Preparing for a show


Completely Counter-dependent
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Dec 11, 2006
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Mid-Atlantic US
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I have been pretty low key about showing pictures; that is, I have a web site but that is mainly one way, people look and rarely say anything.
Except for friends and people on various web sites, no one has looked at my pictures in a concerted way.

Up until now, I've not applied for shows or joint shows or anything for a couple of reasons.
First, I am not a thinker, my pictures are of what I see and it seems the fashion that pictures now must be about an idea.
I have no grand ideas and so that leaves me out. I am old-fashioned.

Secondly, it is much easier to remain an undiscovered genius than to be a discovered patzer.

But, I went with a friends to see a photo show by another friend - and really liked his work.
While we were there, in my absence, my companion talked up what I have done - and so did the photographer showing - and I ended up in one group show in a couple of months and one next year - in a much nicer venue. Neither of this are big deals, just local galleries, but because of their location they get an enormous amount of traffic.

The expense has been fairly substantial, 16 matching frames plus mats plus prints for the first show; I probably can re-use all of the hardware except for some mats and prints, for the second.
The work involved has been more than I thought, first the problem of trimming down possibles to the desired amount, keeping in pictures that I don't like as much because of the continuity, leaving out stuff for the same reason.

Now, I'm down to the end, just ordered some prints to try a local printer, ordered some mats for the same, unpacking frames, adding hangers, cleaning glass.
They are to the gallery in mid-August and now I'm just trying to figure how to transport 16 frames without chips, bangs or dents, but I'll get to it.

The biggest thing about this is not the work, it is putting my ego on the line.
At the very best, people will buy some (I don't care that much since this is sunk costs and I need the frames anyway) and young virgins will want to have sex with me to get the benefit of my vital creative juices. (I'm afraid that's a small possibility.)(very small says my wife)

At the worst, no one will say anything and then I'll have to look forward to the other show batting 0 out of 1.

Well Lew, I know the feeling... but other than hoping that it goes well, I don't have much to offer.
Well Lew, I know the feeling... but other than hoping that it goes well, I don't have much to offer.

You could send money.

I could... perhaps if I hadn't spent so much on new lighting gear in the last couple of months, I would have some to send you (I still wouldn't send it, but I might have some that I could have sent).
If I had any idea how much work, not to mention cost, a show would be - even a group show- I would have thought twice.

Frames, mats, assembly, etc.
(Just putting on hangers, cleaning glass, assembling and wrapping the damn things for transport takes me 25-30 minutes each.)

The mats came from - incredibly fast, relatively cheap and nicely cut.

I've done one each landscape and portrait, BW and color to see how mat and frame look.
As part of first time jitters, I'm doing this three weeks early so I can order other mat colors or more glass if some disaster occurs.
Another full day and I'll have all of them ready for drop off when I return from long weekend in San Francisco.

All this for an ego stroke; it might be less expensive to get a mistress.

OP, you spend thousands to get the pix, spend a little more to build up a name. And even if not much build up, you will still enjoy something few other photogs get to enjoy...a showing!

Send in some pix of the gallery shows and the people perusing your work.

Are you going to the meet and greet opening?

Maybe give some Powerpoint presentations as another alternative for even more pix promotion.
I'd be interested to know Lew how this goes for both shows (and congrats). Having seen your work on here the opportunity is well deserved. I've started submitting to juried exhibits so it would be good to know how the process for this show goes for you.
i'm doing the same thing of sorts Lew, starting to get frames and prints for a booth at a car show this winter. i'm going in with the notion I may not gain one job out of it, and just going to see what happens and enjoying it for what it is. If you want ego stroked you could try this new site called facebook. I hear people like anything you put on there.
The show opened last week and the artists reception was today.
In the spirit of community, the artists pitch in and bring some of the finger food stuffs.
My wife bought stuff to make chocolate chip cookies and then took ill, so I decided to bake.

It was my first time ever baking but there were only a few ingredients and the recipe was quite simple- how hard could it be?
Well I made enough cookies to use up 24 ounces of chocolate bits - that's two very large platters full.

Many of the cookies looked as if they had been tortured and made to confess but some others looked like normal chocolate chip cookies.
The kitchen, unfortunately, looked as if medium size bag of flour had exploded somewhere near the oven followed by a maniac spraying butter.
I was so sick from tasting the dough that I couldn't look at the pile of cookies without more than a tinge of nausea.

Anyway, the opening was well attended.
People liked my photos and just loved the chocolate chip cookies.
That's wonderful, Lew - I hope you enjoyed the evening and had some nice feedback on your work. :) That's what it's all about, the sharing and interaction.

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