Getting Started 1: Creating a portfolio / The Magnum job
I am posting a new gallery of photographs today. But it's not a usual gallery with new images. This time it's kind of a "Best Of" selection out of those more than 16.000 photographs I took during my stay in New York.
As you might have noticed I am totally obsessed with photojournalism and photography. I consider this to be a blessing and not a downside. For that reason I want to share my experiences on what's going on with you. What do I do to push myself further and how do I start. Ok, step by step now... First of all I'll let you know about my plans regarding Magnum.
The job at Magnum Photos
As I wrote in a previous post I flew to London after I returned from New York to meet the director of Magnum Photos London, Dominique Green, for a job interview. Unfortunately I didn't get the job in London. I heared that they really liked me and what I did for Magnum so far. But the job description changed quite a couple of times after my visit there. Originally they looked for somebody to take care of Magnum's internet and website matters. That job was bowled over and reshaped a couple of times. Now they are looking for somebody with more experience in business- and sales matters. Not exactly what I was meant to do and where I have much experience. So I am not mad for not getting the job. It just didn't work out and hey, I could have taken the chance to work for Magnum Photos New York before...
Anyway I was talking to Claudine Boeglin, Creative Director of Magnum In Motion and to Mark Lubell, Bureau Chief of Magnum's New York office after that. They offered me to work as a freelance "Editor At Large" for Magnum from Europe. I never heard the term "Editor At Large" before and I was wondering if they alluded to my body height or weight. Of course they did not! :-) Basically the plan is to produce those wonderful Magnum In Motion multimedia essays with European Magnum photographers as well. These essays get more and more advanced and slowly go beyond photographs and audio comments of the photographers. A lot more elements are included and the multimedia experience becomes bigger and bigger.
We want to try if it's possible to produce those essays from the idea to the finished online version with somebody who is familiar to Magnum and their methods of work from distance. No further details yet but I'll keep you posted about this development. An interesting and exciting task for sure and a chance to keep in touch with the source! So I consider this to somehow be part of my getting started way.
Creating my portfolio
As I wrote in the beginning I shot more than 16.000 photographs during my internship at Magnum and my time in New York. Being back in Vienna it's time for me to get started as a photojournalist myself.
What's the first step to do so? Create a portfolio and arrange meetings with newspapers and magazines. So I sat down and started to select images out of those photos I shot within the last 7 months. I ended up having about 60 photos and I cut them down to 30 which I then printed on 12x8 inch (or 30x20cm) paper in the lab. The original prints have a white border around the images and once again I was amazed by the quality of the digital files my Canon EOS 20D produces.
I decided to show 6 prints with color photographs I took during the 9/11 commemoration in New York. After that I am showing 4 black and white prints with street photographs followed by 5 prints out of my "Faces Of The Night" series. I posted these "Faces Of The Night" pictures as black and white versions on my blog previously. For my portfolio I decided to print and show them in color. I have to face it: Magazines just want color images and a lot of them do not print black and white photos at all. Since I started to get comfortable (and even started to like it) with color in New York I have no problem with that. And hey, that's an advantage of digital isn't it?! I think it is!
Ok, after those portrait shot I inserted 4 black and white photos of Hispanic Parades and Festivals followed by 4 color street shots. 6 black and white street photographs and one moody color image close my portfolio.
Although I do have a "real" portfolio folder I decided not to use it. I bought it about two years ago and I'd say it was a wrong investment. It's too big, too unhandy and the protective clear plastic folders look terrible. So I went and bought a black cardboard box in the right size for a couple of bucks to carry the single prints.
Equipped with that box and my prints I went off to meet my first two newspapers and a couple of photographers. My first assignment came out of one meeting and my first nearly assignment out of another. This will be content of my "Getting Started Part 2" post. It's not a tutorial on what to do or how to do it. It's just my personal experiences and how I try to do it... Have fun and keep shooting!
Posted by Martin Fuchs on December 27, 2005 01:17 PM