It’s Important to Think About These Things
Posted on July 31st, 2013
One of the most difficult things for most photographers to do is to edit and sequence their own work. While you may love a particular image, it is often not the photo itself you love, but the emotions and experience associated with it. You are too close to your own work. And sometimes you’ve just been shooting so much that you’ve lost perspective on the work itself.
That’s why photographers are well served by having someone unconnected to them look at their work. By that I don’t mean friends and family, and sometimes not even another photographer. If you can find an impartial person who has a love for photography or who works with photography you will get insights galore!
Investing in your career does not just mean buying camera and lenses.
For me, the thought behind re-sequencing photographers images is that it can make a photographer see their own work in a different light, and hopefully re-energize them about their own photography. As for as why one image goes before another, well that is impossible to explain since for each photographer it will be different.
It is always important to keep your clients and potential clients in mind when organizing the work on your website or in your portfolio. You have to ask yourself: Who am I as a photographer? and whom am I trying to reach? You should know as much as you can about the people you are trying to show your work to so that your website/portfolio can offer the potential client exactly what they need.
It amazes me that photographers who want to work in editorial don’t even look at the magazines they want assignments from. They don’t follow the magazines over a period of time to see who shoots for them, what kind of work they run, or whether they can offer anything new to the magazine. Just because you take great photos doesn’t mean you can work for a particular magazine. If your website/portfolio doesn’t reflect the kind of work they use, why would they hire you?
And if it’s a matter of being a generalist, well, magazines are looking for specific kinds of work from photographers who shoot with a distinctive style and point of view. You have to be honest with yourself. Do I have something different to offer them? Just seeing work that is similar to what you do isn’t enough. If they already have that, why would they think to hire you?
You don’t just take photos for yourself (well not if you want to make a living as a photographer); you take them for a potential audience. So it’s important to always be thinking about where you fit into the world of photography. Do you have a unique eye, a different way of shooting things we’ve seen many times before? It’s not a question of just taking good photos, it’s knowing you can do it repeatedly, and meet deadlines; work with other creatives, and handle the business of being a photographer. Because don’t be mistaken, it is a business.