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Making Folio 2

On November 17, 2013
By Connie
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Aperture

This is my digital work space.  Well, part of it.  The light table spreads out quite a bit.  There are heaps of photos scattered all over this screen.

I’m using a program called Aperture to lay out my images so I can sort them into my next portfolio section on my newly launched website.  Several weeks ago I had to halt this process in order to focus on finishing the new site.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, the pursuit of the perfect portfolio is never ending so I had to draw the line somewhere or I’d have never published the new site.

Years ago, I used to make small 4×6 prints of my work and spread those out on a large table.  It really helps the thought process to be able to move photos around each other and sort them into different groups when you can see them all at once.  It’s how I can get a better feel for the body of my work.  I’ve since moved this process into Aperture so I don’t have to waste all that money on ink and paper.  The bonus is that I can easily make duplicates of images if they need to belong to several groupings, or make quick variations with cropping or orientation.  Better still, I don’t have to clean up my mess once dinner time rolls around.

Using Aperture is not as nicely tactile as the prints method, but it works well for me.

There’s always a really fun aspect to portfolio building.  It’s essentially walking down memory lane.  So many photo shoots with some really talented, creative people.  Going back to shoots done months ago can also bring fresh eyes to the final results.  I’m sometimes rather surprised at how pairing one image with another image from a completely different shoot can breathe new life into both.  Take a look at the example below:

 

Checkers

Both of these photos were taken in the last few months, but for different clients.  Black & white styling using geometric shapes has been really trendy lately so I’ve done a number of shoots with those themes.  With a few tweaks to the saturation levels and colour tones, these two images really compliment each other when paired together.  Making time to rework and play around with my images is just another element in exploring my creative style as a shooter.

The combinations, directions, alternatives are all endless.  And every time I do a new shoot, I’m adding more photos to the mix.  Hence, the process that never ends.

I’ve started a blog

On October 5, 2013
By Connie
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Hello World.  I’ve started a blog.  Because I’m awesome and therefore people want to know what I’m up to.

At least, I hope so.

I’ve magically timed the beginning of this blog with the launch of my new website.  I invite you take a look around and view my latest work.  This new site has been several months in the making and I am pleased that all that hard work has finally paid off.  I’m really stoked about the fresh new look and the fancy arrow key functions for viewing my portfolio.  I’m a photographer, not a web developer, so all these new functions have got me pretty excited.  Simple minds, I know.  Look!  I’ve just learned how to upload photos to my blog posts:

Behind the scenes shot of me on a recent Macadamia Oil product shoot.

 

As I’m learning, there is an art to creating your own website, and I’m not talking about the art of web design.  I’m talking about the difficulty of choosing what to display and what to hold back.  I spent countless hours pouring over my photographs trying to decipher the puzzle of that perfect portfolio.  And I mean ‘perfect’ for me.  What are my strongest photos?  What images best represent my style?  What does this portfolio say about me as a photographer?  It can cause a bit of an existential crisis.

How does one answer these questions objectively?  There’s never a right answer, which is both liberating and infuriating at the same time.  There are many different methods of pulling together your portfolio.  You can take classes and workshops on the subject.  There are even consultants you can hire to guide you through the process.  And no matter what method you use, the process is never really over.  No portfolio is ever perfect, at least, not in the mind of its creator.  There is always that constant drive to capture a more breath-taking image.  The making of a portfolio, the hours of reflecting over your life’s work, is just a part of a journey with no clear destination.

I’ll keep you posted on my journey and we’ll see where I end up.

 

 

About Connie

I was that geeky camera chick who spent her high school lunch breaks in the darkroom.  I still miss the smell of those stinky developer chemicals.  Sort of.

Born in Canada, I graduated with top honours in Applied Photography at Sheridan College before spending several years assisting and producing for  some of the best commercial shooters in Toronto.  After gathering a wealth of valuable skills and getting my first DSLR, I bought a plane ticket to Asia.

It was my first backpacking adventure, but I managed to survive nine months from Seoul to Singapore with only some shoddy mandarin and a lot of luck.  I had the time of my life. So I did it again.  Seven months of zig-zagging around India and Nepal taught me ingenuity with limited resources, clarity when surrounded in chaos, and how to eat with just my right hand.

Sydney became my new home in 2008, and I’ve been enjoying the sunny weather and great coffee ever since.

Today, I’m a fashion and product photographer extraordinaire.  Based at Studio 8 in the northern beaches of Sydney, I relish the challenge and precision of studio lighting.  My clients are drawn to my clean, stripped back approach to every project.  My simplistic yet direct style is refreshing and elegant in a market full of heavily Photoshopped images.

When I’m not in the studio you can find me hand folding dumplings or scaling walls at the rock climbing gym.  I’m also really good at winning board games (or my friends are just really good at losing).

 

Accolades

Finalist – Shoot The Chef 2013
Top 5 – Australia’s Emerging Travel Photographers of 2010 – Capture Magazine
Winner – Best Marketing Imagery Award 2010 – New Mardi Gras
Semi-finalist – Shutterbug Awards 2010 – Shutterbug
Short-listed – Travel Photographer of the Year 2009 – TPOTY
Finalist – Cultural Explorers 2009 – STA Travel
Winner – World in Focus 2007 – Photo District News
Top Emerging Photographers of 2007 – Photo Life Magazine

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