Portfolio preparation tips

How do I prepare my portfolio for presentation?

  • Your work should be presented in a neat and organized way.
  • All artwork should be signed. If you are delivering a portfolio folder and original works, your name and address should be on the outside of the portfolio folder or case.
  • We also accept image CDs or flash drives.
  • You may submit actual work along with your CD if you think it will enhance your chances for admission. Sketchbooks, for example, can be a strong addition to any digital portfolio.
  • When including actual artwork, consider using white or neutral colored mats.  However, mats are not required.
  • JPG images should only show the artwork itself, no background, unless the image is of a 3-D object. In that case, the background should be solid and neutral.
  • Each image in the CD should be numbered to coordinate with an inventory list.
  • An inventory list describes each piece and should accompany your CD: List your name, title, media, size and date completed.

Some advice on shooting digital images

  • Use a good 35mm camera with a 50 mm lens. 50 mm shows no distortion and is close to the way the human eye sees. One of the small digital point and shoot cameras will also work. Don't shoot a portfolio with a phone camera.
  • Daylight is the best light to shoot artwork. If you don't use daylight, use tungsten light to photograph your work.  Don't photograph under florescent light.  And, don't use a flash.
  • Consult your art teacher, a professional photographer or your local camera store owner for advice.
  • Photograph each piece individually.
  • The piece should completely fill the camera frame. Your camera should be perpendicular to the artwork. If the piece does not fill the frame, download the image and crop it in to the edges of the artwork. Crop out any matting and framing.  Use a neutral background for 3-D pieces.
  • Never photograph through glass.
  • Do not digitally enhance the image in any way. You can color correct to match the original piece.
  • Most importantly, take your time. Re-shoot if necessary. Select the best shots those that truly represent your work.
  • If you are sending an image CD, make sure to include a hard copy of  information for each piece of art work.

Other things to remember

  • Familiarize yourself with the various deadlines you're facing, especially scholarship deadlines.
  • Be sure to complete all steps of the application procedures.
  • Do not submit more work than is necessary.
  • Finally, seek advice from knowledgeable professionals when organizing your admissions portfolio, but remember your portfolio represents who you are and what you can do.

If you have any questions, please contact one of the art faculty at Bluffton University.