Regardless of what type of artist you may be portfolio is your business card. It is your resume, marketing tool, an ad and a statement in one. It says "look this is what I can do and that is my style". It is also a self-check medium for you as the author of its content. There is no time frame within which you should review your folio. you should do it as often as needed, or as often as you feel it is necessary. If you are like me and you love editing your photos, love learning and are on a constant hunt for new ideas, new ways of retouching, new ways of toning images and so on, you will realize two things very quickly. One is that the quality of your work improves with passing time, and two, that your style is evolving. Consequently, if you have a mix of old and new images in your folio, it may happen so that some of them may become outdated and inconsistent in terms of their style. This sends a clear message to your clients that you are not a mature artist, or perhaps a lazy one, who cannot see inconsistency in his or her own work, etc. All that suggests unreliability. Also, clients will choose you mainly for your style and quality of work. They do not know you in person, so all they know about you is what they can see in your portfolio. It is essential to develop a self assessment routine and implement it rigorously in your timetable. Yes, it is time consuming, but it is worth it in more ways than one.
Look at the above images which were created within less than a year. The top one is a new version and the bottom one was created last year. It is a whole new edit from scratch, and you do not have to take my word for it, just watch the video below which shows the entire editing workflow in photoshop.
Both photos are very different in style and quality. First the quality of texture is much better in the new edit. Old version suffered from texture loss due to blur vignetting done manually without working on tones layer and texture layer separately. This is something I would not do now. Also, skin texture received a much more detailed retouch via micro dodging and burning which eliminates small skin bumps amplified by the hard steep angled light. Vignetting is executed very selectively in the new photo, and it complements the way I reshaped the body of the model with shadows and highlights. The entire image was turned on its axis counter-clockwise to add more kinetic energy and create diagonal lines across the image. They contrast with a general calm and moody feel to the photo. The old edit was a bit too static for my liking and was not multilayered. Dodging and burning emphasizes the drama and creates more visual anchors. I added a tilt shift blur to redirect the attention of the viewer to the body art and lines running across model's body. I also changed the toning to much warmer, which further calms the feel of the photo.
There are no happy accidents here, it is all planned and premeditated based on what I feel when I look at the photo. The old edit was not in full agreement with my current style and it had to be addressed. I truly enjoy re-working my images. Some of them I re-edit a few times, even complex photoshop manipulations. I do not care how much time it takes. It is always a very rewarding and educational experience.
Photography workshops in Tokyo: http://www.ryuurui.com/photography-workshops.html
Hire a photographer in Tokyo: http://www.ryuurui.com/hire-a-photographer-in-tokyo.html
Photo blog: http://www.japan-in-photography.com/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+PonteRyuurui/postsFor more tutorials and how to videos check out my photoshop and photography tips and tricks YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEOVGZ2rpLhR7gSPvaexxxQ
Ponte Ryuurui (品天龍涙)