“And now…. you are live!” Ever feel like your in-person portfolio presentation is a bit like being a contestant on American Idol?
When you are “performing” in a face-to-face portfolio review event, make note of these easy-to-do yet very important portfolio review tips. They will greatly improve your chances of having a successful review session– which, in turn, will improve your odds of landing that dream photo project.
Prepare. Do your research. Read and respect any of the reviewer’s listed preferences. Also, Googling the reviewer (or their company) will provide clues about what the reviewer’s needs are. When seeing multiple people in a day, have more than one presentation (or an easy-to-edit one) so each presentation can be tailored to showcase your most relevant work to each reviewer.
Start strong. Open with your strongest and most relevant image. Close with the second strongest. Remember, some people start from the back when they flip through a printed portfolio. The middle should flow well and reinforce your main vision.
Connect. See the reviewer beyond their role as the keeper-of-the-assignment-purchase-order. Make eye contact. Give a good hand shake. Relax. Breathe.Be interested in them. If you’re a bit nervous, be honest. It’s ok to be real. People relate more to honesty than bravado.
Let them drive. How fast they flip through the book is NOT an indicator of interest or disinterest in the work. Remember, the reviewer has probably seen thousands of portfolios. Thousands.
Absorb deeply. If a reviewer makes a suggestion, consider it seriously. If more than one reviewer says the same thing, DO IT!!
Follow up. If you’re getting the vibe they really like your work, then ask them how often they like to be contacted and in what format. Digital? Or paper? Some have no preference. Before you leave the event, record their preference in your contacts database and then do what they say.
Reviewers like talented photographers who do their homework, are relevant, connect, and try to understand the reviewer’s needs. Reviewers actually like referring photographers with those qualities to their colleagues. They won’t, if you don’t.
Remember, the time you spend together, once it’s over, is gone forever and neither of you can ever get those minutes back. Spend your minutes wisely and remember to thank them for their time investment in you.