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Facing the wrong way: the problem with portfolio reviews.

If you google image search Photography Portfolio Review you are going to see something like this:

 

portfolio review

 

Lots and lots of photographers are paying money to show their work upside down to someone sat on the other side of a table.

Why would you, almost as a matter of convention as a reviewer, put a table between yourself and the person whose work you’re sharing? Why would you and the photographer be forced to look at a photo from opposite perspectives?

If we are going to sit together and talk about photography shouldn’t we both be looking at the pictures the right way round?

One of the things I teach on duckrabbit photofilm workshops is if possible avoid interviewing people across a table. It creates a barrier, distance, an added layer of formality, akin to the job interview.

You need to get alongside people, not create distance. You need to share something. Both of you.

Whilst there’s any number of portfolio reviews ¬†you can sign up to on the international photography circuit there seems to be a real lack of experienced people willing to sit alongside photographers, on a regular basis, helping them to develop their work.

This is really evident in the work of many young photojournalists who can take a great picture but rarely tell a story.

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    4 comments to Facing the wrong way: the problem with portfolio reviews.

    • But if it’s just two people talking photography and trying to understand things (more or less on equal terms), how are they going to constantly remind you that they made it- and you haven’t?

      Sounds like trouble- I’ll have to think on this…

    • I did this at Visa Pour IImage once. It felt like an inerview at a Job Centre Plus.

    • See what iPads have done for us….”whoa it wont flip, is it broken?”

    • This is, quite honestly, one of those very simple yet profound observations that should have people scratching their heads wondering why this hasn’t been the norm from day one.

      And it needs to be implemented immediately and universally.