My son has been invited to an interview at Cambridge Uni, and they have requested that he brings along his portfolio with the subject that he's interested in.
If you can advise on the following Q's, would be most grateful.
1. How many images should be in the portfolio.
2. Although asked for the subject he's most interested in, should he diversify the content?
3. How should the images be presented.e.g. type of folder etc
and any other useful suggestions you may have.
Thanks for your time.
Is this a dedicated photography course?
During my time in the photography division here at Future Publishing, I've interviewed lots of photographers looking for jobs. The quality of presentation and content has varied wildly. Here's what I'd say...
1. How many images? Perhaps someone who's been through a successful uni portfolio review would be better placed to answer this – I think 20 shots can be about right for a job interview. All I'd say is don't be tempted to pad out a portfolio just to hit an arbitrary figure. It just takes two or three weaker shots to bring down the rest.
2. I would stick with the brief. If your son's been asked to showcase the subject he's interested in, that's what he should do. It frustrates me when people have gone off-brief when applying for jobs. Of course, there's room to be creative with this – perhaps showing a particular type of photography he's interested in, rather than a particular subject? Another possibility is to stick with the main subject for the bulk of the portfolio, but use a handful of shots at the end, each showing a very different style/subject, to illustrate flexibilty and diversity.
3. Again, there's probably someone out there with uni experience who can advise here. However, the portfolios I've been impressed by when it comes to job interviews have generally been the classic A4/A3 binder type, with a single picture mounted on the right hand-side of each spread (or images facing each other where there are obvious themes). Use enough white/black space around the photograph to suit the subject matter. You need to make sure the printing is spot-on – as an interviewer, I'd be prepared to make allowances for colour shifts if the subject matter of the shot was compelling enough, but only for a couple of shots. Are laptop presentations perhaps an option as well? At least that way you can keep costs down and you shouldn't have any colour calibration issues – images can look much more vibrant when backlit on a computer screen as well. A few colour proofs to leave with the interviewing panel is also a good idea.
I'm sure I'll have some more suggestions later...
Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts on the Q's i asked, it's really appreciated.
It is a dedicated photography course that he is going for, so i will pass your comments on to him.
I suggested to him 25 images in A4, so at least i was along the right lines there.
As for the other areas you highlighted, that's a decision he'll have to make, ha ha that will be a laugh, getting him to make a decision!!
Again thanks for your feedback.
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