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02-16-2014, 08:24 AM   #1
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Pro photographer's resume advice?

A friend of mine, a professional studio photographer, asked me to translate her resume. I read her original resume and her translation she sent, and frankly speaking, they are both poor from the standard job resume perspective. So, I need to re-write both.

I read online that art (pro, etc) photographer's resume should be different than any other job seeking resume. I also found tons of resume samples, but can not understand which are good, and which are bad.
I appreciate any thoughts from pros, how photographer's resume should look attractive for potential employer?
Honestly, I don't know how to start, or how to "sell" her skills. It's not my area of expertise; I just own two cameras- that's all

02-16-2014, 09:44 AM   #2
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With any visual arts, I'd assume that examples are going to matter more than a resume. Help her build a strong portfolio that tells a story and shows her best strengths. In fact, I've rarely seen photographers with 'Resumes', it's usually a nice portfolio and a cover letter to go with it.
02-16-2014, 09:54 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
I've rarely seen photographers with 'Resumes', it's usually a nice portfolio and a cover letter to go with it
+1 on that, I've seen a few occasions a letter containing links to previous work for prestigious clients or portfolios on line.
02-16-2014, 09:56 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
Help her build a strong portfolio that tells a story and shows her best strengths. In fact, I've rarely seen photographers with 'Resumes', it's usually a nice portfolio and a cover letter to go with it.
She does have portfolio on her site. That's not a problem. The issue is how to contact agencies abroad in English. I can write cover letter as well, however, cover letter is not for education, skills, publications, awards list. There are tons of resumes with all that list, are they useless really?

02-16-2014, 10:05 AM   #5
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When I was getting my Fine Arts Bachelor's we had to go through several "Professional Practice" lessons, and one lesson involved creating an artist's resume. I would think a photographer's resume would be about the same thing.

She will definitely want to list any education, degrees earned, any classes she has taken since earning her degree, and any special training or certification she has received.

List any shows she has been in, whether they were solo exhibits or if she participated in a gallery, list any awards she has won for particular photographs, and if she is in a personal or public collection, mention it.

It would probably be a good idea to give a general idea of the types of events she has experience with, and use keywords that jump out and stick in a person's mind: candid, portraits, weddings, etc. If she has some recent and particularly pleased clients, especially someone who can speak professionally about her services, ask them if they can be listed as references.

Portfolios can go a long way, but I feel like a photographer is a service-based hire, and you want to show that you are personable, adaptable, and easy to get along with, not to mention possessing the skills!
02-16-2014, 10:08 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
She does have portfolio on her site. That's not a problem. The issue is how to contact agencies abroad in English. I can write cover letter as well, however, cover letter is not for education, skills, publications, awards list. There are tons of resumes with all that list, are they useless really?
Resume writing is an art in itself. I own a small engineering consulting form, so I spend a LOT of time reading and writing resumes.

The best thing to do, is figure out what she wants to accomplish with a resume. What kind of job is she looking for? Then, find common job postings, or other people that are doing the job, and look for the keywords that are associated with the job. So much recruiting is done through resume databases these days, in ALL industries. You want a resume to be simple and straightforward. Expect that these days, every job will have at least 50 competitors. When starting through resumes, recruiters and people in charge of hiring will search through databases with keywords and phrases. If you don't optimize your keywords like you would on a webpage, they will have to hunt for them, and chances are they won't take the time.

'General' reusmes are about useless these days, except for keeping on a webpage in your 'about me' section, and keep those informal.

If you want any more tips, you can PM me. I've written/tweaked about 100 resumes since the new year, if you're wondering.
02-17-2014, 07:02 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by severalsnakes Quote
She will definitely want to list any education, degrees earned, any classes she has taken since earning her degree, and any special training or certification she has received.
List any shows she has been in, whether they were solo exhibits or if she participated in a gallery, list any awards she has won for particular photographs, and if she is in a personal or public collection, mention it.
Yes, that's the exact format I'm trying to write.

---------- Post added 02-17-14 at 07:14 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
Resume writing is an art in itself.
Yep, and for me it's not an art, but more likely a pain in the neck!

QuoteQuote:
I own a small engineering consulting form, so I spend a LOT of time reading and writing resumes.
Ooooh, you are the right person!!!
I do have a problem with the beginning. As you told, "general" resumes are quite useless, and don't know the other way to write. Thank you for offering your help. Simple and straightforward - that's the problem.
02-17-2014, 08:37 AM   #8
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I'm a bit unclear about the purpose for this resume.

If it is for accompanying an art exhibit, then I'd recommend a different style than if she was seeking representation or employment as a photographer.

For the former, a plain word processed text document listing her prior shows, publications, employment (self or otherwise), and then education and training in reverse chronological order would suffice. Website & email info too.

For employment, the resume should be treated as more of a graphic artwork output as a PDF. Her visually arresting art should be in the background and/or on the side. A couple of pull quotes from art show reviews would help. Keep it professional with the same data as noted, but it has to look really good. Do a search for examples, she has to stand out in a positive way. If you are not up for this, a graphic artist should be hired.

Hope this helps.

M

02-17-2014, 11:18 AM   #9
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micromacro,

If you PM me your email address or something, I can just send you the Word document of my Artist's Resume, if you would like to use it as a format.
02-17-2014, 11:30 AM   #10
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Is she independent and giving this out to potential clients or is she applying for a job as a photographer.

If it is the former, she might want to consider some cards from MOO Business Cards | Create your customized business card online which allow you to print out a picture on one and have your contact info on the other. If she meets someone, she can hand them a stack of their business card ask them to look at some of her work and pick the one that is their favorite, giving her a great way to see what they like and to make a great impression.
02-17-2014, 11:43 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikemike Quote
Is she independent and giving this out to potential clients or is she applying for a job as a photographer.

If it is the former, she might want to consider some cards from MOO Business Cards | Create your customized business card online which allow you to print out a picture on one and have your contact info on the other. If she meets someone, she can hand them a stack of their business card ask them to look at some of her work and pick the one that is their favorite, giving her a great way to see what they like and to make a great impression.
SEO and social web marketing are better. These days, you're more likely to convert clients from people you meet in real life (jobs, not selling prints here) by handing them something with your name on it, and just saying 'google me'.
02-17-2014, 06:12 PM   #12
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It seems like I'm getting a bit (or a lot? ) deeper into this resume issue. I don't see decent "selling" package on her site, it's not informative, not "sharpen" for good pro impression, imo. In any language.
I really appreciate all your advice, it helps!
It will take time to put all my "marketing" thoughts together, and right now I'm just brainstorming, turning out from the resume to her bio first.
Can tell you one thing for sure: this advertizing of someone is not as easy how it may look!

---------- Post added 02-17-14 at 06:25 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
SEO and social web marketing are better. These days, you're more likely to convert clients from people you meet in real life (jobs, not selling prints here) by handing them something with your name on it, and just saying 'google me'.
That's brilliant suggestion. I googled her, received poor search results, and wrote how I think she needs to improve that. Thanks!
02-24-2014, 06:09 PM   #13
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I didn't post here yet, but I subscribed because i was interested in the subject. And I agree with many of the posts. Photography is (like it or not) a very social field. Having great gear and taking great photos is important, sure, but when it comes to jobs you need to be out there. Making friends, talking to other photographers, talking to magazine and website editors, things like that.

Things I am very bad at, but all the successful pro photographers I have met so far are good at it. They are curious, talkative. Of course, it depends on the job you are seeking. Some might require a list of experience, others require a portfolio. But usually its best to network network network.
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