SoCal PhotoExchange

Portfolio Reviewer for LACP

Posted in Juried opportunities, Photo Art Business, Photographers, Photography, tPE members by douglaspstockdale on August 5, 2017

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Dawn Watson, dnj Gallery, Santa Monica, CA copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

This last month I was a guest portfolio reviewer for the LACP (Los Angeles Center of Photography) EXPOSURE 2017 portfolio reviews at the dnj Gallery in Santa Monica’s Bergamont (Arts) Station.

Overall it was a great experience as a portfolio reviewer as I was introduced to some very intriguing and well thought out photographic projects. It should probably come as no surprise that many of the photographers and artists were interested in spending time with me regarding my assessment about these projects being published.

One of the most frequent questions I am asked before one of these events; how does one prepare for a portfolio review? Since the review is scheduled for only 20 minutes, everyone is always surprised in how quickly this time slips by. First just about everyone brings too many photographs and supporting materials probably in the hopes that a reviewer will be able to see it all and still have time to provide some wise advice. Nope that usually does NOT happen.

Second, as a portfolio reviewer I start each discussion with three requests: tell me about yourself, tell me about the portfolio we are going to review and what is it you would like to obtain feedback from me about your project that might help you to move it forward?

Reviewers would like to know a little bit about who they are talking to; not your life story, but a quick 2 minute bio, which I call an elevator speech. Same for the portfolio (maybe a photographic project), for the photographer/artist to provide some context as to what is going to be reviewed, again perhaps 1-2 minutes, another elevator speech. Last, what is it you need from the review? Some examples: feedback on the editing of the photographs, are the images technically acceptable, could this sequence or series work in a book layout, are the photographs consistent with the artistic statement, etc.

Third, plan on reviewing only one portfolio with each reviewer, you can bring more portfolios, but you will only have real quality time to spend on one with each reviewer. In most portfolio reviews the artist/photographer might be meeting with a series of different portfolio reviewers and it is appropriate to select a portfolio that is relevant to a specific reviewer. In my case, most wanted me to review their book dummy’s or portfolios that they were thinking about having published.

Fourth, plan on having less than 15 prints in the portfolio to have reviewed. In many cases we did not get through all 15 prints during our 20 minute session. You should want quality time/discussion for each image and how these images relate to each other. This exchange takes time when it results in a give and take discussion.

Bring something to take notes and one photographer recorded our review session. Each portfolio reviewer is an individual with a point of view, which may be very different from yours, so don’t become defensive if the reviewer does not see or understand what you are trying to communicate with your photographic prints. One key purpose of coming to a portfolio review is to get a broader exposure to your work and have others talk about what they see. If you are doing more talking than listening, then you are not going to obtain the full benefit of this occasion.

Last, leave something behind, perhaps as simple as a business card (yes, one person left me with one of their books) to help the reviewer remember who you are (I did 12 portfolio reviews on Saturday and names and projects began to blur at the end of the day) and then follow up with a nice email note a couple of days after the event.

Reviewers are there to help you and if they can point you in a direction or make an follow on introduction, they usually will. I had a short list of introductions and follow-up items that I had promised and these are just about completed, as it takes a few days to get organized. Also realized that these are good events to network with the other photographers and artist who are participating in the reviews as you never can tell what might come up during a side discussion.

Note: I had not realized at the time I took the photograph of Dawn Watson, above, that the large red photograph behind me was going to reflect so much pink color on Watson’s self-published book. Below is a better representation of her book “Trees” ( & thanks to Watson for providing a better photograph) and a nice follow-up email regarding our review time together. well done.

Cheers!

Douglas Stockdale, Publisher

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LACP portfolio reviews – EXPOSURE 2017

Posted in Photo Art Business, Photographers, Photography, tPE members by douglaspstockdale on May 13, 2017

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Gerhard Clausing’s portfolio, EXPOSURE 2016, copyright 2016 Douglas Stockdale

LACP (Los Angeles Center for Photography) has just announced the dates for EXPOSURE 2017, their three day portfolio review event. I am very honored to be among a diverse and broad group of portfolio reviewers again this year. Similar to last year, I will be providing portfolio reviews on Sunday, July 16th, from 9:30 to 5:00 pm at the dnj gallery in Bergamont Station, Santa Monica (CA).

These portfolio reviews are always great events to network and have your work seen and discussed. As a reviewer, I have found this to be a wonderful opportunity to hear and see photographic projects that are in the various stages of development. As a networking event, myself included, a chance to meet up with reviewers, make a stronger personal relationship and as importantly, network with fellow photographers in between sessions. As you might imagine, I am very intrigued with portfolio’s that are intended to become photographic books.

Dates & Places:

Friday, July 14, 9:30 am – 5 pm (at LACP facilities, Los Angeles, CA)

Saturday and Sunday, July 15-16, 9:30 am – 5 pm (at dnj Gallery, Bergamont Station, Santa Monica, CA)

Early bird registration!

Early Bird Pricing (ends June 7, 2017)
$475 ($450 Members) for 8 reviews
$325 ($300 Members) for 5 reviews

Regular Pricing (after June 7, 2017)
$500 ($475 Members) for 8 reviews
$350 ($325 Members) for 5 reviews

Reviewers include (besides your truly):

Elizabeth Avedon, Curator and Contributor, L’Oeil de la Photographie
Sherrie Berger, Photo Consultant
Rudi Bianchi, Photo Collector
Jonathan Blaustein, Writer and Contributor, NYTimes Lensblog and Photo Editor
Susan Burnstine, Contributor, B+W Magazine (UK)
Marisa Caicholo, Curator, Building Bridges Art Exchange, Casablanca Biennale
Kai Caemmerer, Curator, SFO Museum
Brittany Cernansky*, Art Producer, Saatchi & Saatchi
Brian Paul Clamp, Director, Clamp Art
Shana Nys Dambrot, Art Critic and Curator, Art Share LA Board Member
Crista Dix, Founder and Director of wall space gallery
Emily Gonzalez-Jarrett, Curatorial Associate, Hammer Museum
Nick Haymes, Owner/Director, Little Big Man Gallery
Pamela Hassell, Photo Editor, Associated Press
Maiza Hixson, Curator and Co-Director of Santa Barbara CAST
Sarah Lee, Independent Curator
Kaycee Olsen, Director, Kopeikin Gallery
Eve Schillo*, Curatorial Assistant, Photo Department, LACMA
Gabrielle Sirkin, Freelance Photo Editor, AirB&B magazine
Aline Smithson, Founder/Editor Lenscratch.com
Douglas Stockdale, Founder/Editor of The PhotoBook journal
Heather Strobo, Curator, The Porch Gallery
Joanna Szupinska-Myers, Curator of Exhibitions, CA Museum of Photography
Paula Tognarelli, Executive Director, Griffin Museum of Photography

My friend Sarah Hadley will be providing a FREE LACP portfolio review prep talk on June 14th. So if you have not participated in a portfolio review before or it has been a while since you last participated and need a “rust remover”, a great discussion about what to do and as important, what not to do, for a portfolio review session. The review sessions are relatively brief, 20 minutes, and time flies by fast, so you want to make a lasting impression and being prepared with your portfolio, the “leave-behind” and a short rehearsal of your “elevator speech” will be well served.

I am looking forward to seeing you there!

Cheers,

Douglas Stockdale

FREE guide from LensCulture – Get exposure for you photography

Posted in Juried opportunities, Photo Art Business, Photographers, Photography by douglaspstockdale on November 29, 2016

LensCulture

LensCulture is now offering a FREE download (pdf) for their recent 2017 guide to help with gaining exposure for you fine art photographs, available here

I will have to admit that since I now work for lensCulture, I have a bit of a basis ;- )

Nevertheless, go check it out and I would like to hear back from you as to whether you think if this guide will make a difference for you in 2017.

Your truly, the Editor

Portfolio Reviews at LACP Exposure 2016

Posted in Juried opportunities, Photo Art Business, Photographers, Photography, tPE members by douglaspstockdale on June 7, 2016

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Susan Burnstine, a Portfolio Reviewer for LACP Exposure 2016

I will be among the 19 Portfolio Reviewers, joining Susan Burnstine, Aline Smithson, Julia Dean, Kirk Pederson, Sarah Lee, Chris Davies to name only a few, for the Los Angeles Center of Photography’s (LACP) “Exposure 2016” event being held at the end of July at Santa Monica’s Bergamont Station.

The LACP’s “Exposure 2016” is a great opportunity to have your work seen by a diverse group of portfolio reviewers; see all of the bio’s here.

I am recommending that photographers who are interested in feedback on a portfolio that has been edited for potential publication may want to consider me for a portfolio review session. I am also recommending that if the photographer/artist has a book dummy in addition to a print portfolio, it would be a great opportunity to get some constructive criticism on that as well. The issue as always for these events is that you only have a 20 minute window to spend with each reviewer, so it really helps to know what exactly you want from this brief exchange.

Although this is a two day event; Saturday, July 30, 10 am – 5 pm + Sunday, July 31, 10 am – 5 pm, regretfully I will be available only on Sunday, July 31st. So I’m a bit limited for availability. Thus I suggest if you want to have my review, you will probably want to sign up as soon as possible.

For more details on “Exposure 2016”, including on how to sign-up, head over to: here.

Currently early bird pricing is still available until July 1st, so check it out now ;- )

Exposures 2016 event adress: dnj Gallery, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Suite J1, Santa Monica, California, 90404, (United States).

Cheers!

Douglas Stockdale, Editor