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    João Sousa

    Portfolio of the week

    March 27, 2020

    This week, our Portfolio of the Week is brought to you by João Sousa. A travel photographer based in Beirut, Lebanon.

     

    Originally from Portugal, João Sousa has travelled far and wide, capturing some of the most remote places on earth. His passion began 12 years ago where he was inspired by friends and family who were in the same industry. After taking time off work and backpacking through North Africa and the Balkans in 2015, João has found his calling and brings his audience places and people we never thought existed. 

     

    João tells us some of his experiences, as well as why he has chosen to pursue travel photography and why Portfoliobox is his go-to online platform.

     

    Q: First of all, thank you for joining us on Portfolio of the Week. Could you please tell us how you got in to travel photography and why you love it so much?

     

    A: My love and fascination for travel photography goes back to when I was a kid, a time when my father had a monthly subscription of National Geographic. I used to stare at those evocative covers and immerse myself in the content of the magazine, which would stimulate my imagination and the dream to one day travel to remote and unusual locations. And this happened when, five years ago, I decided to leave my permanent job and hit the road on a tight budget. Me, my backpack and my camera with two lenses. 

    My aim was to shoot every day, especially something that would capture the essence and feel of the places and faces I would encounter on my way. I haven’t stopped ever since and this continuous journey has taken me to some truly incredible adventures. I also love doing travel photography to show people the unusual places I go to and to hopefully inspire them to one day go there.

     

     

    Q: Could you please tell us a little bit more about 'photo essays'?

     

    A: The photo essays on my page were published as a way to showcase the different themes I’ve been working on during my travels. I’m particularly interested in people and their stories, so essays like the one about the refugees in Tskhaltubo, Georgia or the struggles of the less privileged in Tripoli, Lebanon have a very special meaning to me, as they allowed me to understand their living realities. Lately, I’ve been based in Beirut, so I was able to cover part of the Thawra (Lebanese Revolution) and collaborate with the local press.

     

    Q: It seems as though you have travelled to many places. What is the most interesting city you have been to and why? What is the most remote place you have been?

     

    A: It’s difficult to elect one single place I found the most interesting, but Beirut is certainly among the most exciting ones. It’s a buzzing, lively city filled with history, diversity in people, cultures, religions, traditions and it has some of the best food we can ever taste. Due to its turbulent history across the last decades, Beirut is also the home of genuine storytellers, resilient people who lived through incredible experiences and who are eager to share their stories. Beirut is also very stimulating for street photography – there is always something unexpected around the corner waiting to be photographed.

     

    As for the most remote place I’ve been, I would say, Chinguetti and Ouadane in Mauritania are among the top ones. They were both important trading of the old trans-Saharian trade routes and are located very deep into the desert and they still preserve fascinating ancient constructions, including beautiful mosques built with dry-stones. It’s not easy or fast to get there, which adds more interest to the journey.

     

     

    Q: What is the craziest experience you have had while travelling?

     

    A: I always try to trust my instinct as a traveler, but I also try to be as open to experiences as possible, including being outside my comfort zone. Over the years, I hitchhiked a lot - especially in North Africa – and I stayed with strangers in their homes. This gives a wide scope for unexpected adventures, such as staying with Moroccan nomads in the High Atlas Mountains, spending an afternoon with drugs and weapons smugglers in Lebanon, hitchhiking a cargo train across a part of the Sahara Desert and living with punk anarchist squatters in Slovenia where we were attacked by neo-Nazis with molotov cocktails. I don’t seek extreme experiences, but sometimes they simply happen.

     

    Q: I see your favourite camera is the Fujifilm X Mirrorglass System. Is there a particular reason why you have chosen this gear?

     

    A: My lifestyle for the past half a decade has been dedicated to continuously backpack, which means I must prioritize what I take with me. And this extends to the gear I carry in my bag. I had been looking for various options and decided to go with the Fujifilm X mirrorless system. It’s light and compact, rugged and weather resistant. Suffice to say, I love their glass and the way they took my photography to the next level after I started using Fujifilm. The silent shutter is now something I cannot be without, especially while shooting documentary photography and the easy way to transfer files straight from the camera to the phone via WIFI. Simply a game changer for me!

     

    Q: Are you able to give us some perspective as to what lenses you use for different situations and settings?

     

    A: I usually carry with me the Fujifilm 18-55mm f/2.8 for its quickness and versatility (having a zoom lens is always important, especially for photojournalism) and the Fujifilm 23mm f/2, for street photography. For portraits, I absolutely love the older but gorgeous Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4 and Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 lenses. Some of my best portraits were shot with these two.

    For wide angle shots I also use the Laowa 9mm f/2.8. This lens is very small and portable and barely has any distortion, despite the 9mm length. It has manual focus only, but after some practice it becomes easier to use.

     

    Q: What inspires you to capture the images you do?

     

    A: My main drive in photography is to continuously follow my curiosity. Almost everything around me makes me curious and eager to learn about what I observe. It is a humbling exercise to go to a new place and spend time with people who are very different from me and learn about their reality. Photography, then, becomes my tool to visually narrate how I see their reality in order to tell their unique stories.

     

    Q: Why have you chosen Portfoliobox as your preferred online platform?

     

    A: I’ve been using Portfoliobox for nearly two years and I’ve been thoroughly satisfied with the platform. It’s very easy and intuitive to use, especially for someone like me who doesn’t want to spend much time working online. It allows me to display my photography in the way I want and the positive feedback my page has been receiving by my visitors and customers is the sheer proof of that.

    The SEO tools work perfectly and on that note, it was thanks to my page on Portfoliobox that my photos got spotted by L’Orient Le Jour, a Lebanese daily newspaper, which then published my content and invited me for a collaboration with them as a photojournalist!

     


     

    Thank you very much João, you have given us a quick look at a world most never knew existed. The work you produce is awe-inspiring and definitely tells a story when putting in the context of the society we all know today. To keep up to date with João’s travels and latest work, please do check out his website in the link below!

    Visit site

    6 Web Design Trends That’ll Get You Noticed in 2020

    Tips & Tricks

    March 24, 2020

    Websites can make or break a brand – personal or professional – so it’s important to keep track of the latest online design trends. Each and every web element will make an impact on your audience. This is true no matter whether you manage a small portfolio, successful retail portal, or multinational company website.

     

    Aesthetics and technology are coming together like never before. That’s why we have put together a short list of web design trends that will get you noticed next year.

     

    From white space to asymmetry, from bespoke illustrations to split design, discover the most popular website trends we expect are here to stay in 2020.

     

    1. Embrace white space

     

    Our eyes are under siege these days. In 2014 alone, people uploaded an average of 1.8 billion digital images every single day. That's 657 billion photos per year – so any attempt to relieve the mass visual suffocation will be welcome. Many designers worry that white space is an inefficient use of visual real estate, but when used correctly, white space creates relief. It also highlights important design elements such as call-to-actions and imparts a sense of balance and tidiness that naturally pleases the eye. 

     

    Many website designers are noticing and capitalising on this trend. The new version of Portfoliobox, Portfoliobox 4 offers several templates and settings that allow users to bring white space into their website.

     

     

    2. Asymmetry is still in 

     

    Asymmetrical designs were already trendy in 2019 and will stay with us in 2020. These broken grid layouts break free from rigid, predictable rules of thumb in graphic design, shocking the viewers out of their monotonous scroll. Asymmetry also offers much more freedom for designers to make their website as unique as possible.

     

    It works like this: Imagine a grid of horizontal and vertical lines is used to help layout elements on the page or screen. With most websites, you’ll see the logo, title, and content lined up together as if bound to this imaginary grid. However, asymmetrical designs will purposefully break the grid, pushing images and text alike wildly out of order to make the page feel less rigid.

     

    Mixed with bold colour schemes and strong gradients of geometric fluids, asymmetric shapes are essential to all the hottest web design trends.

     

     

    3. Oversized elements

     

    Want your website to immediately register – and resonate – with visitors? Enlarged elements such as bold typography, fullscreen images/video and an oversized navigation menu will catch attention, delivering your core message to the audience in a matter of seconds. This supersized approach to design will create a memorable experience that truly impacts on users, even if they only have time for a quick scan... As an added bonus, enlarged elements look fantastic on screens of any and all sizes. 

     

    Quick tip: If you go down this route, be sure to reduce the number of design elements on each page. Too many grand features all at once can be overwhelming for visitors.

     

     

    4. Bespoke illustrations

     

    Appropriate graphics add visual depth to your storytelling efforts and build potent brand identity that leaves a lasting impression on visitors. Bespoke drawings are inherently more interesting than plain old fonts – there’s a reason blogs with images receive 94% more views than those that are text only. By stepping away from stock images and typefaces, your webpage can be custom crafted to show off a unique personality. 

     

    If you’re an illustrator building up your own portfolio, or even just a generally artistic individual, using bespoke drawings can be doubly helpful as a self-promotion tool – an organic advertisement of your talents and professional services.

     

    Not so artistic? No problem. Remember, there are lots of resources on the web that give away nuggets of illustrated gold for free, ready for you to jazz up your website.

     

    5. Split design

     

    The split design is used to create two separate blocks of information in the same space, giving equal importance to two primary areas of a site – which can be incredibly useful when you have two different services or products to promote.

     

    A split design breaks the usual rectangular screen shape, and by giving prominence to both elements, enables the user to focus on whichever topic most interests them. To make the approach even more dramatic, you can differentiate each section with contrasting, vibrant colours.  In some cases, the vertical split is used throughout an entire site or only in some sections. 

     

    There are lots of different styles for this trend, so we’re sure it will evolve in 2020. That’s why Portfoliobox 4 will offer several templates that help users create split-screen content tailored to their needs.

     

     

    6. Mobile-first & fast-loading

     

    Nowadays, more people look at websites on their phones than on a desktop computer. In 2018, mobile usage was at an all-time high with 58% of website visits coming from mobile devices and making up 42% of total time spent online. Mobile-first has become a best practice for web design, no matter what type of site is being created. 

    If you want to create a seamless mobile experience, here’s a final tip from us: Don’t clutter your website with unnecessary or too heavy content. Always optimise images before uploading them to your website, selecting dimensions and adjusting file sizes as needed for minimum strain on the mobile user experience.

     

    Pulling it all together

     

    There is no one perfect way to pull together a website or online portfolio, so feel free to mix and match all the latest design trends to best portray your own unique style. Just keep in mind that your end goal should always be visual impact and ease-of-use. That’s why working off a template from Portofliobox, is the surest way to get started – especially if you work within the creative industries, where high-quality visuals are a matter of course.

    Kev Munday

    Portfolio of the week

    March 20, 2020

    We are pleased to announce that this week’s Portfolio of the Week is brought to you by Kev Munday, a canvas artist from Hampshire in the United Kingdom. 

     

    From collaborating with homewares giant, IKEA, to designing for Walt Disney and drawing on a police car, Kev Munday has had a highly fruitful career to date. Starting out as a street artist at 16 years of age, Kev has found his love with canvas. He has also been featured in a wealth of prestigious exhibitions and publications throughout his time. As a result, he was nominated by The Telegraph as a ‘British artist to invest in right now’, as well as the best British artist of the year on Artfinder. 

     

    Let’s find out a bit more about Kev and explore what motivates him to design the work he does, as well as why he has chosen Portfoliobox as his preferred online portfolio!

     

    Q: Thank you for kindly agreeing to feature in our Portfolio of the Week! Your work is simply stunning and highly unique. What inspires you to come up with your designs?

     

    A: Thank you very much! My main sources of inspiration are – nature, people watching, animals and crowds. I sketch ideas relentlessly and am constantly trying to create new characters and images to express my ideas. 

     

    Q: From drawing on a police car to collaborating with IKEA! How did it feel to draw on a Police car and working with the world's most well-known homewares brand?

     

    A: Drawing on the police car was fantastic, it's definitely the most unusual canvas I've been asked to work on. It was commissioned by my local police force and they had me draw my images all over it in black marker pen and then they took it to pride events across the county and encouraged visitors to colour in the illustrations. They still use the car as one of their front-line vehicles and I'm regularly sent photos from people who have spotted it out and about on patrol.

     

     

    Working with IKEA was a dream come true. Every time I post a photo of one of my black and white artworks online, I get comments from people saying they want to colour it in, so getting to collaborate with IKEA on the colouring poster meant that we could make this possible on a big scale. They've sold over 30,000 copies of it worldwide and I love seeing photos of how different people have customised theirs.

     

     

    Q: Your work has featured in many prestigious publications and exhibitions, which one is your favorite and why?

     

    A: Probably exhibiting in The Royal Academy Of Arts Summer Exhibition. Me and my partner visit the show every year, and getting to take her there and show her that one of my paintings had made it onto the walls alongside so many of my art heroes was a proud moment.

     

    Q: If you could sum up the style of your work in one sentence, what would it be? Why?

     

    A: Colourful, fun, bold, simple paintings that brighten up your day.

     

    Q: What is next on the cards for Kev Munday? Do you have any spoilers?

     

    A: This month I have an exhibition with a gallery in Paris and am also showing a new collection of paintings at The Affordable Art Fair in Brussels. See my Portfoliobox website for more information.

     

    Q: I love your online portfolio with us, it could not be designed any better to feature the style of your work. What attracted you to Portfoliobox?

     

    A: For years I used design software to build and maintain my own website, but when I found Portfoliobox I knew I needed to switch over to it. I love the simplicity of the templates and how it lets the images do the talking so visitors can immediately see the work in a clear and straight forward way. The mobile website is also very handy to show collectors more of my work when talking face to face at exhibitions.

     


     

    We would like to extend our thanks to Kev for allowing us to interview him. Knowing what inspires him to produce the quality and nature of work he does. Furthermore, collaborating with such brands is such a great achievement so it is great to hear, directly from the source, what it means to him. Recently, he has uploaded a few free colouring posters to his website for those who have been subjected to self-isolation due to the current pandemic. He hopes that the posters will help the people to get through the boredom and this difficult period. You can download the posters here.

     

    Please do check out his work, his further achievements and the rest of his online portfolio on his website.

     

    Visit site

    Creating a Perfect Online Portfolio using Portfoliobox 4

    Tips & Tricks

    March 17, 2020

     

    Creating the perfect online portfolio is the first step to success. Despite your profession, having a website that is customised and optimised to your business is key. Portfoliobox 4 is the new and enhanced version of our platform which helps guide you to success from day 1. Of course, social media plays a big role in your day-to-day life, but there is nothing quite like your online portfolio, as it is ultimately the focal point of your business and represents you. It will be the platform that drives and dictates your other outlets, as well as being the primary showcase of your work and any other promotional activity.

     

    When it comes to designing, creating and publishing your portfolio, know that it is not as daunting as it first seems, as Portfoliobox 4 guides you through each step of the process. The best thing about it? You won’t need to pay for a web designer! Let’s explore the top 7 ways to create an online portfolio that will attract more clients.

     

    Grab the Readers' Attention

     

    The first thing you’ll want to do is create a page that grabs the viewers’ attention immediately. In Portfoliobox 4, this is called a ‘start page’, or perhaps otherwise known as a landing page. It is the first page that website viewers will see so it is critical to nail it and entice them to read further. You can choose any page within your site as your start page, however by default your initial start page will be the first page you create. If, at any time, you are having trouble checking or setting a start page, head to our support page for a step-by-step guide.

     

    Who Are You?

     

    It is important that you create an ‘about me’ page so that people can find out who you are, and what you’ve achieved. Ensure that you are articulate in your wording so that it reflects who you are, the work you produce and what inspires you. To add an about me page, you can simply create a new text page and add in any text that represents and reflects you.

     

     

    Tell A Story

     

    Your online portfolio serves as a chance to tell your story. It all starts by choosing a suitable gallery style. For example, if you have a series of images that tells a sequential story, you will want to select a design that allows you to tell a story one piece at a time.

     

    Not only does a story help your audience understand your methodology, it also helps them understand you and what inspires you to produce the work you do. With Portfoliobox 4, you can add an additional section below your gallery, perhaps to explain your story from your point of view.

     

    Testimonials

     

    Including testimonials from clients or other artists you have collaborated with is essential for success. Moreover, a proof of your social standing will show your audience that you are the ‘real-deal’. The more reviews and recommendations you have from clients or fellow creatives, the more likely it is that you will attract more clients.

     

    If you don’t have any testimonials as yet, you can reach out to clients via email and ask if they would be able to write one for you. You can add as many as you like and the best advice is to include as many as possible. After all, you cannot have too many recommendations.

     

     

    Express Yourself

     

    While this is not a page as such, the wording throughout your online portfolio should be clear, concise and highly descriptive. This captures the reader's attention and leaves them wanting more. It is important to remember that as much as the online portfolio should reflect who you are, you still need to synonymously focus on your work. As you are expressing yourself and developing your unique ideologies, you also need to focus on how your work best fits your potential clients’ needs. Always remember instead of ‘me, me and more me’, imagine ‘me and you’, or ‘me and the client’.

     

    Quality Over Quantity

     

    Selecting high quality content for your website is very important. Only upload images or examples of your best work. It is much better to have several high quality, best sellers than to fill up your website with low quality work which could possibly deter potential clients. If you are stuck with uploading content from your computer, our support page has everything you need to get back on track.

     

    Keeping your website user-friendly is tough when it conflicts with the content you wish you upload, however with Portfoliobox 4, there are a plethora of themes and designs you can choose from to compliment your work. The best part about this is that you don’t have to hire a web designer. It is so simple and easy to mix and match templates and themes with your content and surprisingly fun!

     

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

     

    When creating content for your online portfolio, it is important to write it with search engine optimisation, or SEO, in mind. For instance, using the keywords that you have formulated, and that are in your chosen niche, but not overusing them. Optimising image sizes so your site will be speed optimised is also critical as any lag in load time will result in less effective search results , and ultimately, less traffic. Adding a meta description which will appear below your site title on Google is crucial as this will lure viewers in. Finally, don't forget to use Google Search Console to monitor the performance of your website!

     

    Now You’ve Built The Perfect Online Portfolio

     

    In order to produce the best online portfolio, all you need to do is let Portfoliobox 4 do its thing. Every aspect of the design process is logically thought out for a user friendly experience, meaning you can customise your online portfolio to suit and express you and your work. Not to mention the SEO experience is perhaps the easiest and most efficient process found on any online portfolio builder. Our final advice - don’t forget to update your online portfolio from time to time so it is ready for any opportunity!

    The Wait is Over - Introducing the New Portfoliobox

    News

    March 17, 2020

    For over a year, our development team has been working very hard to bring one of the best and most user-friendly online portfolio platforms to life. It is our pleasure to announce Portfoliobox 4 is officially live!

     

    Portfoliobox 4, our brand new, enhanced online platform which allows creatives to reflect their true selves. The combination of new and enhanced features allows you to fully customise your website to the way you want it. From the option of additional sections to editing margins and enhanced E-Commerce features, Portfoliobox 4 has everything you could ask for. 

     

    Adding a section or elements to compliment or explain your work is an exciting feature. It can be used to ensure viewers fully understand what they are looking at, to add in a contact me section below the main content, or link your social media. With Portfoliobox 4, it is totally up to you. 

     

    Give your website a sense of refined sophistication by editing your margins or the position of any elements on the web page. Once you are happy with the layout of your page content, make it unique, and match it with an animation. Zooming, fading, rotating or spinning are only a few clicks away.

     

    Perhaps one of the most exciting new features of our new platform is the addition of client proofing galleries. This means that it is easier than ever to collaborate and interact with your clients. 

     

    Furthermore, the world of e-commerce on Portfoliobox 4 has received an upgrade. To keep up with the growing demand of online business, we have added new features such as digital products and discount codes, as well as stock management and various payment solutions, to name a few. 

     

    Despite these features, the ease of use remains, as always, a top priority. In fact, it’s so simple to create a website with all of the bells and whistles and you won’t even need to hire a web designer! Doing it yourself means you can create a website that allows your work to do the talking, and, need we mention, having fun while you're at it! 

     

    There is no better time to try out Portfoliobox. With the addition of state-of-the-art features on Portfoliobox 4, you can be sure that your passion will come to life on our platform!

    Gratis hemsida till SFF's medlemmar

    News

    March 16, 2020

    I samband med lanseringen av Portfoliobox 4, vår nya hemsidebyggare för kreatörer, har vi valt att erbjuda detta gratis till samtliga av SFF's medlemmar. 

     

    I paketet ingår det:

    • Ett års gratis tillgång till tjänsten

    • En egen domän (t.ex. www.fotografgustavsson.com)

    • Gratis support i ett år

    • Webbshop för att sälja tryck och tavlor

    • Kundgallerier (client proofing galleries)

     

     

    Med Portfoliobox är det superenkelt att bygga snygga hemsidor, se te.x. www.iversonphoto.se, och ta gärna en titt på videon nedan för att se hur man gör.

     

     

    En nyhet med Portfoliobox 4 är att man kan skapa så kallade "client proofing galleries". Det är lösenordskyddade gallerier med vattenstämpel på alla bilder som ni kan skapa och skicka till era kunder för urval och kommentarer.
     

     

    Ni kan starta ett nytt konto på www.portfoliobox.net. Använd kupongkoden som ni har fått av SFF!

     

    Alex Fruehmann

    Portfolio of the week

    March 13, 2020

    Welcome to another edition of our Portfolio of the Week series. This week, it is our pleasure to feature fine arts photographer, Alex Fruehmann.

     

    Based in Vienna, Austria, Alex is a self-taught fine art photographer. Soon after graduating from the prestigious Yale Law School in the United States, Alex discovered his passion for photography. While pursuing a completely different career pathway, Alex prides himself on not being influenced by or compared to other artists. Hence, his rather unconventional yet awe-inspiring work has remained unique to his name and brand. 

     

    Read on to find out more about Alex, his work and why he has chosen Portfoliobox as his online platform!

     

    Q: First off, thank you so much for agreeing to feature on our Portfolio of the Week! Your work is truly amazing and very unique. Can you please tell me a bit more about why you have chosen to produce the kind of work you do?

     

    A: I am not sure whether I have truly chosen the work or whether the images have chosen me. I never made a conscious decision to have “one style” or do one specific sort of photography. It really is an emerging process.

     

    Q: I must say, your 'About Me' section on your portfolio is perhaps like no other that I have seen before. Was photography a hobby that turned into a career? How did it come about for you?

     

    A: Photography is not any kind of career for me. It was also never really a hobby. If it was ever anything than an outlet that allowed me to do something creative which was not restricted by anything except for my boundaries. I am still amazed how much attention some of my works got. Maybe it is because I really avoid being inspired by others. We all copy unconsciously but I have no interest in consciously copying anyone. I just want to do my work in whatever way I wish. If I feel like only photographing candles for a few months, then I will do that.

     

    Q: I've noticed you have a contrast of locations; outdoors, inside, airports and so on. What is your favorite setting to shoot and why?

     

    A: I don’t have any favorite setting.

     

     

    Q: Your work was featured in the International Photo Expo in Paris 2018 among other well-known art publications. That must have been a surreal feeling and experience! Can you shed some light on your experience here and what it's like to have your work featured in such publications?

     

    A: Seeing your works featured by others is a very humbling experience for me. I never thought I would see a photograph of mine in an online magazine, not to speak about having a feature of several pages in the print edition of an international art magazine. It feels more surreal than the most surreal images I have produced myself.

     

    Q: What is your most favorite project to date and why?

     

    A: My surreal realities series because it is like an unconscious mirror of my own thoughts over the last 3 years.

     

     

    Q: What big projects do you have planned? 

     

    A: One of my images will be exhibited at a group exhibition in Paris later this year. ImageNation is giving me another opportunity at their “Ethereal” exhibition and I will be featuring my “Mullholland Drive Fantasy” in large scale format for the first time. I am very excited. My other big plan for this year is to go into larger formats and see how this works out.

     

    Q: Why have you chosen Portfoliobox as the online platform to showcase your work?

     

    A: I checked about all available platforms when I was in need for a website. I did not know Portfoliobox back then but found it by coincidence. It checked all my boxes, though. Especially one box which was to not make my website a lookalike and still give me the freedom to control it independently without having to be an IT guru.

     


     

    We would like to thank Alex for taking the time to allow us to interview him, as well as give us a brief insight into his career and online portfolio. His unorthodox planning and methodology really comes into its own when you come to understand a little bit more about him as a person and artist. 

     

    To find out more about Alex and his work, please do visit his website.

    Visit site

    Johan Jansson

    Portfolio of the week

    March 06, 2020

    On this week’s issue of Portfolio of the Week, we are joined by Johan Jansson, who is based out of Montreal, Canada.

     

    Johan is a Swedish born, Montreal based photographer who captures the true essence of human life. Through his extensive portfolio of up-close and ultra-high definition shots, he really seizes the moment and brings his images to life. Despite starting out his professional life as an international aerobic trainer and web designer, Johan always had a burning passion for photography since a young age. He took this passion and has created something truly special, and has been lucky enough to form his life around photography.

     

    Let’s get to know Johan some more, how he came to operate a successful business and find out why he has chosen Portfoliobox to display his work.

     

     

    Q: Hello Johan, we are really happy to have you as our Portfolio of the Week. Can you tell me a little bit of yourself?

     

    A: I was born in Sweden but left for Munich, Germany, when I was 23 to pursue a career as an international aerobic trainer. Although I started experimenting with a camera when I was around 12, the real passion for photography started in the late 90s. Parallel to my fitness career, I studied communication design and photography at the university of applied science in Augsburg, Germany. After some years working as a graphic and web designer parallel to teaching and the slowly growing photography business, love brought me to Canada (unfortunately it didn't last). For some years now, I’ve made my living solely from photography. I can't be happier!

     

    Q: What was the first camera that you received or bought?

     

    A: My brother had an old Minolta. It was lying around unused so I "stole" it! Haha. 

     


    Q: The competition in the photography industry is very fierce - how did you break into this industry?

     

    A: It is indeed but tenacity is the key. Never give up. Keep shooting. Refine your work and keep letting people know about your work. Be humble and authentic. Kindness will always take you the furthest.

     


    Q: I saw that in your online portfolio, you are doing different kinds of photography, like fashion, advertising, beauty and so on. If you could only choose one favourite type of photography, what would it be and why?

     

    A: Editorial (fashion) photography because of the storytelling. This is what photography is all about to me. Capture beauty but also tell a story.  

     


    Q: What is your favourite camera & lens combination?

     

    A: Nikon D850 24-70. 

     


    Q: What is your next project?

     

    A: I'll be shooting some store posters for a big retail company here in Montreal with some amazing models! Very excited about that!

     


    Q: I really like your online portfolio. The images are stunning and the portfolio design makes them stand out. Why did you choose Portfoliobox and what do you like about it?

     

    A: Thank you! I needed an online platform that had nice looking design templates and with an intuitive content management system. Also, you let your clients test your site for as long as you want. I kept building and testing until I knew this was the right place to host my work. 

     


     

    From the team at Portfoliobox to Johan, we would like to express our thanks and appreciation for allowing us to interview him. He has given us a very informative analysis on his works and how he came to base his life around photography after starting his professional life in a completely different industry.

     

    We really hope you enjoyed our interview with Johan today and invite you to check out his online portfolio to find out more!

     

    Don’t forget to tune in to next week’s episode of Portfolio of the Week!

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    Marianna Raikkala

    Portfolio of the week

    February 28, 2020

    Our special guest on this week’s edition of "Portfolio of the Week" is a Finnish artist, Marianna Raikkala.

     

    As a self-taught artist, Marianna expresses her personality through her work. She has a personal and sentimental connection with each and every piece and is not bound by any limitations. By placing brush to canvas without prior thought or planning, it is Marianna’s mindset that each individual will see her work in a unique way and believes by doing this, her piece will convey the purest of emotions. Nevertheless, every single piece of art produced by Marianna captures her feelings, thoughts and emotions of that particular moment in time and is nothing short of spectacular.


    So, without any further ado, let’s find out a little bit more about Marianna, why her work holds a special relationship with her personality and why she has come to love Portfoliobox!

     

     

    Q: Hi Marianna, first of all, I am so glad to hear that you would like to be our Portfoliobox of the Week. I am truly impressed by your work. First of all, can you tell me more about yourself?

     

    A: Hey, thank you so much and of course! I’m a self-taught artist living in Helsinki, Finland. My regular day is a combination of painting, creating and spending time with my friends and family. My perfect day starts with a long run or walk with my dog Waldo and blasting music in the background, drinking a cup of coffee while I get ready for the day.

     

    Q: There are so many amazing paintings in your portfolio. Which one is your favourite? What were you trying to communicate with this piece of painting?

     

    A: I guess I have a special connection to all my paintings and they all have a personal meaning for me. But I’d say that my current favorite is a piece called ’Heaven on Earth”. The name can be a bit confusing considering the style and color palette of the artwork. Yet the backstory is something that gets me smiling every time. The piece was literally inspired by a piece of rock I found on a secluded beach in a small town called Orivesi, here in Finland. I just couldn’t leave it there so I picked it up and carried the stone in my pocket back to Helsinki. When I came to my studio I was really inspired by the texture and emotion the simple piece of nature held so I decided to paint inspired by this very piece of rock. I loved the end result and so did my followers. I can’t think of a better way to respect the nature than by painting it.

     

    A piece of rock that she found on a secluded beach in Orivesi, Finland inspired her to create her recent favourite painting, "Heaven on Earth".

     

    "Heaven on Earth"

     

    Q: What are your thoughts about learning how to paint in an art school vs. self-learning? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each way?

     

    A: I think educating yourself in any way is always valuable, respectful and worth the time. When it comes to art I have only experience in learning myself by searching and trying out different materials and techniques over time. For me the advantage is that I have the freedom to create what I want and how I want, with only inspiration as my guidance. Would an art school education limit me more than inspire me? That’s a question I have asked myself many times. Regardless of what your background is I recommend everyone to do what they love.

     

    Q: Have you ever experienced “artist block”, a period that you seemed to have no inspiration? If yes, how did you overcome it?

     

    A: I have noticed that stress or the lack of natural light has an immediate effect on my inspiration. Therefore the long and dark Finnish winter is always a challenging time for me. I think the key is to not get too stressed about it and just keep going, maybe keep a day off and spend it doing other things you love and try again later. You can’t really force inspiration.

     

    Q: What are you working on at the moment?

     

    A: I’m working on a new collection of medium and mini sized paintings I will release on the opening of my web shop.

     

    Q: What is / are your goal(s) in 2020?

     

    A: My main goals for the year is to open my own web shop and challenging myself to step out of my comfort zone more often artistically speaking. Trying out new methods is scary and exciting at the same time.

     

    Q: I really like your website, by the way. It is so minimalistic. It makes your artworks stand out. Why do you choose Portfoliobox to build your portfolio website?

     

    A: Thank you! My friend who is a photographer recommended Portfoliobox to me after I was frustrated with my previous website. It didn’t take long to notice that Porfoliobox is the best fit for me since it’s so quick and easy to use. Updating my site takes only a second and I get the simplistic look I want.

     


    We would like to thank Marianna for taking the time to answer our questions, and we do hope that you gained an incredible insight in to her work. Not to mention the unique methodology she uses to produce some simply stunning work. If you would like to know more about Marianna, or check out some of her work, head to her online portfolio!

     

    We will see you next week with another Portfolio of the Week. Who will it be?  

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    Portfoliobox x Imagenation @ the LA Art Show

    News

    February 18, 2020

    Portfoliobox and Imagenation have worked together for over a year to produce photography exhibitions in Europe. Our footprints can be found in Paris as well as Arles in France. This year, for the very first time, we exhibited in the United States, at Los Angeles’s largest and longest running art fair - the LA Art Show (Feb 5 - 9).

     

    In 2020, the LA Art Show marks a significant milestone in its history, the 25th Anniversary. It has attracted a lot of art lovers, art dealers, artists and so on, to the art fair.

     

    Peyman Nadari, a successful fine art photographer from Iran and a Portfoliobox user was selected to participate in the exhibition. His photo, The Maid of Orleans was showcased in our Portfoliobox x Imagenation booth.

     

    We were lucky to have the chance to interview Peyman about his photo that was showcased at the art fair and his future plan.

     


     

    Q: Why would you like to join the LA Art Show this year?

    A: The first time I heard the name of the exhibition, I was amazed at the fact that this great exhibition hosts thousands of art fans every year. I am honored to be able to be a good representative of my country this year at this amazing exhibition. I liked having one of my works at the exhibition this year to share my insights with the fans and to make the artists more in tune with the Fine Art style.

     


    "The Maid of Orleans"

     


    "The Maid of Orleans" at the LA Art Show 2020

     

    Q: Can you tell me more about the photo exhibited in the art fair - what is the story behind it?

    A: First of all, I have to say that this photo was taken of the French champion Joan of Arc and I did my best to pay tribute to her. The life of this French champion was very interesting to me and it made for a very interesting subject for my photos. In these photos I have tried to show bondage and captivity, captivity has different aspects, from body bondage to mind and soul bondage. I have been involved with these types of bondage for many years and I have tried to look at this frame with “Fine Art” approach thus leave a constant image behind and show my point of view to the audience. I have tried to show different aspects, I have chosen metal and flower so not only I can show the hardness of this barrier but to show the softness release that comes after the bondage of this pain.

     

    Q: Being a professional photographer is not easy, let alone a successful one. Your work has been featured in Harper's Bazaar and Vogue to name a few - what is your secret?

    A: I always try to do my best. “Concept” is one of the most important parts of my photography projects, and I try to spend enough time and energy on finding the right concept. To create and discover the right idea I usually listen to classical music during my free time or at nights. Such high-quality music can inspire me and help me to concentrate on finding ways to present the world in ways that I see. Besides, the colors that I use in my photos create the illusion of a painting, and, hence, most people usually mistake my works as paintings. It is important for me to do what I do best and get the attention of reputable magazines like Harper’s Bazaar and ND Magazine. Another great option for me is my strong team who are always sympathetic and very diligent and work hard to develop their art.

     

     

     

    "Take the time to think about the idea.

     

    Never be disappointed or discouraged."

     

    - Peyman Naderi

     

     

    Q: If you could only give one piece of advice to your fellow photographers - what would it be?

    A: Take the time to think about the idea. Never be disappointed or discouraged. From the very beginning, the path cannot be the best one must build. You're your best critic. Listen to your inner voice If you're made for photography you'll find the way. Don't forget that every professional photographer you see nowadays was an amateur photographer.

     

    Q: What is your plan or goal for 2020?

    A: I have some interesting projects about the history of my country that I want to do and it is very important to me because it is about the Ancient Persia and it is for the first time that a photographer deals with it. Of course, I have some important exhibitions in London and Paris, and I'm very interested in attending them. This year is very important year for my artistic life so I have to work hard to showcase eternal artworks. I also participated in many International competitions which are finalists due to the referees' selections and I am waiting for the results of the competitions. I am also a referee of several International (competitions) and we are exchanging opinions with other referees to choose the best photo.

     

    Peyman Nadari is a Portfoliobox user since 2018, you can check out his work on his website: peymannaderi.com. If you would like to know more about our upcoming exhibitions, don't forget to follow us on our social media.

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