Photography is one of my favourite hobbies (yes, I have a lot of hobbies). Most photographers ultimately want to share their work. It comes down to the photographer as to why they do photography and what their individual goals are.
I have always had an interest in art however my talents are just not there. My family on my father’s side seem to all be very artistic. I always felt a little envious of everyone’s talents. To combat these feelings I have tried so many hobbies in hopes of finding something I am okay at doing. I could make so many ‘nailed it’ posts from my attempts that I could create a whole blog site just on that.
My husband bought himself a camera and was taking some amazing photos. He has so much talent and hates it when I tell people about how proud I am of his work. So, I hope he doesn’t read this post and if he does ‘love you’. I thought like anything I could give photography a crack. After expressing some interest, he bought me an entry-level Nikon DSLR camera and I have not looked back. After learning the settings, researching photography, attending workshops, launches and courses I started to improve my work. The more photos I took the more I wanted to show off my creations as finally there was no ‘nailed it’ tag line to my art.
This is why I have nominated on my 40 things to do before turning 40 number 40 – Photography Exhibition Photo Published or Sold.
Collecting a Portfolio:
The hobby has turned into something we do together as a common interest. We both have different areas we like to focus on, but we do them together. We go out on day trips together with the focus on photography. We go on holidays together where we target photography opportunities as our priority tourist things to do and any other experiences come second.
Each time I head out for a shoot I may only have one or two keepers or if I’m lucky up to 5 or 6. For that perfect photo, it is worth it as I have something special to keep and show off. After a couple of years my portfolio of photos started to get to a point that I have a variety of images.
I wanted to start sharing my work so I created a Facebook and Instagram page as well as join photography Facebook groups. Each time I finish with uploading my photos and selecting my favourites, I upload them onto social media.
I stumbled across a post on a Facebook page seeking landscape photographers for a photography exhibition at a local book store/café called Beyond Q. After due consideration, I decided why not, worse thing that can happen is that they will say no. They requested a copy of a link to my Facebook page and confirmed that they were interested. I was a little excited yet nervous. I had no idea what to expect or how it worked.
Photography Exhibition – Preparations:
The co-ordinator of the exhibition was fantastic and helped with any questions that I had. The photos were to be 4-6 images, size A4 or larger, matted or framed and have a plaque for each photo.
Photography Exhibition – Image Selection:
I decided to print my top favourite photos using a cheaper print shop that was a kiosk DIY set up to see how they would look in the larger print. Experience has taught me that photos can look so different printed to what they do on the computer screen. I soon narrowed down the selection and decided that a lot of my photos were bright colours so I decided to go with that as a sub theme to the exhibitions overarching landscape theme. I removed any photos that were monochrome (black and white) or based on subtle colours.
Photography Exhibition Frames or Matt:
Deciding to go with either a frame or just a matt took a bit of research. I learnt that to have an A4 photo placed in a matt with a backing would cost $20-$40 each. A matt is when there is a white type of cardboard around the image. It is similar to how a frame works with the white cardboard within the frame you can get from most stores however it does not include the frame. You can also spend a lot of money on frames. My decision in the end was to purchase frames from Ikea that cost $15-$20 each. I have not framed any of my work before and I admit it really improves the appearance.
Photography Exhibition Prints:
Next was to decide how to get the final images printed. I usually go to the local mall to a stores photo kiosk and do the self-service. This time I contacted a professional printing company and I could not believe the difference in quality. The paper was a lot thicker, the prints had no markings or areas that had print markings on them. I was also able to get a small white border around the photos to make the framing a little easier.
The professional printing company could print any size or shape I wanted and the price was surprisingly competitive. To get the test run images from the ‘kiosk style’ print company it cost me $4 an image. The final run of prints from the professional printing company was $55. The $55 was their minimum charge so I asked for as many images as possible for the $55. I received 16 A4 sized images for the $55. This equated to $3.45 per image. Next time I want larger prints I know who I will be approaching.
Photography Exhibition Plaque:
I had no idea how to do this. It was the 11th hour when I realised I needed plaques. I decided that I wanted them to stand out a little so I took a risk and got crafty. Luckily it will not join my ‘nailed it’ hall of fame. At the event, I noticed other photographers just used white unlined flash cards. Next time I will take the easy way.
Photography Exhibition Price:
The plaques were required to indicate the name of the piece, my name and the price. The price is what I struggled with along with a few other new photographers. In coming up with my fee I calculated how much it cost me to hang the picture so the photo, frame, cost to hang the image, percentage the exhibition takes on sale and my time taken plus some extra on top. The co-ordinator suggested cost x 100%. Given it was my first exhibition I decided to not put much in the way of profit so I would only make $20 per photo if sold. I was told I should charge more but I am sure I will work my way up to it.
The Opening Exhibition Night:
The exhibition opening night was great. There was various entertainment including massage, psychic, caricature artist and competitions. Overall the organiser did a great job of organising the event. Each photographer was invited to talk about their work.
One of the biggest things I got out of the exhibition was that I met some lovely local and talented photographers.