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August 09, 2018 3 min read
Jess Farmer is a very talented family and portrait photographer whom we stumbled upon at the Maynard School Fair in Exeter in 2011. We had a big Hartnack family get-together in December and having gone back to her little stand in the old school gymnasium, we very quickly settled upon the idea of commissioning her to be there for the family event.
Well it was because of that family shoot that Jess learned we made bespoke albums and scrapbooks, and it was because of that, that she asked us to make her a photography portfolio. We had no idea what they were, but undeterred she showed us what she wanted and 6 years later, photographers are probably one of our biggest customer bases.
No, because it toke forever to finally pin down what she wanted before finally settling on what you see below! Apart from introducing us to the professional photography market, what we did get from her, was an insight into the requirements of todays professional photographer.
Every photographer from weddings to live music, from portraiture to landscape to architecture, to documentary to products (and so on) whether its shot in natural or studio lighting all have to make a pitch either once a year or once a month or once a week to prospective clients or employer.
Each presentation must be relevant to the market they are pitching for. If the finished article is going to be printed, then the client or employer wants to see the photographers printed images - Furthermore, every photographer knows, that their work looks at it best printed as large as they dare, on good quality stock!
Obviously, what the client see's of their work is all important to the success of the pitch. It's how the client see it, that differentiates one brilliant photographer from another. A portfolio cover, is the photographers packaging, and it says as much about them as their clothing and personality. If the portfolio is to be seen without the photographer present, then the images will speak for themselves, but the portfolio cover will be making the statement about the person who toke them.
In fairness to Jess, when we offered to make her a portfolio, she was doing a bit of re-branding. She was also 7 months pregnant with her first child, (her second child is almost two now) so while she wanted the portfolio, there was a lot of other things going on, which meant details like logo's and fabric colours weren't top of her 'To Do' list.
The day finally did come, when we set about making the photography portfolio that should have been our first. Looking back it was just as well it wasn't as we have learn't quite a bit since then!
We always new it was going to be a 3.5mm brown leather and A3 landscape portfolio as that is what she showed us back in 2012. Her brand colours are blue and are almost exactly the same colour as the inner fabric she opted for, which along with her debossed logo kept everything 'on brand'. As an aside, the blue does look awesome against the brown leather.
So, after nearly 5 years does she use her portfolio book? Apparently yes.
Jess (who works under the business name of Perspectives Photography) specialises in Children & Family Photography, Woman's Portrait Photography and Commercial Lifestyle Photography Once upon a time she used to do Wedding as well, but that tends to make having a family challenging.
For each of these markets she has a separate printed body of work. Depending upon who she is seeing and presenting to, the portfolio gets changed accordingly.
This means that Jess can operate on having one, really nice portfolio book, but the work she presents will always be up to date and always relevant to the particular market she is presenting to.
As she has said herself,
"If I was only allowed to take one thing to a show or a meeting, it would be my leather portfolio"