Monday, August 1, 2011

Photography Exhibit Update

"Bent At The Waist"

A while back, actually almost 3-1/2 months ago, I wrote about being inspired as well as encouraged to develop a photography exhibit of some of my work.  I have not given up on that endeavor and I have been busy developing and redefining my original concept.

A local business has offered me some space to display some of my photographs and to handle any sales that may arise.

The prints have been selected and the prints arrived two days ago.  Frames and other mounting materials have been ordered and through the power of the Internet I am able to track their progress across the USA for a scheduled 5 August delivery.

I have been using in New York City for several years for prints as well as my other photography equipment needs.  I have never been disappointed with their products or service.  I have even had them ship items to me in Thailand.  The prints that arrived the other day were sharp and correctly colored just as all the other prints that I have ordered over the years.

Only recently I have gotten into mounting and framing of my photographs.  After researching suppliers on the Internet, I selected for my supplies.  Documounts has an extensive selection of frames, mats, and supplies required to display photographs.  Like Adorama, you are given a tracking number for your shipment.  I found that the pricing from Documounts to be very good and their customer service to be excellent.

This will be the first public display of my work and the process has been a learning experience.  Developing an exhibit, albeit a small exhibit, requires a great deal of work.

Based upon the three books that I have produced, I have developed a style for displaying my photographs.  As in my books, the photographs will be surrounded by a black mat.  The displayed photographs will be placed in black metal narrow frames to avoid distracting from the photograph as well as for economical considerations. Separate labels will be mounted below each of the framed photographs.  The labels mirror the style utilized in my books; black background, yellow lettered captions, and white lettering for information.

Prior to producing labels, I had to give a name to each piece of work and determine a price for the work.  Developing a price for your work can be quite daunting,  Photography discussion groups on the web are filled with people asking for help to price their work.  Fortunately I have had plenty of experience in pricing work related to construction projects so I did not have to seek assistance. However I did some research on what other people were charging for similar photographs and evaluated those prices against my wants and needs to develop my pricing.
Labels Created In Photoshop Elements

With names and prices determined, it was time to develop the individual labels.  I had read on the Internet that one person produced their labels using Photoshop.  I decided to try and make my labels out of Photoshop Elements, a watered down $100 version of the $600 Photoshop software program.  Using Photoshop Elements, I was able to create individual 1.5 inch high by 3.5 inch wide labels.  I created a jpeg file to print three labels per 4 inch by 6 print.  When all the labels were completed, I uploaded the files to a flash drive, drove to a nearby CVS Pharmacy, and printed the photographs on a Kodak Kiosk.  In five minutes I had my prints and was ready to move on to the next step of the process.

The 4x6 prints were glued to 3/16"  thick foam board using Scotch Craft Stick.  After allowing the glue to thoroughly dry, I cut the individual 1-1/2" x 3-1/2" labels using a metal straight edge and an Exacto knife.  The edges of the foam board labels were painted with black acrylic craft paint.  After the paint was dry, two small circles of double edged sticky foam were affixed to each label to complete the process of making individual labels for each displayed photograph.

The next order of business was to design the layout for the display.  This required taking measurements of the space and drafting a scaled drawing to develop the arrangement for the photographs.  Either through dumb luck, beginner's luck or Divine intervention, the layout was rather easy as well as symmetric - and more importantly fit the available space!

Discussion groups on the Internet are filled with tales of anger, disappointment, and betrayal regarding people doing business.  The standard question that is sent in response to the initial posting is usually along the lines of "What does the contract say?"  invariably the original poster acknowledges that there was no formal contract.  Having dealt with many claims and a few of construction lawsuits over the years, I understand how important and helpful a contract can be when conducting business.  I am hoping to avoid a personal tale of woe so it was back to the Internet to research contracts and consignment agreements.  Once the research was completed, I developed a proposed contract for the exhibit that is intended to meet the needs and concerns of both parties involved.

It appears that the exhibit will be set up by the middle of August.  I will announce the location when it is available for viewing.

In the mean time I have made a submittal to a local gallery involving my original concept for an exhibition.

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