Professional Fine Art Portfolio Review, this is what I experienced on Wednesday May 26, 2010. It was organized by the New York City Chapter of the ASMP. There would be 40 individuals to review each of our portfolios of work.
This was my very first portfolio review. EVER. The day before/of the event I worked from 10:00am until 1:30am, fine tuning and printing 20 of my best Black & White film images. A simple portfolio case was purchased the Saturday before to hold the prints. I hoped it would look professional enough as I was going to be showing work with some of the best commercial/fine art photographers in NYC to some of the most prestigious art directors, magazine publishers, gallery owners, etc. in the photography world.
As I prepared my work for the review, my confidence began to build. However, being new to this process there was always the nagging doubt about my artistic ability. Let me mention again, I was playing in the big league now. I took a deep breath and decided better to take the plunge and face the fear. (You just never know until you try…..right?!)
In between printing, I took some time to read through the Bio’s of each of the 40 reviewers that were participating. After the OMG moment passed, I ran to the dry cleaner to get my best suit. (Chock it up to spending 20+ years in the corporate world!) The people that would be looking at my portfolio were heavy hitters in the art world. These creatives could take an unknown photographer and launch a career!
Let me give you a few examples-
- Elizabeth Avedon: Independent Curator and Consultant. Formerly Creative Director for The Gere Foundation, Art Director for Polo Ralph Lauren national advertising and a co-founder of Tibet House, NYC.
- Stella Kramer: Photography Consultant. Pulitzer Prize-winning Photo Editor who worked at such major publications as The New York Times, PEOPLE, Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated, and Newsweek.
- Alex Niki: Editor in Chief, Resource Magazine
- Ruben Natal-San Miguel: Photographer/Curator/Art Collector/Writer
The images chosen were a cross section of the work created over the past 3 years. A better portfolio would have been a cohesive story but I wanted to show a bit of what I’ve done to see what the experts thought was great work. Interestingly enough, my newer work created over the last few months had the most favorable response.
The doubt of whether or not I had an artistic eye was no longer, as these reviewers commented that I had what it took. Continue shooting with passion and powerful, emotional images will follow. I was in awe of their accomplishments and was humbled by their response to my work. Walking out of the session, 3 hours and 6 reviewers later, I felt like I could conquer the world. There is a lot of work ahead, but I am very excited to continue the journey.
Thank you ASMP and all the participants of the evening. It was an amazing experience. Looking forward to next year!
Below are the 7 images that each reviewer found to be my most compelling.
Until next time.
adventure is life, live it! ®