Friday, March 5, 2010

Portfolio, selecting images

Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography
One of my portfolio images, model Johanna J. from the Core

I promised before to give and share some of the best advice I’ve received about creating and selecting images for your portfolio. I could make a long list of websites and blog posts about portfolio philosophies, but it’s kind of unnecessary. Michael Reichmann over at a luminous landscape has a very extensive article about portfolios here.

It doesn’t focus on fashion or portrait photography and everything he says doesn’t apply to everyone. I’m not going to summarize it but I will share with you what I think is the most important message; Find your target and work hard to service that target only.

It’s quite obvious that if you are a fashion photographer your portfolio should have fashion images. But you have to think a bit deeper than that. Finding the target means that you have to identify who it is that has to love your portfolio. For me the one who has to love my portfolio is the art director or art buyer at the ad agency or the magazine that I wish to do assignments for.

How to service that audience is tricky but generally it comes down to creativity and quality. Even when you’ve got a bunch of good images, selecting which ones to print can be very difficult. One of the biggest problems is that it's inevitable for most people, including myself, to disregard your personal affection to your images, the only thing that matters is what the images comunicate to your target. My best advice is to ask others for advice, but it has to be someone who knows what your target market is looking for, your friends (including forum friends) or better yet your mother might not have the kind of professional opinion that you need (even though the positive reinforcement from friendly critique can be very valuable).

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