For last week’s Photography Show at the NEC in Birmingham, Emma Taylor of Creative Advice Network asked me to join her and Martin Homent, creative director at TBWA, for a series of short portfolio reviews on the last day of the show. This turned into an open discussion between us and several photographers – ‘Ask Me Anything’, as Emma put it – on how to access creatives at ad agencies. My part was to discuss the making of portfolios – editing, sequencing, printing and construction.
As the discussion got going I realized that Matt and I, at MPrint, see exactly what a photographer is trying to do to reach their market as we print each page of their portfolio in their intended order – how they get it right and sometimes maybe not. In fact, we might know our clients’ work better than anyone other than the photographers themselves. All of which is fairly obvious but it was interesting to think about it as photographers were asking Martin targeted questions about reaching him and getting his attention at work.
The talk revolved around the best ways to get in touch with creatives and the importance of timing (the kind you can control and the kind you can’t), the importance of social media for a photographer’s profile (Twitter, the rise of Instagram) and how a printed portfolio is still essential. I went in wondering a little how I could contribute to Emma and Martin’s session and left thinking: Emma gets it – our work at MPrint is a lot more than getting ink onto paper.