Fotofest Meeting Place Portfolio Review

In April 2013 I attended the Fotofest Meeting Place Portfolio Review in Houston. I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time. Here’s the deal. Photographers pay around $900 to meet with 20 (somewhat known} photo curators/editors/gallery owners of your choice. You sit on a table facing them, you show them your pictures, and you make your pitch, hoping that they will want to show/buy/publish your work. You have exactly 20 minutes, when a new batch of photographers come in and sit down. It’s like speed dating the art world. 

I arrived with three different portfolios and found out quickly that there was time to show only one body of work, so adopted this strategy: 
“Hello. My name is Tony Mendoza. I have three portfolios and I would like you to choose which you would like to see.”
“OK.” The museum curator said. “Describe them.”
I started with: “I have a portfolio of flowers.”
I noticed a slight but perceptible expression of annoyance in the curator’s face. (Oh God! What are more boring and more common and less interesting than flower pictures!)
“Flowers. How interesting,” he said. “So what’s in the other portfolio?”
“I have a portfolio of photographs of my dog Bob.” 
Now the expression of annoyance turned to something closer to disgust. (Oh God! This guy wants me to spend 20 minutes looking at his puppy pictures!”)
The curator then asked, rather quickly, what was in the third portfolio? 
“The third portfolio is my autobiography, done with pictures and stories.” 
Now there was the look of disgust and a noticeable rolling up of his eyes, (Oh God! He expects me to sit here and look at his scrapbook pictures and hear boring stories about his boring life.)
What followed was a long pause as the curator tried to ascertain which of the three portfolios would be the least painful to have to make comments on for the next 18 minutes.
I was thinking: I should have brought my fourth portfolio. I photographed the first year of my daughter Lydia’s life.
(Oh God! Please spare me. Baby pictures!)