Choosing Images for Your Portfolio
Here we have a bunch of prints, and these are from my printed portfolio that I would bring along to different portfolio reviews, or galleries, or things like that. Some of them are outdated now, some of them I wouldn't use. But these in general, are images that I would bring along to a portfolio review and they're completely out of order. And I thought that it would be nice just to take a fresh look at these images, and put them in order, and figure out if any should not be in there at all. Or if some stand out as being a little bit weird and how we can deal with that in this portfolio situation. So, I've got a whole bunch of portfolios here, I mean prints, and some of them I think I can immediately identify as being a little bit out of the ordinary in this set. So, if you guys had to say, which one of these feels off, which one would you say? Yup.
The third one.
The purple, okay. So we've got purple, and this image is definitely one of the weirder ones, I think. The reason is, fir...
st of all, that it's a color palette that you're not seeing anywhere else, but also it's a man. And this is my only man, and he is the only man that I like to photograph in my pictures. He is not my husband, I get asked all the time. But, he's really fantastic to photograph and he is my good friend and I think that he fits in my portfolio in some place. But it's really easy to see how he doesn't work in this situation, because all of these other colors are a bit, well at least surrounding him, are a bit muted. They're a little bit feminine (giggles) as he is as well in this image with all the purple vines. But, yes, you could definitely say that this is one image that doesn't quite work within this set. Did anyone have a different reaction? Any other image that maybe...
The root hair.
The root hair, what's your reason for that?
It's a dramatically different pose than the rest.
It is, yeah. I agree with you completely on that one. Anyone else have a different sense? Okay, so mine would actually be this one. I feel like this color red is just a little bit off from the earthy tones that the rest of them have. This one is very bright, it's very almost orange-y color. Same with the one right below it. And, ironically, this image, I would argue, has less concept than all of the others. This one, even though you see this pose mimicked here, it still doesn't have quite the same conceptual overtone to it that many of the other ones do. So, I would argue that I might take this image out even though it has a decent concept. I think it's a little bit plain. It's a little bit simple, and she doesn't look totally integrated into the scene that she's in. Which is a little bit bothersome to me. And then these two both don't have quite the right color palette, so I'm going to remove them. But, you know what's really interesting to me? When I remove those two images, and I look at the colors flowing throughout these, suddenly the purple fits just a little bit more to me. Because, it's the only real pop of color now. Yes, you have red and you have teal, but somehow they seem really muted, don't they? There isn't anything bright going on, there isn't a lot of contrast going on, but he carries that. So, I'm going to use him, actually, as the boldest thing in my portfolio out of these images, and put that first. So, that now, we have our man starting off the portfolio. And I could switch that, right, like I could take that over here, and put him last. So, that people, you know, they'll get through my portfolio and be like, "Whoa, a man!" or something like that. (giggles) Maybe... I tend to like to order my prints by color. I think that that works really well. I think that it's something to really consider. And we have a really nice color palette going on here, because we've got two reds, two neutrals, and two cooler images. So, that could make a really good flow, but I don't know if it would. So, if I had to say the boldest image, I would probably say this one. Because this image has the red, which is always very striking, against a very contrasting color. And when you have that, it can be a little bit jarring to look at. So, that's this image here, which you can see a little bit better there. And I'm gonna put that first. So, if I put that red image first, I then have to decide do I wanna alter the images, like stagger them so then it's red, neutral, blue... Red, neutral, purple. I don't know, there could be any way of doing it. I might decide to go in order with my reds and my neutrals, like this, so that I had a nice flow of color that makes sense from warm to cool. The other, actually, it's quite interesting 'cause now I'm noticing that these two images are almost the same concept, right? Except, this concept's way cooler to me. So, I'd rather keep the one that's really interesting. Instead of the one that's a little bit less. Okay, so we've got a flow, so what would you guys do differently if I presented this to you? How would you feel better looking at these images, if you had to say? And it's good to think about pose as well. What pose flows from, pose flows from one to the other. For example, here we have this girl who's hunched over. And that might work well with this pose that's a little bit different. So, it might be good to have these next to each other because she's laying down and because she's hunched over. It has that same sort of (claps hands) back to the ground feeling to it, whereas the rest are standing. Just something to keep in mind. You might not care about color at all. You might only think about concept, and if you're only thinking about concept, then what fits here? I don't know if I can answer that. Nope, this is how I like it. So, how do you guys like it? Any thoughts on what you might do differently? You're allowed to tell me, I don't mind.
I get that the first two are connected by color, but it seems really jarring... Image-wise.
I agree, yup.
From the plain to the very busy, to the full-figure to the more close-up. I don't necessarily know what I would do about it, but...
Yeah, no, it's good to know because... Well, you guys know, I mean, as artists you look at your images so frequently that suddenly you're like, you can't see it anymore, you know? Like, I recognize that this image is a creepy picture, and that people have often commented to me that it's a really sad image. And I have a hard time seeing it 'cause all I can remember is how I was at this weird abandoned location with my sister-in-law and I made her jump in this murky water, and it was hilarious. And that's what I think of when I see this picture. So, I have to really take myself out of me, the artist who made this, and look at this objectively. And that's why it's so good to get help from people. To really figure out what works in your portfolio, what doesn't. This is not a dark image, necessarily. I mean, you might see it that way, depending on if you see this as blood or not, or whatever you think is happening here. It's not really a dark image, so what goes with that then? How might you reorder this conceptually if you're gonna keep that image first? Maybe these go together, 'cause they're almost like opposite compositions, which I think is kind of interesting. And then maybe you go to this one, because this one's getting a little bit darker so then maybe we transition into this one which has a similar flow. And then I like how this arm is out and this arm is out, and that kind of works together, next to each other. And then I, I don't know, these guys just... They're my two oddballs on the end, what can you do?
Bonus Materials with Purchase
Guided Daydream & Writing Exercises Workbook (Lessons 1-11)
Creating an Original Narrative Workbook (Lessons 12-18)
Finding Your Target Audience Workbook (Lessons 19-27)
Planning Your Series Workbook (Lessons 28-34)
Set Design Workbook (Lessons 35-41)
Compositing Workflow Checklist (Lessons 42-49)
Editing Workflow Checklist (Lessons 50-55)
Location Scouting Workbook (Lessons 56-60)
Stock Image Downloads for Practice (Lessons 61-72)
Organizing Your Portfolio Workbook (Lessons 77-81)
Pricing & Editioning Your Work Workbook (Lessons 82-89)
Writing Contracts & Licensing Images Workbook (Lessons 90-98)
Gallery Best Practices (Lessons 99-106)
Pitch Package Workbook (Lessons 107-111)
Writing Your Brand Workbook (Lessons 112-117)
Marketing Workbook (Lessons 118-122)
Social Media Workbook (Lessons 123-127)
Printing Methods Checklist (Lessons 128-133)
Self Critique Workbook (Lessons 134-137)
Bonus Materials Guide
Image Edit Videos