The word portfolio originates from the Latin, folium meaning “a leaf or a page”. This was the origin of the photographic portfolio; in printed form rather than a digital display. Today there has been a movement toward sharing our images digitally—via social media and websites—and digital portfolios have become the primary format used by most photographers.
Although digital portfolios provide an effective means to reach larger audiences, the way audiences consume and interact with images online is often hurried due to the thousands of digital images we’re exposed to daily. Digital consumption changes the way viewers interact with photographs; not spending enough time properly appreciating a photograph. When you showcase your work in a printed form— as a portfolio collection—viewers will take more time to engage with the crafted beauty and detail of each photograph.
A refined portfolio is one of the hardest things to develop. We cannot do it alone, and even the most experienced photographers need help from mentors to refine their work.
Creating a refined portfolio of work that reflects you as a photographer can be a challenge, especially if it’s something you haven’t attempted before. A portfolio can be a collection of our best work, or it can depict elements of a style; with a consistent approach to building a collection of work that embodies personal expression. Considering how your photographs tell a story or evoke emotions is a key part of building a theme and weaving your expressive intent into a polished portfolio that has an impact.
Developing your processing skills is an important part of the process of creating a final portfolio. Learning how to use editing tools with intent to enhance your personal expression is key to the success of building a solid portfolio that conveys your style and vision as a cohesive body of work. A portfolio’s ultimate goal is to reflect a photographer’s style and vision, and the way we process our work will characterise your final expressions. While many see processing as a way to make a photograph “better” it can be approached in a way to bring consistency to a collection of work.
Portfolio box sets offer the ultimate tangible, viewing, experience when sharing our work with friends and family, or even potential buyers and gallery creators.
Throughout history in landscape & nature photography, printed portfolios were the ultimate expression of many of the great photographers. They were used extensively by the likes of Ansel Adams and Eliot Porter as the way they intended to share and sell their photography. They sold their work as complete portfolio box sets which became highly collectable items. An elegant portfolio box not only protects our exquisitely crafted fine art prints but serves as a beautiful way to present and display them.
A fine art print should be considered an object of beauty and time should be spent crafting its creation as the ultimate expression of the original photograph. Subtle differences from the final print processing, through to the selection of the paper will ultimately refine a “good print of a photograph” into a “perfect fine art print”. A perfect print will hold your attention and make you look deeper into the photograph and appreciate its fine details that express the photographer’s intent.
I left the retreat with a greater skill set and knowledge of creating and developing a portfolio. In fact, it changed the way I look at my photographic style and why I take pictures. I could not recommend this course more highly to anyone who wants to hone and improve their portfolios and improve their skill set in post-processing.”
For photographers interested in immersing themselves in a landscape and working towards building a printed portfolio of their work, Richard Young has developed a week-long retreat offering a programme of classroom-based talks, processing tuition, practical review and critique sessions to help you refine your work into a carefully crafted portfolio.
This retreat collates Richard’s 19 years of fine-art printing experience, and he’s spent 4 years developing the content to carefully build the ultimate portfolio presentation format and teaching workflow. The retreat programme is designed to consider every aspect of the portfolio creation process, taking you on a journey, and showcasing your collection as a portfolio box set of 12 prints which will be printed at the lodge during the week.