Why attend a Portfolio Review?

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Image © FotoFest, Houston

With the launch of Lens Culture FotoFest Paris 2010, we thought this was an excellent time to answer the question, “Why attend a portfolio review?”
First of all, Fred Baldwin, FotoFest Chairman and Co-Founder of FotoFest International explains how and why this format of professional portfolio reviews started:

“When we were freelance photographers in the early ‘80s, Wendy Watriss and I
deeply understood the need for a program that coupled talent with opportunity. In 1982, Wendy and I attended informal portfolio reviews in Arles, France that revolved around Jean-Claude Lemagny of the Bibliothèque Nationale and a few others. As a result of those few face-to-face meetings, we sold work, got exhibits and assignments!

“That was the genesis of FotoFest and the first Meeting Place portfolio review in Houston, Texas, that we
started in 1986. After more than 20 years of success and many refinements, we’re happy to be bringing this program to Paris in 2010. We are very pleased to be collaborating with Lens Culture, Spéos and Paris Photo in this venture.”

Jim Casper, founder and publisher of Lens Culture, says this:

“I believe that formal portfolio reviews like this are among the most proactive and efficient ways for serious, career-oriented photographers to meet many international photography experts and colleagues in a professional atmosphere. Photographers connect directly with people who can help them with artistic and business goals. It’s great for the reviewers too – they discover new talent, as well as the latest work of photographers who are already established.”

And it’s not just the event organizers who see things this way. Here are a couple of articles, one by photography expert and reviewer Mary Virginia Swanson, and one by photographer Michael Kirchoff, who both see huge value in portfolio reviews.
Registration for Lens Culture FotoFest Paris 2010 opens May 6, 2010.

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