6.14.2016

Show the work. Always be ready to show the work.





You can talk a good game but at some point in the creative process the people with the checkbooks are going to want to see your work. Sure, you can send them to your website and they can look at your work on their phone. If you're lucky they'll have their laptop handy and then they can see your work on a 13 inch, coffee-spotted screen with lots of glare and reflection layered over the top. Just what you need in order to show off the nuances of your incredibly detailed technique, right?

Or....you could actually make prints as you go merrily along your career path, and with enough prints you could put them into a book, or an album. You could make a book of images with similar styles and your work would look really cool when you showed it to clients in the right now, on the spur of the moment, in a quiet time between rounds at happy hour. 

The benefit of the book I made above is that the 10 inch by 10 inch prints which grace every spread are more than big enough to show detail and craft and yet, closed, the 10 x10 book is wonderfully portable. It fits in your camera bag, or your computer bag, or whatever you carry around with you. 

It works in almost any light. Your client can hold it in their hands or they can put it down on a table and it will lay flat. They get to leaf through your art at their leisure, their pace. They can stop from time to time to tell you once again that you are a genius.

Multiple people can see it from multiple angles. If the power goes out you can step into the fresh air and still show your work. It's like magic. And taking the time to print your images, sequence your images, produce a book and carry it with you shows the possible source of work and income in front of you that you are serious. You've thought about your work, its presentation, and it's overall consistency. It shows you've got skin in the game. Commitment. 

Wow. That's a lot of marketing packed into a small, square space. Get serious. Make a book of your work. Just a small one with 30 photographs. How hard can it be? You are serious about all this, right?

16 comments:

amolitor said...

What, um, 'platform' do you use? I'm bizarrely focused on books.

ODL Designs said...

Hey Kirk,
Good looking book, did you hand make it or use a service? I have been thinking of going the whole nine yards and printing and binding a book of my best work... Just have to find the time!

i do enjoy a hard print, I keep a collection pinned above my desk, often using the test prints to put there it is a pleasure to look at when I want to think for a minute.

Aubrey Silvertooth said...

Looking at prints definitely beats looking at pictures on a cell phone or iPad. I have finally started ordering prints of my digital works and making my own black and white analog prints again. I am looking for a good book to put them in. Thanks for yet another great idea, Mr. Tuck.

Aubrey

George Adelji said...

Masterful. These articles have more sheer value than anything else I've found on the Internet about the business and methods of commercial photography.

Michael Reed said...

source/brand of 10X10?

Gary said...

Please show more of your portraits!

Anonymous said...

Kirk
Yes, I totally agree! For me, unless you can produce an image or images I admire, I really have little interest in what you have to say about the craft. True of any website also. That's one reason I respect what you have to say, you've done that very well! And also the definition of a successful image is one that preferably hangs on a wall, your able to view it daily, weekly, yearly, and at each glimpse of it, can spend several minutes enjoying it again and just want to stare at it. That is a successful image! I do love me a beautiful photograph! It has such weight and presence! You have some very lovely portraits anyone would be proud of.
Doug

RiverdogsCrossing said...

The value of the printed image far exceeds the value of the small online jpeg. This is a great idea and I am going to select and build my own book this weekend. Thank you for helping me improve my business.

Tom Judd said...

A 10x10 book is fairly rare among the digital book makers. How did you create yours?

atmtx said...

I really love your 10x10 black and white book. So nice to see in person.

Kirk Tuck said...

Tom Judd and others, I am sorry not to be able to remember which company created the blank books I've used over the years. I think it was a Panodia product. The books are black, hard bound and filled with thirty thick, black pages. The pages are thick, like a black bristol board. Each page is coated with an adhesive and a "peel-apart" sheet. I trim my images to size and then use the adhesive pages to anchor the images into place. The adhesive is archival and even books 12 and 15 years old have not yellowed or stained. I have on last, unused, book left. It's an 8x10 inch size. The retailer I sourced them from is long out of business. If you find additional sources of something that sounds like this, please let me know.

I printed each image to size on traditional photo paper. The effect is quite nice.

Kirk Tuck said...

Thanks very much, atmtx.

Kepano said...

Good idea. How about your video portfolio?

Joel said...

Good thoughts, I do not print nearly enough. It is always satisfying to look at actual, physical prints.

If you search for "Flashpoint adhesive bound album" Adorama carries them. I think it is what you are looking for, but not positive.

http://www.adorama.com/FPB101018RBB.html

Chris said...

Pics have to be square though to look truly elegant- a slight disadvantage. Good for a 6 x 6 shooter

Thomas Rink said...

Hi Kirk, great idea to simply use a photo album! I looked around a bit on amazon and found the photoalbums by "semikolon" most appealing (i.e. https://www.amazon.com/Spiral-Economy-medium-sheets-mounting/dp/B00834W9EU/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1466104926&sr=8-12&keywords=semikolon+spiral+photo+album). It is about 9x10'', plain black and has 20 pages in spiral binding. The covers are made of black book linen. You probably need spray glue to attach the pictures to the pages. Simple but elegant, in my opinion; I'm going to order one.

Again, thanks for the tip. I find this much more interesting than whether you are shooting Sony or Nikon.