Early this Tuesday night I braved the hurricane winds and torrential rains to attend the International Center For Photography’s Open House to look into some classes and have my portfolio reviewed. As I sat nervously with the soft spoken elderly gentleman, he critiqued my work. Noting that my lighting was impressive and that certain areas could use improvement. He suggested some techniques and approved me for some classes.
As I stood up to leave I thanked him, shook his hand and handed him one my business cards. That’s when things got really interesting, animated and a hell of a lot more exciting. The soft spoken gentlemen I had been conversing with for the last thirty minutes arched his back and exhaled “What is this here?” as he pulled his glasses forward for closer investigation. In a cool voice often reserved for Jazz cools you see in old movies, he remarked “Now this is what your portfolio should be based around.” “This is what I like to see.” I had gone to such lengths and examination of fashion and glamour to create a portfolio I felt best represented fashion and what I was seeing in magazines. I may have gotten away from making a portfolio that best represents me as a photographer.
Though I was already more than happy with his critique of my portfolio. (Yes, I was actually very happy to have a professional critique my work and perhaps, take me down a few notches.) But if I would compare the differences in his reaction with a music reference. It was like going from listening to Miles Davis recording to getting a chance to sit in on one of his recording sessions. I showed him my other business cards, all of which have different images and he picked out what he strongly felt were the best. Then he took the paper that included the class level he pre-approved me for crossed it out to qualify me for more advanced courses. From there I went to the office and registered for “The Art of Fashion Portraiture” which is a hands on course starting in December. I’m really looking forward to the class and getting my work out there again.