Creating a Physical Portfolio

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by PhilGarber, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. PhilGarber

    PhilGarber TPF Noob!

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    Hi-

    I'm applying to a really ritzy high school for grades 9-12th. I am hoping to get a 3rd party scholarship to pay for tuition to this school, which is about $42,000 USD a year. I am going to use my photography skills to try and obtain said scholarship. Anyone have any good tips for putting together a good, strong photography portfolio?

    I was reading that a good photography portfolio must have a central theme. I'm not sure this would work for me because I wish to display the best of my photography as a whole in one portfolio. Is it always necessary in your opinion to have a theme to your portfolio? Would it be a bad idea to print the photos at a low-end DIY photo center at, say, a drugstore? Would I really need archival printing and high-end papers for something that would be used so irregularly (could possibly be shown only once)? How many photos should I include? I was under the impression that ten photos was the golden amount, but I just read that you should include 20-50 of your best photos in a portfolio! I have a mix of photojournalism and fine-art that I shoot, will this influence anything in any way? Keep in mind I am 14 years old.

    Thanks,

    Phil,
     
  2. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Of course it would be best to read the guidelines for submission.

    Generally speaking a portfolio should contain only your very best work. If that is 20+ images then more power to ya. Usually the number is closer to 12 or 14. Also keep in mind that the viewer gets bored fast so "hit 'em hard and hit 'em good". One of the photo masters mentioned that getting 6 good photos a year is an accomplishment. That thought should be in your mind when editing your work.

    Having a cohesive body of work is desirable, but not necessary. Main thing is to show of your style. Random shots of a beautiful sunset will not make the cut. Each shot must say Phil Garber took this photo. Your style will be your calling card throughout your career as a photographer. Develop it early because it is what will separate you from the competition.

    As far as printing and mounting goes; spend as much as you can. This is your finest work so treat it that way. At the ripe age of 14 I am sure funds are limited, but get creative. There are no 2 ways around a great presentation.

    Love & Bass
     
  3. PhilGarber

    PhilGarber TPF Noob!

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    Thanks a million Craig:D! I have been told I have a style all my own, But I don't really see it. Besides of course for my fascination with signs.. That's fast becoming a cliche, isn't it? I think I'll compromise, I'll get my photos printed nice from Mpix, but I'll get the "good" paper, as apposed to the fantastic. Not the largest egg in the nest-but not the smallest either!
     
  4. CSR Studio

    CSR Studio TPF Noob!

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    If you are wanting to put together a classic portfolio, I had to do the same to get into college, you will need at least 15 to 20 images. There needs to be a theme and the best print possible. This is your time to shine, the entire book is representing you. Why should they give you a scholarship if all you can come up with is a cheap drugstore print.

    The best portfolio is 11x14 in size with 8x10 prints. Make sure they are the best. Your best images, make sure it is the best pp and the best printing.
     
  5. PhilGarber

    PhilGarber TPF Noob!

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    Thank you, thank you, and thank you:D!
     
  6. CSR Studio

    CSR Studio TPF Noob!

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    Also, you mentioned MPIX, have you gotten good prints from them because I haven't so I would use someone else if it were me.
     
  7. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    I think you are off to a really strong start. If you decide to become a dentist or a lawyer I will kill you.

    On a lighter note; I have had a fascination with signs since day one. Far from cliche. In the right position they can evoke strong emotions.

    )'(
     
  8. PhilGarber

    PhilGarber TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I've gotten very good prints from them. B&H of printing, far as I'm concerned.
     
  9. PhilGarber

    PhilGarber TPF Noob!

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    Thanks again Craig! I would never in a million years become a dentist and I already went through my "ooooh! I wanna be a lawyer!" phase:lol:. Glad to know signs aren't as cliched as I imagined. Thanks again for the props!
     
  10. CSR Studio

    CSR Studio TPF Noob!

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    Glad to hear it. The prints I have gotten were horrible. For a second option, here is the lab I use and they ship:

    Atlanta's Best Photo Lab, HS Photo

    They do great work and will print how you want it, for instance I prefer prints on the dark and warm side so that is how they print for me. Check them out.
     
  11. PhilGarber

    PhilGarber TPF Noob!

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    Thanks CSR.
     
  12. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You should check out blurb.com... with their software and printing service you can create a very professional looking hard-cover book of your photography.
     

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