Portfolio Reviews

By Esther Shavon Thomas

On the fence about having your first portfolio review?  Here are a few Simple Tips to a Successful and Enjoyable Review!

Ever thought about having a portfolio review but schied away because you were scared? Didn’t think you had enough work? Or didn’t feel your work was quite ready yet?

Well, never fear, you are not alone! I remember my first portfolio review at a photo conference and I shared those similar sentiments. However, once I had finished my session, I was pleasantly surprised at the entire experience.

After my session was completed I chatted with several others who had their portfolio reviewed for the first time and heard similar echoes of positive experiences. One of the biggest comments stated repeatedly was how surprised many people were that the session was not stressful but actually enjoyable!

 3 Quick Tips for a Successful and Enjoyable Review!

RELAX – There is nothing to fear and tons to gain!  – Remember, it’s a relaxing atmosphere so prepare then relax and enjoy the experience! It’s a great opportunity to get one on advice from experts in the field.

PREPARATION – Think about what you want to get out of the review. – Would you like more information or tips on composition, technique, style, or equipment options? Being clearer on your goals and what you want to achieve from the review will help guide your session and keep you on track with getting the most out of your time. Also, it never hurts to write down specific questions you have so you don’t forget them!

PRESENTATION SET UP – Check your presentation set up. The style you present is up to you. You can either present a theme collection or an overall combination of prints.  You can show your work either digitally or through a print portfolio.  The most important thing about your presentation is that it’s organized and easily accessible.  

                                             Digital Considerations:

A) Use a file name and saved location that you can easily remember and find

B) Collect your digital prints into one file and save into a PDF. There are         several ways to do this, but if you are in Lightroom you can use the Book tab and place the images in the order of your choosing. Then on the bottom right side click the “Export Book to PDF.”






C) Open your file a few minutes prior to your scheduled time to make sure everything is working properly and that you are set and ready to go.

If you have never attended a portfolio review before and are considering it, I encourage you to give it a try. It’s a great opportunity to get personal one on one advice from experts in the field.

Check out our amazing professional photographers available for portfolio reviews at out upcoming symposium. www.ahpw.org  Grab your spot while they are still available!

Happy Shooting!

Esther Shavon Thomas is a trip leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops