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Portfolio Reviews: Preparation


What should you do to prepare for a review?

First, decide how many portfolios representing significantly different styles of work you wish to have reviewed. Three portfolios is typically the practical limit for one review session, if time allows.

First, determine if your review is in person with the reviewer looking at prints, or will it be conducted on line, with the reviewer looking at your images on a monitor while talking to you via telephone.

Preparing for In-person Review

If your review session is outside of a conference setting, such as Photolucida, ask the reviewer for his or her preferences.

Edit each portfolio of work to between 15 and 20 pieces of your very best work. This is the time to show only your A+ work. Otherwise, the reviewer’s impressions of your capabilities will be somewhat skewed by the different qualities they view.

Prepare a 2 to 3-minute introduction to each portfolio. You are there to hear what the reviewer has to say about your work. Very few reviewers are interested in hearing on-going commentaries as they look at your images. If they have questions, and they should, they will ask.

When I conduct reviews, I look for continuity within the body of work, the quality of your prints and how compelling the images are, both singularly and within the body of work. Then we talk about how adjustments will strengthen your presentation and better appeal to you markets.

Print all your work to professional, exhibition quality, at 11x14 or larger format. Allow for a 2 to 3-inch white border for handling of the prints.


Prepare to present your work out of any protective sleeves or coverings. You want your work to be viewed without any distractions, such glare and reflections. If you transport your work in protective envelopes, remove them before you meet with the reviewer.

Have a leave behind, a CD with an image from your portfolio on the surface, 4x6 cards with mini artist’s statement, business card, or print. 

Online Review

Reviews can also be done online or by sending your images to the reviewer. Check with the reviewer to determine how they would like you to prepare your images.