Collections February 27 2008, 0 Comments

When I first began in the field of photography, there were many things that I learned because I tripped over the discovery of photographic techniques. I suppose not having a professor telling me what I should and shouldn’t do in those early days was a good thing. My creativity was not hammered. I didn’t lose my ability to see the possibilities. But there were also things I didn’t know to do. For example, creating collections. Unless I was shooting a portrait for someone, I would shoot this and that and perhaps come up with an image or two that I liked and which was technically correct. But it wasn’t until years into my work that I discovered that creating collections was like creating a story. While so many individual pieces do tell stories, there is a kind of magic in a collection. A collection gives more than a hint or a glimpse. It lets the “reader” understand more about the subject and without a doubt more about the author, (photographer).

Collections, I have learned are a way of being judged as well. Serious photographers, judges of the highest awards, evaluate photographer’s body of work, a collection on a particular topic, not individual shots. And while, again, I see the value of many individual shots, collections allow a photographer to show the bigger story. If you are looking to improve your overall portfolio, develop your work as collections. Decide what topics you wish to cover and then work to create that collection. Keep a journal while you are creating your photographic story…when and where you took the photographs. And don’t edit until ALL of the work is complete. When you are finished share your images with other professionals. Get feedback and then start to choose the strongest pieces…not the ones that are the same…the strongest. Your collection should be strong, diverse AND fit together, which for most of us is a tall order! It takes a while to develop your own style while creating collections. Set goals…and ask what your purpose is in creating specific collections. Then, go to it!