Posts Tagged ‘portfolio’
Earlier today, online photo community and Flickr competitor 500px announced that it would be releasing an overhauled portfolio system very soon. Rebuilt from the ground up, the new system offers a slew of features that 500px “Awesome” users will be able to take advantage of in order to build online portfolios they’re proud of. Read more…
It’s safe to say that most amateur photographers have wondered at one time or another if they have what it takes to make it in the big leagues. Well, here’s their chance to find out, because The New York Times is hosting a professional portfolio review for 150 of the best amateurs courageous enough to send their work in. Read more…
Over the last year, WordPress owner Automattic has launched pages specifically targeting bands, brides, restaurants and even cities. Today, we can finally add photographers to that list.
This new page is meant to attract photographers, designers and visual artists looking to build a quality portfolio where they can display their work. Not that you couldn’t build portfolios using WordPress.com before, but this is the first time the company has reached out to photographers personally, adding them to the list of demographics it’s gone after in the past. Read more…
One of the most important things a photographer must do is advertise and sell their services. All professionals have a good grasp on how to take great photos and edit them in post to make them look even better, but fewer have the time, expertise, or funds to put together a quality portfolio that will catch a client’s eye and bring them business. That’s where the Iconify platform comes in. Read more…
Here begins the process of lining up your children and, ummmm, figuring out which ones you love more than the others. This begins the painful process. It’s painful to not only choose but if you are a true creative this is the part where your self doubt, anxiety, and loathing start to show up. You come back to your BIG edit and it all sucks.
The images that you want to shoot are not in this folder. They are still out in the world waiting for you to capture them. As you start to go through 1,000+ of your “best” images they all begin to suck. You want to trash them all and just go shoot a new book. Well sorry Charlie, you can’t do that. You can’t go shoot a new book. Those elusive images are just that… elusive. You have to harden yourself during this process and realize that you are building a body of work with what you have to work with. If you ever say “I’ll just do this when my work is ready” then you will never do it. That kept me from this process for a long time. Kick the demons out of your head and get to work.
Arias recommends that you should go through this process at least twice a year, as it will show you holes in your body of work that you can then go out and fill.
Editing Your Portfolio [Zack Arias]
In the boring old past, printed portfolios were a great way of showing off your still photographs, but any video you also wanted to show off had to be included and viewed separately from the main portfolio. Now, new technology is allowing photographers to embed video right into their portfolios, with a small LCD screen displayed right on the page.
San Francisco-based photographer Michael Jang has worked in the business for over 30 years but wanted to have this personal website stand out — so he decided to clone Google. Most visitors to his page will probably think they somehow landed onto a Google search results page until they give the text a closer look. Every link on the page points to something on the web that showcases Jang or his work, whether it’s a photo of his in the SFMOMA, or an interview with him by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Even the links at the top that normally provide different Google search methods are links to Jang’s various social media presences.
The various links in the “search results” aren’t pulled out of thin air — most of them seem to be pulled from actual Google searches. However, cloning the search results page and displaying it on his own site allows Jang to have full control over what appears and where things point.
What do you think of Jang’s new website?
Even if you haven’t heard of Roger Hagadone, chances are you’ve seen his work before.
Hagadone is a talented commercial photographer whose impressive portfolio includes advertisements for the Blue Man Group and the cover of the popular young adult novel series, Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.
PetaPixel: Can you tell us a little about your background, what you do, and where you’re based?
Roger Hagadone: I’m an advertising photographer, and I shoot editorial book covers and dabble in fine art. I’m based in New York City. I live here and have an office in LA where I work quite a bit as well. I moved to the City after college, and met several top photographers here, one including Annie Leibovitz, who became a big influence on how I shoot people.
PP: Where did you go to college at?
RH: Purchase college, just outside of New York City.
PP: When did you get started with photography?
RH: Professional commercial photography — probably 10 years ago now. I started with magazine editorial and eventually that turned into advertising.
PP: We notice from your portfolio that you’ve worked with a number of really interesting subjects. Do you have one particular portrait shoot that you find especially memorable?
RH: That would definitely have to be the shoot with Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs. It was a lot of fun to work with Mike. He’s a really awesome guy. For that shoot especially, he was really a trooper. It was about eight hours of photography.
We covered him with special ‘dirty’ effects. We layered the dirt, starting out very light and added more as the day went on. At the end, he was completely covered. A lot of people would be very cranky after that, but he was cool. He was having a laugh.
PP: How many people worked at the shoot?
RH: Around a dozen people including crew and client. There were three people just covering him with these different substances but in the end most of the crew pitched in. We covered him with grease and eggs, bubble gum, feathers, and all kinds of stuff.
PP: That alone sounds like a pretty dirty job.
RH: Yeah, actually he said that this may have been his dirtiest job ever. His only regret was that he didn’t have his crew there to film it.
PP: How would you describe your photography and style to someone who has never seen it?
RH: I would say it’s cheerful and sometimes surprising. Never boring — that’s the main thing, I can’t stand boring photography. I like to keep it positive and fun. There’s usually a narrative to the images, something of a story, or maybe a comment or a joke.
PP: Is there an example of an image that represents the general body of your work?
RH: That’s tough. One image that I like that comes to mind is the time bomb image. There’s a bomb squad guy defusing the bomb, and there’s his pal behind him, about to pop a bag to scare him. I just like that anticipation of the joke.
The visual effect in my images, the retouching and the lighting, are kind of two halves of the images that are both equally important to me. It’s not just the photograph and the concept, but it’s also the retouching aspect of it as well.
PP: What’s the single item in your metaphorical camera bag, aside from your actual camera, that you can’t go without?
RH: It’s Photoshop, well Photoshop and a dozen strobes! I prefer to get as close to the final image in-camera as possible but it’s in post processing where my images come alive. I have several techniques that I use and they are constantly evolving.
PP: What do you shoot with, currently?
RH: I have different cameras. I shoot with a Hasselblad with a Phase One back, mostly for advertising shoots. Other than that, I use a 1Ds Mark III.
PP: What was your first camera that you ever got?
RH: I think that I was seven (years old) and I had a Kodak 35mm camera, which I still have.
PP: Is that when you started getting in photography?
RH: Yeah, I still have images from that, too.
The actual camera is in one of my photographs in my Bigfoot story. In one of the images, Bigfoot has a camera, and he’s taking a picture from behind bushes. That’s my first camera.
PP: So we discovered your work because you did the covers for Twilight, and that imagery is evoked in a lot of fashion, a lot of types of advertising nowadays, that uses a very similar color scheme: black, white, red. How did you conceptualize and visualize this?
RH: It’s really a collaborative process. It begins with the publisher and they have some concepts in mind. And then I interpret these concepts into photographs. Sometimes, they have a pretty good idea of what they’d like to see in the image. It could be a background, an object, and then it’s just the interpretation of that into a final image. When I shoot a cover for a book, I usually take the basic idea and shoot several different variations of that one concept.
Things change very quickly in the publishing world. Once I receive the assignment to photograph a cover, by the time it’s complete, things may have changed, and the images that I shot might end up on the cutting floor.
Or, I may be asked to re-shoot it with a slightly different idea. It’s a collaboration, and it’s important to be flexible.
When it came to the Twilight series, the first image of Twilight, the hand with the apple, set the tone for the rest of the images in the series: simple graphic composition. The use of red, white, and a warm black background. That pretty much set everything else.
PP: When you see this style used in other images, it’s as if it’s become a part of cultural memory and become almost iconic. How do you feel about that?
RH: It’s kind of huge that it’s crossed over into what I guess you would call pop-culture.
The first time I saw an advertisement similar to the look, I was taken back, but I wasn’t really sure if I was seeing it correctly, if they were really using inspiration from the cover in their advertisement.
But now, as you say it, I do see it quite often and it’s fun to see. Artists borrow from each other all the time, and I’ve been on both sides.
Other images that I’ve shot I’ve seen similar advertisements pop up six months later, but it’s give and take.
PP: Do you enjoy the attention you’ve received from your work on Twilight, or would you rather be known for your other work?
RH: I get a lot of inquiries about Twilight.
I don’t mind it at all, really. It’s kind of nice. The Twilight fans are really great. I get a lot of emails from them.
The weirdest thing that I’ve seen is the original Twilight cover — the hands and the apple — I saw someone with a tattoo of it. That was really bizarre, to see the photograph I shot tattooed on somebody’s arm.
That was shocking. It’s too bad I didn’t get a picture of that.
PP: Let’s go back to you. What advice would you shoot to fellow photographers about interacting with their portrait subjects. From what your portfolio looks like, it seems like you’ve got a really good relationship with the people you shoot, or at least you know how to bring out their personality and emotion.
RH: The main thing is trust. They have to trust you. What I usually do is talk to the model before the shoot, before we start shooting to get that rapport going.
During the shoot, I keep it fun and fast-paced. Things are always moving, and I give them a lot of direction, so the model never gets bored or too distracted.
Also, I’m pretty silly when I photograph, so I think that element of fun brings out what I’d like. I also ask that from my crew, just to keep a really fun atmosphere.
PP: How long does it take you on average to do a photo shoot, for instance, the Bigfoot project?
RH: That one I shot in two days, and did all the post work within three days. So probably about a full week. They’re all different, though, depending on what’s involved.
A book cover may take one day to shoot and depending on retouching, it could take several days to finish up with revisions.
PP: And it gets bounced back and forth from you to the publishers too, right?
RH: Exactly. Like with the Twilight image, we got to the point where it was pretty much finished. And then there was a comment that the apple needed to be a little larger. So it was back to the drawing board, and we had tweak the apple just slightly.
PP: How did you think of these image concepts for a lot of your personal work?
RH: Well, I’m an avid note taker. I just take tons and tons of notes.
The cliché is the pad by the bed, but I use an iPhone by the bed.
I use essentially a digital notebook and I just write all of my ideas in there. Sometimes it’s a full, complete idea that’s ready to go and I can shoot it; sometimes it’s just a little piece.
I’ll add little things to that piece later, but as soon as it’s ripe I can shoot it.
Image Credits: all images by Roger Hagadone
If you’re looking to set up a portfolio website for your photography, New York-based photographer Dalton Rooney has
a nice WordPress template [Update: no longer available] you can download and install. We’re of the opinion that portfolios shouldn’t be flash-based, and this minimalistic design highlights your work in a simple and easy to use way. Of course, you can always use the template as a base and customize it to your liking.
Oh, and did we mention it’s completely free?