Over the past several weeks, I have been spending virtually every extra second of my days in the darkroom (see my Instagrams), printing my portfolio for the Atlanta Celebrates Photography Portfolio Review. Atlanta Celebrates Photography is an annual event that takes place every October, with exhibits, lectures, classes and more, all focused on the art of photography.
This was my first foray in the world of photography portfolio reviews. Atlanta’s is a one day deal; some of the larger festivals across the country — New Orleans, Santa Fe, Houston — have reviews that last several days. The basic idea is that you present your work to a group of industry movers and shakers, and get their (hopefully positive) feedback.
I was very fortunate to be able to meet and show my work to some very important people in the world of fine art photography, including Brett Abbott, Curator of Photography at the High Museum, photographers Chip Simone, Brian Ulrich, and Bill Schwab, as well as Kirsten Rian from Daylight, William Bolling from Fall Line Press, and David Bram of Fraction Magazine. These may not be household names to the average person, but they are all very highly regarded in the fine art photography community. I showed about 20 prints from my Jubilee series. The feedback was very positive; everyone loved my silver prints. It’s a rarity these days.
(Tech note: a silver gelatin print is what you create in a traditional wet darkroom from black and white film. Out of the 50 photographers in attendance, I was one of only six who still shoot film, and one of only two who print on silver paper — the other four were film shooters who scan and output to either digital prints or alternative processes like platinum. Plus, there were a couple of tintypists in the house.)
Click to enlargify
Parker Smith with his portfolio at the Atlanta Celebrates Photography Portfolio Review
The entire experience was a bit of a whirlwind, starting at 9 on Saturday and finishing around 9 that night, and after a follow up workshop on Sunday, I was completely wiped out. Of course, Monday morning arrived bright and early and I had to resume my previously scheduled life as Atlanta’s #1 portrait photographer. So, apologies if your emails went unanswered for a few days!
That being said, we are headed off for four days on the lake in Highlands, NC. Got a cooler full of meat products, wine, and home made pimiento cheese!