The Anatomy of an Art Fair / Craft Show (Part 2)
AHHHH…the number of times I hear people say, “It must be wonderful doing something you love to make money”….and yes, it is. But let’s face it folks. It is HARD WORK. Really hard work.
The jury process is pretty unpredictable. First off, you need to spend time creating those “special” pieces that you will have sent out to be photographed. This will take some time. Most shows require 4-5 photos (slides) of your work and 1 of your booth. So, here we have the major difficulty of getting the slide of you booth!! Not easy! You can either “hire” someone to come where you have your booth set up and take photos, or try to do it yourself. Hiring someone to actually come and take photos would take major bucks, I suppose. So far, I have used photos we have taken, or some from a show that I do in Atlanta where they do have a photographer who will take photos of your booth.
Very rapidly the ‘slide’ thing is becoming obsolete. Almost all places are now asking for digital photos. This does NOT generally mean it can be a shot you take with your digital camera. Many people are automatically eliminated from the jury process for not having professional photos. Believe me, I know! During the first years that I was starting to do shows, I had a local professional do several slides for me. I paid for them (not a lot), but I considered them professional slides. Not so. We had a member of our guild who actually was a juror for several big shows. He looked at my slides and told me that they were not at all professional photos. CRUSHED!!!! So on I go…..a friend from the Metro Detroit Polymer Art Guild referred me to a photographer who does great work – link http://www.azadphoto.com Azad does extremely nice work, and as for pricing, he is more reasonable then most. Please feel free to check out his web page for his beautiful photography. I have gone to him twice; he will do both slides and digitals for you. And of course, there is the famous “Jerry Anthony”. Jerry Anthony is probably the most well known photographer for jewelry. I sometimes think the bigger shows think “well, if Jerry Anthony didn’t do these photos, why bother looking!” Honest! You can see Jerry’s work at http://www.jerryanthonyphoto.com/HTML/about.htm . Jerry’s work is very good also. Although somewhat pricier than Azad. I have spent over $1000.00 at one shot to get slides/digitals. It is not an unexpected amount. Another thing to think about! Don’t ever take your slides to a drug store or big box store to get them copied! They will not come out like your original! They are often off-center, the color is not quite right, and are of a lot lower quality. I found a place in Michigan that does excellent slide copies. But of course, ask your photographer for extra copies. He can get them the best for you. If you run out and need more, research a photo lab to make your copies. Not all photo labs are equal. Another thing learned from experience!
OK…enough for today! More later this week on the Anatomy of an Art Show~