Photography & Imaging Portfolio Review

All students wishing to major in photography are required to undergo a portfolio review after completing First Year Program coursework, ART253, and ART350 while maintaining a 2.67 GPA in photo coursework. Grades are important evaluative criteria, but the committee will also evaluate the overall strength of each student’s portfolio, including writing and work samples.

Work samples must clearly demonstrate the skills acquired in required coursework along with a strong foundation for conceptual growth. The faculty will look closely at the quality of presentation, depth of research, thoroughness, attention to detail, and overall academic record.

Students are strongly encouraged to meet with the Art & Design Undergraduate Advisor in the semesters prior to the review to discuss the many studio majors available to them, including Photography & Imaging.

Transfer students
Confirm eligibility with the Advising Office and Department of Art & Design Undergraduate Advisor before applying to the Photography & Imaging program. Students who are eligible to submit a portfolio must submit examples of work from the required photography courses or their transfer equivalent.

Evaluation Competencies

Concept
Critical thinking demonstrated by writing samples, interpretation of assignments, and depth of research.

Problem solving demonstrated by the visual solutions toward the creation/interpretation of photographic works as they relate to conceptual ideas, the history of photography, and contemporary trends within the medium.

Aesthetics
Compositional/Design skills demonstrated by the application of design elements, cropping, light/shadow, contrast, tones/color, point of view, depth of field, motion/blur, and diversity of compositional approaches.

Editing skills demonstrated by selection and sequencing of images in the portfolio.

Techniques
Camera skills demonstrated by use of careful camera controls to achieve optimal exposure while achieving aesthetic results that support the image concept (depth of field and motion/blur). Images should be free of unnecessary blur (camera shake) and demonstrate intentionality of focus. Digital capture must also show proper use of ISO, minimal noise, and correct assignment of color space.

Darkroom skills demonstrated by prints exhibiting optimal density and contrast (black, whites and continuous gray tones), along with necessary dodging and burning, clean borders, free of dust (or well spotted), and evidence of archival processing techniques (no stains or discoloration). Though negatives and contact sheets will not be reviewed as part of the portfolio, it is expected that the final prints also demonstrate the proper development and handling of negatives.

Digital skills demonstrated by hardware/software knowledge through digital prints/files that have been digitally edited for color balance, density/contrast, retouching, and sharpening (capture, effect, and output). Prints and digital files are to demonstrate proper use of resolution, bit depth, color space, and file formats.

Overall
Student Engagement and Depth as demonstrated by overall GPA, development of voice within the medium, ideation/research process, intensity of focus towards developing a sustained practice within the medium.

Review Calendar

Portfolio Review is held each semester during the Final Exam Study Day at Mitchell Hall room B51. A specific timetable for each year’s review will be made available to the students registered in the required course ART350. If a student chooses to not participate in the portfolio review during the academic semester in which s/he is registered in ART350, that student must contact Photography & Imaging faculty for information regarding the Portfolio Review in subsequent semesters. It is the responsibility of students to know the requirements and timeline of the Portfolio Review. Prior to Portfolio Review Day, students will submit a D2L e-portfolio of work from ART253 and ART350. Other studio course work will be accepted as to demonstrate depth of concept or improvement from a previous review(s). Portfolios must consist 75% or more of photography work.

Eligibility Requirements

The Portfolio Review is a competitive process and meeting the requirements below does not automatically confer or guarantee acceptance into the program.

  1. Completion of First Year Program requirements
  2. Completion of ART253 and ART350
  3. 2.67 GPA in photo coursework

Review Submission Requirements

Students registered for and taking a required course during the semester of the review may apply. Student acceptance is provisional until grades for that semester are posted.

  1. The portfolio MUST be submitted in a quality portfolio folder or box.
  2. A detailed image list with thumbnails is require in both print and PDF format (to be included in D2L ePortfolio). The sequence of the images in the portfolio must match that of the image list:
    1 – MOUGEL, JOSEPH. Blanc, Installation View, 2009, Documentation
    2 – MOUGEL, JOSEPH. Blanc, “015” 2007, Archival Pigment Print, 24in. x 30in.
  3. Students will also submit a D2L ePortfolio. The process and timeline for submitting an ePortfolio are described in a separate handout. All students enrolled in ART350 will also be enrolled in the ePortfolio D2L site. Digital files are to be submitted as both tiff (size to fit 3000px or 10in @ 300ppi on the longest dimension) and JPG (size to fit 1500px or 10in @ 150 ppi on the longest dimension) NOTE: You may use “Image Processor” via “Bridge” or Adobe Lightroom to resize the image files and save as tiff and JPG with the required parameters. All work should be labeled as follows: studentlastnameFirstname_001_Title.tif ex.) DoeJane_001_Untitled.tif
  4. The portfolio should include 10-20 images representative of work completed in BOTH ART253 and ART350. Other studio course work will be accepted to demonstrate depth of concept or improvement from a previous review(s). Portfolios must consist of 75% or more of photography work. Transfer students may submit work from equivalent courses in consultation with area representative. There is no size requirement, but is recommended that paper size be no smaller than 8×10 and be consistent throughout the portfolio, unless pertinent to the experience of the images.
  5. A minimum of five images submitted in the portfolio should come from a single body of work. Remaining images can come from multiple other bodies of work, or be stand-alone images.
  6. Time-based work (if submitted) should be included on the image list as a Vimeo link. Additional installation shots (no more than 3 per piece) may also be included in the portfolio and must be clearly identified as documentation on the image list. These documentation images will only count towards one work.
  7. Installation/Sculptural work (if submitted) should be included in the portfolio as documentation images. Installation images must be clearly identified as documentation on the image list and include no more than 3 images per piece. These documentation images will only count towards one work.
  8. This is a portfolio for admittance into the Photography and Imaging program and should demonstrate your Conceptual, Aesthetic, and Technical ability. Use this as a guide towards your choices of what to include in your portfolio.

Writing Samples

  1. 1-1.25 page statement of intent, briefly addresses the following points. There is no one correct answer. We want to know about your ideas. Please be concise, and consider your understanding of the professional field of photography.
    • Describe your understanding of what it means to be a contemporary practitioner in the field of photography and imaging.
    • Discuss your interest in the field of photography and imaging.
    • Discuss your goals within the program and for beyond graduation.
  2. An artist statement about one body of work represented within the portfolio. Additional statements for other bodies of work may be supplied. Statements must be both print and PDF formats (for inclusion in D2l ePortfolio, include your name, title of the series, and a corresponding image list with the number of the works described in the statement. The statement(s) should answer three questions: What did you do? How did you do it? Why did you do it?

Additional Requirements

  1. Portfolio Review Application form, completed and signed (available in late spring from ePortfolio D2L site).
  2. Most recent transcripts (unofficial preferred) printed from PAWS.
  3. Pocket folder with your name in large type on the front, to hold your application, transcripts and statements.

Submission Procedure

Students will drop off their portfolio submissions on the Final Exam Study Day, and will be notified of the procedure and timeline to submit the D2L ePortfolio. Every student’s portfolio will be viewed and evaluated by the Photography and Imaging Faculty. Students will be notified via email of the results of the Portfolio Review and where to pick-up their portfolios.

Students accepted on a conditional status will be allowed to proceed with taking area courses as long as they meet the terms of their conditional status, which will be outlined within the notification email. Terms may include but are not limited to, taking recommended courses, obtaining a grade within a subsequent course, raising GPA, resubmitting portfolio, and/or resubmitting written components.

Students not accepted into the program will be able to resubmit the following semester and will still be allowed to continue taking courses with the area with the acceptation of ART552 and ART553.

Reconsideration Process

Students who are not accepted will have an opportunity to have that decision reconsidered. More detailed information will accompany the review results.

  1. Meet with Art & Design Undergraduate Advisor to discuss the many curricular options in the Department of Art & Design.
  2. Write a thorough but concise Reconsideration Statement. This statement must address the way in which their work demonstrates mastery Evaluation Competencies (listed above).
  3. Re-submit portfolio with Reconsideration Statement before 10AM on the last weekday of final exams. Notify Jospeh Mougel mougel@uwm.edu of resubmission. Location of drop-off TBA.
  4. Portfolio pick-up date will be specified via email at the time the reconsideration is submitted. Students must retrieve their portfolio in a timely fashion. The Department of Art & Design cannot accept responsibility for portfolios left beyond the pick-up date.