ask anyone who knows me...i have a thing about website portfolios. and here's some of my pretty opinionated thoughts... clients come to your website to get an idea of who you are as a photographer and the photographs you produce. they want to have a thorough understanding about what they're potentially going to invest in. and therefore it's important for you to have an honest and up-to-date representation of yourself and your work. your portfolio is your business' first impression. and shouldn't you have that first impression be the best it can be?

nothing frustrates me more than when photographers say they they don't have time to update their portfolio. especially for years!! for me, updating my portfolio is not even an annual thing; it's ongoing throughout every year. my prospective clients deserve that. they deserve to know exactly what they're getting if they choose to invest in me, as their photographer.

and i hope that anyone i have photographed over the years would say that i have an honest representation of my work on my website.

so as we start this new year, PLEASE consider looking through and updating your website portfolio. and then consider continuing to update throughout the year.

here's a few photographs that i just added to my portfolio. and with that, a few others that didn't feel quite right any longer, were removed.

and a couple oldies that just made it back into my portfolio.  that's the beauty of portfolios; your loves, tastes, editing, etc. -- it all changes over time.

ETA:  i just had another thought.  i've heard from some photographers,

if they [clients] want to see updated photos, they're on my blog.

well if that's the case and that's the route you want to go, get rid of your main website. again, if you have a site AND a blog, take responsibility for both of them. your client doesn't know what you're thinking; they just know what they see.

lastly, keeping your high-res portfolio images organized and easily found will greatly help in portfolio management, access and updates.  trust me! :-)

meant to be

you know how you feel that you're just meant to do something? well that's how i feel about shooting polaroid. i'm not sure i can explain it. but it nags at me. to keep going. to keep shooting. to keep investing. of course, i struggle with my brain and waiver at times but ultimately, i'm always brought back to this darn polaroid camera.

but it's not easy. nor reliable (especially if you purchase 600 film off ebay, which i don't recommend). and it's expensive. and that can be frustrating.

i'm trying to figure out a way to incorporate polaroid into my client session because i think they're magical. and therefore, i think i should. i have some definite ideas.

here's a few shots from yesterday that have now become up there with my all time fav photographs.

yes, i believe it's meant to be. and well...that's good enough for me.

and of course, i have the 'remember who you are' polaroid, which i will forever treasure. and is now hanging as a framed 20x20 print right above my desk. maybe i'll enlarge and frame a few others and have a wall of polaroids.

remember who you are

emily -- a previous workshop attendee, a client, my friend -- inquired the other day about purchasing a remember who you are print.

me: of course. emily:  i'd like to order a 20x20 print. me:  really? emily:  of course.

i had never printed one of my polaroids 20x20 before but she had. she printed this one that i took of lulu, during their session a few months ago. and now, the two will hang side by side in her house. i so can't wait to see.

after i placed the order, i shared the story of the remember who you are polaroid with emily and thought it would be fun to share here too...

a few years back, i attended a mary ellen mark workshop in venice beach, calif. the weekend was beyond amazing. not only did i get to listen to mary ellen mark speak and have my portfolio reviewed by her, i got to each breakfast and dinner with her all weekend (we just happened to be staying in the same hotel). just she and i sharing. it really was a dream come true because she (and sally mann) have been huge inspirations for me, from the very beginning.

so...as i headed back to san diego in the pouring rain, i passed the remember who you are painted on a garage door in an alley. i drove by. stopped. and backed up to take the polaroid. as i drove away, i prayed that it was going to turn out (i have PLENTY of polaroids that have not).

i can't help but think it was all meant to be.  the polaroid is and always will be one of my favorite images ever.

both images courtesy of emily corey

i think i'll share a bit more about shooting polaroids tomorrow.  i've been getting emailed a lot of questions lately. believe me...i'm no expert but i'm always willing to share my personal experience.

ETA: i really am longing to own a mary ellen mark print.  and when i was looking through her work today, i came across this one. oh my. it's just fabulous. a print that i think i'll appreciate more and more and more over the years. :-) © mary ellen mark

it's a sad day

...when you go to ebay and you see that polaroid 600 film is $5-plus per PICTURE.  in other words, one pack of polaroid 600 film is $50+ plus shipping. when i first started shooting polaroid with my SX70 camera, it was $1.50 per picture and that wasn't all that long ago. when i left kansas (in june), it was $3 per picture.

one can purchase 600 film from the impossible project WHEN they have it; it's out of stock most of the time.  and my last pack from there was terrible -- very yellow and almost every photo was...well...very yellow and not so great.  so i'm not that confident in 600 film from the impossible project at the moment.  although i've had my fair share of bad polaroid film from ebay too.

i've also tried TZ artistic and PX polaroid film and i'm just not a fan.

i'm sad as i seriously long to shoot 600 film with my SX70.

it all makes the polaroids that i have that much more amazing. and it makes me adore my instant recall gallery that much more.  i might just have to frame a polaroid or two in our new house (aka the mini-castle).

in closing and with a tear in my eye, i share a few of my polaroid favorites...

p.s. okay, maybe no tears but i really am sad.

p.s.s. on a most-incredible-happy note, we're officially closing on the mini-castle tomorrow.  walk-thru in 15 minutes.  :-)))

picture time

i'm having such an amazing time in north carolina.  last night, little miss lulu turned the camera on me...and then couldn't figure out why hers didn't spit out a picture, like mine did. more to come of spirited miss lulu...soon.  back home late tonight.

i also had the wonderful opportunity to recently share on shutter sisters.  you can see the interview here. © deb schwedhelm | tampa children's photographer