This blog is a continuation of my Photolucida Portfolio Review trip. For part one, please visit here!
The feedback to that amalgamation depened on the reviewer’s background; book and gallery people felt that, despite being all portraits of single models, they were all from separate series that should be all the “one” style (which they are on my website), whereas the photo critics or magazine types seemed to more easily digest the approach. I don’t make it easy on myself since I use multiple types of image capture, varying alternative processes and feel weird about talking about the work.
Rather than go into every reviewer’s commentary, I’ll briefly mentioned a few bits of feedback.
Brooks Jensen, publisher of Lenswork and one of my favorite podcasters, let me know “Sketches” as a series title is as ineffective as “C-41” would be of a color film body of work because it’s too descriptive of the process and not the content of the work. I made a mental note to alter the series on my site titled “Instax”. As Brooks has a perspective of presenting work in a unique fashion, we discussed formatting it as a genuinely 1940s lost magazine with text. I mentioned collaborating with a writer, and he proposed as an alternative I “rise to the occasion”. Further commentary was that he had seen that process before, but never as good as I had done it- the kind of compliment I’m going to take to my grave. I promised to send him the completed project.
Amy Wolff, a photo editor at PDN, started our conversation with “can I say, it’s a pleasure to be surprised at a review” after seeing my first few images, had a lot of engaging questions about the freelance model process.
Julie Grahame, who runs the Accurator website, was pretty critical of my portfolio box size and print sleeves (which got ditched immediately). After a pretty serious 15 minutes she sorted me out how presentation should go at an event like this, which is what I needed to hear, then was highly complimentary of the images themselves.
Myles Haslehorst of Ampersand Gallery pointed me in the direction of a San Francisco gallery that has an anti-art, street, “Juxtapoz” type aesthetic which is where I think my work truly belongs. He chose the bodypainted work I did with my friends Jamie Graden and Lacheln as his favorites, and suggested working with a printmaking artist which I happen to have done recently.
I had interest from galleries in Philedelphia and NYC about showing work, and a photoblog of a magazine with huge readership amongst photographers, none of which I want to jinx so I’ll just leave it at that.
One reviewer, Blue Mitchell of 112 Publishing, actually bought a “Sketches” print off of me during the review which I found immensely gratifying.
There’s certainly more to the review experience than I mentioned here, but it’s a taste of how these things can build you up- and in some cases, tear you down, often deservedly. Out of around 20 reviewers, it’s fascinating to see the conflicting perceptions of one’s work, but that’s the pleasure of being able to choose one’s informed critics. If you enjoy any of this work I encourage you to like it and share it! For more photoworks goodness peruse my Etsy shop, follow on tumblr and twitter and instagram, and rummage around on my full site.