Thursday, July 24, 2008

PDN Portfolio Consult

A few months back I got a call from Jeanine Fijol at PDN. She wanted me to do a formal portfolio consultation with Leslie Burns Dellacqua of Burns Auto Parts. She would review my book, promos, and website, and wed talk about ways to update and improve all of them.

At first I was fired up to do this, I'd just returned from China with some new work that I wanted to incorporate, and I was getting advice from an experienced pro for free. Then I thought maybe it's not such a good thing to have a critique of my work broadcast on PDN. What if she shredded me to bits?

Anyway, the finished feature just went up on PDN here.

This got me thinking about portfolio critiques in general. The whole thing is just so subjective I have a hard time believing there is any science to it, which is what some people think. Start strong, finish strong, this doesn't work here, that doesn't go, etc, etc, etc.

Fact is, if you have 30 kick ass images, it doesn't really matter what order they're in. So much of how we perceive images is based on our own personal experience, which changes from person to person, and from one day to the next. Once sequence of images will make one art director laugh out loud, and make another put the book down and go get another latte. Maybe after they pound their latte, the pictures will mean something different.

That said, I thought some of Leslie's points were right on, and others a bit off. Overall it was positive, and I feel like the book, website, and promos are heading in the right direction. Pretty much the same as I felt before the consult.

In the end does it really matter what someone else thinks of my work as long as I am ok with it?

My new personal Blog Consultant Thomas Broening has some interesting things to say about Portfolio Consultants.

1 comment:

Rob Prideaux said...

You stole my blog consultant.

Seriously though, the whole freelance, independent operator bit makes this kind of stuff hard.

I meet with two groups of photographers. One is a bunch of photo assistants and the other is a bunch of fine art people. I get so many points of view that it's sometimes hard to choose, but I'm never short on input, and after a while a kind of theme aggregates, and that's what I usually go with.