfolio review yet, that's absolutely okay! They are not a necessary part of the creative journey. They're just a helpful networking opportunity for photographers who want to get their work out there. If you're not at that point yet, it's fantastic to put all your energy toward making images you love. When it comes right down to it, that's the most important thing.
Interested in researching portfolio review events? Here's a list of the top portfolio review events in the U.S. and abroad. Special Note: Some reviews are juried, some are first-come, first-served, some are lightly vetted. Check the registration/entry details for each event.
Popular U.S. Portfolio Review Events
Atlanta Celebrates Photography (Atlanta, GA)
Filter Photo Festival (Chicago, IL)
Houston FotoFest (Houston, TX)
Medium Festival of Photography (San Diego, CA)
New York Portfolio Review (NYC)
Palm Springs Photo Festival (Palm Springs, CA)
Photo Alliance (San Francisco, CA)
Photolucida (Portland, OR)
PhotoNOLA (New Orleans, LA)
Review Santa Fe (Santa Fe, NM)
Society for Photographic Education (various locations)
Popular International Events
Arles Photo Folio Review (Arles, France)
Ballarat International Foto Biennale (Ballarat, Australia)
Contact Photo Festival (Toronto, Canada)
Format Festival (Derby, UK)
MIA Photo Fair (Milan, Italy)
LensCulture (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
If you'd like to learn more about creating a photography portfolio while working with your own images and ideas, take a look at my Visionary Portfolio e-course. It comes up a couple times a year. In the course, we do a deep dive into all things portfolio related. We talk about identifying meaningful personal themes and making images that feel visually unified. We also talk about competitions, exhibitions, printing and framing, websites, and all the other important details. It's a rich, interactive class that includes a lot of personal feedback and guidance. If you're on my newsletter list, you'll get a notice when the next Visionary Portfolio course opens for registration.
Also, I teach a short e-course called Portfolio Review Boot Camp through Photolucida, one of the portfolio review events listed above. It's an in-depth look at everything you need to prepare before you attend a review. Reviews are a big investment, so it's essential to have your ducks in a row before you hop on a plane with your portfolio. This is a practical class, filled with actionable info. I offer Boot Camp a couple times a year.