Sample Portfolios

November 8, 2010

Here are the sample portfolios that we looked at in class today. In addition, you’ll find a .doc for download with some notes on the Yancey reading and a section to help you connect that to this project.

Portfolio-Guiding Notes.doc

David Kennedy’s writing portfolio

Jon Michael Anzalone’s writing portfolio

Laura Davis writing portfolio

Student Writing Portfolio (pdf of commented on Microsoft Word doc)

Juliana Arazi’s writing portfolio

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27 Responses to “Sample Portfolios”

  1. Thanks for the link, Matt. Hopefully, you weren’t covering how not to make a portfolio. 🙂

  2. MattD said

    David, quite the opposite. As we’re gearing up to create our own portfolios, we chose some example found online (which means you’re easy to find, which is good). We thought yours was impressive: very clean, diverse, and easily accessible. Thanks for a great model– and thanks for stopping by.

  3. Excellent, Matt. Thanks for the compliments.

    Creating a portfolio is one of the hardest things. My existing site was the third draft, all three “drafts” being entirely different sites. It takes time, but it’s hugely rewarding once you find the right look and feel.

    Good luck to you and your students!

  4. Kevin Walisch said

    For his portfolio David Kennedy, mostly uses images and neutral colors to create a visually appealing website for readers. Analyzing his portfolio in a rhetorical manner it seems the purpose of the website is for David to show his work and skills as a multimedia specialist to readers and potential employers. The images are used to engage readers, to provide visuals that compliment the text and some of his writing samples, and to persuade readers that he has good multimedia skills. A lot of the images are used as flags, which according to Birdsell & Groarke are images that are used to attract attention to a message conveyed to some audience. The message here is basically “Here is what my work looks like please hire me.” An example of this in David’s portfolio would be his photography section. The images that he has taken stand out visually and grab your attention. Almost all of the images are action shots, making them even more visually stimulating and attention grabbing. The images are also visual demonstrations which are images used to convey information that can be best presented visually. It would be extremely hard for David to sell himself as a multimedia specialist if he were to simply describe his skills in text. Therefore he visually shows us his skills by posting some of his photographs, conveying the message to the audience more effectively. David also uses images to compliment the text and his writing samples. For each writing sample, David writes a brief description and posts an image that compliments this description. For example, on his “memory-all project” he posted a picture of an old tricycle, something people usually associate with childhood. The image therefore becomes a symbol for memory and compliments the project.

  5. Katy M said

    I will be analyzing Jon Michael Anzalone’s portfolio. By judging this with rhetorical framework using ethos, pathos, and logos, this is a very simple portfolio, especially easy to navigate around. The personal blog uses pathos to relate to his audience since it is not typical of a personal blog. I feel like the purpose of this portfolio is to show progression of his work through time as well as including his personal blog, resume, and photo portfolio to show his well roundedness. These types of elements are important for his audience as well as future possible employers. The picture of him attracts readers (and are used as flags) because they are able to put a face to the work, and keep the audience interested. His photo portfolio is also used as a flag because the images are about travel, which some of his writings are about as well. They act as visual symbols because since the writings are about travel, his photo portfolio connects his writing with meaning. As Berger explains, photos can be used to make the audience feel nostalgic as if they can relate to the person through their photos. They help support his argument and as Birdsell and Groarke say it helps as a visual demonstration.

  6. Tara said

    Laura Davis’ portfolio can be accessed from many different view points. She doesn’t have very images on her site – only three, to be exact, not counting the screenshots of her work – but those she does have definitely fit under the category of “visual flags” according to Birdsell and Groarke. In the first picture of her on the main site, she’s trying to communicate that she’s generally a cheerful person. Her picture is smiling and it sends the message that she’s very open and warm. The photo of her on the about me page also sends this same message, but it also shows that (in case you didn’t read the text) she’s an avid outdoorswoman and biker. The third picture of the bikes only drives home the point that she rides bikes a lot. These pictures could also fall under the category of visual demonstration. Laura can talk about how much she likes bikes as much as she wants, but without seeing her on a bike and only really skimming the text, having a picture is a very affective demonstration.

    Overall, Laura’s portfolio is effective in some ways, but ineffective in others. It’s easy to see what she’s passionate about – she says it straight up on her home page, and all of her works are about riding bikes. Her writing samples page is linear – we can see how she’s grown as a writer over the years, despite the gaps and the fact that it hasn’t been updated in six years. Her resume is clean and detailed, although she doesn’t have any outside references. But the site is clean and simple, and clearly communicates who she is and what she enjoys writing about.

  7. am3liam said

    Laura Davis’ portfolio is minimalist in style which highlights her work rather than her ability to put together a website. She only has three photos on the entire site, two of them relating to her passion of riding bikes. Her portfolio is centered around her experience with biking; she states that she used to own a bike shop and has written articles for various cyclist magazines. Her choosing two of the three pictures displayed on her webpage to be related to cycling reflects this. On her “Home” page she has a small profile shot of herself displayed next to a paragraph that gives a snippet of background information. This self photo acts as a flag, attracting our attention to her opening paragraph and gives the audience Laura’s visual representation of herself alongside her textual representation. She chose to position the photo of her and her bike on the “About Me” page opposite to her listing of some of the races she has competed in. This photo and its location in the portfolio isn’t effective if she wants us to believe that she is a hardcore cycler. She is depicted in a helmet and windbreaker casually leaning against her bicycle in front of a Texas landmark. Taken out of context, we might say that she is a tourist pausing on her mountain bike ride to have someone snap her picture. If she were to move this picture to underneath the sentence introducing her “Writing Samples” page it could be a more effective combination of visuals and text because it mentions her writing about recreational cycling and cycle safety. If this image were moved to the spot mentioned it would serve as a visual demonstration of her recreational cycling. The red color of the helmet against the bland background also attracts attention to the fact that she is wearing one, acting as a flag for her aforementioned bike safety writings. While the text of Laura’s portfolio is mainly centered around her competitive cycling feats, her visuals could argue that she is more of a leisurely rider. It would be more persuasive for her to add a picture of her in a bike race as a demonstration of her riding abilities.

  8. Amanda Andary said

    After viewing Jon Michael Anzalone portfolio, I found that it was very easy to navigate, it was organized, and his work was easily accessible. Upon entering Anzalone’s portfolio, he had his biography displayed on the homepage. I think this is very useful because from that you can get an idea about who he is, and a little taste of his personality. Other than a biography Anzalone also includes his resume, a letter of recommendation, and his contact information, which I feel is very important if you want to be recognized. On the homepage you are able to click on a link that displays a portfolio of his photography. This section relates to Birdsell and Groarke’s Theory of Visual Argument research, because they stress many times how important images are. According to Birdsell and Groarke, “In [some] cases, [images] have rhetorical advancement and are more forceful and persuasive than words.” Anzalone’s photos were of his travels, and all had the same type of effects to them, which made this unique to him. Under each photo was a label saying where the picture was taken, and this is also useful according to Birdsell and Groarke, because when pictures and words are combined it creates a powerful mean of conveying an argument. Visual flags, which were also mentioned in The Theory of visual arguments, can be found throughout Anzalone’s portfolio because he is using images to attract readers. Whichever link of his portfolio you choose to look at, there will be a picture there for you to observe. Through Anzalone’s portfolio, you are able to access his blog, which contains lots of imagery, and visuals. I believe most of these visuals happen to be visual demonstrations, because they are used to convey information.

  9. eliot7 said

    Visual Rhetorical Analysis of Laura Davis’ Portfolio

    The visual representation of Laura’s portfolio when her page is opened is plain. Words cover the page with a toolbar across the top. A picture is on the right of the screen. I assume this picture is of Laura but there is no way I can be sure. As the tabs across the top of the site are clicked the audience is taken to different pages within the same website. These links are different sized blocks of written text, except for one.
    The one tab that is not only text is her tab titled “About Me”. Examining the pictures I would assume that the first one on the right is of Laura. She is standing in front of a sign full of small words. On the top is a picture of the state of Texas. She has a bike in front of her so the audience could assume that she lives in Texas and bikes. The other picture on this page is of two bikes leaning up against a tree and a tent is set up in the background. From this the audience might assume that she writes about her biking journeys. Or that she could write about the technical aspect of cycling.
    Without actually reading the words on the site the audience can see some form of organization. If I did not speak English or this site was in a different language and I could not understand the words I could get a grasp on where she might be from and what she might do. This site does offer very little images to analyze though. Upon reading the text on the page with the pictures on it the audience can find out that the picture is in fact Laura and she lives in Texas. The audience would know, by reading, that she enjoys riding when she can. And then Laura’s credibility is increased because a lot of her writing is about cycling.
    In this case I am reminded of Berger’s example about the Van Gough landscape that the written text added significantly to the painting because the audience then realizes the importance of the painting; it being painted right before Van Gough killed himself. The weight is heavier in context. In the same way, all the pictures included in Laura’s portfolio need the text to accompany them in order to be effective. Her images add something to the text but the images cannot stand-alone.
    Laura’s portfolio is not a photography portfolio, which would deliver a different message. I would not want to hire Laura as a cyclist photographer because her pictures are not that good and there are only two pictures. The pictures would deliver a different message if they were not accompanied by the words describing herself, not the photos.

  10. Abby said

    David Kennedy’s portfolio has a ton of information in it. The information is very busy but it is also organized into subcategories that are easy to navigate through. Kennedy’s portfolio consists of blog posts, favorite sites, sites that will help fellow writers and sample writings. Most of Kennedy’s links have images that are visual demonstrations. The images represent what the posts are talking about. The images are an extension of the writings and they make the postings more entertaining and informative. The images on the featured work, especially the Barrow Hill junior high school digital prospectus, were very important to have because it shows that the work was published somewhere, along with images. The images also make the audience familiar with where and what the piece is talking about. The photography part of the portfolio is important to have because the author wanted his audience to see these photos, but he wanted the audience to see them through his eyes. The photos are a reproduction of what the photographer actually saw. Photos are taken from one person’s point of view and the result of this is that the reproduction loses something from the original. David Kennedy has many visual flags. Since there is so much activity going on on one page the images attract the reader to a specific link. Images play an important role in portfolios because they represent what a piece of writing or a blog post is going to be about. David Kennedy’s digital portfolio follows all three key principles of visual communication. The first is that the images can be understood by themselves. The second is that they should be interpreted in a manner that makes sense to the major elements that they contain. The last key principle is the images should be interpreted in a manner that fits the context in which they are situated.

  11. Kayla Mahnken said

    For this assignment I chose to do my visual rhetorical analysis on David Kennedy’s digital writing portfolio. I will be using Bitzer’s rhetorical situation and Birdsell and Groarke in order to attempt to understand how visuals in a portfolio can create a rhetorical effect.

    One of the first things I noticed about Kennedy’s portfolio was that no matter where you decided to go from the home page his “About Me” information was always to the side of whatever you were looking at. This was a great way to appeal to his audience. Bitzer said that one of the components of a rhetorical situation is the audience, or the people who have the power to change or modify the exigence. Kennedy’s intended audience is chiefly potential employers. He’s looking for work (the exigence) and employers who visit his site have the power to give him work, thus affecting the exigence. Placing his basic information on each page of his website gives his audience plenty of opportunities to learn about him and it is placed in such a way that the viewer cannot miss it.

    The images that link you to his works serve as a visual flag. A visual flag attracts attention to a message conveyed to an audience. In David Kennedy’s portfolio the images he uses immediately attract your attention to his writing and get you interested in his works. His message is “Look at how good my work is. Hire me.”

    Birdsell and Groarke say that “images present situation with much greater impact than mere words do.” This is made evident in Kennedy’s article on the DeLand tornadoes. You can describe the damage with as many words as you like but nothing compares to actually seeing the devastation for yourself whether through a photograph or through physically being there. Images give you perspective whereas words are harder to understand and mystify the situation.

  12. Michelle Spivak said

    David Kennedy’s writing portfolio uses various components discussed in the readings. Visuals and images are important to the viewer, and helps provide a better understanding of what the author is trying to say. Kennedy provides images as visual aids, helping readers see his perspective, as discussed in Ways of Seeing, by Berger. He also includes parts of Groarke and Tindale’s typology, discussed in A Theory of Visual Argument.
    On page nine Berger states, “We never look at just one thing; we are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves.” He also continues to explain how images are clearer that text sometimes. Kennedy provides a visual aid using small icons next to each of his links. For instance, there is an article on facebook talking about the “like” button. Next to the article link is a picture of a hand giving the thumbs up, similar to the icon that appears on Facebook. Page 33 talks about how images is its own language and Kennedy does a great job of allowing the images he chose to speak for themselves and support his links. The reader has an idea of what the article will be about before opening it.
    As discussed through out Birdsell and Groarke, he uses many visual symbols to support his portfolio. For example, he has a small bicycle beside a link about interactive media. Or his use of visuals such as the test screen next to an article about how media has evolved.
    Kennedy’s portfolio possess many of the qualities discussed in both the readings. Visuals can be used in many ways to help the viewers understanding of what you want to say through your portfolio. As Berger would say, it helps the reader see your perspective.

  13. Sloan said

    AndrewJFord.com
    Andrew J. Ford’s portfolio is focused on his writing and his photography. When you first open up his website you are greeted with an image of people at a concert. Initally, this image is not really making any sort of arguement in reference to Ford’s portfolio. There does not seem to be any account of the relationship between images and the context they are in. According to Birdsell and Goarke there are three main prerequisites to create a theory of visual arguement. As someone coming across his portfolio for the first time that one image has no text for the viewer to identify what the purpose its being there. Sometimes images can be distracting, and can lead the viewer astray from the whole purpose of his portfolio.

    The images Ford has of Pastor Wayne Sapp are more applicable the rest of his portfolio because there is a broader recognition of arguementative aspects. By that I mean Ford also posted articles he wrote related to the images of Pastor Wayne Sapp. Ford made the images an addition to his article he wrote. They were not making the arguement for him, their purpose is to demonstrate how Pastor Wayne Sapp looked like and how he reacted when he was being bombarded by the reporters. Berg made several strong points that dialog (in other words texts) are an attempt to verbalize how we see things. Another point Berg made was that we as viewers never look at one thing, we are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves. I think Ford kept this in mind when creating his portfolio because he has a wide variety of content so it can interest different groups of people.

  14. sevbray said

    When first looking at Jon Michael’s portfolio, I am immediately thinking of how simple the page is set up, visually that is. And this simplicity allows the page to appear clean, and well put together. If I try to compare it to the terminology from Birdsell and Groarke’s piece, it wouldn’t be making much of a visual argument (it being the home page of his portfolio). The homepage only has one image, a self portrait to show the viewer what he looks like. I will argue that this photo could be seen as a visual metaphor that allows the reader to assume that he is a serious artist: what he’s wearing and the way the picture is taken is cliche and usually associated with being a writer or a painter. Or French. In that case, the picture could also be seen as a visual archetype as well.

    Clicking through his portfolio, there aren’t many other images other than those that fall under his photography collections. He actually has an essay, Accelerat, that uses images which are used as a demonstration and as a symbol to represent and enhance what the verbal is communicating through the words he wrote.

    In my opinion, it is a very nice portfolio because my tastes lean to the simple – there’s no need for any fluff to distract from his work. His blog, although it doesn’t represent him in a professional way as does the portfolio, is also quite brilliant. And full of images and visual arguments. It almost appears that images exist first and he uses the verbal to explain and enhance. This maybe flips what Birdsell and Groarke were saying. Which came first, the image or the words?

  15. Morgan Shepard said

    Visual Rhetorical Analysis of David Kennedy’s Portfolio

    Birdsell and Groarke define five uses of visual images. Visual images can be used as flags, demonstrations, metaphors, analogies, and archetypes. David Kennedy’s online portfolio stands out most to me as a perfect example of a Visual Demonstration. Along with writing, Kennedy’s portfolio features photography and interactive media he’s designed to show potential employers the full range of his talents. Visual demonstrations are often used to express information that is best communicated visually. While Kennedy could have written in his “About” section that he was interested in photography and basic computer programming. However, nothing shows off his interest and talents in these arenas better than the visuals themselves. The visuals of Kennedy’s work allow employers to evaluate the quality of his work and the extent of his talent and skill as a designer and composer. Additionally, I’d also argue that Kennedy’s page is an example of the use of Visual flags. As Birdsell and Groarke point out, more than one of the five uses may coexist in any one visual. The layout of Kennedy’s webpage is streamlined and professional looking. Kennedy’s “About” section details his desire to write a book and links to a resume of his professional experience. Kennedy’s “portfolio features three different areas he has interest and expertise in: interactive media, photography, and writing. Clearly, the content and arrangement of Kennedy’s website is set up to establish contact with possible employers. Visual flags are arresting images used to stand out amongst a flood of messages that others are trying to send. Everything from the modernized layout to the array of images and multimedia on Kennedy’s portfolio was designed in such a way as to stand out from the other competition in the job market. Hence, Kennedy’s page is an example of a visual demonstration as well as visual flags.

  16. Keyla Cherena said

    David Kennedy’s Portfolio is organized in a similar format to a popular image website named 9gag. This website displays pictures or fun facts and then a type of explanation underneath, with the ability to click on specific pictures or articles to display only that article. At first sight I saw this comparison which I think is important in sense of keeping it contemporary and familiar. Kennedy’s use of images is important for a portfolio seeing as “they have rhetorical advantages and are more forceful and persuasive than words” (Birdsell & Groarke 104). I argue that the majority of images that Kennedy uses incorporate the idea of images as “flags.” Seeing as he uses them to attract the attention of the person viewing his portfolio a specific message. Aside from the message of what the picture represents there is also the message that he calls “primary skills used.” With the idea that this portfolio is meant to be seen with the eyes of a future employer it is important for them to be able to see what you’ve done; which is achieved with the picture that is the first thing listed. It is also important for them to know what the image correlates to, what drove you to create your work in the first place, which is why right below the image (the attention grabber) he incorporates the description section. Finally there is the “primary skills used” section, that could be overlooked by someone viewing the portfolio without the mindset of an employer, it could be seen as an afterthought, but it is important to make it clear what technologies he is proficient with. Though the portfolio lacks a time-line of growth it includes many examples of his works and visual companions.

  17. connors23 said

    For this assignment I decided to focus on the sample portfolio by Laura Davis. The reason I chose Laura’s portfolio is mainly due to the fact that it shows that while simple is good, there is such a thing as being too simple.

    To start off with, Laura’s portfolio is not very appealing to look at, at all. The first thing you see when you get on her page is a small photo of her followed by some information and then some links; the whole thing is rather bland and there is very little personality to it. Immediately after seeing the first page I flipped through the rest of her website and everything was exactly the same. There was the same font, the same colors, the same lack of showing us who Laura really is, besides a lover of biking. In the about me, she starts to venture out, very slightly, in the sense that she finally begins to add something a little extra; a photo, but that is it. The problem is, even this section of her page felt out of place due to the fact that her home page already had a bit about her, she should have stuck to describing herself in one section and one section only, it would make it seem more organized and put together. Another aspect of Laura’s portfolio that seemed incredibly out of place was the random usage of links vs. just putting the info in the page. There are certain writing pages where you get a little glimpse, while others you need to look at the document, and then there’s the resume which is just put in on the page; it just does not seem to fit in my opinion, there needs to be more consistency. Also, as mentioned in class on Friday, this is just like Jon Michaels page in the way that the links don’t change colors, if I have to fight to figure out which pages I have and have not read yet, I’m not going to want to continue.

    While I picked on a lot of aspects from Laura’s profile, there are a few things that I think Laura did right. First off, I love the fact that most of the pages don’t have that much information. You don’t have to spend pages upon pages scrolling to get through her information; this is always a good thing. Another thing that I find great about Laura’s page is how easy it is to navigate. The tool bar stays at the top no matter what page you go to, and if you’re not on one of the main category pages, there’s a way to go back at the bottom of each page.

    Laura made her page insanely simple, in the right and the wrong ways. The problem with this is, while the simplicity in how to work the page is great, the simplicity in the layout is not. A portfolio is supposed to make you stand up above the rest; unfortunately, in my opinion, this portfolio does not do that.

  18. Christianna Hazelip said

    The portfolio that sticks out to me in terms of both aesthetic appeal and quality/accessibility of information is David Kennedy’s. Perhaps this is because he relies on an abundance of multi-media examples to support his claim of being a multi-media specialist.

    When you click on the link to the “Interactive Media” section of his portfolio, you are taken to a page full of images and videos of his interactive work, which can be identified through Birdsell and Graorke’s concept of visual demonstration. In these instances, David Kennedy uses still images of his work in order to describe the nature of it. For example, the snapshot of the web site he created for Barrow Hill Junior High School serves to give us an idea of what he is capable of by showing us, as opposed to just talking about the website. He includes an image of every interactive piece in his portfolio, and I think this is exactly what Birdsell and Groarke were trying to explain through their definition of visual demonstration as a way to “convey information which can best be presented visually.”

    Another thing that I noticed about Kennedy’s portfolio is the use of both images and text to convey his argument, which is another point that Birdsell and Graorke address in their article. Not only does Kennedy include visuals to convey his work, but he also includes an abstract underneath each image to further reinforce the argument that the image alone represents. According to Birdsell and Graorke, “In most cases, such arguments employ both images and words for the simple reason that doing so combines the force of two powerful means of conveying arguments.”

    I think that Kennedy’s portfolio is a clean-cut example of the marriage of visual and textual in order to create a stronger argument than either one could create alone. The images and text serve to work with and reinforce each other. The images Kennedy uses have a purpose and a role in his argument, rather than just being incorporated for aesthetic appeal, which is one of the driving forces behind Birdsell and Groarke’s argument.

  19. Berger- Seeing Before Words
    Seeing comes before words. The child sees before it learns to speak
    The relationship between what we see and what we know is never settled
    We are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves
    The way we see things is effected by what we know or believe
    Images can be more rich and precise than literature
    Fear of the present leads to a cultural mystification to the past
    Perspective makes the single eye the center of the visible world
    The meaning of an image is changed by what one sees immediately beside it or behind it
    Birdsell and Groarke- Theory of Visual Argument
    Visual arguments are conveyed in images
    Three key principles of visual communication: such images can be understood in principle: they should be interpreted in a manner that makes sense of the major (visual or verbal) elements they contain: they should be interpreted in a manner that fits the context in which they are situated
    An image functions as a visual flag when it is used to attract attention to a message conveyed to an audience
    Someone wanting to side an argument using a visual flag must do so by standing out against the flood of other messages people are trying to send
    An image is a visual demonstration when it is used to convey information which can best be presented visually
    A visual metaphor contains some claim figuratively by portraying someone or something as some other thing
    Visual symbols have strong associations that allow them to stand for something they represent
    Images can attract our attention to verbal arguments
    Images capacity to naturalize a situation make them powerful tools of persuasion

    Visual Analysis of Laura Davis writing portfolio

    I chose to conduct a visual analysis on Laura Davis writing portfolio, because I felt it most adequately showed the strong connections in visual argument between image and text. We see this on the very first, opening page o hr portfolio in which Laura provides her mini biography. Right before her text, is an image of herself. This provides the viewer with an image to connect to her textual “argument” about herself and her accomplishments. Birdsell and Groarke allude to this when they state that images can attract our attention to verbal arguments. Also, I noted that when I first looked at her opening page, I immediately jumped to the image of Laura before I even thought to begin reading the text accompanying the image. This is shown in Berger’s argument when he states that seeing comes before words. In Laura’s “About Me” section, the viewer scrolls down to see two images, one of Laura, dressed in her biking gear, obviously involved in a bike ride at the time; the other image is that of racing bicycles stacked up against a tree. The image of the bikes leaning against the tree creates a visual flag, that bike riding encompasses the majority of passion in her life. The two images provide a visual argument that bike riding is a large component in her life routine. Without the images Laura provides, we would be able to read and understand her love and passion but we would not be able to “naturalize” the situation (according to Birdsell and Groarke) and feel the tangible reality she creates through her images. Throughout Laura Davis portfolio there is much more text than image, but in my eyes the mere three images speak immediately louder then the text combined (when I say immediately, I mean instantly as opposed to having to cipher through her text to involve more detail to her accomplishments). This theory I’ve created alludes to Berger’s statement that images can be more rich and precise than literature in many ways.
    Word count: 343

  20. ctrehan16 said

    Upon visually analyzing Jon Michael Anzalone’s personal portfolio, it seems that his intent is to come across as professional and to the point. The home page of his portfolio is simplistic in the sense that there are no graphics or vibrant colors (aesthetically speaking) but it is this quality of the portfolio that makes it stand out in a positive light; less is more. Upon clicking each individual link, this allows one to explore the depth and range of his work. It is also important to note that the picture of Jon himself enhances his work as a whole because it makes the reader feel more of a personal connection with him; they are able to see the man behind the words.

    The link to his photo-illustrated essay assists in terms of connecting words with pictures; the photos capture the essence of the various subjects present throughout each piece of writing. The first essay (along with the five that follow) conveys this. The setting of the essay is on a train and there is a sense of emptiness within the speaker. Tying in Birdsell and Groarke in terms of their discussion surrounding visual symbols, the images that Jon uses perfectly represent the cold distance of an insider’s perspective (on the train) from viewing the outside world. The images further reiterate the key themes in each essay and act as “visual symbols.” Also the “visual culture” (the cultural assumptions that people have about certain kinds of images) comes into play as well with some of the photos that he uses. For example, all of the images in his photo-illustrated essay collection are black & white and in context of the writing would lead people to assume the feelings of isolation and distance that the speaker possesses.

    Jon’s portfolio as a whole does not contain an abundance of images, but the few visuals that are present speak loudly.

  21. Stephanie M. said

    The writing portfolio of Laura Davis is plain and straight forward. The ‘home page’ has an image of a woman for a visual flag (Birdsell & Groarke); it draws attention of the reader to announce that what is on the page in some way has to do with a woman. The flag would be correct, as it is a writing portfolio of the woman within the image. Something else that draws the eye would be Laura Davis’s name in bold letters at the top of the page, emphasizing the image below. Davis’s simple image could be seen as falling onto Berger’s idea of what images were originally used for, to represent that which is absent. Davis cannot place herself on the screen, even though she attempts to through words and puts an image of herself to aid in constructing who she is. There are a two other visual flags used in her biography. The first is a picture of Davis with a bike and a sign with an image of Texas on it. The sign is a visual symbol for Texas, and overall is an emphasis on Davis residing within that state. The second image contains two bikes, and a tent set up for camping outside. From this, the audience can draw that Davis enjoys bike trips, especially those that last more than a few hours. She uses images to represent herself, while all of the words on the page are used to represent her work. Based from the titles of her writing samples, it can be assumed that she writes about her passion, bikes, which the images in her biography detail as a part of her life. Davis’s portfolio is extremely plain to the eye, but it accomplishes what she needs it to. With all of the blank space, the reader’s eye searches for something to explain what is being shown. The image of a woman is small, and does not hold the eye very long, and it leads it to continue on through the words to her work samples. Laura Davis uses minimal images to represent herself, her passion, and her muse while the words on the page do the rest to showcase her work.

  22. katie23a said

    Visual Rhetorical Analysis of Jon Michael Anzalone’s Portfolio

    When I first navigate to the home page of Jon’s writing portfolio my first thought is that it is very plain. It was created using very muted colors: beige, blue, and shades of gray, all of which do not mesh well together. Bland colors along with uninteresting headers make for a boring first page that should instead grab the viewers attention. At the very top of the page Jon included a picture of himself alongside a short bio that seemed to include a couple of random facts about his life thus far. While I liked his idea of including a photograph of himself I did not like the photograph he decided to go with. It seems sloppy with his face half in shadow and a woman in the background distracting you from focusing on Jon, the author of the portfolio. I also feel that the text accompanying the picture leaves me confused as to who the author really is. In the Van Gogh example in Berger’s work he talks about how when text is side-by-side with an image it helps to clarify the image making the “image illustrate the sentence.” So then I am left confused; how do aviaries and Mumbai connect with Jon’s photo?

    Along with Jon’s writing portfolio he included a seperate photography portfolio. The home page for this site is slightly less boring than the home page of his writing portfolio and I say this because he includes a large and somewhat interesting photo on the entire left side of the page. This sets the viewer up for the kind of work they can expect to see in the photo portfolio. I am not sure if this was such a good idea to include this on the home page because all viewers will have a different perspective on the picture than the last person and many people may simply not like the photo. They could potentially decide right from the start to not enter his portfolio because they believe all of his work will be like this one photo, even though he could have work that may appeal to them. When Jon brocasts his work in this way he is leaving his interpretation completely up to each individual viewer and his vision is somewhat lost. If he were to show his pieces in an art show where the audience had to come to his work rather than his photos going out to the audience, than his vision and the authenticity of the work would remain intact, which is another one of Berger’s beliefs.

    While I personally do not care too much for the portfolio asa whole that is just my perspective. To the right person or to Jon’s target audience they could really enjoy his work and how it is presented.

  23. […] However, feedback is always good, and luckily a writing and editing class, geared toward both print and online mediums decided to critique my portfolio site. Check out some of the comments. […]

  24. Juliana Arazi’s portfolio is very similar to a blog layout with her tabs very organized and her About Me section right upfront. Her site is organized into Writings, Demonstrations, Book Responses, and Vids and Pics. I like the color palette, but her whole site seems to be a universal layout that she picked from a list without much thought. Some time could have been set aside for personalization in the layout department. She has no illustrations in her About Me section which I do not like. I want to see what this person looks like! There are some shots in her Videos and Pictures though.
    Her reflections on her projects are what I like most of her site. With her Video on Writing, she reflects on it in another side tab (this tab being on the front page too so a reader can see automatically that there IS a reflection of it).
    In her PowerPoint, I really like how it is in a whole page layout and when clicked, goes through the PowerPoint page by page.
    All in all, Juliana Arazi’s portfolio is small, but all her elements are there and clearly listed. Her reflections and projects are easy to access and easy to read. Her personal aspects are present as well and keeps the portfolio from being too commercial.

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