This happens to be the first year that I've applied to a show that requires a booth shot because a) I don't really have a good one yet and b) it was another requirement that made me nervous and self-eliminate before even applying. But this year, I was determined to face new things head-on and stop being a whimp!
I edited a photo that I took of my booth a few years ago and came up with what you see in this post. A few weeks ago I attended a jury showing and saw hundreds of booth examples. My photo would not be considered the best (by a long shot). It would also not be the worst either.
I met with, Larry Sanders, expert craft photographer and one of the show's judges and asked him what is the purpose of the booth photo and what makes one better than another. He said that the purpose of a booth photo is for the jurors to see:
- The scale of the work that is being shown. It is often difficult to know the size of a piece and it could be a determining factor for an artist. This is not the case for jewelry however as the size of the jewelry most often can't be determined.
- It shows the jurors that the person applying has more than the 3-6 pieces that are usually required for jury slides. Some artists will make a few nice pieces to get into a show without adequate inventory to sell. This is bad for a show.
- It shows the professionalism of the display. In other words, orange crates are not very appreciated these days at shows. Nice display cases, nice shelving, nice walls are always a bonus. Curtains that cover the harsh white walls of a tent are a big help.
- It can be a tie-breaker between two or more equally talented artists. Favor would be given to the one with the better looking display.
- Some shows will actually give the booth a score that is added to the score for ranking artists.
A Few More Tips from Mama...
- When taking your own photos, keep people and anything that identifies who you are out of the image. If I knew more about photo editing, I'd have taken the man in the yellow shirt out of my image. Dropping the sides of my tent would have also helped.
- I recommend using iprintfromhome.com for turning your digital images into slides. They are very cheap, easy and fast!
- Use a professional if possible. Like I said about jury slides, why take chances when the only representation you have of yourself are a few images. I'll be giving Larry a call when I'm ready for my next one.