Write Your 'About Me' Page
To the About Me page. I also don't like this, but it's a must-be-done thing. An About Me page is gonna have a picture of you, hopefully or something related to you. And it's going to answer the same questions as the Artist Statement. What? How? And Why? I'm a fine art photographer. I do self portraiture. I layer my images, and they're painterly. And I overcome fears, and I love to help others. So just bullet points of what I would want to write about in my About Me page, same as in my artist statement. So then how is this different from an artist statement? This is the question. Because you're not getting out of it, let me tell you that. You can't just write one and use it for both. Well you could, absolutely. But I don't recommend it. So how is this different if it is literally the same content? The answer is that your artist statement should be professional, it should be polished, and you would write that from first person. Which is something that surprises a lot of people. You would...
think that to make it sound extra fancy you would put it in third person. I would actually recommend first person for your artist statement. For your About Me page I have an argument for both, okay? If you want to be really personable, and your aim is to just totally ingratiate yourself to people, go with first person. That's okay. A lot of people do it in your About Me page. I mean, we're not really fooling anyone. Obviously we're all writing our own About Me pages. Like, come on. The ruse is up. We all know. But, here is the thing about third person for your About Me page. Is that if hopefully you get to a point where you're being published in different places, on blogs, in articles, wherever, those people are going to go to your website copy and paste your About Me page and put it in to their article - like at the end of the article, let's say So if you have written it in first person, it's going to sound like you've now, you're writing on their blog, on their page, on their article. But it sounds a lot nicer when they copy and paste if it's in third person. So that's my argument for keeping it in third person for your About Me page, is that it will be copy and pasteable more easily for people. And it also sounds professional. So, how is it different? ME-Centric. Your About Me page. Which is funny because I just said I don't necessarily recommend first person but its very much about me. That's why it's called an About Me page. Very funny how these things work, isn't it? It can be playful or serious or something in-between. That's up to you and how you want to sound. You can talk about your accomplishments. You probably wouldn't do that in an artist statement. The artist statement is about your art. This is about you and what you have done so far. And you might make a distinction between personality versus style. So, you've got your personality - who you are. You want to put that in. You don't need necessarily to speak in the way that you would write captions for your images. With the flowery language, or however you would do that. So, there's a distinction to make there. Style of your writing for your work, versus style of your writing for your About Me page. So it can be emotional, it could be funny, it could be professional. These are three categories that I find most often people use to write their About Me page. Some people are super emotional and they tell the story of their life and it is really sad, or it's really heartbreaking and you learn something about them. It could be funny. It could be professional. And I want to show you a few examples of these. So if you're going with emotional you want to talk about why you create, probably. Pretty good one. What experiences you had. Any emotional ties that you have to your work. And the impact that it's had on you, or that your work has on other people. Something emotional, always relating it back to the emotion. Here's my emotional blurb that I wrote. "Even when we stand in the light, we necessarily cast a shadow." That's my dark, cryptic quote that I put there. "Brooke has always explored the ways in which we are made of darkness and light, and her art aims to share her inner-workings. She photographs herself so that she can be the characters she has always dreamed of from a childhood of intense imagination and fear. By being the creator and the actor, she can confront the fears that have always plagued her while taking control of her darkness." So it's written in third person, speaking to the emotional connection that I have to the work that I am creating. Okay, funny. I'm just going to totally switch gears here. You might include silly facts about yourself, which is always fun to do. You might share why you create, of course, because that's sort of like the heart of what we are writing about as it is. And then maybe you share a funny story or an anecdote or something like that. So here's my funny one, and I wrote this in first person to be more casual. "I'm terrified of whales, eat a head of kale almost every single day, and love the feeling of being completely dirty from a day of shooting. In my world, muddy feet are always a good thing (unless you ask my husband). I'm a fine art photographer, and I photograph myself, which, aside from sounding horribly narcissistic, is a way of having full control over my images and working completely, and blissfully, alone." So it's just a funnier tone. It's like sharing random facts that nobody needs to hear about, but let's you know that I'm a real human being and I like kale and stuff like that. And it's just silly. But it still tells you about my process a little bit. Professional. Now this is where you might talk about achievements, your journey in your craft, your education would also be relevant here. And this is my professional blurb. "Brooke Shaden studied filmmaking and English Literature in college, graduating with bachelors in each shortly after she began pursuing photography. Her images have been presented with a number of fine art and conceptual awards and she has representation through galleries around the world." Also tells you about my journey, about my photography but in a very professional, clean, clinical way. So I tend to do like a mix of all these things in my artist statement, I mean my About Me page. You don't have to be one or the other, you know? You can mix them up, see how that goes. For example, in my About Me page I've got a little bit of the emotional stuff, but then I have like a quick five questions at the end with like 'What's your favorite this?' And then a funny answer. Just to sort of be like, 'Here's my emotional stuff, but also I'm funny, or I try to be, or I wish I was funny.' You know, whatever. Okay. So. Your CV. Is generally going to go on your About page somewhere. At least like a link to it, or just some easy way to find it. You're going to have your name on there, your contact information, always important. Your education, if it's relevant. If it's not you don't need to put it, but if it's at all relevant go ahead and put that. Let's see, exhibitions, awards that you may have won, publications that you've been a part of, notable clients that you've had. And your job history. Now job history, I'm going to put like, a little asterisk next to that to say that if for whatever reason you have no jobs that are relevant, then don't put it. I mean, honestly, it's like nobody cares if you're an Olympic athlete if you're going for a job as a nurse. You know, it's like nobody cares. It's really interesting, but not relevant. So make sure that you don't dwell on the job history. It's not something that I've ever put on my CV because I have no relevant job history. But if you do, then good to mention. I think, at least. Okay. Notable highlights on your CV. Good to not put everything if you have too much stuff. Only pick out the most impressive things. Dates should go along with your CV, so if you've got, you know you don't just want to write 'Group exhibition' you'll want to put down 'March 2017 group exhibition' and let people know a little bit of information. What organization or client, or gallery, or whatever it was that it was associated with, good to mention that. So I just had a show open a couple of weeks ago and for that show I would write down 'Joanne Artman Gallery, solo exhibition October 2017' for example. And then that would give people all they need to know about that. You might include the title of the show or something to that effect. Not necessary. Any links if there are any, so if you've got you know like an important show that you were a part of and there is a link to the webpage that speaks about it, can't hurt. I mean obviously if you're printing this you can't have links, but if it's online definitely do!
Creating a great photo for a client is one thing - but turning your passion and ideas into a series that is shared, shown, and sold is a whole different business. If you do it right, you’ll be shooting what you love all the time. Learn how to choose which ideas to create, how to turn your concept into a production, and steps to getting your work seen and even sold in Fine Art Photography: A Complete Guide with Award-Winning Photographer, Brooke Shaden.
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