View Full Version : Biography...should it mention setbacks?

21-Jul-2013, 08:44
I show my work from the early and mid 1970's and my work of the 2000's. All my work from the late 1970's through the 1990's was lost in a flood in 2001.

Should I mention this setback in my photo bio?


21-Jul-2013, 09:38
It will depend somewhat on the purpose of the bio, but if it informed and shaped the photography that you are doing now, then definitely. And you may wish to explained the time gap in your portfolio.

I will often include how my photography changed when my triplets were born (I was the primary care-giver). I do not consider it a set back (nor losing many years of matted prints to insect/mold damage). If anything, such things push me forward. So in your bio, I would not use negative language ('setback'), but instead tell of how you moved forward after the flood.

Kirk Gittings
21-Jul-2013, 10:09

Kirk Gittings
21-Jul-2013, 10:10
Ditto-nothing worse than a saccarin (sp?) bio.

21-Jul-2013, 10:11
Thanks, it did inspire me to work on preservation.

21-Jul-2013, 10:14
Thanks, it did inspire me to work on preservation.


C. D. Keth
21-Jul-2013, 11:00
Absolutely. The first original negatives for "Nanook of the North" were lost in a fire. Reshooting the film allowed Robert Flaherty to focus in on one family with the hindsight that he has been granted.

21-Jul-2013, 13:21
The best viewers, I think, will let the photos speak for themselves, whether you share biographical details or not.

Other viewers, if given the opportunity, will allow your biographical details (such as setbacks) to influence how they perceive your photos. And you might very well wish this to happen.

Still others will see your photos primarily, or exclusively, in the light your biographical details, and due to this “distraction,” may be less able to judge the photos simply by their merits alone.

The upshot – make the decision case-by-case, basing it on your understanding of the audience and your objectives. The task is never as easy as it sounds.

21-Jul-2013, 14:33
Resume/Bio should be tailored to represent you positively and accurately to some one who knows noting about you. It should respect their time. Give them the best picture of your strengths.

21-Jul-2013, 14:43
I think it also depends on the lenth of the bio. If it's short, you really want to stick to major, positive stuff. If it's more biographical in a journalistic way, and gets into details, then sure, mention important unhappy events.