Two ladies from 'The Chase' came in to talk to us and view our portfolios, giving us feedback on our work which was really helpful. They gave us some very useful advice, including pointers as to what to do and what not to do at a portfolio viewing and interview. Some of the points I found most vital were:
* Don't put anything in your portfolio that you dislike or are embarrassed about, it influences you to say: 'Oh I don't know why I put that piece in there, I don't really like it'. If you don't like it, then take it out. Be positive about all your work.
* When agencies are interviewing designers they look for people who are friendly and look for chemistry between them both. They want to know if they can work with this person.
* Don't treat your portfolio like a bin, make sure it’s clean and well presented, which will in turn show you care about your work.
* If they don't want to commission you, you could still ask for their feedback and even ask for a previous brief that hasn't already been completed. You could still have a go at it and would be valuable work experience. Ask for their feedback on how well you tackled the brief.
* Think about different styles of portfolios, a different way of presenting your work to the client. One of the ladies specifically said they found box portfolios exciting.
* Instead of contacting agencies with email and sending a pdf portfolio to them electronically, they said if you actually visit an agency or happen to be walking past, just drop in and say 'has anyone got the time to look at my work?” They find this refreshing and exciting as they don't get many different people coming to visit them and it’s more personal. It shows you care more.
* Also think about the scale of your images, if something looks better at a much bigger scale, then print it off at that scale and give the client more options and let them see how your images work well or when they are at their best quality.
When Lise Brian looked at my work, she suggested that I think about scale. My images such as my swan and waterfall image would look great if they were presented at a larger scale. I asked if she would be interested if I were to bring my models to an interview and agreed it would be great, although she suggested I could photograph the models on their own and then show them in a context separately. She also mentioned I could include my sketches or photographs of the working/constructing process before I made the final image, so they could see how I got to that finished point.
Overall I thought the visit from The Chase was very good practice and I have taken a lot of their advice into account when finishing off my final portfolio and my work in the final major project.