Printing a Portfolio

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by pm63, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

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    I would like to print a portfolio of my best work up to now, for a number of reasons. Partly because it's satisfying to print images and compile them as finished works of art, partly to look back on it it a few years' time, partly to show to people what I can do, and dare I say to show to prospective clients?

    Trouble is, I don't know how I should go about presenting it. I know I want about 10 images at least, in some sort of nice display book, printed A4 would be nice (no bigger due to viewing distance considerations). Room for an artists' statement would be good, as well as possibly titles and descriptions for each photo.

    How do I go about it? I thought of a soft-covered ringbinder style thing which will allow new photos to be inserted/relpaced, but this won't allow for writing and perhaps doesn't stand out enough. I have heard of prints being mounted to card stock but have no idea how this works. Do I print on the old Fuji Crystal Archive or get a proper lab to print on something nicer? Most of the images are 3:2 but what do I do about the cropped ones?

    I'll need to think of answers to all these questions, and be able to do it within a reasonable budget. Any help is much appreciated.
     
  2. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2008
  3. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The easy answer is to open an account at MPIX or similar, slap your chosen pictures in there in the manner that you want and have them ship it to you all nice and done.

    Anything from soft to hard cover and other ways... its usually the easiest.
     
  4. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Lab or at home is a very personal decision. I go for at home, but I have control issues. LOCAL labs are are a great alternative.

    I prefer window mounts with archival tape. If you have the money bring them to a frame shop. It is slightly pricey, but if you are any thing like me the thought of cutting 10 matte's properly is nothing short of a nightmare.

    Personally I feel that dry mounting is not archival. I go with a board to match my highlights. Black is good if you are displaying chromes. Never saw an advantage to grey.

    Love & Bass
     
  5. JC1220

    JC1220 TPF Noob!

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    If you are doing this to present to museums and gallaries, they should all be mounted on the same size board if the photographs are an 8x10 size or smaller, and over matted not to hide any of the photograph. Otherwise use another sizes for prints that are larger. Dry mounting on archival acid free board, ArtCare brand, is the most archival presentation manor of mounting photographs and is well documented for archival permanance. The choice of board color should be white or neutral as not to detract or add anything to the photographs, they should stand on their own and curators and galleries will be looking for that.

    The photographs should be easily removed from a presentation box or case for display and review by the viewer with nothing more than a signature under the photograph, titles and other documentation can go on the back of the mount board. If they want to know more about a photograph they will ask.

    Include a CV with your artist statement.

    Don't be shy in asking the people you show your work to how you can improve on your presentation.
     
  6. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

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    Very helpful, thank you. I'll probably go with the folder-type method he mentioned, i.e. unmounted, slip-in pages. It just seems more portable. Carrying around an entire box full of hardback boards is impractical for me.

    I'm not sure if we have anything along the lines of Mpix in the UK, I'll need to take a look. Sure there are online ordering services but they are usually geared towards point and shooters who need small prints of their holiday snaps.

    Lab or at home is a very personal decision. I go for at home, but I have control issues. LOCAL labs are are a great alternative.

    As mentioned, I'll probably end up not mounting them to anything hard back for practical reasons. Window and board mounts do sound good for display at home, though.

    I see mounting on boards seems to be very popular here. Would you say that, if I were to present it to galleries or potential clients, they should be mounted as opposed to being put in a flip-through folder? Is this the standard way about it, and will presentation suffer if I opt for the way I'm considering?

    Also, I'm curious as to why a CV should go in there with my artists' statement (for the record it contains absolutely nothing vaguely photographic).

    As to artists' statement and titles... what are the important of these?

    Thanks.
     
  7. JC1220

    JC1220 TPF Noob!

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    I suppose if you are looking for "hired" work it would be ok to put them in a "flip through book." I would still make them easily removed from that book as some people like to spread them out or just put a single photograph up to view. As with any interview, you want to put your best foot forward and presenting your photographs in the most postive way makes that first impression, outside of the photographs themselves.

    If you don't have a history of exhibiting your work or client list, then just a simple artist statement would be fine. To me the artist statement is not important, it is often done at the request of the gallerie, but at times it helps viewers with some insight as to the intention of the photographer or in general what the work is about. It need not be long or filled with art jargon, just a few sentences simple and to the point.

    Titles are important as the help break down barriers to viewing and/or intention of the photographer. I am happy to expand on this if you would like.

    JC
     
  8. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

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    Please do. I'm learning all this for the first time.
     
  9. JC1220

    JC1220 TPF Noob!

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    Titles break down barriers for the viewer, but should not limit that experience. Typically a title naming the objects in a photograph says that is all the photograph is about and the viewer is directed not to see anything more than that. The use of “untitled” gets in the way of a viewer’s experience of the work, they may wonder where the photograph was made stopping them from getting further involved. Simple and straight forward is the key with nothing to tell the viewer what to see or impact that experience, simply break down the small barriers.

    For example, titles reveal the intentions of the photographer. Had Walker Evans entitled his photograph of a church in Alabama, “Church in Nonesuch, Alabama,” vs. the actual title, “Alabama,” the later implies the photograph is more about a whole culture, not just the thing itself, and expands the viewers experience.

    All photographs that are works of art are about something more than what they are of. For the viewer, the art of seeing, or receiving, is a participation in the creative process no less essential and direct than the artist’s. Do not limit the experience with poorly chosen titles.
     
  10. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Nope, it won't matter much at all. The most important thing is that YOU feel comfortable and confident with whatever way you go with. If you have access to a family setting or a group of friends practice on them to see if the materials and method you choose works. Just tell them to ask you a bunch of question about the shots, techniques, intent, yourself, or make comments on them. You'll soon see what needs to be changed, added, or whatever. Titles, CV, all that stuff is all about what YOU feel the most comfortable with and confident about.

    I tell myself that one of the reasons I like individual boards is that they distinguish each photograph as an individual work instead of a bound collection, that they more easily displayed in various ways, and it looks more permanent and finished - thus reflecting those attributes about myself. But I could just as easily conceptualize such things about a notebook style.

    Also I'm not sure I would recommend changing your initial ideas based on advice and conceptualizations from others. Consider the options, choose YOUR style and go for it. ;)
     
  11. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies guys. I have a pretty good idea of what I want to go for, and I'll probably get round to it within the next few weeks :thumbsup:
     

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