Photographer Siobhan Hennessy spent a decade as a Picture Editor for one of the world's top photographic agencies. In this guest blog series, she draws from her experience of editing some of the best images in the world, in order to help you gain a clear focus on how to best present your work.
In today’s world of image overload, trying to get your artwork noticed is harder than ever. How you market it, where you display it and how you sustain momentum are all important aspects of running your business, but nothing beats good editing to make your images stand out. Strong editing skills can sometimes demand detaching yourself emotionally from your work – easier said than done, I know. But this seemingly harsh approach will ultimately bring you closer to your vision and help you find your inner voice.
1. Be honest with yourself
In order to maintain authenticity in our work, we must create a vision that is uniquely our own. And, of course, as we all have an individual eye, it can be hard to see things through someone else’s at times. But the art of editing your portfolio involves just that – stepping away and being objective.
2. Less is always more
If you have created some imagery that you are particularly proud of, challenge yourself to strip away the excess, leaving only the most perfect image(s) behind. I’m not suggesting you bin anything, but maybe create a separate folder containing only the very best. Next time you open it, you will be even more proud of your work.
3. Consider the sequence
Whether you are an artist, photographer or illustrator, how your work unfolds before the viewer’s eyes is of key importance. You are narrating a story through images, and that generally means a beginning, a middle and an end. It’s your job to ensure they read it just like you see it in your mind. Take a natural path, one that is easy to follow and avoid unnecessary distractions.
4. Believe in yourself
In my experience, artists often struggle to believe in their abilities. Maybe that’s a necessary part of the creative journey and is what drives us to create more. But the more you believe, the stronger your vision will become, and before long, everyone else will believe too.
Image: Siobhan Hennessy