8 x 10in
Soft Cover - with flaps
- TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Lesson 1: Find Your Focus
- Lesson 2: Thinking in Themes
- Lesson 3: Editing on a Technical and Aesthetic Level
- Lesson 4: Grouping by Quality
- Lesson 5: Adding New Work
- Lesson 6: Improving Your Portfolio
- Lesson 7: Where You Can Go From Here
- Lesson 8: Putting It All Together
One thing I realized in reading this well-written book is that it’s not only commercial photographers who need to know how to put together a portfolio; we hobbyists appreciate learning how to organize our work in a useful way as well. We organize for our own pleasure as well as for our audience of family and friends. Thus, this book is useful for any photographer. The author advises us at the start that we need to put into action what we are learning as we go and not just read the book through in one sitting. That’s certainly true for me. I need to work on each step before I move onto the next or I will lose my way.
A bonus of working with this author in his book will be becoming more adept at using Lightroom to organize my work. The author goes into useful detail on how to import photos in an organized way that will render the photographs retrievable and useful as time goes on. His chapter advising us to find and think in terms of themes for our work is one I especially enjoyed. He points out that by organizing our photos into themes, we can discover which are stronger. And later in this useful book, the author tells us not just to organize by themes, but to take the time to write a statement, however brief, about our collection and what it means to us. I have never done that but I am going to begin because I think putting into words what we think about our work can only be helpful.
Of course, Neill goes on to explain why actually telling stories with our thematic photographs is a great way to convey a message, whether it be a lighthearted message or something more serious like conservation. I think he’s right that, in addition, your viewer will enjoy having a narrative. The author encourages us ever to refine our themes and our photography and I think that’s an excellent suggestion, but one that we often don’t take the time to do. Much like writing, photography can be edited endlessly both post production and in our future making of images.
At the end the author gives us a checklist of how to proceed in finalizing our portfolio, including getting feedback and trusting our instincts. One obvious use of a portfolio is commercial, i.e. using it to demonstrate to potential clients the strengths of your photography skills. However, I think we amateurs need to work on portfolios as well in order to further our skills. And, occasionally, there is a use even for amateurs, such as volunteering for conservation groups with your photography, and it will help greatly to have an organized portfolio at that point as well.
This book gave me a lot to think about, and also, importantly, a detailed procedure on how to develop better portfolios. It’s a book I will refer to repeatedly.
If you have ever tried to print your own book, or make a slide show or presentation; and was not 100% happy with the results, this is the book for you!
I have read many of William Neill’s books and learned from every one of them. Mr. Neill is a real photographer and artist. The main lesson I learned from this book is to ONLY use good (great) images…. quantity is not needed…. only quality. To me the most important Lessons are 2, 4, and 6, as these specifically talk about ‘themes’.
To start you must think in ‘themes’ and then photograph for those ‘themes’. When editing you must always keep the theme in mind.
If you want to present your work as a photographer this book is a must for your refence library.
Dirk Hüntemeyer (verified owner)
I admire Williams Work for a Long Time. It’s always an Inspiration for my own Work. The Books gives great Insights into the Work of a truley Master of Landscape Photography.