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How to present your portfolio presentation

How to make a portfolio presentation



This article covers


  1. Why Portfolios Presentations are important
  2. Physical & technical requirements
  3. Who can make a presentation
  4. Preparing a Photographers Statement
  5. Samples of good and bad Photographers Statements











Firstly, They give you feedback on what others think of your work or how they may have handled the subject. In some cases you may disagree with the comments, but normally the comments are highly useful.


Secondly, They show other members what forms of photography interest you and how you interpret your subject.



Within the Foundation there are many highly skilled members who are happy to critique photography. One of the objectives of the Foundation is build up the willingness and ability of members to freely comment and offer their opinions. You can help this process by asking and encouraging people to comment. We need to break down the reluctance to comment, and turn this element of the meeting into an exciting and informative period. This process will make you and everyone else a better judge of photography and in turn better photographers.


We hope that you will find this viewing period positive, informative and rewarding.











For some it will be a challenge to show 3-4 prints made on the office printer and that is fine.  We all start somewhere.

You are free to choose whatever prints you would like to display.  However it is recommended that the work represents a developed body of work on a set theme or idea. An assortment of prints showing differing styles or genre is of less value. 


The Portfolio Presentation gives you the oportunity to show what stage of photographic skill you have reached and your area of interest. Participation is more important that perfection.


Your work will be set up on panels approximately 2m high x 1m wide. You can choose to sit your work in an aluminium track, or pin them on foam boards. Prints may be of any quality, on whatever paper you choose. If possible they should be matted (heavy cardboard with a hole cut approx same size of image - protects and supports image), but that is not essential.Images may be of any size and ideally your work will cover at least one panel. 4 to 8 prints are usually ideal. If you wish to exceed one panel please do so.


If you wish to show the images digitally bring your own laptop.



                  Please arrive by 7pm to ensure your

work is on display at 7.15pm.


After the welcome all exhibitors will be asked to introduce their work. This is basically a 1-2 minute introduction on what your photographic objectives were and how you achieved them. This is also known as a Photographers Statement, common to fine art students and galleries. Some tips are included below.


Following your introduction, everyone will be given a glass of wine to encourage a leisurely viewing. During this time, please stay alongside your work. There will be no judging, however our guest speaker will inspect all the works and provide a "Photo Review".  


Again I stress, please encourage members to actively discuss and comment.  If need be ask them what do they think? How would they have captured the image? We need to encourage active participation in this part of the evening.








Each month members will be invited to display their works. This will be rotated through the club so that all members have a chance. However if you have a portfolio you wish to display please feel free to ask the President.

In addition to the Portfolios you are always welcome to present prints taken at CPF events over the last month.

As the Foundation grows, and standards rise the opportunity to present is likely to become more competitive. Some selection process may be required. Ultimately we hope that we reach a stage where photographers submit proposals to a selection panel. While this may result in an elitist approach, there will always be a section open to first time exhibitors and space will always be available for beginners, invited guests and new members.











"An artist statement is an essential part of a good portfolio. A good statement allows people who love your work to find out more about you, offers your audience more ways to connect with you, and increases their appreciation and perceived value of your work.

* Make "I" statements rather than "you" statements. Talk about what your art does for you, not what it's supposed to do for the viewers.

* Tell the story about what led up to your art ONLY if it's short, compelling, and really relevant. People are generally not interested in progressions of antecedent events.

So, I repeat: an artist statement is what, how, and why you do what you do, from your perspective."


DO NOT attempt to explain what each image in any detail. Your comments should introduce your work collectively rather than each image.

DO NOT try to explain each subject as the viewer should be able to see that by looking at the print.

It is the why you chose the subject, rather than what the subject is.








'World Watching'

My passion is portrait. And landscape. And travelling. I try to combine them. My landscapes are portraits of nature. The naked body becomes landscape. Portrait, nude, landscape, and self-portrait are united to form a single image. Within it, I become a part of nature. Even the most beautiful place might not be chosen if I don't "feel" it. A place should allow me to discover myself, I have to "fall in love" with it. Perhaps that is why I stand naked in landscapes. Eve in the garden of paradise? Perhaps. My self-portraits show a world which is beautiful, pristine, romantic. A world that could be, that is, in fact, it just needs to be rediscovered. The "World Watching" series is a visual diary, a chronicle of places and emotions. A lot of fun, fear sometimes, enchantment, and disappointment. Simply put - I love to be the landscape.

Credit to Wanda Michalak


  • It is personal and passionate. Explains what she was trying to achieve, where she looked for inspiration. What and how she was tring to create
  • Explains the collection rather than each image
  • Is concise without verbous language. Avoids jargon
  • Could explain more about how she creates If there are unique methods





I want you to see an assortment of random images. In the first one you can see a soft image of a girls face. The next shows a runner leaning into a corner on a soft blue track. Then you can see some glasses, that I took 10 years ago, where I stood the glasses on a shelf, moved the camera back 1 meter and focussed on the glasses. The next you can see a movement picture. Finally a beach scene on a stormy day, where I had to climb up a steep hill, which was very slippery and wet.

These images represent the juxtaposition of the timeless and majestic elegance of nature's sensory-surpassing miracles with the entangled and growing tensions of our time ......


  • Errors. Don't tell what the viewer can see - thats for him to visualise. Talk about why you wanted to take the image, what you were trying to a achieve.
  • Don't explain each image.
  • There was nothing personal to connect the viewer with the image
  • Verbose
  • Dn't use flowery jargon.




More examples:











The concept of a Portfolio review is that it is a one to one review, of a portfolio, by a qualified person.

It is intended to be an open and frank discussion, aimed at helping the photographer.

In the CCPnz context, it is being conducted at a members night, but the concept of having an expert review your work remains.

It is best to present one or two solid series of your work. 6-12 prints is probably an ideal amount to show. You will want to show your best work, and you will want to be able to talk about it concisely as you introduce it

HOW DOES IT WORK?  We believe that portfolio reviews are one of the most proactive and efficient ways for serious photographers to meet with experts and colleagues in a professional atmosphere.







Dedicated to fostering the practice, appreciation and understanding of photography as an art form and as a powerful form of visual communication.


CCPnz is an educational and cultural non-profit organisation, dedicated to promoting photographic education and appreciation, to the public, as well as providing a space where photo enthusiasts can learn, create, discuss and show their work.