Portfolio for photography degree interview Watch

KerryMV
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I'm in the process of finalising pieces for my portfolio, and I'm unsure if I have enough diversity in my work or how diverse the portfolio should ideally be. I'm coming at this as a mature student, and I mainly focus on portraits and self portraits, which is pretty much what my portfolio is presently made up of, although there is some diversity in post editing techniques. The images themselves do flow nicely as a body of work I think, but I'm concerned they might want to see more than just a portfolio of faces..... I went to the open day and chatted to the tutor and they were very clear that want they want is to see 'me' in my work. and people is what I love photographing....

There were portfolios on display at the open day but these were all the finished product from graduates, when what would have been useful would have been to see some portfolios that successfully gained a place! If any one has any advice or examples of their portfolio that would be so helpful, as a mature applicant I don't have a classroom of like minded people to compare ideas with.

Thanks in advance!
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University of Brighton Accommodation
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(Original post by KerryMV)
I'm in the process of finalising pieces for my portfolio, and I'm unsure if I have enough diversity in my work or how diverse the portfolio should ideally be. I'm coming at this as a mature student, and I mainly focus on portraits and self portraits, which is pretty much what my portfolio is presently made up of, although there is some diversity in post editing techniques. The images themselves do flow nicely as a body of work I think, but I'm concerned they might want to see more than just a portfolio of faces..... I went to the open day and chatted to the tutor and they were very clear that want they want is to see 'me' in my work. and people is what I love photographing....

There were portfolios on display at the open day but these were all the finished product from graduates, when what would have been useful would have been to see some portfolios that successfully gained a place! If any one has any advice or examples of their portfolio that would be so helpful, as a mature applicant I don't have a classroom of like minded people to compare ideas with.

Thanks in advance!
Hi KerryMV

I came to an arts course as a mature student too, and shared all the same worries as you about portfolios!

What I have learnt between then and now is that what the tutors said at your open day is very true! They want to see you - your interests. Not being around a class room of other people focused on their own interests can actually be of some help here - it's all too easy to compare yourself to others and be influenced by them. If tutors want to know about you... this isn't so helpful. They often deliberately don't show you lots of other peoples work at this point, because they don't want you to think that is what they are looking for and end up producing something similar (even subconsciously.)

You are interested in people - that's great. People can be pretty complicated, and are a big subject for a study, - which can be a good thing. Are you able to explain what it is about them that interests you? Does that come across in your portfolio? Is there a relationship between your photos? Or do they deliberately each focus on something different? There's not right or wrong answer to this - it is personal. But being able to answer questions like this in your own head can help you prepare your portfolio and to answer questions at an interview.

Remember that when you are applying for your degree, they don't expect you to be finished, perfect or polished. You may or may not have great technical skills. You can learn a lot more about this during your degree and the during your course you'll also learn to notice more, or different things and your interests will develop -they might even change radically. Overall, it's potential that tutors are looking for

Hope this helps and good luck.

Best Wishes
Viv
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KerryMV
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Hi Viv this is incredibly helpful, thanks so much for taking the time to reply. Yes I see what you mean about not showing portfolios from those that gained a place at the uni, I can see that may result in lots of similar work being brought to interviews, that had never occurred to me - I think I've been preoccupied with 'what is it they want?' like it's a mystery code to be cracked! It's useful to get a voice from another angle! I've tied myself in knots a little.....

You've really helped, so thank you. I'm off to look through my portfolio again and ponder those thoughts. Many thanks Viv
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