Here's the scenario...
Like so many people in the industry, Scott and I have known each other for years. We share a lot of mutual friends, but in all this time, we've rarely had more than five-minute conversations in passing at a trade show or convention. KelbyOne is only 75 miles away and last Tuesday we grabbed lunch together.
I consider myself the biggest lunch slut in photography! I love lunch because it gives people a time to talk about the business, get to know each other better and share ideas about an industry I love dearly. So does Scott, and when he told me about the topic the next day on The Grid, there was no way I could say "No" when he asked me to join him.
The topic? Your portfolio and why you need one is a topic I've written about so many times. I headed back up to the Tampa area the next day to join Scott in the KelbyOne studio. Click on the image above to listen to the webcast.
We ran out of time to cover everything, so here's a little more to think about, in relation to your portfolio and upcoming trade shows and conventions.
- I'm convinced that today, in a world of texting, more than ever you need a hard-printed portfolio. There's no emotion or depth in sharing images on your phone or iPad.
- If you want to show your portfolio at a convention set up appointments in ADVANCE! Your work is too important to rely on chance meetings with people you feel are important to speak with.
- Your portfolio doesn't need to be any bigger than 10-12 well-printed images if they're ALL "wow" prints. A "wow" print is an image so good it's the only one you'd have to show to get hired.
- If you have several different specialties to share, like landscape and commercial portrait - have two different portfolios. As Scott and I talked about - you need to know the demographics of your audience. Different targets need to see different kinds of images.
- You won't always be able to get the meetings you want, because conventions/trade shows are typically so chaotic. In addition to your portfolio, print up a series of oversized postcards. For example, a 6x9 card with several of your images and contact information is the perfect leave-behind piece at a convention. And, here's what you need to say with it when you're hoping to talk with a manager from a company you wish to work with, "I know how busy things are at the convention and I don't want to get in your hair - here's a sample of my work. I hope we can talk when things are less hectic."
- Whether you get to show your portfolio or not, follow up with a thank-you note for their time. In a world of impersonal texts and emails, a hand-written note will be one of the most memorable things you can do!
And one more sidebar about The Grid last week. What a kick the offices are at KelbyOne. Besides all the other hats he wears, Scott's a musician, and they went with a rock n' roll theme throughout the building. They haven't missed a beat from headphones on the great masters to a display of rock lunch boxes!
A big thanks to the KelbyOne team! To quote Carly Simon, "Nobody does it better!"