I want to get the most advice and guidance I can out of the event and my individual sessions and so I have looked at the advice on the Format web pages. There are a couple of written pieces – an interview with Artistic Director of Quad and Format International Photography Festival, Louise Fedotov-Clements, and a link to the Photo Shelter Blog – 7 Myths about Portfolio Reviews Debunked (Margolis 2012) and also a very helpful interview with Camilla Brown, Curator, Writer and Lecturer about how to approach professional reviews. For my own reference I have put together the following points to remember and to bear in mind as I collate my work for review.
Preparing written information
- Think about the who, why, what, when of your work
- Ensure work is true to the originator and the subject
- Explain work in a compelling way – what is the story you are telling, why are you making this work and why should the viewer care?
- Prepare an Artist’s Statement (300-350 words), Bio (provides orientation information for the reviewer) statement about the series (150 words) and a short statement on sub-series as appropriate
- State what is important in the work – be honest and clear and authentic
- Use ‘caption section’ in the software to upload your words about a series
- Think about how you would display your work and provide installation shots if you have them
- Make sure your website is up to date
- Show a breadth of work but stay within an aesthetic
- Spend time and care sequencing and editing of images
- Hold up a print on the day to show how you present your work if you wish
- Use Picter software to upload and share work with the reviewer and Zoom for the meeting itself
- Produce Jpeg images at 150dpi
- Reviewers will look at your images before the meeting
Preparing for the review meeting
- Decide on purpose of the review for you and communicate that purpose to the reviewer
- Prepare a couple of questions relevant to the reviewer’s expertise
- Research background and preferences of your reviewers
- Upload a wild card image!
- Include a back-up series in case finish early
On the Day
- Engage in a dialogue about your work
- Review is a discursive platform
- Refer to other artists doing similar things
- Produce at least a couple of series – one completed and another in progress
- Leave a postcard of one of your images with contact details on the back with each reviewer (post Covid)
- Record your reviews but ask before doing so
Outcomes of Review Process
- Valuable critical context for your practice
- Access to ask question about what reviewers are looking for
- Opportunity to talk about and tell your story
- Persistence pays off and after the review continue to develop your own voice and develop confidence and strategies for visual communication
Brown, C. “Online Review Guidance from Camilla Brown: Photo Forum.” Retrieved 23/2/21, from https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=908269016346685&ref=watch_permalink.
Lachowskyj, C. “Persistence Pays Off: Tips and Tricks for Applying to Awards and Portfolio Reviews.” Retrieved 23/2/21, from https://www.lensculture.com/articles/louise-clements-persistence-pays-off-tips-and-tricks-for-applying-to-awards-portfolio-reviews.
Margolis, L. (2012). “7 Myths about Portfolio Reviews Debunked.” Retrieved 23/2/21, from https://blog.photoshelter.com/2012/05/7-myths-about-portfolio-reviews-debunked/.