The Elusive Portfolio

I'm a junior now, meaning I'm over the hump of my college career and it's time to start really preparing for my actual career.

For the last few weeks, I've been super busy going through all my clips, writing cover letters, updating my resume. The hardest part of it all, though, was updating my portfolio.

The portfolio seems like such an elusive thing. So much of it is subjective and it's also so hard to weed out certain pictures that you're attached to. On top of that, you need to balance your portfolio with the perfect amount of variety (sports, moments, types of shots), plus put them in the right order. It's not so easy.

Recently, I applied to the Danish School of Media and Journalism in Arhus, Denmark. Eve Edelheit and Anjali Pinto studied at DSMJ in the past and another MU student, Will Lounsbury, is currently there. Eve and Anjali both seemed to change so much as photographers while they were there and had nothing but great things to say about the program. I have a scholarship to study abroad and wanted to use it at the best program possible. Denmark seemed right for me. Eve helped me so much on my portfolio, since she obviously knew what they liked. Andreas, MU's current exchange student from DSMJ, also gave me some input.

Right now, I'm still waiting for a reply back to see if I'm accepted to DSMJ or not. It's not fun waiting, but in the meantime, I working on other applications — for internships.

Internship deadlines for the upcoming summer of 2011 are approaching. It seems so soon, but I'm glad I went through so much stress putting together my portfolio and resume for Denmark, because now half that battle is over. Now, I just gotta get everything in on time and write some slammin' cover letters.

I updated the portfolio on my portfolio website, Katie Currid Photo using a widget called Visual Lightbox. I put off updating my web portfolio for so long because my old one was in Flash and I really didn't want to hand code it again. It's a pain in the ass resizing all the images for Flash, plus it's not incredibly universal. Visual Lightbox uses JavaScript and is in an easy-to-produce format — much more appealing, in my opinion.

Recent MU graduate Chris Dunn posted a blog post on 1000 Words about other easy applications for online photo portfolios. I tried Simple Viewer initially, because I liked the way it was designed, but the program had a lot of downsides to it. I wasn't a fan of how I couldn't rearrange the images in the program, as it uploaded my photographs out of sequence. Also, when I posted it on my website, it didn't show the entire portfolio and part of the captions were cut off. You could only view the whole thing if you pressed fullscreen, because you couldn't scroll up or down in the normal view. It was kind of a mess.

I like Visual Lightbox's simplicity. It's really intuitive, both for the programmer and for the viewer. It doesn't take up a bunch of space and is really easy to rearrange photographs and place captions. I'm much more happy with it.

I'm glad I'm surrounded by wonderful students at MU for feedback on my portfolio and stories, among other things. I welcome more feedback in the upcoming months, especially as I apply for internships, but am also gladly here for those who need an extra eye  — or ear!