all pictures by Brian David Stevens
Today we have Brian David Stevens giving us the Dos and Don'ts of Personal work. Be yourself! is the message here.
Ok? Ready? Let's do it.
Just who the hell are you?
Answer this first before you start, if you don't know, find out. You're not McCullin, Parr, Norfolk or any of your heroes.
Being yourself is your calling card, no-one else will think like you, see like you. When starting out it's the one thing you have in your favour. Exploit it.
If you want to produce personal work you have to work out how to pay for it, there's a good chance this money won't all come from photography, it will come from bar work, waiting tables, carrying bricks on construction sites, bank jobs, selling blood, living with your parents, living in squats. If that gets too much you could try crowdfunding, then when you're truly in the gutter, grants.
Why should you do this
Production of personal work is important, it's the pictures you want to make, it's why you are doing this.
These are the pictures that will stick in art directors minds
These are the pictures that you will talk passionately about in meetings
These are the pictures that will get you work.
Make sure you've got cards with a least some personal work on, producing cards has never been cheaper so get lots and give people a choice of images to take away, this also works as free market research, see which images are the most popular, and tailor your portfolio accordingly.
Make sure this work is well represented on your website (you do have a website don't you?)
These days more often or not you'll be asked to send PDF portfolios, tailor make these for each client, it costs you nothing and only takes a small amount of time.
keep blogs up to date, show your thinking, show your working methods, let people into your head
There's only one thing that you shouldn't do and that's give up
Brian David Stevens