Portfolio advice needed before applying for a job

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by martinbechknudsen, May 16, 2008.

  1. martinbechknudsen

    martinbechknudsen TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Denmark
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hey, i'm new to this forum, but i would really like if someone could help me out with some questions concerning my portfolio and applying for a job (this forum seems to have a bit more of a professional "clientel" than the danish forums i normally post in). It will really mean a lot to me if someone will take the time to look at this, and maybe answer some of my many questions.

    I have wanted to get into concert photography for some months now and have photographed a couple of concerts to build up a small portfolio.

    The first job i have planned to apply for is to shoot upcoming bands for a website. They don't pay me anything except the concert tickets and eventually they provide backstage passes - but the guy in charge of this happens to be the photo editor for a danish music magazine. In a longer perspective i'm really interested in working with this magazine - so i don't wanna screw it up. The fact that the job doesn't really gives any money also means that i won't have to compete against some top notch professionals, and their whole approach to hiring new photographers is that they want young aspiring photo talents. I think this would be the perfect way to get into to the business, and a good way to get to know "the right" people.

    It would be really nice if someone would take a look at my portfolio and give some critique - does any of the pictures stands out as considerably poorer than the rest? Should I change the order of appearance? Is the amount of pictures appropriate, or should there be more? Everything that comes to your mind. But - before you look at it - at the moment, my portfolio is just a photoblog showing 30 pictures of mine. Will the fact that I doesn't have a real website lower my chances of getting the job alot? I am working on a website (which I by the way think is turning out quite nice and stylish) but it will probably take a while before it's done... (one might say it would be better to turn up in person, showing some prints, but they just asks for an email with pictures)

    http://www.photoblog.com/martinbech/

    So any toughts about this whole thing is very welcome - some of you maybe even know what people usually look for when hiring young photographers? Or have some good advice i haven't even thought of thinking of?

    And i'd rather have you to tell me it's crap (in a constructive way) than letting the photo editor do it.

    Thank you for taking your time to help me :blushing:

    (i apologize for possible spelling/language mistakes - as some of you may have noticed english is not my first language)
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,821
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Welcome to the forum.

    Much of the time, for a portfolio, less is more (less is better). Cut down the number of photos to less than 20 or less than 15. Have a few other people look at them and rate them. Then cut it down again.
    We all want to be judged on out best images, but other people may judge us on our worst images...so only use the best of the best.
     
  3. martinbechknudsen

    martinbechknudsen TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Denmark
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Okay thanks - i'm down to 22 now... i don't know if you agree about the ones i've choosen to cut out? Anyone of them left you think i should definately get rid off?
     
  4. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    On a side note, do you know what happend to the last person to hold the position you are going for?

    Did they move up and are now paid? Did they quit to go make some money?
    It is great that they whant to hire young photographers but make sure they are not using you to do work they should be paying you for. Make sure there is room to move up and you know what will qualify tou to move up.
     
  5. martinbechknudsen

    martinbechknudsen TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Denmark
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks for your concerns. It's not like someone has quit or have been fired - the editor guy just asks young people to send him their pictures so he can have a look at them. But yes, some of the people shooting for the website do some freelance stuff for the magazine (along with stuff for other magazines and concert venues) and thats one of the reasons i figured out this could be a good place to start.
     
  6. kellylindseyphotography

    kellylindseyphotography TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,270
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Haverhill, Ma
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Hi
    I think you've got some talent!! What are you shooting with? (usually)

    It would be easier to critique if you uploaded some and posted them here and numbered them. Specificaly ones you feel iffy about. Its hard to critique so many that aren't numbered.

    I think your doing a pretty good job though. Lighting is so tricky at those shows and the angles are hard cuz you sometimes are just looking up their noses which is never flattering, and then you got camera shake at times...

    So I'd keep at it, you have something.
     
  7. martinbechknudsen

    martinbechknudsen TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Denmark
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Oh, i forgot to tell - when you move the cursor over a picture the number appears in the top right corner.

    All the shots are taken with a Canon Eos 400D (i guess it's called something like digital rebel in the us). I've used the 18-55mm kit lens and a 70-300mm f/4-5.6. I know they are way too slow.

    However, if i get some jobs i can borrow a 28mm f/2.8 from some family (which will be like a 44mm due to the crop factor) and then i'm thinking about buying a fast 50 or 75mm prime lens. It will be a pain in the ass to miss the zoom, but hopefully they will provide some well exposed shots while im saving up for a fast zoom lens.
     
  8. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,478
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    St. Louis, Missouri, USofA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I think you should get rid of #9, the guy kindof sinks into the surroundings, it does not have the "pop" of your other shots. On #13 Maybe crop out some oth the empty space at the top. I love #2, 4, and 10. Also the ones you chose to do in Black and white are very good choices.

    PS: don't worry about your English, there are people from all over the world on this forum, and trust me, we Americans have the worst grammatical problems of them all.
     
  9. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,478
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    St. Louis, Missouri, USofA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Oh, and I have used the Canon 50mm 1.4 to shoot, bands, in bars and low light in general. Its a fantastic lens, I highly recommend it. I'm looking to get a 28mm 1.8, an a tamron 17-50 f/2.8, for shooting concerts myself, so check those out as well.
     
  10. thirrouard

    thirrouard TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I agree, the 50mm f1.4 is fantastic. The build quality though isn't that good (compared to my sigma prime 30mm f1.4), and they could give a hood with it... (sigma do).
    But still a wonderful piece of glass :)
    I have the 85mm f1.8 too, and the latter is better, but the focal length doesn't make it as versatile on a cropped body... But for concert, I think it might be an even better option, depending on where you stand.
    Also it's kind of OT but I've seen test and the 85mm behave very well on FF, when the 50mm doesn't... Kind of sucks for the 50mm, considering it's not a cheap prime...
     
  11. BAB

    BAB TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix,AZ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I am not so sure that there is a magic number of photographs to include in a portfolio. The important consideration is the strength of each entry. On one hand you can have 100 very strong, high quality images, yet on the other hand have 5 poor samples. If I were the person reviewing the portfolios I rather sift through 100 very good ones and feel that 5 poor or mediocre ones were a waste of time. I am not of course suggesting that one should should have 100 photographs in their portfolio, merely making the point, that you should not be concerned with numbers, unless a restriction is placed by the reviewer, but you should be concerned with the quality, the strength and do they work. As you edit your work if you are unsure of any, do not include it. You must be sure that each entry is your very best. Sounds like from your thread that you have researched and understand your potential market... that is a good approach. Good luck
     
  12. martinbechknudsen

    martinbechknudsen TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Denmark
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    First of all, thanks for all the advice - i've just send the application and i'm pretty exited about the response i'll get.

    The 50mm f/1.4 would indeed be a great lens to have. Unfortunately, in Denmark the lens costs around 800$ which is about four times the price of the 1.8 lens, and 800$ for a prime lens is a little bit out of my price range at the moment. Besides, the sigma 24-70mm F2,8 DG Macro EX costs about the same. So i guess i'll go with the cheap one (1.8) and then save the money for a zoom or two later on. Actually, if you in Denmark wants to buy for example the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM or a similiar lens, it is cheaper to buy a plane ticket to New York and buy it there, than it is to buy it in Denmark :p
     

Share This Page