Pictorial Print Division (PPD): Study Groups - American Portfolios
A portfolio is a collection of prints made by a small group of about 8-10 PSA members who enjoy sharing their print work with photographers having similar interests. The portfolio is mailed to each group member in turn and the member then writes comments about each of the prints in the portfolio, removes the previous print they had submitted, and inserts a new print of theirs for comment. Generally a note is included to provide additional explanations and news. When the round has circulated through all of the group members, the portfolio is sent by the last member on the list to the "Commentator," generally an experienced photographer, who provides an "expert" critique regarding each print. The portfolio Secretary then sets up the schedule for the next round and starts the Portfolio prints on their way. Each round generally takes about three months to reach each member of the group and return to the Secretary.
Categories of American Portfolios
OPEN: Open to any kind or type of print – any subject matter - no restrictions - anything goes.
RESTRICTED: Most portfolios are of the restricted type designed to meet the specific interests of the photographers making up the group. For example some portfolios accept only color prints and others only monochrome. Some are for self-made and others are for commercially made prints.
SELF-MADE: Prints created in a darkroom or with a computer by the photographer.
COMMERCIALLY-MADE: Prints created by another person either in a commercial darkroom or by computer.
DARKROOM PRINTED (P): The print is created by chemical means using a darkroom and light sensitive materials.
COMPUTER PRINTED (CMP): The original image would be exposed on light-sensitive material (film or electronic), and printed with an ink jet or similar printer.
MONOCHROME OR COLOR: Restricted to either monochrome or color; some groups accept both.
PRINT SIZE: Maximum size restrictions may be 8x10, 8x12, 8 1/2 x 11, or 11x14.
REGIONAL PORTFOLIOS: These portfolios are for members residing in a particular geographic area and are open to any format. There are two regional portfolios: Greater Northeast Regional (GNER) and Greater Northwest Regional (GNWR).
ASSIGNED SUBJECT (ASG): The subjects are selected in advance and the members submit images that fit the assignment.
NATURE (Nat): The subject matter is limited to nature subjects (e.g., landscapes, seascapes, wildlife, plant life). The American Portfolio Nature prints do not conform to the PSA Nature definition (e.g., cloning is accepted, hand of man is not considered).
Most portfolios have assigned Commentators who are experienced photographers and printmakers. They evaluate each member's work, make constructive comments for improvement, and issue awards for particularly fine prints.
Green Eagle Contest
In the American Portfolios, the Commentator awards "Green Eagles" to members for particularly fine prints. Prints receiving Green Eagles are then eligible for the annual Green Eagle Contest. There are two separate contests, one for monochrome prints and the other for color prints. Winning prints from this contest receive medals and ribbons and are exhibited at the PSA Annual Conference. Details regarding the Green Eagle Contest Rules
There is no fee for this activity. PSA Membership is required.
To enroll in an American Portfolio, complete the Enrollment Form or send an email to the American Portfolios Enrollment Director: email@example.com. After signing up for one of the American Portfolios, members are placed on the list to receive the portfolio at the next round.