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Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

Hi All,  I have yet to qualify for a "real" art show - have only done arts and crafts type venues.  I just bought a tent last year, and now am trying to improve my booth shot.  I read all of Larry's excellent tips on booth photography, and tried to incorporate as much as I could, not being a photographer myself.  Please feel free to comment on any areas you think I could improve or anything you might like about it!  Thank you!

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I am far from an expert on booth shots. LB would be better.

My opinion:

Tighten up the mesh, tent and sidewalls to eliminate wrinkles.

If you are showing a print bin, put something in it - looks less staged.

Think about better symmetry and balance with the positions of the hanging works. Including the choice of which frames go where.

Crop out most of the roof framing.

As ridiculous as this seems, make sure all the frames / hangings are level. Some being tilted is a disturbance and distraction to the juror.

Thanks, Larry!

I agree with all your comments. Did not realize there were so many wrinkles in the sidewalls.  Only third time I have set the tent up - will work on that! 

May I also ask your opinion of using different frames for each piece?  Do you think it would be better to have a more consistent frame choice among all my pieces? 

Depends on how you will set up at shows.

I use all the same frames. I have a "Gallery look". That is my choice, for the look I want.

You may choose a more eclectic look with frames. I have seen that work well also. 

If eclectic, still try to have some blend, balance and symmetry. It is less disruptive to the initial, brief mind of the juror, who only sees it for a few seconds.

You don't want the juror to dwell on your booth shot. Yet you want them feeling at ease, comfortable and pleased. As to the frames... if you are going to have them all uniform in the show, then do that in the booth shot. If they are going to be all different in the show, then do that in the booth shot.

If you believe your customer, is likely to change out the frame, having standardized frame sizes allows the customer to save on framing cost for them. This may be a purchasing decision for the customer.

Try to unify your sizes and your matting/framing. And actually if you had some larger pieces hung in a symmetrical way it will look more professional. The wrinkles aren't too bad but the booth will look better without them. If you don't sell reproductions, remove the bin. If you do sell reproductions, include the bin with some reproductions in it.

Larry Berman
http://BermanGraphics.com
412-401-8100

Thank you, Larry, for the advice - and for all the free tips you've posted!  I have been working only in the smaller size pieces, but want to do at least a few larger pieces just to help with my back wall display.  I will probably enlist your services at a later date, once I get my display improved.

Hey Sonja,

Larry's advice is good. Agree with it all. 

I'm in my third year and constantly tweaking my tent. When I started, I remember someone telling me that the hardest part was getting stock. I kinda laughed at the time because it seemed there was so much more to worry about. But the advice was right on the money and it's an issue I see with your booth shot. You need more on the walls. I know it's difficult - and bloody expensive - but I 'think' one thing jurors would look for is whether you have enough stuff and whether your tent will look full. Right now, the walls look half empty so I recommend you find a way to fill them up. 

I know from experience that it takes WAY more than you ever thought. But think about larger sizes to help fill the walls - think about tables with print bins - think about larger print bins - anything to make it look fuller.

My booth is not perfect but I'm including a quick shot I took last year just to remind myself of my setup. (This is not my official booth shot.) But what I would point out is that the walls are full.

Regarding the frames - I went with what I thought was a cleaner version but that just might be the OCD in me: all my wall art is framed the same. Not the same color frame, but very similar in style. Then I do matted bagged prints and unmatted prints. I have some stuffed in barnwood frames - I sell in Michigan and there are a lot of cottages here - but I don't mix-and-match. Those go on an outside wall.

Good luck! ~ Fletch

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Thank you, Fletch!  I like the table and print bin idea - I agree that my tent looks too empty.  I do sell matted and bagged prints, but didn't think to place them in the bin for the booth shot.  And yes, getting enough stock is harder than it appears.  I thought I had so many paintings, until I started hanging them on the walls.  I think I will transition to a more standardized framing style, but maybe something that is more rustic to fit in with the wildlife theme of my work.  And I like your idea of placing some of the differently framed works on an outside wall - will try that when I get enough stock!

A few suggestions:

- Decide on one style and color (or color coordinated family) for your frames and use for all your artwork. 

- Add at least two very large art pieces to your display.

- Arrange your art pieces at different levels, not all in a strait line (mixing small, medium and large size art together)

- Use a box style print bin (made of panels)

 

Thank you for the suggestions, Teresa.  Fletch also recommended the box style print bin would be great to fill up space, too - so I am definitely going to get a box style bin. I'll probably add a small table or podium, too.  I'm also going to produce a couple of large stand out piece to display on the back wall.  However, I'm not sure - at least for the booth shot - about mixing the arrangement of art at different levels.  One of Larry Berman's tips was to actually keep them all level so they have an organized appearance to the judges.  But I do agree my arrangement in this shot can use some work.  Maybe I could try keeping them all at the same eye level, but mixing up how they are displayed going vertical.  And, of course, having a few larger pieces should help with that, too.  

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