Lee Grant – Photography Blog

Portfolio Review

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I think there’s something to be said about perseverance and really believing in your work, as corny as this may sound. Putting yourself out there can also reap benefits and the chance encounters one has with other people in the photographic world can lead to fruitful and assuring relationships. Plus it’s just excellent to be around like-minded people who simply love the medium. Let’s face it, photography as a medium is amazing…. it still never ceases to amaze me, despite all the technological advances in the world, a pinhole image can still give me shivers up my spine. It’s an inherently magical quality… Even digital work can be jaw-dropping but for me it’s photography’s simplicity, that light can be captured in a millisecond and frozen onto a page (or screen) and a moment and emotion created still inspires me no end. I guess I’m easy to please…

Anyway, I suppose the point of this thought begins with the rather fruitful day I had yesterday in Sydney. A quick day trip to the Australian Centre for Photography (aka ACP) for a portfolio review. I made a submisson for this a few weeks back with some images from my Belco Pride series and was fortunately selected for the review (the first time the ACP is running these I understand). It was a good opportunity and carpe dieum I did! On the panel was the ACP’s director, Alasdair Foster, photojournalist Lisa Hogben and Marco Bok a teacher at the Centre. There were six of us and we were allocated 15 minutes with each panelist. It was an interesting process and I have to admit I was a little nervous. We were intially asked to bring 20 images from the same body of work that was submitted. Which I did, but just in case I brought another portfolio with my portraits – which interestingly was asked to be seen by all the panelists. Phew, glad I took it!

In the end, the entire process was good. Definitely worth it (and worth the stress of navigating Sydney’s one way streets!). Alasdair has asked me to send him a disc of my work which I think is a good thing – and definitely reassuring. The atmosphere was one of support and encouragement which was a relief because from what I hear this stands in contrast to some of the folio reviews held in America where things – I’ve been told – are fast and furious. I’m not sure if I’d deal with that really?? Especially when you consider that you pour your heart and soul into your work, being told it sucks would be crushing…. no matter how tough you are. Even though it’s just one person’s opinion – and really this whole thing is subjective – it would still pinch a little.

Ultimately the best thing I walked away with was assurance. That my own intuition is on track – even though I can doubt this on occasion – and to simply persevere. Perhaps the other feedback that got me to thinking was, which direction I want to take my work. This was funnily enough, somewhat confronting because my answers came out as what I don’t want to do, as opposed to what I’d like to do. Not necessarily a bad thing but perhaps this might make for a rockier road? We’ll see I guess….

Anyway, it’s all good. Here’s a recent image to brighten up your day!


Ken, Champion Bodybuilder

Written by Lee Grant

November 13, 2008 at 9:11 am

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