Are Print Portfolios Making a Comeback? A Chat With Commercial Photographer Erik Almas
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.
[REWIND: WHAT’S IN A COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHER’S BAG? FIND OUT FROM ERIK ALMAS]
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.