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Every photographer needs a highly engaging resume that will grab the attention of potential employers or clients that covers all the pertinent details of your skills and training.
When you are submitting a resume you should also be providing an artistic statement which is written from a first person perspective and gives a deeper insight into what drives your creativity and fuels your passion for photography.
What’s the Difference Between a Photographer’s Resume and Artist Statement?
A photographer’s resume is a strictly factual and informative collection of the most important details of your career thus far.
The artist statement on the other hand, is a far more casual document that allows you to express your personality and explain what motivates you, what inspires you and other interesting things about your photographic practise that you couldn’t include in your resume.
The resume and the artist statement should compliment one another and when taken together they should give the person reading them a thorough and interesting insight into your work and personality.
The Importance of the Resume and Artist Statement for Photographers.
As a photographer you are most likely best at representing yourself and your world view in visual ways and so you might be quite daunted at the thought of putting together a resume! However, a photographer’s resume is not complicated and if you follow the basic guidelines and fill in the required categories you can keep it very simple without losing any of its impact or effectiveness.
Learning how to put a resume together is crucial to succeed in a career as a photographer because you may be required to submit one for an exhibition, to apply for a grant, a training placement or a job with an employer.
It’s important to realize though that a resume is not intended to replace a portfolio and is designed to convey a very different message. You should always keep your portfolio up to date because this is still an extremely important part of representing your practical skills and unique creative approaches.
How To Create An Impactful Photographer’s Resume.
Firstly, keep it simple! You don’t want to over complicate the process and produce a 10 page resume which someone will have to wade through. Try to make it sharp, snappy and to the point.
Think of your resume as a summation of the relevant facts about your career so far – including education, exhibitions and any other important information that is fact based. You don’t want to include rambling sentences and long descriptions either because if the person you are submitting it to wants to know more they will ask you in the interview.
Only include information that’s relevant to the position or opportunity that you’re applying for. This means that you should write, or edit, your resume for every position you apply for and leave out that part time dog walking job you did in college to help pay the bills unless of course you’re applying for a job as a pet photographer!
What To Include in Your Photographer’s Resume?
You’re aiming to keep your resume below a maximum of 2 pages – printed double sided on one piece of paper. Below is a list of the basics that you should include in your resume. You can add or take away things depending on the specifics of what you’re applying for and your own personal experience.
- Contact Information. Include your full name, address, phone number, email and if you have a personal website with your portfolio, include the site address.
- Education, Training, Internships and Courses Attended.
- Clients that you’ve worked with – especially if they are well known in the industry.
- Exhibitions that you’ve been involved with. This can include both solo exhibitions and group exhibitions. You can include a website link to the exhibit if you want to draw special attention to any of these.
- Awards. Make sure to include any awards you’ve won including competitions and prizes.
- Professional Affiliations.
- Publications that you’ve been included in.
- Fellowships or grants that you have received towards furthering your work.
- Teaching positions you’ve had in the past. Do you run workshops or tutorials? If so, include this as well.
- Public speaking engagements and lectures. If you have a public profile, no matter how modest, then do make mention of it in your resume.
- Related interests.
What To Include in Your Photographer’s Artist Statement.
This complements your resume and gives the reader a better idea of what makes you tick as a photographer. What are your passions, what drives you and what are your hopes for the future? Your artist statement should be written in the first person and give a more detailed look into your background and personality – whereas the resume is purely factual and written from an objective perspective.
Your artist statement should be written in a friendly and personable way and cover some of the following which are most relevant to your personal development and process:
- Where you’re from and how it influenced you.
- Where you now live – has it changed the way your work?
- How you learned photography and perhaps what inspired you to start taking pictures.
- Do you use any special techniques or methods to create your work that would make you stand out?
- What kind of photography you love to work in and how your tastes have evolved.
- Where you exhibited your work.
- How you find inspiration.
- What are your motivations?
- Where do you see yourself in the future?
- What are your ambitions as a photographer?
- What does your photography and artistic process mean to you? What are you trying to convey?
You don’t need to include every point in the list above but you should try to cover at least several of them. Only include things that are relevant to you personally and although you’re writing in quite a friendly way in the first person it shouldn’t read like a diary entry.
Try to stay on point and keep it fairly short – somewhere in the region of 250-500 words is about right although if you have extremely important things to say then you can go a little over that. Ideally you should be aiming for about 2 to 5 paragraphs – although don’t be fooled, despite the fact that it’s short it will still take time and consideration to get just right!
A Photographer’s Resume and Artist Statement is Often the First Thing Someone Sees.
Your resume and artist statement should give anyone who looks over them a fantastic insight into your work as a photographer and what’s more, they should make them want to learn more about you!
When you’re putting your resume and artist statement together remember that it’s an opportunity to shine and not something to be worried about. Be honest about your experience, skills and training, even if it feels like you’re showing off!
It’s always worth keeping a draft resume on file at home which you can add to as you achieve new things. In this way, when you find that you have to hand in a resume you already have an up to date draft version on file which you will just have to tweak to fit the situation. The same applies for your artist statement – so keep updating it as new ideas come to you and as you evolve throughout your career.
Have you created an artist statement?