Northern Virginia Photographic Society
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Education & Training
NVPS Portfolio Project - The Ultimate How-To (Updated)
I've gotten several emails from participants indicating that they need help with this project. I had promised to post several portfolio development How-To articles to the club's website. However, unless someone requests otherwise, instead of that, I am providing you this link to an article that says and covers it all. Read it, understand it, follow it - and your portfolio will be all that you want it to be.
In addition to the thematic and image quality guidelines discussed by the author, also consider the following -
  • Images also should be consistent in their style. A clear example of this is that mixing B&W with color images usually is not the way to go. Other stylistic variations may cause problems as well - such as mixing selective focus with sharp throughout images. 
  • Think about the variation in scale among your images. By this I mean the mixture of wide angle, macro, and something in between these two. Do you want all images to be the same scale? I don't know - it depends on lots of factors. All images of the same scale in a linear display like a slideshow risks being boring. I do know that if you have 12 images that work together in terms of theme and quality but 11 are wide angles and just one is a macro you want to reconsider the macro. Including the full range of scales might be a great idea but it needs to be done with some balance among the proportion of images at each scale and provide some continuity over the range of scales - not just 50% grand landscapes and 50% macros with nothing in between. 
Also, note what the article says about the importance of a second opinion. Being self-critical in your editing may be your most difficult challenge. That is why the NVPS project has two major critique sessions and an on-line critique gallery. This is the single most important resource available to you. Take advantage of these opportunities. We're still waiting for the first set of images to upload to the on-line gallery. Two months after the start of the project, with no age limit on images, surely there are early image selections to be shown. Nag, nag.
Questions? Ask and I will get you an answer. Comments & suggestions? Send them along and they will be considered and you will get a reply. Otherwise, this will be it for a month or so. Time to leave you alone so that you can get on with your portfolio.
Good shooting,
Ed Knepley
NVPS Portfolio Project Coordinator

P.S. Here's another very good article which is similar but yet offers a slightly different perspective.

Yet another resource to consider in making your portfolio development journey as successful as possible.
William Neil, an Outdoor Photographer magazine columnist, author and well known nature photographer, teaches a portfolio development course at BetterPhoto.com. BetterPhoto.com is possibly the internet's premiere site for online photography courses. His next portfolio course (8 week duration) begins on January 7th 2009. The timing would be ideal in terms of guiding you through your NVPS portfolio project. You can find out more about William and this course at -
I might note that William is the author of an essay that I posted at the club's website recently - a link to the "Ultimate Portfolio How-To" (my title, not William's; he's more modest). For those who missed it, here's that link again -
Ed Knepley
NVPS Portfolio Project Coordinator
(I have no business or other relationship with any of the parties mentioned; just forwarding information in my role as project coordinator.)

Also please see the guidelines to the Portfolio Project at this link: http://nvps.org/main/meetings/workshops/nvps_2008_2009_photo_portfolio/

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