Photographic Portfolio Reviews
I just finished presenting my work at the New England Portfolio Reviews, sponsored by the Photographic Resource Center of Boston and the Griffin Museum. This was my first time presenting my work beyond friends and family and my first portfolio review. Needless to say, I was feeling a bit nervous (ok, a lot nervous!). The experience was intense, but overwhelmingly positive. I saw four reviewers, all of whom were either curators or gallery owners; several were also artists in their own right. I presented work from my series on reflected images and it was well received. One of the most useful insights validated something I had suspected, but was not entirely sure of. My portfolio has three visual themes that do not quite work together, but could each form the nucleus of a new individual body of work. That has given me inspiration and ideas to expand those series further into more mature bodies of work. I’ll write more about what images will be the beginnings of those series in later posts Some of the other suggestions were around printing techniques to enhance the surface feel of the metal mirrors in the work. That is something I had never thought of and will have to try via some experiments. This is going to be a fun summer!
One of the best things about the New England Portfolio Review was the atmosphere. Photographers openly and enthusiastically shared work, stories and resources with each other. It was truly inspiring to see the results of so many creative minds! I only wish that I had managed to see more at the open portfolio walk when multiple photographers had work on display.
The reviewers were wonderful as well! They all seemed to bring a genuine desire to help the photographers and artists progress their work and careers. Even when their comments were critical, they were extremely informative. The reviewers I had took the time to explain why they did not like a particular piece or why an aspect of an image did not work for them. All of the criticism was offered in a very congenial and respectful manner and I personally found it to be an experience that strengthened my work and bolstered my confidence. Finally, one of the most valuable things for me was to hear someone discuss my work with an artists vocabulary. Talking about art is something I have little experience at, especially my own. I talk like an analytical scientist-often blunt and to the point. So listening to someone speak about one of my pictures using descriptive imagery was an eye opener! The language made perfect sense, but I would not have come to it alone. I need more practice in “conversational artist” speak!
Photographic Resource Center: http://www.bu.edu/prc/
Griffin Museum: http://www.griffinmuseum.org/