The proliferation and acceptance of iPads as photographer portfolios is a great thing. Not only is it inexpensive compared to printed books, you can include motion and depth on subjects that your client may be interested in. That being said, the printed book is still a source of familiarity for those in the hiring position and a great way to start a meeting off on the right foot. I was on a panel recently where photo editors said “if you can’t make nice prints don’t bother with a printed book” and I have to agree that while the selection and sequencing of images are super important the quality of the prints can make or break the whole presentation.

Photographer Zack Arias describes the process of updating and printing a new portfolio and it’s a good read for anyone who hasn’t done one yet:

A printed book is a thing to take pride in. There’s something tangible about it that holding an iPad doesn’t compare to. Note that I’m a big believer in electronic forms of showing your work. I walk into every meeting with a print book AND an iPad. The book is the best representation I have of the work I do. The iPad holds expanded galleries of work that support the book and hold other galleries of work that don’t find their way into the main book. Things like personal projects, travel photography, video, etc. Eventually I want to have a series of print books that show a range of the work I do.

Read the rest here.

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  1. That’s a great read – thanks for the link.

  2. I have to agree. There is something pure and tangible about the portfolio. For me although I have i books and kindle on my ipad and regularly read from my device, it can never replace the feel of a book itself, the turning of the pages, the weight, the feel of the paper. It’s an experience that is more internally based whereas I feel that the technology creates distance for me and our world in general. I shoot with a Nikon D3 and I shoot on manual mode. Joe McNally said “That’s like having a Ferrari and only driving it to church” That may be true but it’s the experience of the ride that counts.

  3. Printed books are excellent, an dthe iPad in support of a generalist printed book is really a great way to go.

  4. The reality is that the printed page actually hides many flaws that the ipad does not. I just switched to an ipad as my primary portfolio and had to rework a good number of images. Overall it’s been a huge success with all the art directors I have met with so far.

  5. I just wrote an article about this, “Ipad vs Print – How do you prefer to view a portfolio?” for ASPP magazine Issue# 3, 2011. We had great feedback from our Linkedin Group members with avid debaters for both sides which formed the article. The article is not online yet, but here’s the group link if you want to participate:*2_*2_*2_lna_MANAGER_*2.gmp_2093733

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