So you think you can take pictures? So do tens of millions of other Flickr poolers. Next month, aspiring Man Rays can find out if they have what it takes to make it in the increasingly competitive, decreasingly remunerative photography field at the powerHouse Portfolio Review.
Like a speed-dating version of art school, the review allows a photographer at any level of accomplishment to have her work critiqued in five 20-minute sessions with different professionals in the field on Sunday, Feb. 28.
This year those professionals include Abrams editorial director Deborah Aaronson, senior photo editor at Elle Magazine Jaqueline Bates, and Naomi Beckwith, assistant curator at the Studio Museum of Harlem.
If you’re a photographer, it costs $450 to sign up. So why, you may ask, are we writing about this on Brokelyn? Because 1) it’s $50 off if you sign up at Powerhouseportfolioreview.com by Thurs., Jan. 28 (plus students get $100 off) and 2) when you consider how many thousands of dollars the right insight and career advice can save you—and how much it can cost you under other circumstances—it’s potentially a steal. And where else are you going to meet these people?
Now in its sixth year, this event is organized by the cultural mavens behind Brooklyn-based art book publisher powerHouse Books. For those participating, New York Magazine photo editor Lea Golis—one of the mentors this year—advises editing one’s work tightly: “Decide beforehand on a body of work that represents what you do best and focus the portfolio on that,” she said. “We see a lot of books where the work can be all over the place and the ones that stick most in our mind have a more developed group of pictures that have focus and continuity.”
And being able to handle criticism… helps. “Each reviewer will have a different style of discussing the work,” she said. “So be prepared to accept that your work might not be to everyone’s taste.”
The powerHouse Portfolio Reviews will be held in their DUMBO venue powerHouse Arena (37 Main St.) on Sunday, Feb. 28.