I recently had the honor and pleasure of being asked to participate in a portfolio review for the Alumni of the Colorado Art Institutes photography students.
It seems you always get back what you give, and in this case it was as much an educational experience for me as it was for the Alumni. Not only did I have the thrill of seeing how others express their creativity, I was able to see how they presented it from the viewpoint of the prospect.
I was surprised at what I could see in the work. The photographer’s strengths were immediately apparent, as was what each most loved to shoot. At times that love would be the least represented in their portfolios…. something I myself am guilty of and understand. For in that work is a piece of ourselves and one we don’t always trust the world with.
For all the hoopla about the iPad, I had to conclude it is NOT a good way for a photographer to display his/her work. With the print books, I was able to experience the tactile of the paper, the way the work was framed by the paper itself, and I was able to easily able to keep a finger in the book at images I wanted to come back to and either reference against other work, or comment on. The iPad, by contrast, would often play the images in an annoying slideshow, and when it didn’t the images were small, and lacking the appeal of the print counterparts. I also found I welcomed the chance to move away from a computer monitor for a moment. Oh, by the way, plastic sleeves over your print work is definitely out! I’ve heard that repeatedly and when I found myself struggling to see the beautiful images through the glare of the overhead lights on the plastic, I knew the advice was well said.
Most of all the experience was humbling. To see so much creativity from so many different points of view told me that I still have a lot of room to grow.
My thanks to the Art Institute for inviting me to participate in this wonderful experience.