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Does my documentary photography portfolio have potential?

Discussion in 'What Works For You & Post Your Website Forum' started by Riley Yuan, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. Riley Yuan

    Riley Yuan New Member

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    I've been practicing and studying the craft for the past three years and for the first time, I feel like I'm starting to put together a serious body of work that would be presentable to newspapers and photo editors. What does the the photo forum community think?

    I shoot a lot of small events and candid coverage from my daily life, and I know my next step is the photoessay—a real story. I think my skills are sharp enough and my editing is tight enough to put together something really compelling (honest feedback to the contrary is welcomed). Of course, I understand that the important part is to have sensitivity and vision and knowledge about actual issues in people's lives. I do have some ideas for the stories I'm interested in telling. But I'm curious to hear about how other photojournalists find their subjects. For instance, as I peruse the CPOY winners' work, I often find myself wondering how they obtained access to some of their subjects/stories and whether or not most of these young photographers start by photographing the subjects/stories they are close to—the ones that they have a personal connection with. Sometimes, this is very obviously the case. Other times, not so much.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2016
  2. Kevin Fox

    Kevin Fox Always on

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    In my opinion I would put together this real story you are thinking about first. In these days getting accepted by any newspaper, you would have to be doing something that stands out from the rest. You have a few good images, but some won't make it. Your portfolio should be the best of the best and less is more.
    You should have sub categories in the portfolio also like Sports, Street, portraits etc. Right now, it's all over the place.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016
  3. Riley Yuan

    Riley Yuan New Member

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    Thanks Kevin! Sound advice. I will keep thinking and researching and working on my story ideas.

    As for the categorization—my fear is that I don't have enough portfolio-worthy material to "fill" that many sub-categories (15-20 images is all, as you can see). Is it ever appropriate to have a "mixed-bag" section of singles, which may be entirely unrelated to each other?
     
    Kevin Fox likes this.
  4. Kevin Fox

    Kevin Fox Always on

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    I wouldn't want that. I'd rather have a handful of great images then a bunch of everyday snap shots. I would pick a couple genres and stick to them, get some good images, may be 8 for each category. It doesn't happen over night.
    When you open your portfolio, you get hit with a kid running into the woods. Not a great shot. There was a face shot of an older lady that was way better then that.
     
    Tee Witch likes this.

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