Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How about a portfolio?

In the last several workshops we have done, I have added an extra image to each assignment. Besides illustrating what we discussed and discovered during the class, I also asked each student to use this new information and create a photograph that would become a photograph in their "portfolio". This idea opened a whole new concept.

We all need a portfolio. When someone, anyone, asks you what you are doing with all of your new equipment, or why you are taking workshops, or just why you are spending so much hard to find time on this "hobby", you can show them. Sit them down and hand them something that in a single package shows what you are working on. Who you are.

A portfolio will also promote the development of a style. Each person is unique, and the images you make should illustrate that individuality. Some photographers already know exactly who they are as image makers. Those shooters should constantly be refining their work, and becoming even stronger. For photographers who are struggling to find an identity, putting together a portfolio is the most effective means of developing their own vision.

Building a portfolio gives you reason to keep learning , and to keep working on your passion.

A common question is, "What form will my portfolio take"? There is no single answer to that. A slide show. A thumb drive you plug into a computer. A DVD for your television. A scrapbook. A looseleaf notebook so you can change images. A hardbound finished book. The final form it takes is just as important as what it contains. It is up to you.

The moral of this? We are going to offer a continuous workshop on building your portfolio. It will meet monthly, but photographers will attend when the need or time allows. All of these ideas will be discussed. This will give the participants help, ideas, feedback and inspiration. I think this could easily be one of the most enjoyable workshops we have offered.

Do you want to know more about this? Try one or both of the following addresses:

Monday, March 1, 2010

Flashes of Inspiration

Ideas for workshops hit me at odd times, in short or long flashes of inspiration and excitement. Sometimes it is without question an instinct I know I must follow. Sometimes it is more like bits of information that needs to be assembled into a well-thought out plan. Sometimes it is a snippet of an idea given to me by someone else that then needs to be developed and produced into a full idea. All of these are creative energies that are bursting into my little universe and sending me spiraling into a direction of pure excitement and drive.

For someone who is a planner and organizer, this is a great calling. The creative juices and energy flowing out of me is liberating and thrilling. I get such a rush when these flashes of inspiration hit me. And the more I think them through and then plan them out, the more exciting the adrenaline rush gets. I am in my own little planning and organizing heaven.

The real rush comes from when a workshop is completed and successful. When the energy generated from the group attending is at such a high level that it takes days to come down from the high. The cumulative effect of which produces another “Flash of Inspiration”.

A perfect example of this is the workshop I produced over the weekend. The workshop was 'Creative Macro Photography' with Charles Needle. Last year I just knew I had to have a workshop on macro photography, and I just knew that it had to be held out at La Conner Flats in La Conner. And I knew that it had to be something unusual, not your typical macro class. I met Charles Needle at a conference, saw his work, and just knew that he was what I was looking for.

And it worked. Those bits of inspiration flashed through me and paid off heavenly.