View Full Version : Let's Talk Folios.....

10-16-2007, 09:47 PM
This year I am considering entering the folio competition at our state convention in a couple of weeks.

I have never entered this before....

We can enter 2 traditional folios and 2 freestyle folios. Are there any suggestions to what style works the best for folios, gold bevels, silver bevels, etc. I know what I like, though I don't know what works best.

Also, are there any suggestions for images to include in a folio? I know there are rules, but I am looking for general information- what you look for when choosing your images, etc.

Thanks in advance!

10-16-2007, 10:10 PM
Hi Jackie;

The folio is treated as a whole. So, one image not up to the standards ofb the others can bring down the score. As for style of folio ... keep in mind what I stress a lot about accent lines on step mounts. The same applies for folios. If you choose a folio with a lot of gold or silver that will draw the judges eyes away from the images. I'd recommend keeping the folio nice but simple.

Look at each image as if it's a 16x20. What is good and what is lacking about each image ? Good luck !!!

10-16-2007, 10:18 PM
Good thread Jackie
I haven't entered one of these in years and I never could make up my mind as to what worked best. Lots of variety to show flexibility or uniformity to emphasize consistency? I do remember that the CN 400 "Sepia" look was hot back then and folios of children with that treatment did well. I always entered senior folios with as many backgrounds and locations as possible and never did better than a 2nd place. :)

10-17-2007, 01:17 AM
Folio competition varies from assoc. to assoc. However there is some constants. Here is what I have been told when judging them and what PPof NE does.
Look for variety in poses and expression. There should be some closeup, 1/2 or 3/4 and maybe full length images. Look for some serious and smiles. There should be at least one image that should score 80 or above for the folio to score 80. Leave any really weak images out as like D. Craig said it will drag the overall score down. Arrange them so that the images look inward (in other words try not to have images looking out of the composition as a whole).

As far as the folio itself, USE what you have on hand. I agree that the simplier the better but I wouldn't go out and buy folios just for the purpose unless you don't have any. Then I (JMO) would buy black on black that you can insert the mat choice you need (vert vs horz) to keep your cost down and plan on reusing them ea. year.
For the freestyle, I am assuming these are the folio panels where you use PS to layer the images onto the panel. Again arrange them as above (looking inward), Create an eye appealing composition and background. Some states let you use a image full size of the board as the background image and some do not, read your rules or call the print chairman. On these panels make sure the color is consistant, do not have 2,3,or 4 different skintones in the panel as you have control of this presentation as whole. If you design the background (other than a photograph) make it part of the style of the images. In other words, don't use a grungy background if you have a formal traditional set of images.


10-17-2007, 05:18 AM
I would be very, very interested to see someone's sample folio that was entered into a past competition if you'd be willing to share. :)

10-17-2007, 11:23 AM
This is a more 'freestyle' one...entered in the family/group category at our regional competition. I created 2 10x10 images and mounted on a book-style folio. This one scored 79 - the critique during competition was 'lack of control on lighting', and some posing issues.

10-17-2007, 03:47 PM
Here's a traditional style folio I entered in PPMA's folio competition in 2005. The folio itself was an Art Leather sort of 8up wing follio. Nothing fancy. This folio took first place in the Teen/Senior category. One of the images scored 85 in PPMA print competition at convention.

10-17-2007, 07:48 PM
Wisconsin's annual senior folio competition was last weekend at our fall convention. The rules have been changing each year depending on who is print chair. Last year you could enter 4 folios, 2 traditional and 2 nontraditional. This you could only enter 2 but they could be either traditional or nontraditional, in a folio or mounted to a folio size board, and have as many images as you wanted in a composite. It lead to alot of confusion as to what could or could not be entered and I noticed the number of entries was down. Most of the photographers entering opted to go nontraditional and mounted but the ones that won people's choice (voted on by moms and students brought in to judge) were all traditional.

10-18-2007, 02:05 PM
Thanks everyone for your replies! This is great information! One more question- do you print folio images down in density like you do prints for competition?

10-18-2007, 04:39 PM
Hi Jackie;

Buddy posted an excellent example for you. Judges don't like seeing repetition ... see don't put any similar poses in your presentation. He shows a variety of excellent images. That's the key ... each image should be able to stand on it's own and garner an 80+ score. One sub standard image can drag you down.

As for printing down. Here in Pa., at our annual folio competition, the rule has always been "previews" in them. However, in this digital age, with most of us not getting paper previews any longer ... I'd say yes. Print each image to look the best. Is your folio competition judged under two Photogenic mini-spots ? If so, then ordinary printing would look washed out. So make sure of the lights they will be judged under. If I were actually still making paper previews for a client I'd do all I could (within reason and time constraints) in order to get higher sales. Use that as your basis for how much to do. But 1st ... read and re-read the rules to see what is allowed.

To be redundant on what others have said ... make sure none of the images has the subject(s) looking out of the folio.

Think of your folio as you would a 16X20 competition print. Where will the eyes go when viewing it ? Will any images draw more attention than the others ?

10-18-2007, 07:33 PM
while we're on folios, who makes the best folios.
i prefer leather?

10-19-2007, 04:22 AM
Here is what I am considering for my senior guy folio entry....

Any thoughts out there?


10-19-2007, 01:17 PM
I've never put a folio together and never heard affiliate judging on them but the comments I HAVE heard suggest you need to have a variety of facial expressions. Did this guy just not want to look happy?

10-19-2007, 02:23 PM
Ooh, good point, Linda! He didn't care to smile, that's true. I'll go look some more!

10-19-2007, 03:49 PM
Hi Jackie;

You could tie them all together with a good title that reflects the expressions. Something like "Intense" or "Tough Demeaner" or "My Mom Made me Do This". ;)

10-19-2007, 05:44 PM
D.Craig has a good point - if they have titles. In NE folio competition entries are not titled, so check to see what your state does.


10-19-2007, 06:07 PM
I've never put a folio together and never heard affiliate judging on them
I am sure Linda knows this and this was just a typo but folios are not part of affliate judgings. Affliated judgings are precursors to national and are able to give seals. An affliate may have a folio competition but it is not an "affliate" judging.

10-19-2007, 06:17 PM
One of the images scored 85 in PPMA print competition at convention.

Which one scored 85? I have my pick based on the small thumbnails.:)

10-19-2007, 06:27 PM
Keith, Yes, I know they don't have affiliate judging but I've seen a mixed bag of judges...some affiliated who are helping out. I take their comments much more seriously than others and I hadn't heard any of them ever do a folio judging. :)

10-23-2007, 05:36 PM
Which one scored 85? I have my pick based on the small thumbnails.:)

Here's the 85.

10-23-2007, 09:17 PM
Here's the 85.

Believe it or not, that was my pick.:D