I like this response by Neil Binkley of Wonderful Machine to a question about self promotion:

As someone who has reviewed so many outstanding portfolios and self-promotional pieces, what distinguishes the very best?

Certainly, the “wow” factor of an unorthodox or expensive portfolio/promotion is always something that catches my attention. However, if that “wow” isn’t met by “wow #2,” ie. excellent photography presented in a cohesive form, then I feel sorry that the photographer spent so much money putting lipstick on a pig.

The interview is on a blog promoting a book called, No Plastic Sleeves: The Complete Portfolio Guide for Photographers and Designers (here) that I found via, Wonderful Machine Blog.

The book looks great and the blog seems like it will become a wealth of information and inspiration for portfolios and promos.

Here’s another quote from an interview with Art Director Robin Milgrim, a recent PDN Self-Promo Judge:

What do you think is the most challenging and rewarding part of being a judge for an awards competition, such as the PDN Self-Promo Awards?

There are so many talented people out there. When reviewing work for the photo-annuals I am most struck by how many people do not understand their audience, or how to distinguish themselves. At this level everyone is good, but only few are great. It’s easy to choose the winner’s. I am saddened by how many very capable talented people do not understand whom they are talking to. When submitting work for these competitions, keep in mind that the judges, as well as those that will hire you, see an enormous amount of work everyday. They devour creative. They have seen it all, and are hungry for something that breaks with convention.

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  1. Thanks for these links. Interesting , and just in time for Every Photographer’s New Years Resolution:get that self-promotion/marketing plan back on track.

  2. The second quote is inspiring. The important of understanding our follower is crucial.

    Always have a good relationships with your audience. If you plan to make your own website test it with different browser. Not eveybody use Firefox.

    • @Michy Kant, I’m not sure that what you link to is the “right” kind of self promotion. I’m sure that violates law number 8, or is it number 9?
      Anyway, thanks for sharing.

  3. “lipstick on a pig”, that’s great!

  4. Robin Milgrim would have a lot more credibility by writing correct English.

    • @John Fowler, I think it’s hard to be creative with punctuation during a semi tutorial Q&A session.
      Did she get a chance to edit her remarks?
      Did someone else transcribe for her, like you would in a phone conversation that was legally recorded?
      Anyway, here is a link for you to consider:

    • @John Fowler, Ah throwing rocks in your own glass house. I think if we want perfection we need ot look inward at our own stuff. I have spent the last three months researching, and much more because I want to sepnd the coming year focused on shooting and marketing. I think I have a lot of work to get there. I expect perfection which is unrealistic. No matter how hard I try I find typos, omitted words, etc. I took less than thirty seconds and the first thing I saw on your sight was a typo. I am sure you could do the same at my site. Point is what is the basic message. If I am so critical I would never read anything.

      I think there’s good info and it has weight. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

      • @Ed Hamlin, Took me les that 15 seconds to find a typo… brilliant post! Happy Happy!

  5. This looks like it is going to be a good resource for everyone!

  6. Great to read this. Makes me want to go make a new badass promo.

  7. Thanks for posting this. Self promotion is something rarely taught in photography school and most people are caught in the wilderness once they graduate, and for years after!

  8. Fantastic post along with the one on branding (an activity which i have seen alot of my colleagues spend ALOT of time on!- all things in moderation but seriously some people go over the top!)

    Anyway back to this post very interesting…will now be a regular reader now I have found you.

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