My Thoughts on Portfolios

I’ve been thinking a bit about portfolios lately. How does one go about selecting top images for a folio? It can be a bit tricky if you’ve never done it. Either you are first starting out and barely have enough images to fill the gaps, so to speak, or maybe you’re an experienced shooter who can’t cut it down to just six or ten or whatever arbitrary number they throw at you. Either way, in either case, it always seems like it’s a bit of a challenge.

Of course, I’m no different when it comes to this. When it comes down to folios and the like, my current mood plays a big part in it. If I’m in a “people snatching” mood, why any folio of mine you might happen across will probably be filled with portraits. Likewise, if I’m in a more nature-y landscape-y type of a mood, well, you’re going to get stuff like this. It goes without saying really but, as you might imagine, it can be difficult to combine the two and so then I have to look for images that bridge the gap between my many varying moods. It’s like I’m assembling Sybil’s visual journal, I swear sometimes that is. 

The more I think about it, the more folios are not about what you shoot. No, actually I think they are more about what you are *going* to shoot. What do you want to shoot? Where is your voice? Where is your art leading you? When you start to think about those types of questions then, I think, the folio selection gets a bit easier. If you focus on where you want to go and what you want to be doing next, the task seems a bit less daunting, at least that has been my experience so far. Do you want to be a travel photographer? A fine art photographer? A photojournalist? Somebody who does weddings? If you’re thinking about going the travel route, don’t bother putting brides in the final cut, it probably won’t help matters much. Likewise, if you are leaning more toward the photojournalism route, don’t put some artsy conceptual project in there. This sounds all well and good, easy enough to follow but, what to do if you are just a shooter? It can still be a bit tricky.

So, once again I’ve been tasked with this dreaded make a folio task. I’m up to the challenge, for sure, as I’ve actually done it before. And, yes, each and every time is a bit different. This time around? I’m probably going to divvy it up into a few bodies of work, maybe just two or three, in an attempt at showcasing some alternative directions. I’ve been a shooter for a while now and so, as you might imagine, I’ve got some cool odds and ends too and I still won’t be sure where exactly to stick those (ahem, yes, I know, I probably have some readers who rejoice in telling me where exactly to stick anything but, somehow, I’m still left with the task.)

Indeed, the folio task is always tricky. Lots of navel gazing, introspection, thinking aloud (and sometimes to one’s self as well!) and all of that jazz. All that and, in the end, you gotta pick just ten!

Yes, it’s folio season again. Oh joy, here we go again.

Until next time…

This one from Iceland, from somewhere in the highlands of Iceland. It’s an algae lake reflection. 

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