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Portfolio photographers

HeronHeron Registered User Posts: 485 Member
edited November 2007 in Visual Arts and Film Majors
I need some assistance finding a photographer who specializes in photographing portfolios. Anyone know of a site or listing? Thanks.
Post edited by Heron on

Replies to: Portfolio photographers

  • handemomhandemom Registered User Posts: 449 Member
    You should start by ask your school's art teachers. If there is a photography teacher, they may be able to do it, or someone in the art dept. may be able to to direct you. If you have any printing/film developing/camera store type place nearby you can also ask them. Sometimes they have can do this or they can refer you. My daughter had asked around. First the local camera store who said they could do it, but then a peice of their equipment needed servicing and wasn't getting back in time. They referred me to some printing place who was very expenesive. My D asked the photo tracher who offered to do it but also pricey.

    I searched on Craigslist for an art photographer, and actually found one who did a great job. Most of the prices we were quoted were by the piece. This photographer charged by the hour and it came out to be much less. He came my home and did it. It was shot digitally. He loaded it onto his computer, cropped, and burned a couple of CDs.
  • handemomhandemom Registered User Posts: 449 Member
    I just want to add that the photographer also directed us to a website to have slides made.
  • ktwofishktwofish Registered User Posts: 177 Junior Member
    We photographed my daughter's artwork with tips from the art teacher and the photo store. Slide film is the cheapest to develop, but digital photos uploaded to a photo store website was the easiest. Because we ordered many slides, the price per slide dropped quite a bit.
  • RainingAgainRainingAgain Registered User Posts: 699 Member
    Any college that requires slides is doing a disservice to its applicants. There is no advantage I can imagine to slides vs. digital.

    Photographing flat artwork requires nothing more than a suitable copy stand and a camera. Most decent digital camera's have a feature to balance the white point of the lighting. This ensures that neutral colors do not pick up color casts caused by color temperature of the bulbs.

    Photographng 3D work is a bit more difficult, but within means. This product ( see link) is useful...but unfortunately I found the lights to be worthless. Instead I purchased two large reflective clamps with 150 watt daylight bulbs from Home Depot. The value of this contraption is that the lighting is diffuse and even. I replaced the backdrop with white posterboard to create a seamless background. A professional will have better studio equioment of course, but you can do it yourself.


    Just be certain your work is evenly lit, free of color casts caused by the light source, and in focus. You can crop your images using the most basic photo-editing software, and if you know a little bit about color/contrast, you can tweak them a bit as well.

    Regardless, IMO, it is absurd for any college to require slides nowadays. Of course there can be compatability issues on occassion, but any file saved as a JPG can be reviewed regardless of software. All they need is a Web browser. When submitting digital files, it is important to be sure that your file sizes and on-screen dimensions are appropriate.
  • franglishfranglish Registered User Posts: 2,308 Senior Member
    You may say it's absurd all you want to; nevertheless, some schools specifically ask for slides. I agree that digital is easier in so many ways. But last year when we sent art portfolio, I know that some really specifically wanted slides. You gotta do what you gotta do...
  • handemomhandemom Registered User Posts: 449 Member
    From what I was told as far as slides vs. digital, is that many schools still like slides because with digital, there's more possible variation based on the type of monitor they are being displayed on. This can affect the way the color looks. ALso with digital media, there's always a risk that the CD won't work for some reason.

    SLides can be made from digital photos. The are online services that do a good job of this. www.iprintfromhome.com was recommeded to me.

    The safest thing is to just send both. That's what my daughter did.
  • RainingAgainRainingAgain Registered User Posts: 699 Member
    There are variations in monitors, true. Monitors hooked up to PCs are slightly darker/contrasty than Macs, and have a higher gamma. However the difference is comparative to about 1/3 of a stop on a camera which may be dependent upon the subjective decision of the photographer.

    Also, light boxes themselves may illuminate the slides differently, depending upon the quality of the lightbox, age of the bulbs, color temperature of the bulbs, etc.

    In the end, viewing conditions will be inconsistent regardless, and film can even be affected by the chemistry used to develop it, causing subtle shifts in color and image density.

    One advantage to digital is that given enough resolution it can be magnified and allow the reviewer to analyze the details of a piece with greater clarity.

    Per CDs, yes, people must learn how to burn them properly and check their playback integrity. This is not difficult, and in the end multiple copies for multiple submissions is much cheaper.

    I remain shocked by the impudence of admissions departments that insist on slides. Ican think of no benefit except that either they are not supported properly with appropriate technologies (nice big 20-inch monitors and dual platform support).Of course, these are expensive compared to a light table which has probaby been in use for 20+years and who knows as to it's accuracy of illumination?
  • Aunt BeastAunt Beast Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    For a physical portfolio, does size matter for photographers?

    My daughter (a junior) and I attended her first Portfolio Day last week. Her current passion (and strength) is doing surrealistic digital images collaged in Photoshop.

    She had printed up some of her best images using our home printer, in 8 x 10 format. We noticed that all the other students showing photography in their portfolios appeared to be printing theirs at 14 x 20.

    Would you advise that she blow up her images to that larger size, assuming that the resolution of her images is sufficient to support being blown up to 14 x 20? Or doesn't it matter for portfolio review?
  • patoispatois Registered User Posts: 186 Junior Member
    What did the schools say? (If anything at all about the printing)
  • RainingAgainRainingAgain Registered User Posts: 699 Member
    //My daughter (a junior) and I attended her first Portfolio Day last week. Her current passion (and strength) is doing surrealistic digital images collaged in Photoshop.//

    Aunt Beast, my thoughts might sound a bit harsh, please understand that I offer them only with the best intentions.

    Surrealistic Photoshop collages were the last thing I wanted to see in a portfolio unless they were somehow, brilliant - most often they were not. Even worse would be the application of Photoshop filters. Compositing is a technical skill, and one that I would dismiss because it can be learned virtually overnight. I do understand that playing with Photoshop IS a wonderful way to explore digital media, and it is a starting point for many students.

    Encourage your daughter to be very conceptual. By this I mean, can she juxtapose these components in order to create something that challenges the viewer's understanding and perception about something. The work should express an idea - offering it from a different perspective that surprises, challenges, and delights the audience.

    An example might be to deconstruct an apple into its parts. Separate the parts from each other...texture, color, point of view, form - stem, fruit, seeds, etc, and recreate the sum of the parts. Explore how these parts are dependent upon syntatic relationships to each other by dissolving the relationships. This isn't anything new, in some ways it relates to Cubism and Deconstructivism. She might also consider how these (the parts and their sum) relate to mythology, in order to offer a different perspective.

    Technical skills will not catch the eye of any critic, but a great concept will. Have your daughter look at the work of Jerry Uelsmann...

    Jerry Uelsmann

    What makes Uelsmann unique is that his work is silver-based, and that all of the compositing is done in the darkroom. Uelsmann has been working like this since the 1960s. I always wonder what he thinks of Photoshop since it made his skill irrelevant. Even so, he remains relevant because of his place in history and since his images are carefully composed - often with only two or three negatives - to engender a cognitive or emotional response from the audience.

    I would tell your daughter nothing to discourage her efforts, but encourage her to make sketches first in order to develop an idea. This is very very important - developing the skills and means to think on paper. Also, while being playful is a critical component of creativity, she will be judged more on concept than on skill.

    I began my interest in digital media the same way as your daughter. And my skills did open doors. However, it took me a while to realize that everyone would at some point catch up to me. Concept, concept, concept...and THEN technique.

    Regarding the dimensions of the pieces, you're fine. Don't make them large unnecessarily. However, she might vary the dimensions IF the dimension adds some quality to the meaning behind the work.
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