Archive for August, 2008


Photographers frequently ask me about the value of attending portfolio review events, which events to attend and why. The offerings are vast and the investment of time and money varies. Deadlines loom for several of these opportunities so I am taking the opportunity on a long travel day to give you an overview of my opinions on the subject portfolio review events, as well as upcoming dates that are essential to mark on your calendar if you would like to attend any of the 2008-2009 offerings.

Do I think attending a portfolio review event has value? Absolutely.

Will each and every photographer benefit from sharing their work at these events, no matter how resolved their body of work is at that time? YES. Reviewers can provide creative guidance for works in progress, as well as marketing advice for completed projects.

Can participating in these events help move your career to the next level? Without question. But to do so effectively you must continue the dialogue you have started at the event.

Will every single appointment be a match made in heaven? NO. But responsible Reviewers will find much to share with you about your work, regardless of whether it fits their gallery, their collection, their publication program, and know too that you can ask them questions about their industry, from market trends to pricing and editioning to whom they might suggest would be interested in your project.

From my perspective, there are three main reasons you should bring your work to a portfolio review event:

First: The process of applying and preparing to attend is a valuable experience. Writing about your work, editing your work for a 20-minute reviews session, and preparing a printed piece or CD-Rom sample with your imagery to share with others attending are activities that in themselves will lend clarity to your work.

Second: presenting your work to industry professionals and peers alike. This is an experience that can’t be matched. The standard model is a 20 minute session with each Reviewer; the number of sessions you have dependes on the length of the event. The number of times you will share your work goes beyond these formal sessions as you will share work with other photographers too. Through having a dialogue about your work your clarity about and commitment to your bodies of work, your presentation to your target audience, your explorations toward desired final print(s) and in what format to display the work – all this and more comes from attending a portfolio review event.

Third: Beginning relationships. Portfolio review events provide an opportunity for you to to share your work and ideas with your peers and industry professionals, be it discussing craft or intention/audience that you devote your twenty minutes session to. It is of course your responsibility to follow up with those Reviewers who encourage you to keep them posted on the evolution of your project.

We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Fred Baldwin and Wendy Watriss from FotoFest for bringing the Portfolio Review to our community; 2009 will be the Thirteenth International Bienniel of Photography and Photo-Related Art which continues to be a catalytst to creativity and a conduit to international dialogue for Reviewers and photographers alike. Hats off to FotoFest! You and your colleagues have set a strong example for which we thank you, and know that we look forward to being in Houston during the spring 2010 Bienniel, most certainly.  Sign up for the FF2010 newsletter here(Be sure to check out, a website FotoFest has developed that brings together information on photography festivals internationally.)

As the number of portfolio review event offerings has increased, occurring now in every season and in nearly every region of the world, some organizations have decided to require submission for consideration by a jury before allowing acceptance. I believe Review Santa Fe was the earliest to transition to be a juried event with PhotoAlliance’s OUR WORLD: A National Juried Portfolio Review requiring acceptance by jury from its inception in 2007; the 2008 co-Sponsor was Orion Magazine. This year the portfolio review component of Atlanta Celebrates Photography required submission of a portfolio for the first time in the ten-year history of programming.

If an organization declares that it will require entrance determined by a judging process, I am admittedly happiest when you, the applicant, have full knowledge of the names of members of that all-important pre-screening team; this, combined with some thoughtful research on your part can aid in your decision as to invest your time and money in applying for that event. Personally I feel there are enough of you ready to participate in these events that are aware of deadlines who fill the roster, and find the level of work very high regardless of any jurying process in place.

The next step in your decision to apply is to look carefully at the Reviewers that have been asked to participate. An increasing number of events are inviting a diverse group of reviewers, going beyond professionals from the fine art arena to include influential photo editors, photo researchers, graphic designers, corporate art consultants and others who bring opportunities for your work to be seen in multiple markets. I applaud this effort and encourage you to try to schedule a session with an individual whom you are not as likely to secure an in-person meeting outside of an event such as this. Among those from related professions whom I applaud for serving as Reviewers are photo editors Kira Pollack of the New York Times Magazine, Paul Moakley from Newsweek and Whitney Johnson from the New Yorker, photo researcher Mary McClean from Random House, corporate art consultant Julie Kinzelman from Kinzelman Art Consulting and corporate curator H. Scott Westover from The Progressive Art Collection. If you are interested in learning more about marketing opportunities in areas other than simply fine art, I encourage you to seek our reviews offering a diversity of industry professionals. Note: depending on the event, you may be allowed to make a “wish list” of participating Reviews to meet with, and in some cases, learn your schedule in advance of the start of the event furthering your ability to prepare.

Geographic location too could be the reason you register (or apply) to one event over another. I want you to know your local community, and to introduce your work to others beyond your local area. Every event will do its best to invite professionals from all parts of the country however most invite a strong contingency of regionally-based reviewers for ease of and cost of bringing those professionals to their event. If your work is well know in the east, you might consider attending a review event in the west.

Educational component – another plus from my perspective. If you are committing time and resources to travel to an industry gathering such as these I wish for you to gain insights from professionals and peers in attendance in the form of lectures, panel discussions, and more. When weighing your options, educational offerings may be a factor for you in putting an event in your “plus” column.

Introducing your work to individuals from multiple markets is a growing focus of some events, while others invite a majority of reviewers from the fine art community. Many publishers seek invitations to attend JURIED events. Study the list of the reviewers who have been invited to all events, and this should be a strong factor in weighing the value of your attending that particular event.

My enthusiasm for your investing in portfolio review events grows as I become increasingly frustrated and in fact pessimistic about the value of entering many exhibition and/or publication competitions. The reproduction rights demanded from the winners, and more often now from those who simply apply, are frustrating, unnecessary and unfair. The physical space and the circumstances at the actual judging of the work can vary, within a physically environment that may not lend itself to optimum viewing of your work, or judges working remotely without a dialogue, or so few examples of your work presented that we can barely get to know your work. (My most interesting judging experiences of late have been being part of a team judging the 2008 Photography Annual for Communication Arts Magazine, and reviewing entries for Critical Mass in the solitude of airplanes (more on these competitions in upcoming blog entries).

So I encourage you to review the offerings, join their e-mailing list, mark these dates on your calendar and know that they (and the host hotels) will sell out within a few days of opening registration. Being aware of cancellation policies is always wise.



International House Hotel, New Orleans, Louisiana

Registration opens AUGUST 15;

Event dates: Portfolio Reviews December 6 & 7; overall event including workshops for photographers runs December 4th – 13th


REVIEW LA (concurrent with Photo LA)

Doubletree Guest Suites Santa Monica, California

Registration opens mid-September.

Event dates: January 9-11

Info: Http:


Benson Hotel, Portland, Oregon

Registration opens August 27th

Event dates: April 23-26th, 2009


Santa Fe, New Mexico

Registration: Submit twenty images and artists statement by January 23, 2009; notification of acceptance/registration anticipated by early March.


OUR WORLD from PhotoAlliance

San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA

Registration dates not yet posted.

Event dates: March 6/7/8, 2009


ATLANTA CELEBRATES PHOTOGRAPHY’s portfolio reviews are closed; event will be October 11th. (Juried)

The Center for Photography at Woodstock offer’s two separate days of reviews in NYC for a limited number of participants on a first-come, first-served basis; information is contained in their annual Workshop brochure. Earlier this year they offered the first Regional Review which I hope will become an annual event.

Both the Griffin Museum and the Photographic Resource Center in the Boston area offer reviews in the spring.

Other regional organizations like The Print Center (Philadelphia), En Foco (Bronx, NY), SF Camerawork and many other regional centers offer portfolio reviews, primarily as a benefit of membership. Support your local organizations!

Additional opportunities to share your work with your peers:

The network of Fall Regional Conferences of the Society for Photographic Education offer portfolio reviews as well at the upcoming National Meeting at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, Texas on March 26-29, 2009.

Other events will be posted as details are available.

Harris Fogel of Mac Edition Radio conducted an Interview with me on this subject; click this button to

HEAR. We cover the value of these events, how to prepare and follow up in my marketing workshops.

I will continue to comment on this blog on making the most of your portfolio review investment, and refer you as well to a chapter on this subject in my business book. I look forward to seeing your work at these upcoming events!


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Julie Winokur and Ed Kashi Featured within August Issue of Digital Journalist (.org)

I just wrapped up teaching at Maine Media Workshops where one of my colleagues as teacher and presenter was DIRCK HALSTED. We had a lively discussion about the changes in the print and on line markets for imagery, with a truly optimist tone. Dirck let us know that his next issue of Digital Journalist would feature ED KASHI as an excellent example of a contemporary photojournalist, maximizing the new markets for photography, from the book/exhibition/gallery to online storytelling.

From Dirck’s e-announcement:

“The August issue of The Digital Journalist, the monthly magazine for visual journalism, is now online at

Suddenly something we have taken for granted, low prices for gasoline, has become an issue of vital concern to consumers around the world. Oil-producing countries have yielded record profits. However, sometimes the benefits do not trickle down to the infrastructure or the citizens of these countries. Nigeria is one of the saddest examples in the world. Much of its populace live in abject poverty, the air fouled by gaseous clouds of burning oil, its food sources poisoned. Photojournalist Ed Kashi has spent over four years making multiple trips to Nigeria to document the devastating effects of oil production on the land and its people. PowerHouse has recently published his book, Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta. We proudly present his photographs in this month’s cover feature, with an 18-minute interview with Ed and his wife, filmmaker Julie Winokur.

Walter Iooss Jr. is regarded as one of the finest sports photographers of our time. His new book, Athlete,published by Sports Illustrated, presents portraits of the top figures in sports. We feel that it is a compelling body of work that deserves to be seen as the world celebrates the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.

This month Beverly Spicer reviews two books, America at Home and UK at Home, created by Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt. Both books offer an innovative design process that has been used only once before in the industry. Buyers can upload the image of their choice to illustrate their own custom-designed wrap-around cover.

Executive Editor Ron Steinman presents an essay by Charlee Brodsky, a professor of photography at Carnegie Mellon University whose poignant book, I Thought I Could Fly: Portraits of Anguish, Compulsion, and Despair, explores the juxtaposition and interdependency of photos and words.

This month we offer four Dispatches and one Update. David McNew reports on California’s tenacious wildfires and their ever-larger devastation. David Bathgate is back in Afghanistan, this time deployed with “Charlie Company” at Jugroom Fort, once a stronghold for Taliban and al-Qaida fighters. Will Baxter reports on the dangerous situation in Zimbabwe after the sham one-candidate election of Robert Mugabe on March 29. Philip Poupin investigates the growing problem of gold mining in Brazil’s Amazon Basin, which is leading to the irreversible destruction of its rainforests. And finally, in this month’s “Update,” Rafael Ben-Ari covers Barack Obama’s recent visit to Israel.

In “Perfect Days,” E-Bits Editor Beverly Spicer writes about cultural change and the difference between newsprint and online news, and new vulnerabilities to censorship, deletions, memory holes. She talks about the Main Core database and reminiscences about a science fiction book from the ’70s called “This Perfect Day.” She suggests as life imitates art, that it is also imitating science fiction.

Assignment Sheet has two stories for August. The first, by Eileen Douglas, is called “Cheatin’ Heart.” Eileen ponders the (hopefully rare) cheating reporter who got caught getting someone else to write his newspaper pieces for him. Dick Kraus, continuing his thread about “In the Presence of Greatness,” finds that greatness can be found right under your nose in your own newsroom.

In his commentary “Local Rules, or Should,” Ron Steinman writes that “all news should be local if survival is the future of newspapers,” and predicts that newspapers and TV news can still survive, but only if they determine what the news business is – and isn’t.

Our regular columnists Bill Pierce, Mark Loundy and Terry Heaton as usual offer provocative columns and Chuck Westfall answers your technical questions. And in Ethics, Karen Slattery and Mark Doremus observe that responsible journalism is “No Small Matter” to a community.

We will be holding our last domestic Platypus Workshop for 2008 in Chicago from Oct. 17 to 26. We still have some shoot ‘n’ edit spots and producer spots left, but we suggest you register as soon as possible. This will be our 33rd workshop since we started them. It has changed the lives of nearly everyone who has attended them.

We hope you enjoy this issue.”

Dirck Halstead
Editor and Publisher

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Art/Science: 10th Annual International Juried Digital Print Competition and Exhibition

DEADLINE: August 10, 2008
From the e-blast:

“OPEN CALL for the 10th International Juried Digital Print Competition/Exhibition, organized by Art & Science Collaborations, Inc. (ASCI). Seeking artists, designers, architects, technologists, and scientists to examine their environmental concerns, indulge their fantasies (sci-fi, fantasy, etc.), and then share their digital visions of how a sustainable future on planet Earth might look. This could include new types of hybrid forms: plants, animals, humans, cities, transportation systems, food, etc.

An exhibition of the work, Digital’08: Imagination On Behalf Of Our Planet, will be held at the New York Hall of Science, October 4-January 25, 2009 and a corresponding online exhibition will be created and promoted internationally. Entry details and Guidelines:

ASCI was one of the first organizations in the world to recognize the digital print as a valid fine art product in 1998 by organizing an afternoon panel discussion,
“Collectibility & the Digital Print.” The event was held in The Great Hall at Cooper Union, New York City, in conjunction with ASCI’s first international digital print competition/exhibition.”

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MMW Events this week: MVS to lecture in Rockport, Maine This Thursday Eve

I’m just wrapping up attending the class “Copyright and Legal Issues for Media Artists” taught by attorney Nancy Wolff at the Maine Media Workshop, and this evening I switch hats to become a teacher of my marketing workshop. What a week! Nancy’s class has been amazing, we have all learned so much about the copyright law and the changes in attitude about allowing creators retaining copyright. If you haven’t read Nancy’s book, you must. Tonight, Dirck Halsted will speak at 8 p.m. at Union Hall on his book “Moments in Time” about his incredible career as a photojournalist. Many of you know of him as the founder of Digital Journalist.

Tomorrow night, Thursday the 7th, I too will be speaking in the Faculty Lecture Series at MMW, along with a book signing with summertime locals Allison V. Smith and Jerrie Smith, authors of Reflection of A Man. Join us! 7:30 start at Union Hall in downtown Rockport, just down from Timothy Whelan’s amazing photobook store. Also on view in Union Hall is the exhibition “Two Generations: Paul and John Paul Caponigro” continuing through August 22nd. Plenty of reasons to drive to Rockport this week!

To view the Community Events area of the MMW Website, click here.

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