In the modern fast-paced world of social media, blogging and citizen journalism, it can be easy to forget about the intellectual property and rights issues intertwined with our daily lives. In fact, these are more important and tricky to navigate than ever. Websites and services such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, Alamy and WordPress are used daily by hundreds of millions of people uploading images, words and ideas, which they have created, but could these users be putting their rights on the line by doing so? Most will never read the lengthy, ever-changing terms and conditions hidden out of sight on these websites.
During today’s class we have been delving into the terms and conditions of a few of the websites, which we use most often – Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and Alamy.
After looking at the terms and conditions on these websites, I feel that it will be important to ensure my portfolio is secure under my own terms and conditions on my personal website, as well as on any websites or services that host any of my work. With Facebook, they, as the big guy, set the rules that we, the little guy, have to follow. Derivative licenses or those which allow the host site (Facebook, for example) free use of any of my work for any purpose on their site seem to be a particularly tricky area. It almost seems an abuse of power when we consider the size, reach and wealth of Facebook in comparison to a user. I will definitely reconsider posting any of my better images to the site in future due to my doubts over this area.
I feel happy that I now know the potential dangers of not taking care with my intellectual property, despite the laws which are now present to protect people like myself. Going forward, I will make sure to state that my images and content on my portfolio site are covered by copyright law, hopefully protecting my work.
After reviewing several different portfolio websites, I have come to the decision that I want to display my work via a clean, simple, minimalist website. Banksy’s website, for instance, lets the images do the talking. His work is about making a statement and, similarly, his website lets the viewer become solely focused on the images. I feel that a website without gimmicks and distracting features is a far more effective way of presenting ones work with integrity and professionalism.
Big Red Button’s website is a good example of a unique and engrossing site, which takes the user into its own world. As much as I appreciate this site, I feel that it would be an inappropriate way to display my photographic and journalistic work. I would definitely look into something similar if I was working in the field of video and animation. One aspect of the Big Red Button website I will look to incorporate into my website is the memorable, unique and user friendly feel it offers. I believe that these are very important to making a positive impact on the user, and thus, creating an effective portfolio site.
This research has convinced me that I want to keep my portfolio site minimal, simplistic and straightforward, but at the same time, I would like to incorporate a modern yet unique feel. Hopefully I will be able to find an appropriate WordPress theme to enable me to make this happen.
During the first Professional Portfolio class of the year we met Sean, a tutor we’ve not been taught by before, and he set about learning our names through a word chain game. I was the last link in the chain and, of course, managed to be the first to screw up the order.
We had several tasks to complete during class, the first being to list previous modules we had studied on the course and the skills we had gained in studying the particular subjects. It was interesting to analyse the benefits of our past studies and make a note of the areas in which we felt that we had improved personally. I identified the following skills as ones pertinent to my previously studied modules:
Journalism and documenting through writing and photography, ethical and moralistic awareness, software (photoshop, indesign), magazine layout and design, technical studio lighting skills, writing for commercial purposes.
Following this, I identified the field of photography or journalism that I am aiming to work in and the skills needed to break into, and succeed, in that particular position. My goal is to become a commercial advertising studio photographer, so I feel it is important to have the following skillset:
Photographic skills, retouching / editing, resourcefulness, adaptability, able to work within strict guidelines and budgets, time management, health and safety / risk assessment knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills.
I believe that my current skills are a good footing, but I should look to bolster my portfolio with more product advertising images. By doing this I would present my current photographic skills, particularly my macro work and eye for detailing, as well as my image editing and post production work. The areas I should be aiming to work on are:
Studio lighting, knowledge of what sells in the commercial field, retouching / editing, software knowledge (photoshop, lightroom, etc), time management, organisational skills.
Today was useful in analysing and auditing my skills as they are, and as they need to be for my future career. The session was beneficial as I now have a direction and set of goals to aim for throughout the Professional Portfolio module.