Recently, we talked to experienced portfolio reviewers about the most effective presentation methods and follow-up promos they have seen from photographers they’ve met on the portfolio circuit [See “Right Stuff: Making the Most of the Portfolio Review," PDN July.] Here more reviewers share their stories of photographers who got their attention, and then maintained their connection long after the 20-minute critique is long over. Each had their own opinions, however, about how they prefer to be contacted.
At the end of a review, photographers typically hand over a sample of their work—a promo card, a CD, a small booklet—as a leave-behind the reviewer can take home. Ann Jastrab, gallery director of Rayko Photo Center of San Francisco, tells photographers, “Keep in mind that most of the material we get is hard to bring back because we get so much of it.”
She jokes, “Unfortunately the leave behinds often get left behind” especially if more than a dozen photographers give them booklets, cards and CDs. Her advice to photographers: “Instead, follow up with me a few days or a few weeks later with an eye-catching 4 x 6 postcard that has an iconic image on the front and your contact information on the back. That works best for me.”
Jastrab, a frequent reviewer at Photolucida, Photo Alliance in San Francisco, and Review LA among others, says that the images that really wow her on a mailed card get pinned up on her office wall. It also helps her figure out which images might work together in a group show. For example, Rayko currently has a juried show of camera-less photography on view called “No Mirrors” that features work by nearly 50 artists from around the world. Christopher Colville is one of them.