writings on photography & other media
Don Snyder
Portfolio Six


Portfolio Six

NPF 548, Modern Movements / Issues in Photography, is offered annually as an upper-level elective course in the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University. 

For the past several years the course has been taught as an ideas workshop about the nature of contemporary photographic practice, with specific topics varying each year. In 1997-98, students began the practice of creating work in response to topics chosen for the course, and developed bodies of critical writing to contextualize the images produced. In the spring of that year, an experimental digital publication, Images and Ideas, was generated by class members, and the editorial team that produced this book went on to found function, the School's annual showcase of student work.

Portfolio One, the first in an ongoing series of limited-edition portfolios, containing original work and artist statements, was proposed and designed by students in the course in the Fall of 1998. Its success was immediate, and it established what has now become a tradition: each year, students select a personal image to publish in portfolio form, and write an accompanying Artist Statement. The image and writing together represent the collective class response to topics outlined in the course, and critical directions identified during the term.

Each portfolio is produced in a limited edition, one copy for each student and one copy to become part of the School's permanent Print Collection in the Mira Godard Study Centre. All production work, including printing, design, sequencing, text editing and digital pages, is done by class members.

As of the end of 2003, some three hundred portfolio sets have been made, each containing between 44 and 52 original prints each.

Course Materials

2010 Function and Image Arts: Origins and Change
2010 Portfolio Eleven
2009 Portfolio Ten
2008 Portfolio Nine
2004 Alphabetically by Title: Afterword
2004 Portfolio Seven
2003 Appendix
2003 Introduction - Function #5
2003 Portfolio Six
2001 Introduction - Function #3
2000 Introduction - Function #2
1999 Introduction - Function #1
1998 Images and Ideas
1985 Elite's Paces