Friday, October 26, 2007

Last night I dreamt of my portfolio

It's true... sadly.

I was actually dreaming of sitting in a room staring at a wall of images and there were earthquakes every so often and every time the walls shook, different pictures would fall off the wall and other ones would fly on to it.

It was crazy, like some Calvin Kline ad from the 80s, but without the gay men (zing!).

Obviously I've been thinking a lot about the art of the portfolio, maybe too much.

I always joke with people that I'm John Cusack from "High Fidelity," I keep changing it all the time. For instance I just sent off a packet not two hours ago, and already I'm wishing I could have it back to tweak with some more.

It's not something I haven't written about before, and you'd think doing it for the umpteen time would make it easier, but no matter how many times you do it, it's still a gut wrenching exercise that re-examines everything to the point where you start wondering what is real.

And after I woke up this morning, as I brushed my teeth I again was thinking, what is the proper balance for a portfolio?

I feel on one had that I want to put the pictures I like in, but then I get editors to tell me sometimes that I go "too off the wall" and I fear that going heavy with the more personal work, the work that I feel shows off my style and unique eye, might bring into an editor's head a question of my newspaper shooting ability.

And then other times I think if I go daily paper pics heavy, showing that if I am sent to an assignment they can feel confidant that I will bring something good back, I wonder if they are seeing that my eye is different than the next guy or not. That I'm just another also ran.

It's strange, the photographs other photographers like aren't always the photographs newspapers like. I look at some of the recent award-winning photographers that I've been fortunate to meet and what they like and almost always everyone will agree, "you'll never see that in a newspaper"... yet those are the pics we all love.

A friend once told me that at his paper that has always been something many shooters wrestle with, the idea of personal style and newsprint functionality. His editor had a metaphor for it of playing two piano with one hand fulfilling each desire, and that the goal must be to play the same piano with both those hands still doing their thing.

I like that.

Anywho, I've got to back to the portfolio, I just realized I want to switch up the order again and move some stuff around.

Thank goodness for deadlines, otherwise I'd never stop.