Building a Better Portfolio - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Blog: A Photographer's View

Building a Better Portfolio - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Blog: A Photographer's View

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Building a Better Portfolio

I recently posted a classified ad in The Press searching for a freelance photographer in Southern Ocean County. The ad asks applicants to send a cd of their best work for consideration. What I received was a wide array of photographs, some good, some not so much. I looked at lots of landscapes, lots of flowers, work that was overly manipulated in Photoshop, photos of building, animals, weddings, and a few candid people pictures. And as I was looking over the portfolios it occurred to me that many photographers, or aspiring photographers, could use some help when sending their work, their portfolio, for the purpose of getting a job. Here are some tips when you’re submitting your photographs for professional consideration. - Consider the job and the audience when assembling your portfolio. If you look through The Press you will rarely see a landscape or photos of flowers, never an image that was manipulated in Photoshop, and I can’t recall the last time we published staff-produced wedding photos. Newspapers are about people, people interacting, people showing emotion, people that tell stories. I look at the photo selection for a portfolio as an indicator of your editing skills. Obviously, if you were sending your portfolio for wedding work you would load yourself up on those types of images, likewise for an architectural or nature magazine - Include only your best work. Images should be cropped, toned and, above all, in focus. You may think you captured a cool moment. But if it’s out of focus, delete it. - Limit the amount of images. My rule of thumb is 20 photos. That’s enough to show a variety of image types (portraits, sports, feature photos and news images). Too many and you start repeating yourself and including weaker images. - Finally, one thing that’s just annoying to me. Images should be sized so they open quickly and can be viewed well on a computer screen. Sending photos with file sizes that are 40, 50, 80M will only cause frustration for the person waiting for the images to fully load. Or in my case, I move on. Here's some photos I include in my portfolio that are of general interest.

Images

Vernon Ogrodnek
  • Vernon Ogrodnek
  • Photographer
    The Press of Atlantic City
  • E-mail: vogrodnek@pressofac.com
  • Phone: 609-272-7222
  • Vernon Ogrodnek is the photography and multimedia editor at The Press of Atlantic City. He has been a staff photojournalist for more than 35 years, the last 25 years at The Press. The National Press Photographer’s Association, the New Jersey Press Association and other organizations have recognized him for his work. He was selected New Jersey Photographer of the Year two times. Over the last few years, multimedia has also been a focus including video, audio, audio slideshows, and 360-degree imagery. His approach to photography can be summed up in the words of Ansel Adams: “ You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”

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