Friday, August 6, 2010

Please Try Harder - Portfolio Review

Both of these incidents took place during portfolio reviews during July. The conversations you are about to read are true. The names have been changed to protect the lazy.

Incident #1

(I'm flipping through the portfolio with the photographer sitting next to me.)

Halfway through the portfolio.....

Photographer - "What do you think of this one?" reaching over and pointing at the image in front of me.

Me - (I usually don't comment on anything until I've gone through the entire book, and then will go back and comment on individual images) "It's over-saturated. You pushed it so far that there is no detail at all in this purple area and that yellow area." (These two areas probably accounted for about 5% of the overall area of the photograph.)

Photographer - "Yeah, I know. I was hoping that you wouldn't notice."

OK. So you respect my opinion enough to ask me to review your portfolio, but was hoping that I was legally blind so that I wouldn't notice the two solid colored paint spills on your photograph....

Incident #2

Me - (After finishing reviewing the portfolio) "This is a pretty nice group of images you have here. There are some issues that need addressing though. I think that you've probably over-sharpened a couple of them...."

Photographer - "Numbers 5 and 6?"

Me - "Yes."

Photographer - "I keep meaning to redo those images but just haven't had time."

Do you understand the conundrum here? It's kind of like time travel. If you go back in time, your simple presence would alter the world, and it would effect your life to the point that you'd be a different person in the future and wouldn't end up time traveling back to do whatever it was that you wanted to do. It won't work.

You respect my opinion enough to have me review your portfolio. You knowingly presented me with a seriously flawed images, hoping that I wouldn't notice. If I don't notice, how much weight could you possibly give the rest of my comments, knowing that I didn't see what you were hoping that I wouldn't?

Your portfolio should represent your very best work. Look for reasons to exclude images. If you can't find a reason to keep it out, then go ahead and put it in. If it's not helping your portfolio, it's hurting it. Don't make excuses to add images that shouldn't be in there. Your portfolio is only as strong as it's weakest image.

1 comment:

Sherry said...

I am trying to understand a student's thought process that would allow them to include portfolio work they already know is flawed and then admit it when you commented.

The attitude seems more embarrassing than the work. A bit of disrespect for your time and talent as well, Scott.

I'm not sure that part you can teach.