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Tips for portfolios

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  #11  
Old 03-04-2011, 01:01 PM
eraanexact eraanexact is offline
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Re: Tips for portfolios

You could do a sort of compromise, wherein your online portfolio only shows finished works, with the option of showing befores/afters to serious inquirers via a password protected page. That way, you're not pissing any clients off by showing unretouched images for the whole world to see.

I think for a printed book, befores and afters are preferred.
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  #12  
Old 03-04-2011, 11:09 PM
Quantum3 Quantum3 is offline
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Re: Tips for portfolios

¡I agree with Shift Studio!

¡Shift Studio!
¡Shift Studio!
¡Shift Studio!

¡¡¡Huuuurrrraaaaayyy!!!
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  #13  
Old 03-04-2011, 11:46 PM
ekuna ekuna is offline
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Re: Tips for portfolios

Nice work, Christopher!
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  #14  
Old 03-11-2011, 10:01 AM
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abenormal abenormal is offline
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Re: Tips for portfolios

I've been in quite a few sessions reviewing books and online portfolios alongside our retouching manager and studio director and I think showing before and after images is essential. If showing a before is problematic due to the photographer relationship, then a clear description of what you did to the image is necessary. We've looked at books or online portfolios that were just full of finished ads, and the studio director was saying, "what did this guy do? Is he a retoucher? Designer? Or a pre-press guy?"

I looked at eraanexact's book when he first got to NY and it was outstanding. His befores showed all of the composited shots roughly cut out and placed in position. The corresponding after image was on the other side of the spread. It was clear and easy to see what had been done. We see a lot more bad books than we do good ones and if I hadn't seen that eraanexact landed a job already we would have called him in for freelance sooner or later.

Some things to avoid:

1. Bad retouching! Skin that looks blurred or plastic. Repeats in cloned areas. Liquified areas that look liquified, like patterns in fabric that are warped next to an arm that was slimmed. Hair masks that are either too hard or too soft. Note that there is no rule that says you can't go back and continue retouching something AFTER it was delivered "finished" to the client, for your own book.

2. Disorganized books and/or presentation. We had one guy who showed all of his afters in one book, and then had two other different books with the befores in them, all of them at different sizes and printed on different stocks. When making your book print out befores and afters at the same size, on the same paper. If you want to include tear sheets to show finished printed pieces include them as a "third page" along with the before and after.

3. Online or PDF books that show the images too small to see any detail. Books showing image after image of the same thing. Books full of what appear to be just overall color moves. 200 MB PDFs that are full of everything the guy ever did - edit it down to just your best work! Remember you are trying to advertise your abilities to other retouchers... we're not going to be impressed by an S-curve and a hue change, or by simple compositing. Show details of work you're proud of and speak to the challenges of an image and how you resolved them. Mention difficulties, like how you had to illustrate reflections by hand, or whatever. Something I'd personally be stoked to see in a digital book would be screenshots of your working methods - tight masks, neatly organized and named layers. Not for every image, but maybe a few shots at the end along with a brief description of your working philosophies and habits.

Look at building a book or a website as if you are creating an ad, not just tossing a bunch of pictures together. Think about what you would need to see if you were investing substantial time, effort, and money into hiring someone.

Last edited by abenormal; 03-11-2011 at 10:33 AM.
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  #15  
Old 03-11-2011, 10:12 AM
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twopoint0 twopoint0 is offline
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Re: Tips for portfolios

abenormal- good post! Actual useful information. Doug should put this in an archive somewhere.
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  #16  
Old 03-11-2011, 10:26 AM
Quantum3 Quantum3 is offline
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Re: Tips for portfolios

Abenormal also punished me with a 9 points whip when he saw my very old portfolio, about 2 years ago or so, when I used Picassa to show all my stuff haha But he did it too hard. I thought I wouldn't been able to do anything good about beauty but finally, I did it Thanks to him and also, to Shift (who also punished me a lot) and to Alan, who helped me with my bio. All these 3 guys gave me the kick I was needing in order to start and since then, I'm pretty busy with jobs

Thanks a lot you guys!

Ø3
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  #17  
Old 03-11-2011, 10:38 AM
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abenormal abenormal is offline
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Re: Tips for portfolios

Quote:
Abenormal also punished me with a 9 points whip when he saw my very old portfolio, about 2 years ago or so, when I used Picassa to show all my stuff haha But he did it too hard.
I'm sorry if I came across too harsh. It's not easy to be gentle over email! Also I have many years of critiques under my belt and am used to hearing negativity about my work, until it doesn't bother me at all anymore. Usually it is just a matter of trying to be sure that communication is clear and that I understand the direction the client or art director wants to go in so I don't waste time. So, when I was trying to give you feedback, I didn't want to waste your time with sugar coatings and went straight to what I thought needed improvement.
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  #18  
Old 03-11-2011, 11:27 AM
Quantum3 Quantum3 is offline
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Re: Tips for portfolios

Quote:
Originally Posted by abenormal View Post
I'm sorry if I came across too harsh. It's not easy to be gentle over email! Also I have many years of critiques under my belt and am used to hearing negativity about my work, until it doesn't bother me at all anymore. Usually it is just a matter of trying to be sure that communication is clear and that I understand the direction the client or art director wants to go in so I don't waste time. So, when I was trying to give you feedback, I didn't want to waste your time with sugar coatings and went straight to what I thought needed improvement.
I know, pal. Your critiques were straight to the point, like very accurate and sharp stabs and they did a very good job! Thanks to you, Shift and Alan I wouldn't ever evolve to where I'm now
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  #19  
Old 03-11-2011, 11:27 AM
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shift studio shift studio is offline
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Re: Tips for portfolios

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum3 View Post
Abenormal also punished me with a 9 points whip when he saw my very old portfolio, about 2 years ago or so, when I used Picassa to show all my stuff haha But he did it too hard. I thought I wouldn't been able to do anything good about beauty but finally, I did it Thanks to him and also, to Shift (who also punished me a lot) and to Alan, who helped me with my bio. All these 3 guys gave me the kick I was needing in order to start and since then, I'm pretty busy with jobs

Thanks a lot you guys!

Ø3
Welcome back Quantum!
I'm pretty sure I also gave you some encouragement too?
----
Abenormal's advice seems very informed - if anyone takes advice from this thread, his seems to be valuable.

--shift studio.
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  #20  
Old 03-11-2011, 11:31 AM
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Mike Needham Mike Needham is offline
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Re: Tips for portfolios

It's amazing what a good dose of reality check can do, I'm now thinking of including a small selection of before/after in my portfolio. I only now have to make an online version - should be easy
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