Copyright Scott Bourne 1996 - All Rights Reserved
1. Photograph something unique; something you’ve never photographed before.
2. Photograph something inspirational; something that makes you want to do better, be better or hope for better.
3. Photograph something that makes you smile; it will probably make someone else smile too.
4. Photograph something controversial; if it’s controversial, it will cause people to react.
5. Photograph something that gives a sense of belonging; people gravitate toward tribes.
6. Photograph something that tells a story; you’ve heard the phrase “A picture is worth 1000 words?”
7. Photograph something over and over and over; the more you get to know a subject, the better you’ll be at photographing it.
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A future senior :)
I got an email from an old student – well she is not old – but she studied with me a while ago. She now runs a successful portrait business and is getting ready to create a display of her work with high school seniors in her new studio.
She wanted me to help her pick the best three pictures for the wall. I think that would have been too easy. I think the answer should be something like this…
Given that all of her work is fantastic, which of the finalists for consideration represents the kind of work you WANT to be doing? That’s what I would show. You will sell what you show. If you put edgy, new look stuff on the wall – people who want that will book you. If you put more conventional, sweet, portraits on the wall, people who want that will book you. So which would you prefer? These are just two examples. It could apply to a myriad of styles and genres. The point is, you always, always, always sell what you show – so only show what you want to sell.
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Since purchasing my iPhone the day it launched, I’ve shown my portfolio to more people than I did the ten years before that date.
It’s amazing to me how much this has changed the way I show my work. In the old days, I’d spend literally hundreds of dollars (those are old days dollars mind you) on portfolios. Then I’d spend more money shipping the portfolio around. And more still keeping it up to date.
Now, most people see my portfolio on my iPhone. Of course, fewer big shot buyers see my portfolio this way, but the everyday exposure I get from showing images on my iPhone makes me as much money as I earn from the big shot buyers.
At the dentist a few weeks ago, I showed my portfolio via the iPhone to someone in the waiting room. Boom – “Cranes in the Fire Mist” sold.
I showed my portfolio via the iPhone to a man who just happened to own a new gallery in town. Boom – I have a show scheduled at his gallery.
Back when I did weddings, I would have made a killing if I could have kept my wedding samples on the iPhone. Every time I had a conversation with a potential client I could have immediately showed off my images.
Now the iPhone or iPod isn’t going to be the “be all – end all” portfolio. In many cases, it is just an excellent ice breaker. And that’s okay. Even if I have to eventually make a separate presentation on laptop, or send the buyer to the web, or even build an old-fashioned paper portfolio, the first contact via the iPhone makes it probable that I will have better success than if I had just started the old fashioned way.