Portfolio reviews

What I Have Learned From My "Tough Love" Portfolio Reviews - Lots of Talent Out There

About six months ago, I started a new service here on my blog: "Tough Love" Portfolio Reviews. Since then, I have reviewed the work of photographers in Finland, Italy, Vietnam and in the United States. Check out the comments in my original post.

What's interesting to me is that the majority of the photographers are creative - including George Howard, whose images from his shadow series lead off this post. You'll see more of George's work, along with his wife's work, here on my blog in the future. George's wife, Marion, is a talented painter, and this dynamic duo helps each other with their art. What fun meeting these guys on line!

I have found that the photographers, including Adam Allegro, a Navy officer based in Italy, just needed a little reassurance and confidence about their photography. What's more, we may do a workshop together in the future. Adam knows a few very cool shooting locations.

Some of the photographers, including a travel agent, needed business advice on how to better market their work. Others just needed a few Photoshop or Lightroom tips to give their pictures more impact.

Some of the participants just wanted ideas on how to have more fun with their photography.

Of course, there were beginners and student photographers who needed some real "Tough Love." With a few tips, they are on their way to becoming better photographers.

Anyway, I think I am enjoying my "Tough Love" Portfolio Reviews as much as the photographers. I am learning a lot – and learning is health (as the Buddhist say).

Explore the light,

Pros: If You Have the Chance to Be Right Or Kind, Be Kind - Please

Buddhist proverb: "Love the whole world as a mother loves her only child." Photo © Rick Sammon
Readers of my blog know that 99 percent of the time I write for amateur or part-time photographers - and for photographers who want to someday turn pro. I also write for folks who simply love photography, who tell me all the time, "Photography is my passion."

This post is for professionals, but it's also for passionate photographers. Here goes.

Last night, I met a young, talented and enthusiastic photographer who was very hurt and crushed during a portfolio review at a big photo convention by a very well-known photographer.

The pro, who of course, like all pros, started out an amateur, basically told the young photographer that his work sucked.

Man o man. The pro's comment got my Italian blood boiling. I could not believe that the pro was so downright mean to the aspiring photographer. Even if the did not like the photographer's work, he could have at least considered the expression: If you have the chance to be right or kind, be kind.

Why not be kind? Why not sandwich a criticism with compliments? Sure, be honest and truthful, but don't hurt someone's feelings and come off like a pompous (fill in the word).

I have seen the "amateur's" work and he has some great shots. Look for them here on my blog in the coming months.

Explore the light - and be kind,

Give the Gift of Tough Love - Get a Book With Loving Photo Advice

 Photograph © Rick Sammon

Several months ago, I started Tough Love portfolio reviews/business advice sessions. Here's the link to my original post. Check out the comments while you are there.

Don't worry, I will not beat you over the head with advice :-)

In case you missed it, if you live in the US, I'll send you an autographed copy of my favorite book, Exploring the Light.

Hope to see you - or a loved one - on line.

Explore the light,