I have returned from the Palm Springs Photo Festival, an annual event held in Palm Spring, California each spring. Earlier this year I completed a seminar on “Fine Art Photography” taught by Bob Killen through the Calumet University. During the seminar we learned about what Fine Art Photography is and what we need to do to start producing work that could be considered Art. This was an exciting new direction to take my photographic endeavors.
During the seminar we needed to choose a theme to work on and produce some work that would be good enough to be show worthy. After the finish of the seminar, our work would be displayed in a show hosted at the Calumet store in Santa Ana. The show for our seminar opened Friday, April 26, and was well attended and received excellent reviews. It was a great way for the attendees to launch their new path in Photography. As we were finishing our seminar and preparing our work for the show, the discussions we were having was were do we go next.
Bob talked about how we need to get our work out in front the people that will be able to assist us with our work. Bob mentioned a few photography shows that provide portfolio reviews and recommended that we should try to attend on of the show and have our portfolios reviewed. This sounded great, but we may have produced 6-8 images during the seminar, not the 15-20 that would be needed for a portfolio. One of the shows that Bob mentioned was the Palm Springs Photo Festival that would be at the end of April. Could I enlarge my portfolio to enough images to have my portfolio large enough for a review?
I decided to throw caution to the wind and made a commitment to go to the PS Film Fest and have my portfolio reviewed. This would also force me to continue to work on my theme and continue to expand my portfolio. With just over 3 months to the festival, I definitely have to stay focused. During this time, I would also be finalizing my images for our show and on top of that, my wife and I had a 3-week vacation planned to Europe. The festival would be less than 3 weeks after we returned from Europe.
At times I was worried that I wouldn’t be ready in time for the festival. It even worked out that I got a couple of images for my portfolio while we were in Europe. In the couple of weeks between my return and the festival, I got all my images printed and my portfolio assembled and was read for the portfolio review. Even though I had many fears about my work and what would take place at the review, what could I lose? I looked at it as a learning experience, whether my work was loved or hated, I should receive a lot of valuable data.
So, how was the portfolio reviews? They were great. I received a lot of very good information about my work what I may want to do with it. I received data on my presentation and some changes that I may want to incorporate in the future. I had five reviews and all the reviewers were very positive about my work, which help remove the initial fear of possible rejection. If my work was not the type of work the reviewer would use, they understood my work and provided references to many who could use it. All the reviewers provide great information on whom I should consider contacting and how I should make contact.
All the reviewers were so helpful in providing with information and contacts so that I can expand the exposure to my work. The reviewers were professionals I the Art Business. I had 5 reviewers and I chose two consultants and three Gallery Owners/Curators. I was looking for information on my portfolio and how to present it, received excellent information, and am definitely going to make some changes to the portfolio. I was also looking for information on how to move forward with my art and where it might fit.
Here are the reviewers that I had chosen to have review my portfolio.
- Susan Baraz – Creative photography consultant
- Louisa Curtis – Creative photography consultant in New York City
- Crista Dix – Director of the Wall Space Gallery of Seattle and Santa Barbara.
- David Fahey – Director of the Fahey Klein Gallery in Los Angeles
- Dana Salvo – Owner of Clark Gallery
They all were extremely professional and were willing to provide the information that I needed with my experience level. I would definitely recommend these reviewers to other photographers that are looking to expand the way they expand their horizons.
Would I go to the Palm Springs Photo Festival and have portfolio reviews? Yes, I planning now to return next year for portfolio reviews next year as I’m sure I will need more help next year after my growth this year. I’m also planning on participating in a few of the seminars and workshops next year. I just didn’t have the time to investigate and plan for ant seminars this year.
I’m hoping that I will see some of you there next year.