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erik-almas-westin-hotels-resorts News & Insight

Are Print Portfolios Making a Comeback? A Chat With Commercial Photographer Erik Almas

By Ryan Filgas on July 3rd 2014

Presenting Work

How to present work is a huge topic on the mind of every photographer trying to get noticed by potential clients. While looking for paid internships last year, I came across an interview from the Bellingham Herald in Washington State. The interview was with Russ Kendall, a photo editor for the newspaper and an award-winning photojournalist. He said one thing that struck me to the point of taking notes.

Call me old fashioned, but I like to get an actual package from intern applicants that contains a portfolio, a resume with references and a cover letter. If all an applicant sends me is an email with a link to their website, I’m probably not going to be impressed by how hard they worked on their application.

This brings me to the point that material prints in general have a greater impact in a similar way to talking face to face. As Erik Almas sums up in this new video for SLR Lounge, we’ve been so saturated with social media that we long for something different, and showing a portfolio in person has proven incredibly valuable.

Another important thing to consider is putting together albums as a series of images. As Erik says in the video, his work speaks with different voices, and needs to be presented in different bodies of work. This goes along with finding your target audience, and showing potential clients work that’s directly concentrated on their needs.



An Image For Westin Hotels & Resorts

Erik Almas has found the inspiration of many, and his advice here is priceless in today’s world. It not only gives the lesson that sharing prints is a good way to get jobs, but that our reliance on social media and internet tools has caused us to lose touch with the real world to some extent. Anyone can send a link with a portfolio; you could send a hundred in a day, but does that send the message you think it does? I’d argue that it doesn’t. We get jobs by making an impression with the client, and there are more and more photographers out there doing the exact same thing. Do what you can to stand out.

A good way to separate yourself from a growing mass of photographers is the information in Erik’s DVD: Erik Almas | On Aspects of Image Making. In addition to step by step walkthroughs of his imagery, he provides valuable professional insight to get your work noticed and progress as a photographer. You can find the DVD in our store here.

Thanks for reading! If you have any valuable insights, or just want to have a discussion, feel free to comment below.


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Ryan Filgas is an aspiring portrait photographer and studio arts major at Humboldt State University. His life consists of talking with friends, taking classes, and planning his next outdoor adventure. You can find his work on his website, Facebook, Google+, or connect with him via email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Rafael Steffen

    I am so happy to be able to view this type of printed stuff that makes photography so beautiful.

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  2. Dick Raymond

    It’s always nice to see someone near me interviewed like this! Erik is in a town only 35 miles from me!
    He does make a Strong and Valid point about the portfolio. It shows the prospective Employer that you have the will to work hard and the skills to do the job you are being considered for!

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  3. Rebecca Beatty

    Physical portfolios vs “check out my webpage” is always going to be better then just a simple link. Great article!

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  4. Servando Miramontes

    Its so much better to hold an image…. SO, much better…. And clients can even feel the photo paper quality or qualities if you are a photog that provides prints… Its just so much better…

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  5. Tyler Friesen

    His work is always amazing!

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    nice work am sure you got very good prints on them

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  8. Kristoffer Sandven

    Beautiful portfolios! This also shows that what you are doing is actually possible to use for print, in terms of quality in detail, color and resolution.

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  9. Steven Pellegrino

    I used to work in online marketing and time after time clients would think that online marketing, of any type, was the magic bullet to success. Online marketing, whether it is SEO or social media is just one tool in your tool box and to rely on it exclusively means you’re excluding other opportunities for business. Excellent article and his portfolios are amazing!

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  10. Ralph Hightower

    I think Erik has the right approach. I work in the technology industry and being bombarded with information via the web, email, and social media is Information Overload.

    Taking the time to make prints and put them in a binder demonstrates dedication. Plus, it provides a consistent view without having to worry about whether the person looking at the portfolio digitally has their monitor calibrated or not.

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