There are many reasons to attend a portfolio review–feedback, connections, exposure–but most photographers going into a review are thinking “What can this reviewer do for me? Can they give me a show? Will they publish my work?” and when you are spending a considerable amount of money to attend, that’s understandable. A light bulb went off in my head the other day when I was applying for a grant and I realized that attending reviews has allowed me to create relationships with significant people in the photo world. I started seeing the review process in a whole new light–that’s it’s not just about what happens in the reviewing room, but it’s about establishing relationships for the long haul. Reviews connect you in a more meaningful way with the photo community, through new friendships with fellow reviewees, with new connections to people in the know, and new perspectives on your work.
I am thrilled that I will be reviewing again for Review LA in January, and I know, as photographers are making their selections, they will be asking those same questions about me. I’ve thought a lot about the photographers I reviewed last January and featured many on Lenscratch, curated some into exhibitions, and supported and encouraged others along their journey, but more importantly, I have shared their work with people who might not have known about their work previously.
I encourage you to come to Los Angeles the weekend of January 13-15th for Review LA, and as an extra bonus, you can walk across the street to Photo LA, the largest exhibition of fine art photography galleries from around the world, showcasing hundreds of photographers. What better way to fill up your photographic tank.
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