Friday, June 25, 2010

Creating A Portfolio 2

I presently have 1 book – Nightwork Photographs 1.0, 5 portfolios of 13”x19” prints, 7 portfolios of 3.5” x 5” prints and over a dozen electronic portfolios. I have found the closer I move to a book the harder it becomes to edit the work. Beginning with an electronic portfolio is a great way to get started on this complex project.

Recently I began a revision of the book. The first book was self published using Blurb. It was very small – 10 photographs. The main objective was to test the quality of the printing which I felt was pretty good, but quite distant from commercial publishers of photography books like Phaidon. The revised second book will go thru a different editing process. It has more photographs and I will be showing it to people as a PDF file and use this as a way to edit it some more. I then plan to copyright it and give it out for free on a request basis. I will then again edit it, copyright the new version, get an ISBN number and begin to sell it as a paperback book and electronic book. It’s not a task I look forward to, so it will probably go slowly.

I like making PDFs. This has become my favorite way to show work – both my own and that of others. PDFs are fast and easy to make and look good on both a monitor and projection screen.

As stated throughout my blog I dogmatically believe in prints. This is the way I like seeing my work best as well as the work of others. I have 2 types of print portfolios – 13” x19” Itoya Art Profolio Advantage books and reconfigured rectangular plastic CD cases filled with 3.5”x5” prints. The small cases I limit to 10 prints. The portfolio books had been limited to 10 prints, but I am experimenting with a larger selection of prints.

Over the past few years I have experimented a lot with Flickr. I first used it as a teaching tool for my Thomas Edison State College photography classes. I had tried most of the other photo sharing sites and found them flawed in one way or another. I found Flickr very easy to use and began to use it myself as my first level of editing work. Before these sites I had helped students construct photography websites for several years and watched how hard this was for too many students. I like Flickr for it’s clear and straightforward display and how widely it is watched. Real buyers watch what’s posted there, then contact photographers and buy Flickr photographs directly from photographers for reasonable usage fees. Flickr does not allow photographers to sell work directly from the site. I like the options for creating sets and how easy it is to rearrange the order of display as well as edit individual images with their basic and easy to use image editing tools.

Putting work in a portfolio is a lot of work. Each level gets harder. But it clarifies for both you and your audience as to who you are and helps you make better future photographs.

© 2010 Paul Light all rights reserved


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