No Plastic Sleeves by Larry Volk

The book is a great resource for looking at your portfolio from a more interesting and inspired direction. Most photographer portfolios tend to use resources from the same vendors (website templates/branding/etc.) and honestly look very similar. This book is a strong reminder that to stand out, photographers must differentiate themselves in such a way that they stand out more than the competitors. It’s the difference between being jeans or Lucky Jeans – if you don’t stand out any other way than price, you’ll always lose to someone cheaper.


What I really like about this book is that it isn’t limited to photography portfolios. As a result, it provides a wider breadth of inspiration that can be effectively used by photographers to be both original and different. The pages contain many illustrations and examples but the authors are also very careful to help photographers understand the importance of marketing and presentation. It’s like getting a crash course in marketing that is targeted specifically to artists and especially photographers.

Topics include not only branding and marketing but also tutorials and how-to’s on physical portfolio presentation. Design essentials are also covered in depth to make sure that presentations are clean and professional. If the book has a weakness, it’s that it feels a bit ‘dated’ because it does not cover online website portfolio presentation in depth. As well, the information contained within the book seems more ideally suited to students rather than those getting into the photography field from non-academic beginnings. I feel the book would have been more well-rounded if it had been tailored more to adults starting a business rather than those trying to get a job right out of school.

In all, I do highly recommend this to photographers with little or not design or marketing background. Many of the concepts of design and presentation are extremely applicable beyond just portfolios: they can make a photographer stronger and more well-rounded as well.

Reviewed from an ARC.

This entry was posted in ARC, Book Reviews, Fashion Dolls, non fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

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