The Linked In Photo Editor, Creative Director and Art Buyer Network have a hot debate on this very topic at present, with strong views on whether to go digital or cherish the analogue in portfolio presentation. Photographer Lee Love argues that, “the great thing about the iPad is it has given me the opportunity to show my work quickly and in situations where I would not normally bring my book.” While agent Anne Albrecht Juliusson likes the adaptablity of the iPad, “I put together specialty galleries on my iPad for portfolio shows with images selected targeted to the agency I’m visiting. Its nice to be able to customize whenever I like.” Others use both, preferring to start with the iPad then move to a printed portfolio believing that the printed piece creates a stronger connection. And Rhoni Epstein argues that the backlit iPad can make images look better than they really are.
But Art Buyer Sophie-Chapman Andrews believes that the physical aspect of the printed portfolio imposes its own ‘time’ on the viewer, demanding more patience of the viewer. “Printed portfolios make you take the time to look and that’s why they’re still important. I would still rather have a portfolio breakfast meeting with creatives seeing books rather than lots of ipads.”
So the options seem open based on that forum, but a random sample of agents, art buyers and photographers that we spoke to suggested the portfolio was increasingly marginalised by the omnipresence of the website.
‘Art directors and art buyers make a choice based on what they have seen on a website, before you ever get to present the work,’ said one noted agent who preferred to remain anonymous. ‘They rarely have time to see portfolios, and they will pretty much make their mind up from the website so that’s really where you need to put the attention.’
Of course, you may well look at the website on an iPad, so ensuring that the world’s biggest brand, Apple, continues to do nicely.