Been asked to do an exhibition...

Started Mar 27, 2012 | Discussions
lehill
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Been asked to do an exhibition...
Mar 27, 2012

I shoot a lot at the local nature preserve and center. The center people have asked me to exhibit some of my photos as part of their ongoing local artist exhibition series. Each exhibit is a 7 week run with a 2 hr presentation/reception.

I am allowed to sell my photos on display, pricing is typically ~$300 for a fancy framed and matted photo. I'm told typically 3-6 photos sell. I've seen several other photographer's work on display and believe mine are at least as good and in many cases better. Plus a local art gallery has volunteered to help advise on pricing (no doubt they will also happily sell me framing and matting too).

I have to come up with about $50 worth of printing costs for invitations and posters plus the framed matted photos. I usually see about 6? 8? photos on display. I would be happy to break even as I wind up with some nice stuff to hang at home.

Anyone done this before? Is there any chance of even breaking even? Or is this just some way to put stars in my eyes so the center can fill wall space for a few weeks?

Lance
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Rashkae
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Re: Been asked to do an exhibition...
In reply to lehill, Mar 27, 2012

Depends really.... Sometimes it's just smoke up your bum, but if the audience is right it can be profitable.

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cosmo13
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Re: Been asked to do an exhibition...
In reply to Rashkae, Mar 27, 2012

Framing is very expensive and will probably eat up any profit you make. That's why I do all my own framing. Invest in a good mat cutter and then scour the local flea markets and yard sales for frames. Mat board is also expensive but check around with some frame shops; they often discard some very usable scraps. Plus, do-it-yourself framing is fun, at least for me it is.

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jaizon
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Re: Been asked to do an exhibition...
In reply to cosmo13, Mar 27, 2012

Two things.

1) You can't sell if you don't show.

2) Perhaps you can show the prints framed, but actually
sell them at a reduced price unframed. This will allow the
buyer to choose their own frame (since they might not like
yours but have to pay for it anyway). I suppose it would
depend on what gallery will allow. But it wouldn't hurt to
ask.

Good luck.

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Steve Cohan
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This is the best advice.
In reply to jaizon, Mar 27, 2012

You can't wonder what will sell because visitors aren't robots. However, displaying your images can lead to other things. Do it without expectation and get your satisfaction from those enjoying your work.

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JudyN
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Re: Been asked to do an exhibition...
In reply to lehill, Mar 27, 2012

If you want to sell, it's a great way to get started and learn a few things.

Especially in this market, I can't imagine you can make a profit unless you frame them yourself. In the last few years I've been selling many more prints (matted or not, with a backer board and bag that fits perfectly) than framed pieces, so I agree offering prints is a good idea.

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lehill
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Re: Been asked to do an exhibition...
In reply to lehill, Mar 28, 2012

Thanks everyone for the very good tips and advice. I guess I'll go ahead and do it.
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venice
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Re: Been asked to do an exhibition...
In reply to JudyN, Mar 28, 2012

JudyN wrote:

If you want to sell, it's a great way to get started and learn a few things.

Especially in this market, I can't imagine you can make a profit unless you frame them yourself. In the last few years I've been selling many more prints (matted or not, with a backer board and bag that fits perfectly) than framed pieces, so I agree offering prints is a good idea.

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Could you describe the bags?

Best,

Bill

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Tubal
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Re: Been asked to do an exhibition...
In reply to lehill, Mar 28, 2012

Even if you don't make any money, it seems like it would be personally rewarding to be asked and to exhibit your work. It says a lot about the talent you have.

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Ralf B
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Forget the profit and .... enjoy!
In reply to lehill, Mar 28, 2012

Making a profit on a first show - tough.
Receiving an audience's feedback and recognition - priceless.

Enjoy the whole venue from planning, making contacts, setting up, running it and teardown. You will remember your first exhibit for the rest of your life.

Have fun!

Cheers,
Ralf

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lehill
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Re: Forget the profit and .... enjoy!
In reply to Ralf B, Mar 31, 2012

This is very true. I find photography very rewarding on a personal basis. When friends on facebook go nuts over my photo - that's icing on the cake. Recognition from strangers is another positive dimension I've never experienced before and perhaps even sweeter icing.

The profit is so I can buy more goodies for photography.
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Gary-West Sussex
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Re: Been asked to do an exhibition...
In reply to lehill, Mar 31, 2012

Choose your pictures carefully........the trick is finding stuff that people will want to hang on their wall.

You will get so many people say "wow that is a good shot" but still won't buy unless they can envisage it on their wall at home.........this means you have to think about overall composure and colours very carefully.....especially backgounds.

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JudyN
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Re: Been asked to do an exhibition...
In reply to venice, Mar 31, 2012

They are plastic bags made just the right size for various standard objects. For example, I sell 11x14 without mats and 8x10s with a mat in a bag that is 11x14.

Galleries require prints to be properly packaged, which means backer board and bag at minimum. I suggest a standard label with the title location, your contact info, whatever else you want. If you are doing limited edition, that info would go on this label as well. Some people call it a "certificate of authenticity".

I buy them from clearbags.com but I think there are other sources. I buy backer boards as well so I don't have to cut them out of mat board.

Judy

venice wrote:

Could you describe the bags?

Best,

Bill

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