Fine Art Photoblog Candidates

UPDATE: Six photographers have been chosen to be part of the site launch.

This is just a little teaser for the preliminary design of a single-photo post. The homepage and archives are pretty slick too — everything is done with images rather than text. The whole thing is very photo-oriented and geared for SEO. I haven’t touched the colors, fonts, or other small details, so don’t worry about those things — they’re easy to change. I’ve been working on the major items such as the layout and functionality of the front-end and back-end.

Now, the real reason I put this post together is to allow all of the photoblog candidates to come together in one place and make a few decisions as a group. I’d like to run this thing somewhat like a Democracy, so your votes and opinions do have an influence on the direction we go. When it comes to making big decisions, the group will collectively work together to provide a solution.

There are two things we need to deal with before moving on with the photoblog. The first can be hashed out in the comments of this post, while the second I’d prefer to keep semi-private via email.

1) How many photographers will be included?

I didn’t expect 30 portfolios to come rolling into my lap, but it happened. Initially, I said five photographers will be chosen for the launch, but that was only because I didn’t know how popular this idea would be. Honestly, I’m OK with more photographers… to a point. I would still expect each photographer to contribute at least one image per week, so the blog would be publishing more frequently as a whole. So think about how many photographers should be part of the blog, and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

2) Which photographers will be included?

Browse the list below, evaluate the artistic value of the photos from each photographer, and tell me via email what your top 5 picks would be. Remember, if you’re part of the photoblog you probably want to have your work displayed alongside the best photographers. It not only raises the quality and value of your own photos, but it does the same for the website. Like I said — vote for 5 — send them to me via email.

UPDATE: Here’s a lesson in photography when it comes to portfolios. I asked for a portfolio of fine art photos that would be taken into consideration by other photographers for the purpose of this project and new website. For those who spent the time to narrow down a selection of their best works, I thank you very much and your efforts are noted. For those who didn’t… that’s fine, but realize that the lack of a dedicated portfolio may have an impact on the selection process.

When somebody puts together a portfolio directed toward fine art, this tells me that they’re willing to spend the time and effort on this new website. My selections will be made not only on artistic ability, but also on the impression you give about your work and your interest level in this photoblog — and as voters, your selections should reflect the same. Feel free to regroup your portfolios and notify me of a new link. And for further enlightenment, check out this article on “Creating a Photography Portfolio.”

  1. Ariel Diacovetzky
  2. Trevor Carpenter
  3. Blake J. Nolan
  4. Andrew Gibson
  5. Martin Gommel
  6. Taylor Jackson
  7. Alexander Artemenko
  8. John Sercel
  9. Rose Bordett
  10. Joseph Szymanski
  11. Dave MacIntyre
  12. Shaun Krisher
  13. Victor Bezrukov
  14. Colin Wright
  15. Daniel Hellerman
  16. Jimmy Brown
  17. Mike Pavlov
  18. Andreas Manessinger
  19. Boris Taratutin
  20. Cody Redmon
  21. Saulius Eidukas
  22. Joel Witmeyer
  23. Jeff Mitchel
  24. Dez Santana
  25. Paul Pescitelli
  26. Andrew Bradley
  27. Ryan Dlugosz
  28. Allison Jacobsen
  29. Neil Creek
  30. David Ziser

Let’s try to get a decision on the number of photographers as soon as possible. I’ll leave the voting process open for a week, or until everybody votes if it happens sooner than that. So start looking and start talking.

74 thoughts on “Fine Art Photoblog Candidates

  1. Andrew Bradley

    Hi all,

    Firstly let me say that it has been my pleasure this past early morning perusing the galleries above; there are some fantastic images in there, and the choices will be difficult.

    Brian, in response to how many photographers should be a part of the blog; too many and it risks being segmented, becoming haphazard and uncontrolled or losing momentum. On the otherhand too few and the readers suffer for content and variety. It is clear from the portfolios that there is a wide range of styles and to keep the variety flowing perhaps more than 5 are necessary? Maybe a mid-ground of 10 or 15, but I am unsure if this is running into the realm of too many photograpers in the pot?
    What does everyone think?


  2. Colin Wright

    I think from this group of 30, it’d be easy to pull more than five photographers into the fold — maybe as many as 10 or so. Or even 14 — that’s two new images every day (in theory). I definitely think there’s more than five portfolios here that could easily be tapped for the launch.

    And to the other contributors — really fantastic work, crossing so many styles. I had a ball walking through the world as seen through your eyes!

  3. Brian Auer Post author

    Dan Hellerman also noted in an email that around 15 contributors would be good for him. So that makes the running vote 10 to 15 so far. I’m pretty comfortable with a few more than 10 — any other opinions?

  4. John Sercel

    I haven’t looked through the portfolios yet, but just based on the idea of the blog, I think somewhere around 15 would be pretty good.

    I think that there have to be few enough that the viewers can get to know the individual photographers and their styles. But I agree that more than five would be beneficial to broaden the represented styles.

  5. Neil Creek

    I’m of the opinion that you should start small, and iron out any problems we* might face early, then grow the blog over months and years. Photographers who submitted to this call for interest should be given another chance at invitation before latecomers, when expanding the members.

    The ideal number also depends quite a bit on how the thing is run. Being a blog, we would obviously want to use a news feed, which I would presume would include new images. Will every image available on the blog be sent out via the feed? If so, it would be a bit overwhelming to have more than 2 posts per day. Also, will each photographer always have their photo published on the same day, using a roster? If so, then those who get posted on the weekend would be at a disadvantage, so maybe another method would be better.

    Obviously we need to work out the details. I’m inclined to think that 5-10 would be a good number, leaning toward the lower end of that range. At least for the first few months.

    One other question Brian, when it comes to choosing the photographers, will photographers be able to vote for themselves or not? That could significantly change the dynamic of the vote depending on the choice made there.

    Finally, I want to say that I’m very impressed at the quality of some of the submissions, and have a few favourites already. I’m also very disapointed at the number of photographers who did not follow the rules of limiting themselves to 15 chosen images. It will be hard for me to vote for those who ignored the rules to their own advantage and showed more of their work. If this blog is to succeed we will need to work together as a team, helping each other out. Those who simply linked to their blog or web site without doing any kind of refinement are simply lazy and won’t be getting my vote.

    Putting all that aside, I know that the Fine Art Photography Blog will have a highly talented and visionary team behind it, and it cannot help but succeed :)

    * By saying “we” I am not intending to be presumptous about getting an invitation, but rather simply referring to those of us who have applied wich are accepted.

  6. Brian Auer Post author

    I like your idea on giving this group first dibs on the next possible round of inclusions. And I’m going to say no voting for yourself, otherwise I’ll end up getting four actual votes from most people. For those who submitted (or resubmit) a dedicated portfolio of less than 20 images, that’ll count as a vote for yourself — how’s that?

  7. Andreas Manessinger

    Why is it that we are so attracted to magic numbers? But it’s true, 7 and 14 sound much better to me than 5 or 10. Anything more than 14 (i.e. two images per day, one image per photographer and week) wouldn’t give enough exposure.

    I guess we have a problem with the voting process though:

    Casting 5 votes is fine for selecting 5 out of 30. When we were going to select 14 out of 30, I think it could easily happen that we got less than 14 people with votes at all. Actually when I think of it, it would be 13, ’cause I guess you’re in anyway :)

    Maybe I’m wrong, but if we’re going for higher numbers, I’d increase the number of votes per person to 7 or 10.

    OK, that’s it from me so far, more after the weekend.

  8. Brian Auer Post author

    Let’s keep the votes at five for now, since I’ve already had several voters chime in on their selections. With only four voters, we’ve had 12 portfolios voted for ranging between 1 and 4 votes (yes, somebody has had a vote from every voter so far). I think we’ll be covered all the way up to 15 or more, but we’ll probably see a drop in votes after the top 8 or 10.

  9. Neil Creek

    An excellent solution Brian! It rewards those who followed the rules without excluding those who were too hasty to select their best, from the vote. In that case, I might add 5 more images :) (I’m assuming you meant 20 OR less images, right?)

  10. Brian Auer Post author

    10 to 20 is fine, but bigger is not always better. In my mind, a portfolio is partly about the presentation. With a Flickr set, 18 would look better than 20 to me because there are 6 images per row. Two dangling images on the fourth row just doesn’t look as clean.

  11. Andreas Manessinger

    Uhh … Neil, being one of those lazy guys, I’m sorry, I did not mean to offend, and certainly not to take any advantage. The device that I used, tagging in my galleries with the keyword “portfolio” and submitting the search, was so convenient, that I’m now going to use it in general on images that are portfolio candidates. Thus my submission is not fixed and will even grow. In fact it has since. If that is a problem to anybody, then I’ll re-tag a fixed number specifically for this purpose.

    On the other hand, for me it would be perfectly OK if everybody who feels like that threw in some more images in their submission.

    Please let me know :)

  12. Brian Auer Post author

    I tend to agree with Neil that a portfolio really should be a refined selection of images targeted at a specific topic or subject. It’s never a bad thing to have multiple portfolios with fewer (but connected) images rather than a large collection of disconnected photos. Having over 100 photos in a single portfolio only makes it more difficult to evaluate the artist’s ability for a given topic.

  13. Martin Gommel

    Hey all ! Well, I am fine with 10 or a little bit more photographers in this one. Why ? Because I think that more could be less. If every photographer of 30 would post one image in a week that would be 4 on a day and that’s gonna emphasize on the mass, not on the image itself. So Brian, I think you’re handling this situation properly – in the area of 10-15 I am okay with….

  14. Brian Auer Post author

    It sounds like we’re all congregating around the number 10. I think that’s probably a good indication of what’s to come. Whatever we finally decide on, I’d like to keep the boundaries a bit fuzzy. So 10, for example, could mean anywhere between 7-13, or 8-12, or whatever. I guess some of it will depend on how the voting process goes too. Let’s say there’s a huge difference between number 9 and number 10 for votes, we’ll probably cut it off at 9.

  15. Cody Redmon

    Great group of photographers, all. I, too, was caught by the number of different styles, they were all great to explore. I’m also of the mind that not selecting a limited number of images takes away from this process. I debated adding more, but Brian made a good point in and e-mail…too many and they begin to get overlooked. It’s the same way for the number of photographers associated with the project. I really like the idea of starting smaller and growing membership, but that still leaves us with the magic start number. For me, I’m leaning a bit more simple and clean out of the gates with my vote going for 7 artists to start, but I understand the circumstances and think that up to 10 would work. Too many, though, and it’s instantly top-heavy and the purpose becomes diluted…unless the site is built with that in mind.

    Neil Creek asked about a news feed for the site and I wanted to comment that I don’t think this is a point of concern. Feeds are standard these days, I read hundreds using Netvibes daily. More popular blogs have up to 30 posts per day…sometimes I feel like Boing Boing has 200. Ha. Point being, 2 feed messages a day with images shouldn’t be an issue, should it? Or did I miss something? The question could be read as if all images will be sent out each time, but that’s not how feeds work, so…

    Fantastic work, everyone, glad to be going through this process with you. Best of luck as the voting continues!

  16. Joseph Szymanski

    I tend to agree with Neil on this issue, the smaller the group is to start, the easier it will be to iron out the kinks and get things running. There should always be room for growth, but starting small is going to save everyone a great deal of headaches, especially Brian given that he’s driving this bus.

    Critical mass is going to change over time as the process for running this thing is developed and streamlined. In addition the scope and direction, as well as the work itself, will change over time, making room for new photographers to participate.

    So I suppose my answer is this, start small. What is small? No idea, time will tell, but 10 to me seems high.

  17. Dave MacIntyre

    First of all, there are some gorgeous portfoilios in that list of artists. Excellent work overall.

    I recently completed Ryerson’s University’s photography program in which I learned how to create a portfolio. Many of you have mentioned above a few key points.

    1) Size. The portfoilio should contain 10-20 images (as a general rule). Fewer than 10 leave little impact…greater than 20 is too overwhelming to absorb.

    2) Theme. It should have a consistent theme of some sort, whether it be subject matter, colour, angles useds, abstracts etc. To submit a portfolio of landscapes, flowers, portraits, macros, cars etc. I find is too generic and really doesn’t make a statement.

    It will be a very difficult choice to narrow down to 5!

    Once again, you are all very talented and congratulations on your fine work.


  18. Taylor Jackson

    Somewhere in the 7-12 range is sounding good to me. That way there will be a nice flow of images all week / month.
    Maybe we can have some sort of queue, and even if multiple images were submitted in one day, space them out to be posted every 12ish hours…or even every day at a specific time.

    Good luck everyone!

  19. Allison Jacobsen

    I agree with the people who are saying start smaller and see how that goes before adding more. I think that a good start will be between 5-10, with a plan of adding another 5-10 when the blog is established and working smoothly. You are going to have bugs and coordination issues in the beginning, and it will be easier to work with five other people at first.

    The talent here is amazing, and I am really impressed with people’s work. I hope that this group will have a first chance to be considered again if you do start smaller, because there are far more than five people are deserving.

  20. Joel Witmeyer

    I love all the different styles in the above portfolios. Shouldn’t be too hard to find 10-15. My vote is for 7-10 to start out and see how the site progresses.

    As for the 20 images or less, I used the same portfolio I put together for a local art gallery. They awarded me a solo show this coming summer so I figured I’d use the same set. I apologize for more than 20 and I realize that could hurt my chances.

  21. Mike

    about design – I think it is not very important for customer. When it’s clear – that’s fine. “Print” – is a worth buttom:-)
    But, actually, I don’t like a blog of lossing older postes. Muy be it’s better to make a standart site, where you can catch all post easily by two clicks from first page? Or, if there will be a blog and foto gallery – that’s all right.

  22. Trevor Carpenter

    OK all. I’ve been traveling and the right into starting work. Sorry to enter the discussion so late.

    I agree completely with the discussion so far about looking for 10-ish contributing photographers. I also fell into that category of lazy photographer who simply tagged my own favorites with “portfolio” and made a smartset.

    Upon reading the comments (mostly Neil) it was made clear that I needed to quickly trim some images from the portfolio, for fear of loosing Neil’s vote. Done. Please forgive me.

    OK, not that that’s clear…I’m good!

  23. Andrew Bradley

    Hello all again,

    Some great points made about the number of photographers, I agree *around* 10 is a nice number, but quite happy with more or less.

    I also fell into the category of too many photos in my portfolio – my apologies for this as the Zooomr stream I linked to is my complete portfolio, and given the closeness to submission deadline that I contacted Brian I didn’t create a subset.

    I have since rectified this with a sampling of 20 images in this Zooomr Smartset:

    Please accept my apologies for not having done this from the offset.


  24. Brian Auer Post author

    I’m glad to see several of you trim down your portfolios so quickly. I’ve updated the links in the list, but if I left somebody out just let me know.

  25. Paul Pescitelli

    Just dropping in my $.02. I think the initial idea behind the selection of 5 would be to increase quality not quantity. However, I would not oppose upping it a few to say 8 the absolute most would be 10, as I agree with Neil, start smallish work out the kinks, then add a few more

    CIAO – Paul

  26. Jimmy Brown

    Hi Brian,would you please update my submission link to I have under twenty images in my gallery. Thanks. I do agree with the other photographers, start small with 10 to 15 and work out the bugs. I would just like to say, being a neophyte photographer, my current total number of images is low and would take some time to expand ! I realize this limits my possibility of participating, I just do not want to mislead anyone.
    Happy New Year all – jimmy

  27. Neil Creek

    Thank you very much to everyone who’ve gone through the refinement process on their submission after my post. I didn’t want to sound angry or demanding, but I’m very excited about this project and very much want to be a part of it. I felt that if someone cannot listen to instructions, or won’t take the time to choose their best work to show us, then that reflects badly on them as a potential member of the blog. I said what I did only because I want the blog to succeed.

    This will be very hard, choosing only 5 favourites. I’m sure when the time comes for the number of invited contributors to increase, Brian will have us vote again on the new candidates, so we can give those we like but couldn’t choose a second chance.

  28. Blake J. Nolan

    Hey Everyone,

    Just got in to read all your comments and check out all the work. Let me echo and expand on all the previous comments and say:

    - great collection of work here
    - super stoked on this project also
    - under 10 to start for sure
    - 20 not 31 images in my flikr set now
    - kinks, lets work those out
    - photography is pretty cool ;-)
    - voting for yourself is lame, and we all know it, so just don’t.*

    Good luck everyone! Hopefully I’ll be voting on the next round of people who get the chance to be involved in this awesome project. Oh, and Brian, I would be up for developing the design for the project, if you haven’t figured that out already. Take a look at my design company and let’s talk about working on this perhaps….

    * Brian, be so kind as to remove the vote I cast for myself and add someone more qualified. (j/k) It will be easy. I guarantee it.

  29. Cody Redmon

    Agreed, Neil. Guidelines are set to create fairness for all, so it’s great to see contributors adjusting their submitted galleries to take advantage of as much. I also like the idea of a “second chance” for those who are not admitted in this opening round. The interest of the potential participants is evident, as well as their talent. Again, I want to thank Brian for all of his efforts in making this opportunity possible.

  30. Brian Auer Post author

    Wow guys, it’s great to see so much discussion still going on here. I’ll update the links to the condensed portfolios (and add Blake’s “J”) when I get home from my day job in about an hour. This is really great stuff, I’m super stoked about the whole project!

  31. Blake J. Nolan

    Do a search for “Blake Nolan” and you’ll see why the J. has become so very important. It was a sad day when i lost top billing on Google to the other Blake Nolan that came out of nowhere. :-(

  32. Ryan Dlugosz

    All – I’ll quickly chime in to say that I agree that the number of photogs should be “around 10″. Target that & let the number/closeness of votes toward the tail work out the exact count.

    Glad to hear that folks trimmed down some of the portfolios… I think it’s important to not have too much out there for review, both for the sanity of the voters, but more so for another reason… If you’re showing 30+ images, are you really editing or are you showing the extent of your top work? Being a part of a blog like this will mean that you need to be able to consistently deliver top-notch stuff – if you get to a point where you’re beginning to work the “B-sides”, the overall quality of the blog will suffer.

    Consider this: A year from now, will you still have high quality images to contribute?

    I’ve submitted my votes to Brian & I must say that this blog will have an impressive collection of images in it! Great job to all who contributed – the ports look great.

  33. Saulius

    Well I just had a chance to browse all the many comments. My two cents worth are I prefer to keep the original number closer to 5 as originally suggested, maybe up to seven. Unfortunately I didn’t create a separate portfolio but hopefully my 21 images in the gallery section of my web site wasn’t too difficult for people to navigate. After the initial blog gets going and things ironed out I think that yes, people who first applied to get in this process should have first crack at any possible expansions. However, maybe the photographers who are already in should be the ones to vote for any new members. Just a thought. I emailed my top five pics. Good luck to all and thank Brian for working on this idea and getting it going.

  34. Brian Auer Post author

    Would anybody mind if I opened this thing up as a public post in a few days? The other readers are a bit curious to see the portfolios.

  35. Neil Creek

    No problem at all. It’ll be interesting to see what folks think of the discussion we’ve had, and I think openness about the process can only help it succeed.

  36. Brian Auer Post author

    Maybe I’ll open it up based on the latest blog post. Our discussions seemed to have died down with the decision for the number of photographers being around 5 to 10.

  37. Pingback: The Art of Making a Portfolio

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