Until the last few years, portfolios were used by photographers to help get them hired for their next assignment. Photo editors no longer request portfolios (which is a fancy word for a collection of tear sheets gathered from previous assignments). Today virtually all artists are asked for their website address. Your dead if you don't have one by now. Which makes sense in our fast evolving techno world in which we live in.
After cleaning out a storage closet, I came across my portfolio from years of gathering dust. A leather bound binder stuffed with tear sheets that hung loosely between two saddle brown covers. As I flipped through the pages of nostalgia, it dawned on me that I no longer received calls for assignments. Pretty much all the emails that I receive today are from photo buyers just looking for stock images. Stock images is a product that you as a photographer go out and take pictures at your own expense to produce photographs that in the hopes one day will be requested by a publisher, web designer or such. And with further luck, you will make a sale and then will license the non-exclusive image as a use to the buyer thereby earning some of the cost back that you invested to create this image. Expenses like travel, camera equipment, model fees, etc. It use to take about 3 years to pay off a photo shoot. Luckily for me it only takes maybe a year or two to make back my investment. But then that's after the image has been posted to my website. I'm back logged with many digital photos I took over 3 years ago that still sit on hard drives waiting to be processed and uploaded for market. So it might now take 4-5 years before I reap any rewards.
So, back to my pile of artist samples. What to do with my aged portfolio with pages falling out? I decided to scan assorted picks of the ads, brochures, articles and cover designs and post them onto my Facebook and website. Maybe even write a blog, which I'm now attempting, about the good old days when artist's touted around their treasured portfolio to find jobs and win assignments.
Here at the bottom is a small selection of tearsheets from my portfolio that showcase a variety of images from Nativestock's picture collection which have been used for education, business and non-profits. With an image collection of well over 150,000 photographs (to date only 15% of this collection has been posted to my website). Assuring picture buyers and photo researchers to find the right image for a project related to Native American Indian culture and lifestyles, both traditional and contemporary. Affordable usage rates apply.
I appreciate any comments that you may have on my selection of tear sheets from past publications who used my work to illustrate their projects.
Photography by: Marilyn Angel Wynn/Nativestock.com