ILP Pro Application:
The following process is the result of much member feedback supplied to us over the last several months. We worked in the elements that members told us they wanted in a new process, including more transparency and more details about the process. Please read the following carefully before deciding to apply.
There is a $50 application fee to apply for ILP Pro. If you are accepted, as long as you are an active member of the forum you will not pay any further fees to stay an ILP Pro. If you are not approved for ILP Pro, you may need to wait up to 6 months before applying again.
In order to apply for Pro, you will be required to demonstrate both your photographic ability and your contribution to the ILP community, as detailed below. Your application will be evaluated on the standard of your submitted images and your ILP forum contribution. Both your submitted image sets and your ILP contribution will receive either an overall Pass or Fail, and you are required to pass both to be offered membership to ILP PRO. With the final decision, you will receive summary feedback on your application.
Vision statement: Please include a brief statement, preferably 250 words or less that describes how you approach your photography. In other words, what is your vision for your photography, and how does your vision relate to the images you create?
- Your statement is an opportunity for you to introduce yourself and to explain your photographic vision/voice/style/approach
- Each image you submit will be evaluated in relation to your vision statement.
- Please see the bottom of this page for sample vision statements.
Images: You will be submitting a total of 30 different images.
1) Please submit a link to a set of 20 images (numbered 1-20) that best represents your work.
2) In addition to the 20 images, please submit a link to a set of 10 images taken from a single shooting session (numbered S1-S10), whether it's a portrait session, wedding, portfolio buidling session, shooting assignment (sports, archictectual, editorial, etc.), or any photo shoot (doesn't have to be a paid session) that takes place at one time. Different session may not be combined.
Also, the exact same images should not appear in both sets. In otherwords, the set of 20 must not contain any of the same images that also appear in the set of 10.
3) IMPORTANT: Please number your images from 1-20, and 1-10 in order. Once you have submitted please do not swap out, delete or otherwise change the order of your image submissions.
Additionally, if you have a website or blog where you show your latest work, please supply a link.
- Your photos should demonstrate, support and reflect the vision shown in your statement.
- Your photos are expected to show that you are both competent and deliberate in your photography.
Your submitted images will be assessed as follows:
1) The 20 Image set: each image submitted will be marked A, B or C, as described below:
A = Pro level. The image reflects your statement and vision. All aspects of the photo appear to be deliberate.
B = Unclear. The reviewer has some doubts about how the photo matches the statement or if all is deliberate, or lacks purpose.
C = Not acceptable for ILP Pro. The image does not match the statement and lacks purpose or deliberateness.
The expectation of the Pro application is that all submitted photos will be marked A. Portfolio's with 4 or more B Images will lead to lead to further review, and any photo marked C will lead to denial of entry to ILP Pro.
2) The 10 image session set: will be assessed as a whole unit, and graded A, B, or C depending on whether the set demonstrates your style, vision or voice. It is possible to include an image submitted in this set as part of your 20 image portfolio. It is expected that images within this set demonstrate a consistent quality across the session.
ILP Participation/Contribution: ILP forum participation is important to the community, therefore please provide links to any significant and/or helpful ILP threads or shares you've initiated, or indicate to us how you have consistently assisted other photographers within the ILP community. You might also wish to include any reasons why you feel that you will be a positive addition to the ILP Pro forum. ILP post count, thanks received & contribution will additionally all be looked at as part of this assessment.
Please note, we allow member to apply to Pro shortly after joining ILP, however it might make it more challenging to demonstrate your forum contribution since we cannot do so based on post count or "thanks" count. Links to tutorials, groups you help run, or other helpful threads/posts you feel show your positive ILP contribution would be important. So if you are a new member of ILP and are applying to ILP Pro, it is recommended you submit a short statement sharing how you would benefit the community.
FAQS and sample Vision Statements:
Q I have a very eclectic style, and it includes lots of different looks. How do I write my statement of intent for what I do?
A There is a difference between eclectic and random and you need to be comfortable with which it is. If you are in business, for example, your clients will want to be happy when they book that they will know what they are getting, so it will be important for your business to be able to describe your style to clients. If you are unable to describe your style/share your voice & vision, then it may be worth thinking about this before applying to ILP PRO.
Q Is it alright for images to be watermarked?
A It is normal for images online to be watermarked, so yes this is fine.
Q Can some of the exact same images be used in the set of 20 that show up in the set of 10?
A No. There should not be any exact duplicates between the two sets of images.
Q What variety do I need in my portfolio. Can I have multiple shots of a similar nature, e.g. newborns.
A It is up to you to demonstrate to the reviewers your style and show your best work. They will review your portfolio and website against your statement. If your portfolio can demonstrate your statement with only limited variety then that will not be a problem. You may wish to consider how a reviewer will see your portfolio.
Q Are workshop images acceptable?
A Because we are seeking to evaluate the applicant's actual photographic skills (location selection, lighting, posing, selecting a shooting direction [very important], etc.), we DO NOT allow workshop images to be submitted as part of an ILP Pro application. Along the same lines, please submit only images that were taken under your sole direction; for example, you must be in charge of lighting, posing, composition, camera settings, shooting direction, etc. Also, please see next Q/A regarding "collaboration".
Q Can I include images that I created in collaboration with other photographers (for example, from a photo get-together)?
A Here's our view on this: By this point in your evolution as a photographer, since you are applying for a forum dedicated to "ILP Pro" photographers, it is our thought that you should have plenty of pro-worthy images to submit that were created by you, on your own. In other words, if you must rely on submitting images you created via collaboration, then we feel you haven't photographed enough in general. So we discourage submitting images that were created in collaboration with others.
Q Where should I upload my portfolio?
A Please provide links to your online image sets. Preferred methods might be: Flickr / Smugmug / a web gallery on your website, etc. Please provide a link / passwords if appropriate.
Q If I am not accepted into ILP Pro when is the soonest I can reapply?
A You may reapply after a period of three months has passed since your last application.
Q Who reviews my application?
A A pool of known ILP Gold & Pro members make up the ILP Pro Review Team. Three members of this team will access your application & grade each image on a standard form. You will receive each of their forms back, although you will not know who from the pool reviewed your application.
Q Do reviewers evaluate my application as a group or separately?
A Reviews are done individually by each reviewer, with no discussion. You may see variances in grading as each reviewer will have their own opinion & thoughts. If an application is graded with more than 4 B's it will go to Eddie for review.
Q If I've recieved instruction from a reviewer, is that okay?
A If a member of the review team has given you mentoring or private portfolio evaluation, etc., it will be in their hands if they would like to recuse themselves from reviewing your application.
Sample vision statments:
Sample #1: "I take outdoor portraits of families, seniors, children, couples, and the occasional artist's headshots. I use natural light, my goal is to get clean edited colour and black and white photographs that accurately represent the person in their best light. I mix traditional posing with some more candid images captured when the person isn't looking and smiling at the camera. I like a mixture of classic posing with smiles, and more soulful expressions. "
Sample #2: "My approach to photography is sort of a mixed bag of tricks. I really love, and aim to capture pure emotions and moments- of joy, love, goofiness, or quiet solitude- my desire is for it to be genuine, authentic and true. I also however, know that my clients like a combination of posed and candids, so I do typically set them up in good lighting/backgrounds/etc- loosely posed, and then get them to interact with one another, or me.
I am a "big picture" person- meaning that the overall emotion and feeling of a moment, to me, is more important than some of the technical things like a little hair out of place, or knee bent the wrong way. Life is not perfect, my clients are not perfect, nor is my photography. But it is genuine. My processing and compositions are both clean and simple- keeping the focus on the people, not the backgrounds.
If asked to describe my photography in three words- I would say: playful, emotive and fun. I want them to see the love, that I see. See the joy that is already in their lives."
Sample #3 "My approach to photography is a combination of urban edge, with modern style. I focus on teens and seniors- and embrace strong lighting, textures and colors. My processing is bolder and non-traditional- and I love using and off-camera-flash to add drama and richness. I love shooting in a way to include environments to help showcase the images in a strong way. My vision is more commercial than portrait, as I want my clients to see their images as if they are looking at ads or models in Vogue or Maxim. If I had to describe my work in three words I would say: Vibrant, Funky, Intense. I strive for my portraits to make a bold statement about the client, highlighting their strengths, interests and personality in a strong way."