On March 18 I had the pleasure of attending APA LA’s “Edit & Flow” event, which was very interesting and informative. As APA themselves describe it, “This intriguing event will give attendees a peek at how one renowned industry expert would advise photographers to develop a portfolio/website that will stand out, get results and break through the visual clutter with which she/he is bombarded every day.
The event was laid out in 2 rooms of a studio in Hollywood. The first room had the chairs, projector, and everything else needed for the presentation that would be given. In the second room they served food and drinks next to a large trophy case full of all sorts of old cameras.
The presentation was given by Jigisha Bouverat: owner/ agent of Jigisha Bouverat Collective and the former Director of Art Production at TBWA/Chiat/Day for over 18 years. She discussed a variety of topics that did a good job of shedding light on how an agency works and how to get your work noticed. The importance of a portfolio as a way of introducing your work was one of the first big points she mentioned. When constructing a portfolio (and a body of work in general) you should have a consistent vision, such that agencies can see your work and rely on you to deliver when there’s money on the line. One bad image in a portfolio could be just enough to make somebody think twice. Jigisha feels that it’s better to have less images that are all amazing than to fill space with images that are mediocre. This is the “edit” portion. She then went on to discuss how you should arrange the images in your portfolio in a way that best tells the story of you and your style. There should be a natural “flow” as the viewer looks through your portfolio from start to finish. All of these tips on portfolio-creation were practical, intuitive, and insightful.
While Jigisha feels the portfolio is the way to introduce your art in a concise way, she described websites as a place where somebody could go when they when they were ready to dive into your entire body of work. She said photographers needed websites that were Fast, Beautiful, Intuitive, and Timely. I couldn’t help but think about Dripbook’s own website templates when she discussed how a website should be “simple and quick loading, showcas[ing] your images quickly in each section.” As she pointed out, the beauty and strength of your images should speak for themselves. She also discussed the need to update your website with your newest work so that the site remains current. All of these points were very true and useful for creating a fantastic photography website.
Jigisha also discussed other ways to be found in the industry. Some of these resources included E-mailers, Direct Mail, Directories, and Industry Publications like Archive, PDN, and American Photography. Jigisha mentioned Workbook first on her list of Directories that were well known in the industry as a valuable place to find professional creatives.
She also mentioned Yodelist during the Q&A portion when asked about E-mailers. She said Yodelist is a great place to find contacts, build resources, and send e-mailers.
After the Q&A section, I briefly talked with Lisette Kennedy, Director of APA LA. She told me about some of the exciting events coming up for them in the Los Angeles area. You should check out APA LA online and if you come to one of their events, keep a look out for some of us from the Workbook Group of Creative Services.