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Commercial Photography: Thriving in a Competitive Industry

Lesson 7 of 12

The Portfolio

Joel Grimes

Commercial Photography: Thriving in a Competitive Industry

Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

7. The Portfolio

Lesson Info

The Portfolio

all right, the portfolio. Let's talk about the portfolio. This is lyric. She's 15 years old, absolutely gorgeous, and she's like, really good in front of camera to when you find a model like that, it's like, Really fun. Ah, here's Bailey. She's 16 and she's never really I think she had one photo shoot before this. She's just another beautiful girl finding good models. Oh, my gosh, that make me look good. You know, you gotta have good light, good, everything but getting the right models. Here's here's up. Um, Bobby again, this was done on just this last couple months. All in camera, by the way, not a composite. It's possible for me to do that. I know. Surprised to someone you This is a nice and last summer, So right after creativelive last year went to Iceland. So all right, at some point, you're probably gonna be required to drop off a portfolio. Now we live in the age of you know everything's online. So you have a website. My advice is get a website that you can update anytime, anywhe...

re on the fly. So don't get a designer to build this crazy, beautiful website that you can have access to bad bad. And you don't need to win the award on your website. He's gotta be good, clean, perfect. Just in terms of simple whatever does this job. But in any any presentation, you got a number one. You got to figure out, um, what I want to put in it. You know what I what am I trying to get? So if you don't do product stuff, don't put products deaf in your portfolio, folks. So when I started to put everything in our house but all sorts of stuff architecture, this that I was trying to make a living, how starving. And so I would never criticize someone starting out, and they got a bunch of stuff into portfolio. But at some point, you have narrowed down, Narrow down does William. And so you won't be consistent. And so if you're not a drop off of portfolio, um, here's what I say. Choose a method that goes against what everyone else is doing. So when the IPad came out, cool Senate IPad over to an agency and then flip to your age, that's kind of her through your book. That's kind of cool, right? But now everyone's got on IPad. Right. So, um, what I like to do? So this happened to me a couple times. I had my portfolio, and I had in a case, it was a light where case beautiful, you know, presentation. And I dropped it off because a lot agency just drop it off and we'll pick it up, you know, dropping off Tuesday, picking on Thursday. So I go to pick up my portfolio, and there was, like, 15 light where cases That all look the same. I didn't have my like after that. I put a little, uh, label on it, you know, with Joe Graham photography. But I had to go look through the portfolios to get my portfolio. I mean, everyone had the same case, so I don't want that. I want my portfolio to stand out a little bit. I want them to go on go. This is unique. So I built hand built portfolios with brass and bolts and all this cool stuff, and I landed some huge accounts with those. Really, You know, amazing portfolio type presentations. Right now, I have appears and girl, it's a big double. Trucks 11 by 17 opens up, Got the acid Tates leaves you put him and I used to not be a fan of that, but I can change out my portfolio somewhat, but it's pretty big, and it drops open in front of our director about this big. It's all prints. So, um, but again, your presentation is to be good, clean. And if you you have to have at least a couple books ready to go to drop off the most of them go online now. But if you get the call, it is a big job and you'll have a perfectly already here at the creek. So get a book. That's that's, uh, no number one. Some kind of book. Um, like I said today, I think the greatest presentation is a printed portfolio. Why? Because 98% of the time, we're looking at digital. So give them something that goes against what they're seeing every day. So big Big Portfolio is good. Um, well, there's no such thing as a perfect portfolio, right? So what I say earlier, what? Get out there now. I had this assistant great guy. He's now a shooter, but he was assisted me back in days, early days and so I'd say, Hey, Joe, um, you got a portfolio. You know, You get out there, start knocking on doors. Oh, yeah, I'm working on working on to get a designer designer is gonna He's gonna, uh, designed a logo. Okay, great. Two months go by. Hey, Joe, how's your perfect coming? Um, I got the logo, but I'm trying to figure out I'm trying figure out it's gonna be a leather bound in bossed, you know, Whatever. Then two months later hey, Joe Hodgett before Well, okay, I'm gonna go leather bound. I got this company is going to be bossing, but the guys on vacation, you know, whatever. And two years went by still in his portfolio. Done. So I finally said, Joe, what's keeping you from Bill? Your portfolio? He goes fear. Afraid to show it. Right? So he's like all of us. But don't make excuses on your portfolio from getting out there. So here's what I used to dio I do. An ad campaign is like rockin, and I wanted to tear sheets to get in my book. Well, guess what? I quit show my portfolio because I wanted to tear sheets and their directors Stalin, Stalin get him to be three months go by. And our director still hasn't got me to tear sheets. So I'm holding off. Show my portfolio based on two pieces, two pieces of paper, never a bright Just get out there and show your portfolio. And then when that new pieces come in, you put him in, right? All right, So, um, when you show a portfolio, it shouldn't take more than 12 15 minutes. Now, that's just the way it is Life, You know, they don't have much time. We gotta get in there and show your portfolio. And, um uh, you have to show what represents you. Right? So you you again put the pictures in that you want. Now they may ask you Hey, we're high tech firm or a client's high tech firms. You have any pictures that represent this? You? Oh, yeah, it's you go make some prints. It put him in. But really, you got to show what you love, right? So here's my rule right here. Ready? It's called the 80 20 Rule. Now, when I started out, I thought every picture when portfolio had to be a client shoot to prove my credibility. Right? So I put tear sheets in there. And so the problem tear sheets is tearsheet is basically a copy of the ad. Right? And the problem tear sheets is on. Our director looks at it says, Oh, what a just do you work for who did this or that? So and so who is the director? Uh, you know your given name. Oh, that's terrible type. Look, this copy, that sucks. They started to critiquing the whole ad, right? They're not looking at the photography. And so I learned it does give credibility, but I learned to stay away from showing ads in my portfolio with copy so I might use the picture that was in the ad. But I don't show the copy for the whole layout and cause I'm selling photography. So after I got kind of that way, I thought Okay, wait a minute. When it comes to the content, what's gonna represent you more a picture? You went put all your heart, soul and blood, sweat and tears into. Or a picture that you went and shot for a client that said, you know, we need this. This person standing here, this person holding a bottle of Coca Cola in the hand. You know, that's not going to be the picture that really represents you as an artist. So I would say, Fill your book up as much you can with self assignments because that represents where you want to end up and hopefully you're gonna win. The art director over that says, Wow, this is cool stuff. We could use this for a client. So, yes, you want to put some stuff in, But but But the 80 20 rule is a good, I think. Good rule again. There's other people that might disagree with that during your presentation. Do not give them your life story. Now I happen to be a good talker. And so you want to be careful what information that you're giving out to the art director. But but but the problem is, is yeah, I'm a good talker. And so therefore, I end up probably acting a little more. I should. So I learned to just say they asked Question You answer. You know, keep it short. Boom, boom, boom. Get through that 12 to minutes. Now, if they want to drag it out a little bit. That's fine. But here comes the most important thing you need to ask here, it ISS This is the whole reason why you're showing your portfolio. It all comes down on this one. Final question that you need to ask them. The most important thing is what are your needs, And how can I help you with those needs? How can I help you? How can I make your life easier fulfilling the needs that you have when it comes to photography? So ask him. What kind of these do you have? A photography. Well, really. Do one campaign a year. Really? Yeah. And we've been used the same photographer the last 30 years. Okay, well, that starve. It could be retiring. But ask the question, What is your needs? And how can I help you? They may ask you what? Your day rate. Oh, it's a tough one. Right? So you might have to find a slot for that. Well, we're gonna come into that now. All right? We got a little bit of time here, all right? This is shot a couple month about a month ago. Strobe hdr, By the way, HDR on set. Guess what? I cut people's heads off because I can do that because I'm an artist and you know what? I do photograph more than one person on occasion. But you see, most of the work is one person, and I'm kind of the one person. But I have more art directors colony over this picture because it shows what a group of people, right? I love characters. This is what I love right here surprises when people walk in the door.

Class Description

Find out what it takes to get noticed in the commercial photography world!

In Commercial Photography: Thriving in a Competitive Industry, Joel Grimes will share real-world insights on making it as a commercial photographer.

Joel has worked in the commercial arena for more than 26 years and in this class he will share the most important lessons he has learned. 

Joel will teach you how to:

  • Build a successful promotional advertising campaign
  • Win over Art Directors
  • Develop a strong visual brand and create your own trends
  • Leverage a bound, printed portfolio to win clients

Joel will also demonstrate how he creates his own iconic look. You’ll see how he blends Rembrandt cross lighting and and background textures in Photoshop to produce his moody, intense images.

Commercial Photography: Thriving in a Competitive Industry with Joel Grimes will help you gain your foothold and get ahead in the high-intensity discipline of commercial photography.  

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James Munroe

Very good course. Joel tells it like it is. Very cool photography & Photoshop tips that I'll use in my business. Thanks Joel and Creative Live for an awesome course! James

a Creativelive Student

Commercial Photography: thriving in the competitive industry is a very straightforward class. Joel is clear and to the point, breaking down step-by-step how he did it. From developing a portfolio to getting your name in front of people; from setting up the light to the post-processing thinking. I am so happy I bought this course. Thank you Joel Grimes for your time and expertise.