Critical Revue 2!


Following on the success of last year’s Critical Revue night, Pauline Zonneveld and I are proud to bring the event back for another go.

As photographers, the most important marketing tool we have is our portfolio. You know the portfolio is supposed to be the best of the best images you’ve ever made, but how do you know which those are? What order should they go in? Which image is bringing your book down? Or is your portfolio any good at all?

These are questions we all ask ourselves every time we look at our work. Critical Revue 2 is your opportunity to get open, honest feedback from people who know what they’re talking about. (It’s also a good excuse to meet/socialize with your fellow photographers!)

It’s all happening January 28, 2013, at Buck Studio in NW Portland (3150 NW 31st Ave., Suite 4B). Doors open at 6:30, lights dimmed at 7.


PlywerkWe are grateful for the support of our sponsors: Plywerk, the coolest, eco-friendliest way to mount and display your work, built right here in Portland.

ASponsored by Pro Photo Supplynd Pro Photo Supply, the best camera store and rentals department around.

How will it work?

The idea is based on something Zack Arias did in Atlanta. Basically, email Matthew your digital portfolio or body of work, show up at the studio with a chair and beverage, and listen and learn as the panel of experts critiques the work. The work will be projected for everyone to see, and the whole audience will hear—and learn—from what the critics have to say.

What is it not?

This is not about pixel peeping, or even deconstruction of individual images. The idea here is to look at a body of work and evaluate the body as a whole: what works, what doesn’t, why, and how it can be improved.

Zack’s rules apply:

  1. You can’t take it personally. Even if the panel laughs at your photos. They are there first and foremost to help and that means they aren’t going to just hand out pats on the back and pump up your self esteem. Honest critique is needed by all of us in order to grow. It is the goal to point out strengths and weakness. We all have to grow. None of us have this all figured out. Just remember that.
  2. You can’t explain your work until after the critique. You could show a mediocre photograph and then tell us the saddest story in the world about the photograph and suddenly we want to like the photograph. A picture stands on its own or it doesn’t. Let your work speak for itself. We can have a discussion about your work after the panel has had its say first.
  3. You aren’t guaranteed a critique. We have no idea how many folks are going to show up. That’s why it is a bring-your-own-chair sort of event. If 6 people show up then we’ll get to all of you. If 100 people show up, well, you know that would be impossible. Sitting in on the critique is always a good learning experience though. You don’t have to put something in the box to attend. You can rubberneck if you want. :)
  4. Bring a chair, bring a beverage. Our floor is hard so you might want to grab a folding chair from home. And if you think you might get thirsty, bring something you like.

The panel

The work will be reviewed by a panel of people who know what they’re talking about: photographers, producers and photo editors. This year’s panel includes Troy Wayrynen, photo editor for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver; George Olson, former Director of Photography for Sunset, and current board member for Northwest Center for Photography and iWitness gallery; and Shaun Mendiola, Art Director for Mutt Industries ad agency. The panelists’ opinions are their own, of course, but they’ve been around the block and their experience covers a wide cross-section of the image creation business.

The details

We need your work! If you want to submit work to be considered by our panel here’s what you should do:

  • Put together a portfolio or body of work of no more than 20 pictures. It doesn’t have to be “your very bestest work ever,” just something of presentable quality that you want some feedback on. Any subject is ok (except porn), but keep in mind that our panel will review the work based on their own background.
  • Optimize the pictures for projection at 1024 (horiz.) x 768 (vert.) pixels. They don’t have to be that format, but that’s the size of the projection. The work doesn’t have to be created digitally, but it must be presented that way. Save the pictures as jpeg files with sRGB color profile.
  • Name the pictures with your name and the sequence, e.g. MatthewGinn01.jpg, MatthewGinn02.jpg, etc. (Don’t forget the leading ’0′, or photos 10-19 might end up before photo 2!)
  • Email them to me, matthew-at-matthewginn-dot-com, with the subject line “Critical Revue 2 portfolio” by January 27.
  • IMPORTANT: re-read Zack’s rules above.

Space is limited—please “join” this event on Facebook.

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