Sunday, July 10, 2011

And the Winner Is...

This is the final image they have selected for inclusion in the Long Shot photo marathon.

You can see all of the selected images on the web here if you want to check out the rest of the work selected for inclusion in this year's Long Shot.

Was it the image you expected? Do the images look like they go together or "match" in any way? Do you think you would pick some or all of these images? How do you think the finished show is going to look?

From my perspective, I'm not surprised that this image was selected. I think it's one of the better ones from the batch. When making my selections (deciding upon my "top 10" to submit for their consideration) I wanted to give them a choice. I opted to give them some "traditional" looking images (bees on flowers, pretty flowers, soft macro style work) and then some of my new pinhole series.

Had they chosen a bee on a flower, I would have said they opted for "something safe" and were looking to make sales. Had they chosen one of the more "whacky" pinhole shots, I would have said they were really looking to pull out all of the stops and get a little crazy. Instead, they chose something a bit unusual but still within the norms of "pretty" (or so I think.) I do feel this is one of the strong images from the batch, although it's not necessarily a "safe" image in terms of I'm not one hundred percent certain it will sell.

Regardless of their selection criteria, I'm now going to matte and frame the image so that I can ship it off to them later on this week. I'm happy with the choice of image they made and I'll try to do a good job printing and presenting it for them. Since this is a charity show, I have no idea what the image will (finally) sell for, or if it will even sell at all, but I will do my best to help them with this bit.

One thing people don't realize is that getting into a show is not the end point. There's a lot of publicity, press, promotion, etc. that goes into a show after you're in it. For example, if I were to post this on my Facebook page, along with a tag that says something like, "Hey Seattle Friends, check out this upcoming show!" it might get a few more people to go to, or at least hear about the show. It might get more people from Austin to wonder about the show in Seattle and maybe consider submitting work next year, and it will probably get even more folks (from all over the world) clicking on the link and viewing the show on-line. Likewise, it I post this to Twitter, same thing.

If this were a "big show" for me, I'd have to maybe even do interviews and be prepared to talk about my work. I'd probably do a press release and look to get some coverage of the show in my local papers as well as in national media (if I could.) There really is a lot to do after you get into the show, it's not just hang the stuff up on the walls and run. If you want your show, any show, to be a success, you have to work at it and, like many things in life, the harder you're willing to work, well, the "luckier" you become in terms of sales or just name recognition.

It can be difficult for me to explain this to beginners because, more often than not, they just want to rack up sales. They don't care about building a reputation, they just have it in their heads that exhibition, any exhibition, equates to "sales, sales, sales" and they somehow have been fooled into believing that random massive sales of work will just fall into their lap.

There was a great comedian who once said, "nothing ever fell into my lap that I didn't have to go to the dry cleaner's to get out later on." That's a very true statement. Luck is what you make of it and you have to work at being a successful artist to, well, to become a successful artist. Apologies if I have spoiled the fantasy for you, but, here in the "real" world, that's just how it works.

Now, speaking of "real world," I'm looking at a trip to Iceland and seriously considering pulling the trigger on it. Iceland? Me? Can you imagine? (Ok, so maybe one of the little "perks" of doing this is that, once in a while, when I catch a break, I can justify going to some uber-cool location for a grand photo op or two. Once a great while, you know, like when the weather is too hot in Austin to take any pictures and I really need a break from all of the paperwork.)

Until next time...

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