Advice for professionals: get professional advice!

Enmeshed in an active hunt for art shows and display methodologies for my wife’s photography, I wanted to take a moment to highlight this event, which is something Mike’s Camera has done before and will hopefully do again. You can click through for the full description, but here are a couple reasons it stands out as a really unique opportunity…

A trained eye is a valuable resource

We’ve partnered with the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art to bring in a professional curator. A curator from BMoCA! I can not overstate how useful a tool that is for the aspiring fine art photographer. While I would be among the first in line to insist on the importance of ignoring “rules” in art, willful subversion and awareness of the “rules” (which are, often, there for a reason) is much more powerful than simple ignorance or petulance. Likewise, I support the artist 100% in forging a unique path, but that path can be much more effective when the artist has a broader understanding of the world around that path—especially if your goal is to sell art!

Getting input on the artistic content of your photography from someone who has seen a lot of it (and has seen how it affects the public) is like getting a drone portrait of your neighborhood. You know your house intimately, but few of us could imagine the bird’s view without assistance.

One more note on the value of a highly-experienced perspective: Maroon Bells, high in the Rocky Mountains, is absolutely beautiful. However, if you’re trying to sell your photography or establish a reputation as an artist, your photo of Maroon Bells is unlikely to help you in any way. The number of times every single print technician in Colorado has seen the same exact picture is incalculable. I won’t go as far as to say “kill your darlings,” but it’s a hard truth that some of our favorite photos may not be unique enough to stand out, and a truth you may not realize unless you hear it from someone who’s seen the lay of the land.

(The technical advice session from our highly trained salespeople is a great benefit as well, but you can schedule a consultation session with one of them any time! Just call your store or stop in and see if someone has a little time.)

“Please bring print versions of your images.”

Even (or maybe especially) for those of us that are interested in pursuing the artistic side of photography, it’s easy to forget what a big difference it makes to bring your shots into the physical realm. You can (and should) print your photos anyway, but I think the incentive to make a small, printed portfolio is a great side bonus.

Show yourself!

Similarly, it is no small thing that participants will be included in a small showing of the best work brought to these sessions. Art shows are easy to find in school, but after you’ve graduated it can be daunting to find a way to show it off as a “grown-up.” Fortunately, it’s one of those things that gets easier with practice. My wife didn’t show for months after her graduation, but she’s sold at two shows in the last month. Once you take the plunge (and get a taste for the gallery life), you’ll find it’s not usually so hard to keep doing. And even when it is, it’s important to remember that tenacity is one of the keys to making it. In any case, though it’s a small showing, it’s still a showing! Invite your tribe, and be proud of the work you do.

Be proud of it!

What do you have to lose?

If you see the value of what I’ve described, it’s certainly worth $89 and an afternoon; the fact that you essentially get your money back in the form of a $50 custom framing credit and a matted 16
x 20″ print should make it a piece of cake. Sign up today! Expand your perspective, build your portfolio, and show off what you do. You might even end up selling that big print!

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