There’s 23 questions lying in my inbox. Sorry lads.
Er, right. Honestly? Don’t. Just fucking don’t. The best advice I could give to anyone wanting to be a photographer, is assist. Assist a working photographer. You’ll learn infinitely more.
I’m a photography student but I never had any intention of being a photographer. I’m just there for the qualification to get to where I actually want to be. So any passion for photography killed in the name of duty doesn’t hold any actual weight with my career aspirations in the long run. I’ll come to love it again eventually, I always have/do, just not while I’m being shafted by a shambolic educational department.
As for portfolio, if you’re not sure of an image, it’s a no. Strongest image first, second strongest last. Everything in between should show continuity in skill and creativity. Don’t do swans - apparently Glasgow sees a lot of swan images? I’m actually being serious. Err…Exposure is real important. It sounds stupid but I saw some of the portfolios for this years intake and people had all sorts of under and over exposed shite vomited onto boots glossy 6x4 prints. Take some time to think about paper used and presentation - matte paper matte paper matte paper. Matte prevents fingerprints and generally looks better. A million times better. A good clean white border with the image slightly further up the page than down.
For the record: Colour calibration-wise Boots, Jessops, Jacobs and Snappy Snaps use Adobe 1998 and Loxley Colour use sRGB. If you’re shooting on, say, a rebel Xti you’ll most likely be set to sRGB which will give you a slightly different colour to Adobe 1998 so watch your colour profiles to avoid wasting your money on off-colour prints.
I’ve mentioned high street shops (and one pro printer which will post out to you or the college) because they’re the most commonly used for portfolios up here. You really ‘should’ get it done via an established printer (Loxleys for example) but it’s a given that most will turn to what they know, the high street, and what’s affordable so don’t go mounting on canvas just yet!
Protip: I sometimes print using somewhere cheaper but mount it with double-sided tape onto decent card or foamboard. Doing cheaper well is better received than your image being overtaken by what it’s mounted on. You can move on to fancier printing when you actually get in!
Good luck and feel free to ask me anything else. I hope I don’t come across as off-putting. I’m being as honest as I can be. Studying photography can be wonderful but I prefer and need it as a side skill rather than the something I want to do every day to make a dollar. I do know I learned more from working photographers though so to that i’ll hold. It’s tougher than it sounds, being creative doesn’t just switch on and off so if you want it then you really go for it even when you’re feeling like you’ll never have another idea. Colleges spit out thousands of ‘photographers’ every year so it’s your own work and effort that’ll get you somewhere.
Final protip: a glasgow photography graduate recently had to leave Scotland to find photography work because they tried to poach their Photographer’s clients. If you’re working under someone as assistant, you never hand your card to who they’re working for. Word of mouth travels fast in these communities and will kill your career with negative chat.
Again, good luck and I’m sorry to followers who have to scroll past this essay. But I actually love what i’m doing in a bitter sort of way so I’ll go on a bit…#photography #portfolio #portfolio advice #photography advice