The course notes suggest looking at an article by Michael Margolis entitled The Resume Is Dead, The Bio Is King. Looking at the site there’s another interesting article entitled How To Write an “About Me” Page That Gets You Hired. The way that Margolis describes things there’s a lot of overlap between the “About Page” and the Bio so let’s start by looking at some About Pages that might be relevant.
Sharon Boothroyd was my previous tutor who I admired before she left to concentrate on her other roles and undertake a PhD. Her about page is simple, consisting of four brief paragraphs :-
- what she’s doing now (her PhD)
- her approach to art/photography
- her professional role
- her publication history
It’s very simple and effective but has much more academic and professional detail than I would be able to include and could be considered a CV/Bio crossover.
Gill Aspel is a local photographer, one of Windsor’s “official photographers”. Her about page is similar in size and format to Sharon’s but describes more about her and her background than it does about her historic work. This is much more in keeping with my idea of how my Bio should look.
Andy Skillen is a wildlife photographer that I’ve long admired, especially after meeting him at a show where he took the time to advise me on printing and other bits and pieces. His website includes a very personal about page which glosses over his vast array of publications and awards, preferring to concentrate on the personal details – why he does what he does and why he enjoys it. Incidentally, he describes how he’s always on foot and as close to his subjects as possible. The photo on his web page certainly reflects this !
Ingun Alette Mæhlum’s about page is very simple but I like it. It’s simply her photograph followed by
Ingun Alette Mæhlum is a documentary photographer based in Tromsø in Northern Norway. She does most of her work above the Arctic circle, and luckily she loves working in rough weather.
As well as working on her own documentary projects, she takes on various assignments for magazines and newspapers. She has received several national prizes for her photographs.
Then four small tiles showing her commercial endeavours. I like it but it wouldn’t work for me.
Tom Hunter’s Info page is similar to Sharon’s above which isn’t to surprising given his status and his CV. Interestingly he has a link to his CV underneath the four paragraphs of his Bio which might well be the way to go forward.
Rather than go on through a few hundred pages I think that Andy Skillen’s is the way that I’d move forward with some of the local elements that Gill Aspel introduces.
From everything that I’ve read and thought about , the Bio and the About Page are pretty well the same thing in the sense they’re telling my story, what drives, me, what interests me. In many ways they could hold the same information but phrased slightly differently given their use.
I feel as though I’m making heavy weather of this and over-thinking it but it’s something that I want to get right before looking for the formal feedback. Let’s start with an About Page and see if that converts easily to a Bio.
I felt very strange writing this About Page, basically talking about myself in the third person while making the best of my limited experience. I’m sure that it will change as I tweak it, move things around, but I’m happy with it for a start.
To save people going to that page I’ll put it in the next blog entry so that the story of my website etc flows in sequence through the blog.