Portfolio Development.

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

Consider the following three statements:

To have a strong, vibrant practice that can sustain an income we must develop a clear vision and identity as image makers, one that will help guide our decision making.

To be successful commercial visual artists we have to be entrepreneurs as well.

Visual businesses utilise both a vision statement and a mission statement in order to guide them down the path of success and creative forfillment.

Consider this as well...

You live and die by the Sword!

What does that actually mean to us commercial image-makers?

Well it means this…

As commercial visual artists who produce a tangible end product, we WILL be judged by what we present and produce in many ways. Be prepared - your going to need to be strong.

Now take time to think about the following...

Define your current practice in pictures and words


By writing a 500 word mission statement. ( this will help form the foundation of your 'about me' section on your web site)

And… Selecting 8-10 of your own images that reflect your vision. (this will form the foundation of your portfolio / web site).

The Outcome

Publish your mission statement and selection of images to a web page or blog - engage with photometer and discuss (this is the Learning Outcome but by also engaging with photometer you will start to consider your presentation – this aligns with your business development & presentation skills).

Why consider presenation?

Because: In a professional working context we are often required to justify our creative choices and decisions to clients and colleagues - A mentor will help you to qualify and explore your creative decisions even at this early stage.

Your ability to communicate and articulate your vision and engage in persuasive discussion can positively influence your career. It equates to having the conviction of your ideas or at least helps you to further develop and identify those ideas that will start to drive you career.

This is an opportunity to practice image justification & presentation.

What next?

Look into web development - both parts of the brief above have significance for your web site development. Content = Obviously! & Creative direction = perhaps not so obvious at this early stage?

Start looking at potential platforms for your professional practice web site like:

You can use Instagram to start with but as your practice develops you will be photographically limited by the presentation format that Instagram offers. Essentially Instagram is a signpost for professional image-makers directing them to a web site proper.

Some head food for thought and to get you going...

Below are links to a few photographers web sites,

Think about the following questions when viewing these sites:

Are the photographer’s visual intentions clear? WHAT are those intentions?

How do I feel about this visual artists work? What does it make me think about them?

Does their work engage me? WHY? (Consider your engagement with their web site and the fluency and functionality of the web site - is their a rhythm to it?)

Top Tips:

Absolutely do your own research. My links to photographers web sites are only a guide to get you started. Particularly search out image-makers with similar sympathies to you and that inspire you.

For your selection... Do not just use any of your images just because they are the easy option.

Now is the time to discover what kind of image-maker you strive to be.

If after writing your mission statement you decide that some of your current collection does not reflect your photographic mission & vision then make a plan to shoot images that do.

Shoot some immediately or as soon as you can as this will set you off in the right direction on a journey that has creative integrity and supports your creative ambitions.

Reflect, reflect, reflect… Utilise a Critical Reflective Journal - Make Cornell style notes. - Start a blog or a journal of some sort probably electronic so you can incorporate links. This a place to store your creative journey and influences. Your going to be busy of the coming months developing your visual and technical expertise you need some where to bank all this useful and influencing research. Trust me you will look back over it and extract new directions from this formative reflection.

And remember... What you think tomorrow is more likely to be a better solution than your impulsive reaction today.

And most importantly: As a creative this is one of the most important relationships you will ever have in you life: THE ONE WITH YOUR WORK. It will last your life time… Invest in it, and enjoy it. Be proud of what you are capable of producing.

LINKS For inspiration:

And here is a link to a short inspirational film that defines MISSION & VISION:

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