For my Portfolio Exploration course at the Art Institute, I got to interview a professional photographer in my area. It was awesome, so I want to share it here on the blog!
1. Who is your target market?
Eric Cassée –That is a tough one. I have primarily 3, High end portrait, fashion, and beauty. High end is like Esquire, Wire, that kind of thing. Shooting stars, politicians and regular people. In art and commerce, beauty, that is subjective. It is up to the beholder to determine if it is appropriate for advertisements as opposed to commercial.
2. Do you have a printed portfolio? What do you usually use it for? When did you stop using a physical portfolio?
Eric -Yes. It is invaluable as a tangible way to market myself to have something to talk about at a meeting. I can tell people about the prints they are passing around. This way people remember me as well as my art. It is an association thing. Even if they will be seeing stuff they have already seen on the site. Secondly, when it goes with Wonderful Machine (a company that represents artists and drive art directors, publishers to their site as well as assist the artists with marketing). Then all the prospective clients will look at the portfolio along with several others to choose which artist fits their bill.
3. What types of portfolios do you use?
Eric - Both printed portfolio and website. You have to have a website.
4. What colors and fonts do you use in your marketing materials and/or portfolio? Did you choose these or hire a designer?
Eric- I chose them. It is all custom; some people used designers. The color is white and minimal linear font as not to distract from the images.
5. Where have you shared your portfolio (if printed)?
Eric - Anytime I go to a meeting with an advertising agency or magazine. Any meeting where I am trying to get hired. Editorial publications and even businesses.
6. How often do you update your portfolio?
Eric- The web one is always in flux, sometimes with a magazine, I have to wait until it is published. With personal stuff I post it already. On my Tumbler I update it at least once a month. The books are about 600 dollars to print, so I don’t update it any more often than once a year.
7. Are your images displayed in any particular order?
Eric- Nah, yeah, sortof. They are scategorized. Online they are pretty organized, in the print they are organized by mood. I like to open and close the book with vivid images with a lot of red in them.
8. Do you have any advice for emerging photographers when it comes to portfolios, what to do, what not to do, etc?
Eric- Yeah, I think that a lot of people get stuck in the rut where they fill their portfolio with market specific stuff. It is better to demonstrate what you love that you are good at and something that is different while also showing that you are technically proficient to do what the client wants. These shoots generally take 12 hours. Clients need you to be honest about your skill set so they can pair you with the right project. Be identifiable. Shoot what you love. Don’t clutter it up with a lot of subject matter that is all over the place. You need to tell who you are in just 25 to 30 images that leave a distinct impression. Don’t clutter the page with crazy text or graphics either, keep it simple.