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photobyjulie1
08-18-2010, 10:36 PM
Would somebody mind sharing a 'statement of purpose' with me? I'm ready to submit my images but have to put a statement of purpose with each one and want to get this right. Thank you!

Stephanie_Millner
08-19-2010, 08:54 AM
9662Surely.
Hopefully the image is coming through - if not, it's a b/w of a same-sex couple and their dog.

It would go something like this:
This photograph was made for the clients to celebrate their two-year commitment anniversary, celebrated by purchasing Pearl, their new Jack Russel Terrier. This image was part of a series, made to be displayed as a medium-sized mantle print, later purchased by the couple. The photograph was lit with a 30x60 softbox on camera right, a strip-light kicker camera left, and a hairlight bouncing off the ceiling above the subjects to provide sufficient separation between the light white of the shirts and the light gray background.

Make it up as you go along! :)

photobyjulie1
08-19-2010, 01:54 PM
Thank you Steff - that is what I was thinking but really wanted to be sure. :-)

ChontelleBrown
08-19-2010, 01:56 PM
Mine were not near as detailed as Steff's, because I didn't know to do it that way. I did however make them up as I went along. :)

my descriptions were much shorter, just the 'why' like the first sentence of Steff's description.

Chontelle

Stephanie_Millner
08-19-2010, 02:25 PM
I did however make them up as I went along. :)


...and that's the important thing!

Heather_L._Smith
08-19-2010, 02:42 PM
They don't need to be quite that detailed :)

A simple "family portrait session with new baby" or "senior portrait session" or "candid from golf event" or something of that sort is sufficient. Keep in mind that the judges are reviewing 100+ submissions during each judging session, each with 20 images, so unless it's needed, they're probably not going to stop to read a paragraph worth of information on each image. The statement of purpose can help a judge make a determination on how to critique the image (for example, if it's from an event, and it's a candid, it will be viewed differently than a portrait in the studio where everything is under your control). So, a concise statement of purpose can be of great help to the judges. Does that make sense?

Michael_Gan
08-20-2010, 05:21 PM
I agree with Heather. Concise is Mui Bueno.

And for heavens sakes, don't do something like this:

"I know the image is not technically correct, but my client insisted I do it this way with the clothing they chose"

Good way to get 5 rejections:D

GregYager
08-20-2010, 08:04 PM
Yeah Michael that would sound like rejecting your own image prior to submitting it. Sorta like saying "Hey, here's a good reason to vote no on this one.":rolleyes:

KirkDarling
08-20-2010, 08:19 PM
The statement of purpose is more about why you're submitting it rather than why you took it--what certification requirement is the image intended to satisfy.

"Portrait."
"Wedding."
"Commercial."

Or maybe "Studio Portrait" and "Available Light Portrait."

I don't know how the "compulsory image" function is going to work out, but I'd guess for those images you might say "Broadlight Portrait" or "Shortlight Portrait."

But as Michael said, do not try to explain away anything about the image, nor should you try to explain the history leading up to the image. If you had to do something dumb because the client wanted it that way, don't use that image.

Stephanie_Millner
08-20-2010, 09:43 PM
Hm, when I did my cert. stuff I really did put what I listed above for pretty much each image. Guess it was overkill, then?

Michael_Gan
08-23-2010, 04:39 AM
Oh! Did you write long drawn statements? I must've forgot to read them :D

Stephanie_Millner
08-23-2010, 07:27 AM
Ha! I think only for my endorsements. They didn't ask for SoP's when I did the initial CPP subs

suebird
02-16-2011, 09:18 PM
Just bumping this up for those entering their images for certification this week,
sue

MarkTurner
02-18-2011, 06:07 AM
All I used was "senior portrait" or "business portrait" or "portrait of an individual" or "family portrait". Short and simple. Just finished uploading my images. Keeping my fingers crossed on this third try.

Tss1203
02-18-2011, 08:16 PM
quick question-
when I'm breaking down the percentages, do I break down my portrait percentage to each category? I.E., seniiors are 20%, newborns are 20%, etc. Or do I just say , 60% portraits?

Also, is it the number of sessions that I base this percentage on, or the total sales?

Mark_Katz
02-18-2011, 08:25 PM
quick question-
when I'm breaking down the percentages, do I break down my portrait percentage to each category? I.E., seniiors are 20%, newborns are 20%, etc. Or do I just say , 60% portraits?

Also, is it the number of sessions that I base this percentage on, or the total sales?

I suggest categorizing Seniors, babies and families into one. "Portraits". Also, base it on sessions. At least that's how I did it.

Tss1203
02-18-2011, 08:36 PM
Thank you Mark!

sphimages
03-03-2011, 01:54 AM
I was told to make a brief statement (as in 1 sentence) regarding the reason the image was made. i.e. Sitting commissioned by grandparents for the celebration of 18th birthday.
I hope that isn't call for rejection!
Do we have an indication of how many ports are being reviewed? I am a complete nervous nellie about this whole process which is not really like me. I realize the process of refining knowledge for the best standard of reproduction on demand is the essential standard by which we are judged as professionals but I really under estimated how important it is to me personally!
I haven't felt this way since I applied to colleges! hahahha ; )

Howard_Kier
03-03-2011, 02:06 AM
Susan,

I don't believe a portfolio will be rejected based on the statement of purpose UNLESS, the statement identifies the photographer. You want the reviewers to understand the reason the photo was taken and perhaps the conditions faced.

sphimages
03-03-2011, 02:33 AM
Thanks Howard. : )

KirkDarling
03-03-2011, 02:57 AM
Categories don't have to be finely divided. If you have pictures of brides and grooms and weddings, categorize them as "weddings." "Portraits" include babies, children, seniors, maternity, et cetera. "Commercial" includes pictures of things for sale. Don't try to get too specific--it's not necessary.

"Purpose" is likewise best done generally. You don't have to give reasons why you took it or even who you took it for. Don't go into any explanations about the clients. The judges are looking at your pictures. Most images should not really need explanation. A cute picture of a baby or a lovely bridal exists for its own sake--it needs no explanation or backstory.

And for heaven's sake, don't try to explain any of the technical aspects...you might have a different idea from the judge's of what you were trying to do, and the judge might have been satisfied with what he thought you were trying to do.

You're not a writer, you're a photographer.

Most importantly: Think of the portfolio as an audition. You're trying to show your very best efforts. Every image should be chosen as an example of some facet of your mastery of photographic craft. Let's say you specialize in natural lighting. That's okay. But your portfolio should show some excellent backlighting with reflector fill, some twilight "sweet light," some examples of using natural reflectors and gobos, some subtractive lighting, the ability to correct the green-gray light reflected from foliage, et cetera.

Yes, that means you should be exhibiting that level of work for your clients.

Jackie_Haggerty
03-08-2011, 02:59 AM
Susan,

I don't believe a portfolio will be rejected based on the statement of purpose UNLESS, the statement identifies the photographer. You want the reviewers to understand the reason the photo was taken and perhaps the conditions faced.

True, yes. It can be rejected if the statement of purpose doesn't tell the purpose of the image. For example, "Sweet Cheeks" as a statement of purpose for a chubby baby closeup doesn't explain why the image was created. Or, if there is no statement of purpose. Or if the statement doesn't tell you why the image was created.

Also, going into the statement of purpose too much can be detrimental. Saying you chose a 30mm 1.2 lens for a portrait because you wanted to 'blur the background' in one image says that you don't understand the right lens selection for portrait work and that you were more worried about the background than the proportions of the subject. Especially when the next image says you have a 70-200 f4.0 chosen for a different reason.