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Portfolio Reviews:

Can Portfolios Effectively be Reviewed on a Monitor?

Absolutely! The portfolio review process can be as effective when the images are viewed on a calibrated monitor, as when viewed in person. And, the process is a heck of a lot less expensive. The cost of transportation, lodging, etc., for a review at a location away from your home is eliminated, the images do not have to be printed and matted, and you save lots of time.

When I was the director for The Center for Fine Art Photography, we contracted with more than fifty of the most respected jurors to jury images submitted online for exhibition. Not one objected to viewing the images on their monitor, in fact many stated they preferred it. Those who later saw the exhibited images seldom were surprised by seeing an image of lesser quality than when they juried the show.

A notable exception and compelling argument for in-person reviews of prints is when images are of large scale. Sometimes the value of scale can be lost when viewed on a monitor. Also, if the print media (paper and ink) is of concern to the photographer, then the images need to be seen by the reviewer.

Another advantage to online reviews is the time it provides the reviewer prior to the session on the phone to evaluate your images. Prior to connecting with the photographer, I may create copies of some of their images and make what I think might be useful crops. Then, in the review, I e-mail them to the photographer for comparison and discussion. Or, I make look at the EXIF data of a digital image to see the lens used, focal length, and exposure settings. This information can reveal additional insight to the photographer’s style. Often, the same image may have been enhanced had the lens/exposure combination been different.