Photography Portfolio – Some Very Basic Queries to Start With?

VJ Sharma Lead SEQ, ADOBE, New Delhi

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How do I present my portfolio?
The most popular way to present your work is loose prints (matted or not) inside a clamshell portfolio box. Some people use interleaving paper; some matt their work; some have protective mylar envelopes over their prints; while some simply have a nice stack of naked prints.

If your prints are the same dimension and reasonably flat, then an excellent way to place them is to nicely stack them in the same size box. If you’re showing book dummies to publishers and the like, you can have your prints bound into a book.

A less popular choice seen at photography festivals is the portfolio book with spiral bound mylar pages, used widely in commercial photo world. In general, reviewers like to see the actual prints. These are not the only way to present prints, but are the most commonly used ones.

What size should my prints be?
The simplest answer is: if you can carry it, you can show it.

The most common sizes are in the range of 11×14” up to 20×24”. People do bring extra large work, but then you have logistics to work out (can you carry it easily to the reviews, and carry it from table to table easily?). If your work is supersized, sometimes you can lean it against a wall (or the floor) and ask the reviewer to walk over to the spot you staked out. Do ask permission from the staff before you claim space for oversized objects. Of course, people also bring very small prints and everything in between. A number of people ask about bringing framed work when the frame is integral to the work (or oddly shaped projects etc)… which comes back to the “if you can carry it, you can bring it” comment. People do bring all kinds of stuff, primarily you need to be able to open up your portfolio and show it to the reviewer quickly and efficiently.