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Thread: An idea - Good or Bad?

  1. #1

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    An idea - Good or Bad?

    a group of photographers are looking to hold an open exhibition for just photography,we can get a prestigious gallery at a reasonable price to hold it but now looking for pitfalls and ways around them,i was thinking of charging 10 per picture (maybe limited to one pic per entry with max size of A3),a cash prize of a grand for best in show,
    hopefully we might also get some sponsorship from camera companies and dealers so we could give out more prizes,it would be open to anyone within the UK, my first thought is if people send their entries in by post it could be a logistical nightmare to get their works back to them after the show,
    I am also thinking frames with glass could also be a problem, one way around that is getting the entrants to mount on foamboard or similar,
    Hopefully if the idea takes off it might turn into something big, i dont think there is anything like it at the moment (yep there are art opens but i cant think of anything purely photographic), thoughts and opinions welcome,cheers martyn

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    re: An idea - Good or Bad?

    I was recently involved in an art exhibition in a wonderful venue. The rules were that each artist was allowed to make three submissions. Each submission cost 15.00 and none were guaranteed entry. Most artists were willing to risk losing 45.00 for a chance to exhibit in such a good venue alongside some other excellent artwork. The result was a grand venue, extremely high quality work on display and a tidy profit for the charity which organised it. I will be submtting three entries myself for next years show.

    Hope thats helpful.
    Tom

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    re: An idea - Good or Bad?

    hi Tom yes thats really helpful,i had thought about not guaranteeing entry,at the end of the day nobody wants to see a load of below average submissions,do you have to take your work in or send it by post ? cheers martyn

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    re: An idea - Good or Bad?

    In this case you had to take it in but it was sold as The South West Art show or something like that. I think confining yourself to a region would probably be a good idea if you want people to hand in in person.

    The initial submissions were made by way of sending the organisers a jpeg. A process much simplified for a photography exhibition!

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    Re: An idea - Good or Bad?

    jpg initial submission will be a good idea,in one sense i suppose we could actually get submissions printed ourselves but that would leave us wide open to punters saying we printed it dark on a purpose or got the colours wrong,lol,
    It would be easier to have the exhibition local but nationwide would really put it on the map and that would hopefully attract prime sponsors,
    As you mentioned previously a prime venue makes all the difference, we have two in Nottingham, the contemporary and the New art exchange, we would go with new art exchange http://www.thenewartexchange.org.uk/building.php
    it probably needs the publicity

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    Re: An idea - Good or Bad?

    I think printing the images yourself is opening yourself up to a BIG minefield which you probably dont need. People are very picky when it comes to their art!

    If you are set on going nationwide and actually getting a nationwide response then I guess accepted submissions would have to be sent by post. From what I hear from a friend who has a gigantic picture framing operation, sending frames with glass by post tends to be fairly unsuccessful. This leaves you in the positon of not only asking your entrants to send by insured post, but having to return their item to them the same way, which is going to cost a bob or two, which obviously will in turn drive up sale prices in your exhibtion.

    Instead You could require that your entrants put their images behind acrylic instead of glass. Ive seen it done but have no idea of the costs involved in framing this way. Infact, I would suggest that you require a certain type of frame to be used across the board. That way you would avoid the exhibition looking thrown together and hodge-podge!

    I love the idea of a nationwide exibition, The building looks great and the sponsorship idea would probably attract better entrants. I would definitely submit some work myself...... But probably wouldnt get accepted!
    That said, the whole thing would be a huge undertaking, even for a team of people. I really hope you can find a way to make it work. The best of luck to you!

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    Re: An idea - Good or Bad?

    thanks for your input Tom, at the moment its just an idea at the drawing board stage, maybe the foamboard would be a better idea, that way a fancy frame wouldnt prejudge anyone, we have been pretty successful in running a monthly art market in the middle of Nottingham and through that have got well in with the local council,cheers martyn

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    Re: An idea - Good or Bad?

    This sounds very interesting.

    Keep us informed, Martyn.

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    Re: An idea - Good or Bad?

    You could say in your Rules section that no entries will be returned unless a stamped self addressed envelope is provided with the entry.

    Have you considered what to do about possible lost or damaged submissions?

    What are the entry criteria? Any subject? Color or B&W? Who would be the judges and what criteria would they use to judge the entries? (For example, how can one judge if a documentary photo is better or worse than a landscape photo?). Good luck.

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    Re: An idea - Good or Bad?

    Why do the entries need to be behind glass or acrylic? Most exhibitions I have been to recently are just mounted (on mountboard surprisingly enough) and hung. Even in public spaces I wouldnt have thought there is a need to cover the picture, it creates glare and viewing dificulties.

    You could also say in the entry form that entries cannot be returned, a bit like the BBC do. When you consider the cost of the print and that of the board, the postage might exceed that.

    To get rid of entries afterwards you could have a grand charity auction of unsold pictures!

    Just set a size say 20x16 and then the window size is up to the photographer. Do not print or mount them yourself unless you really want to spend the next 6 months nose to the grindstone.

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    Re: An idea - Good or Bad?

    I like the idea of the grand auction and it may work. I think the likelihood of succeeding in this way would be multiplied many times if you were an established event with a certain amount of prestige involved in exhibiting. However, as as start up event, I think that if you aim to appeal to a very high standard of photographer, they probably value their work at a much higher price than their printing costs and would be worried about devaluing their product.

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    Re: An idea - Good or Bad?

    some great ideas, i like the idea of a charity auction but i appreciate Toms thoughts,i also thought that people might wait until the auction to see if they can buy cheaper,
    we would have to do some comprehensive rules to cover all angles (ie proof of posting is not proof of delivery)
    As far as judging goes we were hoping to get a celebrity photographer in to do the final judging,this could cause friction if say the judge was a landscape tog in the fact he/she would maybe choose a landscape shot as the winner,another idea is let the public decide by either an online vote or casting a vote in person at the exhibition,we could have prizes for best landscape,best natural world etc etc.
    One of the main criteria is that it will be a true "open",one of my colleagues suggested only having it open to amateurs but was outvoted,cheers martyn

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    Re: An idea - Good or Bad?

    I think maybe this is a good idea, but I don't like the idea of being judged by a professional, if you have seen the winners of Guardian competitions you will see why I think their idea of good is very very odd.
    On the other hand, I don't like to be judged by the general public; because I know the putty cat is the winner.

    What if it is just an exhibition, sizes minimum A4 to max A1 with A1 costing 8X more than A4 with A4 costing 5 say all mounted on card and auctioned after the event or held for collection for up to a week.

    Also would be nice if it is restricted to amateur photographers, reason is the professional has all the equipment and can demand more from location; for instance if asked to take photo of a venue, they can demand to be allowed access at sunrise or sunset and demand things are moved, such as a vehicle ect ect, and it just plain ain't fair to have to compete against them.

    On a last note, fees should only be banked if the photo is displayed; otherwise some might think it is a scam.

  14. #14

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    Re: An idea - Good or Bad?

    Hi Steve i can understand your concerns about judging, i think prize money would attract more people especially if they have to pay to exhibit their work,there is also an art exhibition here in Nottingham that charges 15 per entry and they seem to get a lot of attention even tho you still get charged if your work isnt chosen,
    i would imagine that once the exhibition was up and running then people wont think its a scam,advertising is the way forward and it doesnt have to cost much once you get the daily papers involved, the main thing is to iron out all the problems before anything is set in stone,in my view you only get one chance to get it right,cheers martyn

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