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Thread: Best Practices for Presenting Work to Local X (X = galleries, shows, clubs, etc.)

  1. #11
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Best Practices for Presenting Work to Local X (X = galleries, shows, clubs, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by scheinfluger_77 View Post
    Great news Randy, good luck.
    Thank you
    sin eater

  2. #12
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    Re: Best Practices for Presenting Work to Local X (X = galleries, shows, clubs, etc.)

    dpn, Sacramento is large enough to have a variety of venues for exhibiting photography. I live in a Missouri town with a 9,000 population which has an annual arts & crafts show that draws close to 10,000 visitors and a new art and culture gallery with a variety of exhibits. A local coffee shop displays some art by area artists. I've even seen nice galleries in smaller towns. Walt Disney's hometown of Marceline MO (population about 2000) has a gallery, art activities, and an annual Toonfest that draws familiar artists from around the country. Larger towns have much more opportunities. The Chamber of Commerce may have information on these. A camera club is another source of information, and the one I belong to 100 miles away in Kansas City has an annual exhibit.

    In a large town it may be difficult to for an unknown photographer to attract attention and customers. There is more competition from amateurs, students, professionals, and other wannabees. The expectations from potential buyers is likely much higher. However, there should be more opportunities for contact with your peers. Do keep a few of your best photographs framed and ready for whatever chance comes your way. A few unframed but matted prints may open some doors. I also have notebooks with 8.5x11 prints for quick and easy viewing. Never skimp on matting and framing. For years I cut my own mats and even cut down window glass for frames. No more! By selecting photographs that mat and frame to 16x20 and by buying mats and frames in quantity, the cost is moderate. It also makes a neat exhibit. When most prints in an exhibit are the same size, transportation is simplified. Others advise choosing a mat and frame that best enhances each individual photograph. That has advantages, too, but takes more time and money. A photographer who has the time and basic knowledge can save money by matting and framing. A large photo printer is economical for some of us. My Epson 3800 lasted 6 years and well over 6000 prints. The current Epson P800 is even better, and has produced maybe 2000 prints in almost two years. Complete control over the photographic process from snapping the shutter to presenting a framed print can ensure quality control, a good selling point for some buyers.

  3. #13

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    Re: Best Practices for Presenting Work to Local X (X = galleries, shows, clubs, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    I suggest you first get to know the people that are responsible for showing work at the local galleries. In my experience, "who you know" is much more important than what your work looks like. This would be for "real" art galleries, not vanity galleries. For those, you pay to play. And finally, for local art shows/festivals, sign up to Zapplication and start applying. You'll probably get in regardless, unless it is a very large and selective show. Get your feet wet first with smaller local shows. Be prepared to spend some serious money getting up and running with a decent setup. Art Festivals are a different animal and there are some good threads here in this subforum I started that should help.

    I had a show in one of the larger galleries in GA and I first had to get to know the gallery director and talk about the project I was working on. Once they were interested the final decision was made by some committee made up of local rich people that gave money to the gallery. Their decision was based off of 4x6 prints I made at Wal-Mart. They didn't want anything larger.

    You live in CA so very different place. Here in GA the arts are not well funded or encouraged. So perhaps you will have better luck or a different experience. But again, I would suggest that interpersonal relationships with gallery directors or anyone related to the gallery is probably most important. And any work you show should be a completed or in-progress project that is interesting and relevant, not disparate photographs of random things.
    I don't know if that's good advice everywhere, but in Oklahoma, it's the way things are done. You could be an amazing, multiple award winning artist and not get anyone to even return a phone call. Or you could be a hack with a great personality and lots of contacts and have places begging for your work. Seriously. Some of the best contacts that I've made are alcoholics who are regulars at the bars near the galleries you're interested in. They don't seem to know much or care much about art, but they do know the people you need to know, and they know how to get your name in their ears in a way in which they'll listen. And they're often do it for the price of a few drinks and an excuse to feel a part of something potentially fun.

  4. #14
    dpn's Avatar
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    Re: Best Practices for Presenting Work to Local X (X = galleries, shows, clubs, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    dpn, Sacramento is large enough to have a variety of venues for exhibiting photography.
    Indeed, we have a photography club/gallery that I haven't joined and an active arts district with at least a dozen galleries.

    I also honestly didn't know that there were online "Call for artists" clearinghouses of shows and galleries seeking work and spelling out submission requirements.

    I've gotten so comfortable living in a purely digital world (this forum, Flickr, Instagram, etc.) that the "real world" of photography (including such wonders as real prints and real people looking at them) feels intimidating and alien. Thank you all for the advice and encouragement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    A few unframed but matted prints may open some doors. I also have notebooks with 8.5x11 prints for quick and easy viewing. Never skimp on matting and framing. For years I cut my own mats and even cut down window glass for frames. No more! By selecting photographs that mat and frame to 16x20 and by buying mats and frames in quantity, the cost is moderate. It also makes a neat exhibit. When most prints in an exhibit are the same size, transportation is simplified. Others advise choosing a mat and frame that best enhances each individual photograph. That has advantages, too, but takes more time and money. A photographer who has the time and basic knowledge can save money by matting and framing. A large photo printer is economical for some of us. My Epson 3800 lasted 6 years and well over 6000 prints. The current Epson P800 is even better, and has produced maybe 2000 prints in almost two years. Complete control over the photographic process from snapping the shutter to presenting a framed print can ensure quality control, a good selling point for some buyers.
    I hear you. I have an Epson P600 that I use to make digital negatives for my alt process prints, and to print "copies" of my lumens (they look great on Epson metallic glossy paper -- almost like wet photo paper). I've purchased bulk packs of 11x14 and 16x20 simple white archival mat board, and I cut my mats and window mount my own stuff. To date, this has felt pretty Onanistic -- I've got a nice pile of matted prints, but my walls are full and I want to share my best work with real people. Seeing a nicely-matted, hand-coated print in person is a *very* different experience than seeing that same image in a small jpeg on a phone, but I've only really been sharing the images via the latter method.

    I think the approach I'm going to take, in addition to trying to meet some local folks, joining the local photography club, and submitting my stuff to some contests, is to make some "theme" portfolio boxes with 8x10 prints matted to 11x14. In addition to being a fun little project, I'll have some nice ready-made boxes of reasonably-sized, easily-transportable, and well-presented prints I can carry around.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  5. #15

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    Re: Best Practices for Presenting Work to Local X (X = galleries, shows, clubs, etc.)

    If you are looking to get portfolio reviews you may have something locally like this Chicago group: http://filterphoto.org/portfolio-reviews/

    They have an annual meeting with talks, workshops that includes these reviews. I'm not a participant but I can see that this would be a way to share your work with a lot of knowledge people in the field. They do charge a fee.

  6. #16
    dpn's Avatar
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    Re: Best Practices for Presenting Work to Local X (X = galleries, shows, clubs, etc.)

    I'm lucky: the local photography club/gallery appears to offer biweekly print nights and irregular portfolio reviews:

    https://www.viewpointgallery.org/con...evels-benefits

    Now to screw up the gumption to go. ;-)

  7. #17

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    Re: Best Practices for Presenting Work to Local X (X = galleries, shows, clubs, etc.)

    When I asked the same question in my youth, it was a very different time. In the day, 1950's and 60's, b&w silver gelatin, dry mounted prints were the norm. They did not have to be large; my early work was 4x5 contact prints, and later, 8x10 contact prints. Presentations were in person; slides were desired by some galleries and museums, although a poor representation of a silver print. I never sent slides, but did not hesitate to drive cross country to make a presentation. Today, a good scan is an acceptable alternative. Most competitions, if one wished to go that route, were free.

    So, to your question; personal contact is important, presentation should be of your best work, and most importantly, have a cohesive group to show. Above all, you need a strong passion for what you are doing, and an idea of what it is you want to achieve. Everyone, it seems, is a photographer today; you will have stiff competition for wall space.

    As mentioned earlier, you are fortunate to have such a fine gallery at your doorstep, Viewpoint Gallery in Sacramento. The members are a talented group, many fine photographers, and a diverse offering of programs. Be sure to check them out, you will find like minded individuals, and likely develop friendships. I exhibited there a dozen years ago, before the gallery moved to the present downtown location. This is an exciting time in your life, and in the field of photography.

    Wishing you great success.

  8. #18
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    Re: Best Practices for Presenting Work to Local X (X = galleries, shows, clubs, etc.)

    Thank you so much for the very kind words and advice Merg. I really appreciate them.

    I've decided to prepare two 11x14 portfolio boxes of my best work, printed in 8x10 and window matted, and separated with archival tissue. The two boxes will have coherent themes. (1 is of lumens, and 1 is of cyanotypes on fumed silica.)

    I've got a friend who is a Viewpoint member, and I'll be going to the next print night with him.

    I really enjoy networking in my professional life, and I'm looking forward to meeting other area "serious" photographers.

    All the best,

    Dan

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  9. #19

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    Re: Best Practices for Presenting Work to Local X (X = galleries, shows, clubs, etc.)

    At the very least, wear a clean shirt and have a good joke memorized.
    I don't know, but it worked for me when I applied for a bar tending gig.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  10. #20

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    Re: Best Practices for Presenting Work to Local X (X = galleries, shows, clubs, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by dpn View Post
    I've decided to prepare two 11x14 portfolio boxes of my best work, printed in 8x10 and window matted, and separated with archival tissue. The two boxes will have coherent themes. (1 is of lumens, and 1 is of cyanotypes on fumed silica.)
    You might want to skip the interleaved tissue. It will just make viewing the images fussier. The prints are protected by the window mat.

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