Beginner When is best to start showing off your work?

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Name
Grace
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#1
I have been studying photography for the last several years, at GCSE and A-level standard. I am hoping to attend university to study Photography in September 2020.
I do realize that my work isn't as great as others - but I would love to start building up a portfolio that people can see; so I can get feedback and possibly the odd compliment.
I currently have a facebook page but I would like something that looks more presentable and somehow make it look more serious/professional.
My questions are:
1) Am I thinking ahead to much and should not create a portfolio just yet.
2) What type of portfolio set up would you recommend for me at this moment in my photography journey? (website, Social media, hand portfolio)
 
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droj
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#2
I don't think you can do any harm by making your images available anywhere. But the internet is both a bear pit and a glue pot, where you may be ignored or receive vacuous 'likes' that don't comprise meaningful feedback.

You are probably thinking ahead too much, but then again any thinking is good because it's part of the energy flow to do with your work.

Just try things, sometimes. See what happens. But it's a crowded world of people jostling for attention and it can be easy to lose heart. I'd say that since you're in education, the best texture of response should be coming from your tutors and your (photographic) contemporaries - those you live amongst. They're present, are in the field, and there can be dialogue to do with growing as a photographer.

Meanwhile, make the effort to see as many exhibitions of photography of all types as you can, examine images that are all around - newspapers, books, internet, and don't be afraid to form opinions whilst also being open to the new. Look also at cinema in terms of its lighting and camera work - some of it is stunning.

You might find yourself drawn to reflective personal work, or journalism of some kind, or studio work. But light and cameras are involved in all.
 
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Ian
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#3
That's great advice from Droj.

You use the word professional, and a professional generally knows what it is they are professional at :) If you're still discovering your potential and your style of work, will any presentation come across cohesively right now?

I'd say that since you're in education, the best texture of response should be coming from your tutors and your (photographic) contemporaries
This.

Welcome to TP Grace. Good luck in September!
 
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Steve
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#4
Droj has summed it up quite well, but I would add that maybe you could post some on these forums and see what feedback you get. At least you will get feedback from a photographers view, my family keep telling me how talented I am, but if they saw half of the images posted here they would realise that I was pretty far down the queue when the talent was handed out!!
 
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Dave
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#5
Hi Grace

Your title is "When is best to start showing off your work?" and the simple answer is now

I've been a Pro in Weddings over 10 years now and daren't show any work from over 5 years ago as its embarrassing !!! And most from just over 2 years ago doesn't look like my work does now, this is simply that at whatever stage you're at you & your work will constantly evolve and hopefully improve too

So get sharing it now and see where the journey takes you :)

Dave
 
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477
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#6
1) Am I thinking ahead to much and should not create a portfolio just yet.
No, definitely start collecting your best photos. Keep it curated as it's likely what you think is good will change over time.
I'm surprised you're not had to do this already for your A level, and will definitely have to do it for a degree

2) What type of portfolio set up would you recommend for me at this moment in my photography journey? (website, Social media, hand portfolio)
All three ! I'd have a social media account that contains a link to your website. I'd also carry with me a small book of 6x4 prints, and then also have a larger print portfolio for more formal presentation.
 

StephenM

I know a Blithering Idiot
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Stephen
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#7
I'd also carry with me a small book of 6x4 prints,
I like that idea - I think I'll take it up. At the moment, I have a gallery on my tablet, but it's not always the most convenient way of displaying work.

In passing, I'm also surprised that a portfolio in some form didn't figure in A level.
 
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Andrew Cliffe
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#8
When ever you feel like it...

...but there are two distinct audiences and one audience may not appreciate some photos.

Some shots you may want to show to other photographers such as us lot here, fellow students and course tutors for critique and comment. These shots may ultimately be flawed and possibly not for public consumption, but are useful discussion points for technique, composition and furthers yourself, even if the general consescus is that the shot isn't working.

Other shots you are totally happy with and wish to display to 'the general public' and form part of a portfolio which can be used when you are ready to tout your services as a photographer for hire.
 
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477
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#9
I like that idea - I think I'll take it up. At the moment, I have a gallery on my tablet, but it's not always the most convenient way of displaying work.

In passing, I'm also surprised that a portfolio in some form didn't figure in A level.
Got the idea from Bruce Davidson who used to carry a small book of prints to show to people when he was shooting for the Subway book. Makes it a whole lot easier to explain yourself when your asking strangers if you can take their photo, amongst other uses.
 
OP
OP
G
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Name
Grace
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#10
I like that idea - I think I'll take it up. At the moment, I have a gallery on my tablet, but it's not always the most convenient way of displaying work.

In passing, I'm also surprised that a portfolio in some form didn't figure in A level.
I believe this is part of my tasks this coming school year, I also do Fine Art and believe this would also be featured on the portfolio; while I would rather keep them separate.
 
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Mike
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#11
Whole purpose of a 'picture' is to be looked at... if no one ever gets shown a picture, may as well never have been made...
I think, rather more pertinent than 'When' should you show any-one your photo's is WHO should you show your photos.... I mean, what reason have you for showing, and probably more importantly, what reason have they for looking?
Think about it... one 'customer' who looks at a picture and gives you money for making it, is worth any millions of folk who 'like' it on Farce-Broke, likewise one tutor who looks at it and tells you you need to learn to focus, if you want an A-Level, is worth more than all your freinds and family saying "Wow; your so talented ytou should be a Pro"... on which subject the term doessn't make me imagine a photographer... but that may just be my age/gender.... however, the term 'Pro' is inordinately over used, and remember, a 'Pso' is merely some-one who makes a living from something.. daftly a lot of 'Pro' photographers probably dont.. and even on rthem that may.,... fact they ,ake a living at it, domnt actually mean thar they have to be particularly great, technically competent or wonderfuly creative, let alone have a 'style'' I mean style dont make a photo, subject does... more thunks... chap that takes brochure pictures of garden sheds for a living.... gets paid, ergo is a pro..... doies not really have to have a stylke. nor does the medical whallah who takes photo's of cysts or warts for a living..... do they?
Remember there is SO much more to photography than cat-walk or art photography...
BTT,
WHO?
WHY?
WHAT?
Who is your photo's intended viewer? A member of your family? A School teacher? A potential paying customer? Who? This should inform what you takes photos of and how, and when/where you present them.
Why, are you going to show them the photo? Why ,Do you think they are interested? What in? Are they going to give you money? Course credit? Criticism? A pat o the back?
What are you hoping to get from them... but probably more importantly, what are you giving them to get it? What will your audience get from your photo?
What? are they going to be interested in, the subject, the technique, the album you put the pictures in? what?

The questions are ALL open and not ones we can answer for you.... YOU have to look at them, do some thinking, and answer them YOURSELF.. 'cos so much is circumstance dependent.. and its about the questions more than the answers.
 
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