PPD Portrait Portfolios

Portrait Portfolios

Carol McCreary, APSA, EPSA



The Pictorial Print Division (PPD) has three "Study Groups." The three Study Groups are called "Portfolios" and include the American Portfolios, the Portrait Portfolios, and the Canadian 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 Portrait Portfolios

CHARACTER Study studio-type portraits of people with character.
CHILDREN Make award-winning photographs of children.
ANIMALS Make award-winning prints of animals: Dogs, Cats, Horses, Pets.
GLAMOUR GIRL Study posing, lighting, backgrounds, and apparel.
Sample Images from the portrait categories included in the Portrait Portfolios:

Glamour Girl


Most portfolios have assigned Commentators who are experienced portrait photographers and printmakers. They evaluate each member's work; make constructive comments for improvement including posing, lighting, dress, or anything having to do with portraits; and issue awards for particularly fine prints.

Pink Profile Certificate

In the Portrait Portfolios, the Portfolio Commentator awards "Pink Profile Certificate" for especially outstanding prints. Prints receiving "Pink Profile Certificates" are then eligible for the annual competition for a PPD Gold Medal.


There is no fee for this activity. PSA Membership is required.

To enroll in a Portrait Portfolios, complete the online Enrollment Form or contact the Director of the Portrait Portfolios listed above. After signing up for one of the Portrait Portfolios, members are placed on the list to receive the portfolio at the next round.