Choosing Images for an online Portfolio

The dilemma – what to choose? How to represent your work whilst you are still a student? How to pick images you wouldnt want to cringe at when you see your own work in two years? Yeesh, I do that at pictures I’ve taken a month ago.

To keep things coherent, I’m going to have to choose images which fit together visually and thematically. Easy, right? Wrong.

I might group my images into Fashion Folio 1, 2, and a specific Beauty category. The beauty category is going to sit empty for a while, until I can take some really strong, well lit beauty shots in the studio which may well be part of my major study project this year.

I have a few images I can use for the fashion folios, and hopefully will have a much stronger folio by the end of the year after completing my major study and fashion assignments.

Fashion Folio 1 will be fun, bright, and eccentric:

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Adele Cochrane PhotographySarah Jerk Styling-398Adele Cochrane Photography


Adele Cochrane PhotographyPortrait Assignment_0164 as Smart Object-1 Adele Cochrane PhotographyFashion Folio 2 will be dark, sombre and minimal.

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The Five Year Plan

I want to be a serious emerging Melbourne fashion photographer within the next 5-6 years. I want to be photographing for magazines like:

to begin with.

As an overall career ambition I want to work for publications like

I chose these publications for their avant garde, intelligent approach to fashion and art. They do not have a strong commercial focus. Rather they conduct themselves as cultural resources. I like this respectful approach to fashion as an art form, not a mass-production driven industry.

So… how do I get there?

I have a preliminary plan. Past that, I don’t know how to progress simply because I lack the industry knowledge and experience. I don’t know how a good photographer becomes an industry leader, an artist in their own right. This is something I will have to learn through living and breathing it. 

It also means I will have to master my craft until I am so technically excellent that I can’t be ignored.

The plan so far:

  1. Complete my Diploma of Photoimaging with a strong fashion//beauty/art folio. (In Progress)
  2. Get my foot in the door with an assisting position with a relevant local photographer.
  3. Build this relationship and meet other industry professionals that I can go on to work with and for.
  4. Impress the hell out of them with my hard work, perseverance, ambition and innovation.
  5. Save enough to buy my own lighting equipment and professional photography kit.
  6. Get to the stage where I am doing at least one test shoot for a leading Melbourne agency per week. Examples: Vivien’s Creative, Chadwick’s Models, Next Models
  7. Submit shoots to the first batch of magazines mentioned and keep submitting until I get one published.

And then… and then who knows? That is what I need to find out. I think as I progress through the first 7 steps, the next few will be revealed to me.

Steps one and two are in progress… and I will be updating as time goes on and I tick more stages off the list!

 

Visual Diary

As a component of developing my branding and website, I compiled a visual diary with InDesign.

This illustrates:

  • Who I am, and what I want to achieve in the photographic and communications industries
  • Graphic design components that I like
  • Mood boards
  • Ideas about my target audience
  • How I might lay out a prototypical website (not necessarily my final design, but something rough)

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Research! My Favourite Photographer Portfolio Websites

I am a photography student bereft of a website. People are always asking me for business cards (which I do not yet have) that would point to a website (which I also do not have!). I do have a photography tumblr, with some work on it, but it’s not entirely professional. If there’s one thing I  learned from all the successful business people I have come across, it’s the mantra: Presentation Is Everything.

On my quest to design the brand identity that will reflect my own creativity, I present to you: Market Research 101! Here is my collection of the prettiest, simplest, cleanest and most personal online portfolios.

The creative people that I admire and follow tend toward minimalism, and simplicity. Yet there seems to be an element of playfulness. There is usually also a bent towards the handmade, and the natural. These elements are reflected through choice of fonts, colours, placement and negative space.

I really want to avoid anything that is over-designed! Simplicity is sophistication – and ease of use is king.

Australian Photographers

Brooke Holm

Brooke’s style is muted and soft. The grid style helps to show a range of her works unified by her aesthetic.

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The hover feature on the pictures and the navigation allow the site to be interactive and responsive whilst keeping it simple.

Her about page is simple and elegant.

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Henryk Lobaczewski

This one is a super clean, contemporary portfolio that resonates with me on a number of levels. I love the bold, clean design and typography. The image is the focus; the landing page has a big image with text overlaid in the corner. This then transitions to a slideshow of his different works, so you immediately get to see the photographer’s scope and arsenal of styles. The range of images do not compete with each other, but rather show strength over different areas.

As a nice touch, he has a page displaying his studio in Sydney. As a client, I’d be confident hiring him to execute my concept. Being able to see his space presented beautifully is another huge plus in the client’s eyes.

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Christopher Morris

A bold, clean and playful splash screen creates a strong initial impression. One click brings you to his portfolio, displayed one or two images at a time.

A smaller filmstrip feature underneath the featured image only appears on mouseover. The gallery is elegant. It avoids the annoying side scrolling feature I’ve come across on many portfolio websites.

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International Photographers

Adam Von Mack

I’m a fan of the fullscreen with little square frames for the navigation links! The portrait gallery is beautifully presented. Just a little peek of the head, all identically positioned. This site takes full advantage of screen real estate. Restrained colours and beautiful skintones shine in the simple layout.

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Tess Feuilhade

This website looks quite fresh and contemporary from a design perspective, perhaps a little younger in appeal. I like her use of typography and photography together. I like the way she has structured her galleries, too. The main image is at the top of the page, and when you scroll down a grid-style gallery appears. The interactive changing image opacities give it a nice light feel.

I like her use of solid icons as arrow and social media buttons. I’d like to do something quite similar to her overall feel and asethetic.

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Elizaveta Porodina

Stunning, high impact photography highlighted by a minimal folio.

I’d prefer a stricter grid for the portfolio view, but otherwise very nice in all aspects!

She made her folio at foliodrop, which is an option I will definitely investigate for my own portfolio!

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