Student Adobe Portfolio Spotlight: Back to School with Mary Ann Putulin

First, how about an intro? What’s your name, where are you from?

Greetings! My name is Mary Putulin. I hail from Pembroke Pines — a great big Florida suburb smack-dab in the middle of Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. About three years ago, I made the jump across to the other coast to the Tampa Bay area for school.

What school are you currently attending? What are you studying?

I am actually a recent summer graduate from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and journalism.

When it comes to creative work, how do you get inspired? Who or what influences your work?

Being surrounded by like-minded, creative individuals fuels my fire. I’m constantly inspired by seeing others pursue their dreams and passions — and actually attaining them. In high school, I didn’t pay too much attention to what interested me. I was just getting by. It wasn’t until I moved away to college on my own and being in a new environment did I really begin to listen to what calls me. I spent a lot of time on my own during my whole first year. The moments of solitude allowed me to explore my surroundings, navigate being on my own, and create space for growth.

What creative project are you most proud of and why?

I am most proud of the food photography and styling internship at a food magazine I did last year. The position combined two of my favorite things: food and photography. Culinary school has always been in the back of my mind since grade school. I grew up in the kitchen helping my mom cook or bake. So the cooking part (yes, we cooked everything ourselves) of the position was the familiar part for me. When it came to editing, styling, and shooting part — I became a sponge and soaked up everything I observed. I didn’t know a lick about basic Photoshop or styling when I started, but I was trained and mentored by some talented ladies. I left the internship not only with knowledge in an exciting creative field, but with so much confidence in my abilities.

Has there been a particular course or assignment in school that you feel changed your creative work?

Absolutely. There’s actually a few electives I took that shifted and propelled my creative side. I took a couple food-related courses as part of a Food Writing and Photography Certification program that USFSP offers. Food writing and food photography are just two that I naturally drifted towards. Photojournalism I and II are also courses that acted as building blocks for me. The classes taught me how to get the most use out of my DSLR and to understand the basics of composition and lighting — ultimately the components of what makes a good photo. The assignments in these courses opened up my mind to new and creative opportunities, kept my creative eye alive, and helped build up my portfolio as well!

When it comes to showcasing and promoting your work, how does Adobe Portfolio play a part?

Being a student, living on a budget is basically a requirement. When I learned that there was no additional cost to creating a Portfolio and it was included in Creative Cloud, I was ecstatic to be able to share my work on a website and then onto Behance with ease. Portfolio allowed me to quickly create a platform to showcase my work for prospective employers, as well as for family and friends to see what I’ve been up to.

What do you think are the most important elements to focus on when creating a personal website?

First and foremost, a clean design and functionality of creating a personal website are most important to me. Our eyes are trained to first see things that we find aesthetically pleasing. I wanted to create a site that was simple and portrayed my work without eyesores and distractions. In the journalism courses, I was taught from day one how to write concisely while keeping my own voice. I think the same approach can be applied for developing a website that best portrays myself and my work.

Mary’s full website can be found here. If you would like to create a portfolio of your own, head to Adobe Portfolio to get started.

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