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Five tips for spicing up your Bio and folio this Autumn!

By (David-1963), written 1382974498.

I’ve recently been looking through a lot of profiles (looking for people who might be suitable to work on a project that I have) and one thing that struck me is how hard some folks make it to a) see how good they actually are and b) let you know what work they are actually looking for and how relevant they might be for your project.

I mean, isn’t that kind of defeating the object of posting a profile in the first place? Surely the objective is to sell yourself and make it easy for folks to find this sort of stuff out about you? Not make it hard?

It certainly made me think carefully about my own profile pages. To the point that I am presently busily revamping them, to make them more concise and attractive to the people browsing them.

Anyway, I thought I would share 5 tips for an Autumnal spice up for your own Bio’ and ‘folio.

1) Be concise.

There is nothing more off-putting than having to wade through huge chunks of irrelevant text and references and stuff, just to find out if the person you are considering may be suitable for, and interested in, the sorts of work you are doing.

I suggest that, when you write your bio’, you stick to the salient facts about yourself. Nothing wrong with writing about the sorts of work you are interested in, your experience, whether or not you would consider TF* (and, if so, on what basis). But you want the blocks of text that you put in front of people to look (and be) manageable and easy to read, with all those salient facts to hand and look to avoid any unnecessary stuff.

I note that Purpleport is even trying to help with this by summarising the key facts about you in the opening of the profile. Nothing wrong with that, but you might then not want to repeat that info in your own text which follows on.

2) Be Honest.

No point being otherwise, as the truth/facts will always be revealed when you shoot.

3) Brevity is good in a ‘folio. So is quality.

Do not load your ‘folio with lots and lots of similar looking shots, they can be a chore to work through, and finding the good ones, the ones that show off your talents the best, is made more difficult if there are lots of pictures to wade through.

I suggest you think about using only 20 (or so) shots to start with; and only the very, very best that you have. That way, people will get a good impression of you without needing to scroll through lots of images. Keep the selection fresh and up to date, and swap out old work for new where it improves the overall impression. Make sure the images look eye-catching not only when opened up, but also when they are at thumbnail size.

Be your own sternest critic about what is in there. Be picky about them, and expand the number of pictures only if doing so does not make looking through the ‘folio a chore.

If you do go for more than 20, then I would suggest you make sure the pictures spread over more than one page of thumbnails, so that the first page isn’t overloaded. Or even consider hosting a gallery on a separate service like Flikr that people can go to if they are interested.

Finally, keeping it simple is good. Flashy galleries that display your pictures with whiz bang woo wah are actually a pain to trawl through if you’re looking at lots of profiles. It should be easy to see the overview and quick to open an image that catches your eye. Purpleport has this down well.

4) You are only as good as your worst ‘folio picture.

This was the best advice I had. It came from the best model with which I have worked, and it was the way she looked at ‘folios when looking for talent to work with.

Think about this. We all have good days and we all have bad days and this is reflected in our work. So how can you tell if you will get a good day or a bad day out of somebody?  Well, she reckoned that if you took the least pleasing image in the gallery, and assumed that this was the standard of work that you would get if you hired that person, then you would not go too far wrong.

It’s an interesting thought, isn’t it?

The inference is that if you want to stand out through your ‘folio you should trim out anything from it that might suggest a below par performance. There are all sorts of things that can be off-putting. My own pet peeves are photographers who are sloppy about what is in the background of their shots and/or those that play fast and loose with horizontals.

5) Variety is not always the spice of life. Consistency is good.

Sometimes, if a ‘folio is too varied and jumps about too much, with lots of different single images, then it can suggest that the person it represents might be a little hit and miss, or, at least a little unsure in their direction. In other words, maybe they got lucky with these 20 shots.

So whilst repetition is to be (generally) avoided, it does’t do any harm to show a little consistency.

Well, there you have it. For what it’s worth, these are my 5 tips. I hope they help somebody.

Peace and love


Original text and images Copyright © JuninhoPhoto 2013. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used without permission.

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