My booth photo - first stab

I'm new here. Here's my intro post if you want to know a bit about me -

Here's my first attempt at shooting a booth photo. It was a windy day & I couldn't leave the canopy setup while I went inside to evaluate my photos. I'm sure this won't be the last time I shoot it.

I don't have a lot of jewelry yet. Perhaps that'll count against me, or perhaps some juries are looking for a less crowded booth.

Jewelry is such a small item & really has to be seen in person to be enjoyed, but I'm supposed to submit a photo, not plane tickets to my house :>) I will probably add a Photoshopped in image of some enlarged pieces on the back wall.

Please let me know what you think. Don't be kind, be ruthless, like I hear juries are.

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  • I think your booth is perfect. You know the more you display the less people see. People have this idea that more is better. Not true.  When I started selling long ago I thought that. What I did for a few years is keep account of what sold and what didn't. I got my product down to a small collection of images not hundreds...
  • Hi Lynn,

    My first reaction is where's the rest of the booth? You need to see more of the side walls and at least up to and including the bottom framework of the canopy roof. 

    It's overexposed meaning too light. If it's because of direct sunlight, wait until it's overcast or cloudy. The grass is washed out and the table covers are too light also. Because they're so light, you can see every wrinkle. If you're going to use pleated table covers, at least even the bottom so it lays perfectly. If your camera allows manual exposure settings, try bracketing. That's over and under exposure besides what the camera thinks the best exposure is. Usually 1/2 to a stop under exposed (darker) makes a better picture because you can bring out detail in the dark areas but if the highlights blow out there's no bringing back the detail.

    Placement of the items on the tables. From the tripod mounted camera, make sure that there is separation between items. The center black form looks good because there is good visual space on either side. But the other forms overlap either the trays or the pendant cards.

    Larry Berman
    Art Show Jury Services

    • Larry, Thanks. I appreciate for your comments.

      Why do I need to show more of the side walls & the framework? I do have shots with more of the canopy showing, but of course, that means my jewelry is relatively smaller. Do jurors like to see that it's in a canopy? I recall an article on your site by a juror who says for his own jury photos, he sets up his ProPanels or something without using his canopy. I considered removing the cover for even more light from above, since the cover didn't appear in the image.

      It was a perfectly cloudy day, & I did underexpose by 1.3 stops less than what the camera indicated so that everything was centered in the histogram, but I guess that was still overexposed. Here's the image with the midtones tweaked a little darker.

      The table skirts are the perfect height perfect for a hard surface. I guess I need a taller set of table leg risers for grass. BTW, the grass here is very dead at this time of year & not very photogenic, so I added green & shifted the hue.

      As for the front trays covering part of the necklace forms, the table is only 30" deep. To give more separation, I'd have to raise the camera higher. Would the foreshortening bother jurors? Do they want to see the booth sides parallel?

      • While I am not an expert like Larry, I have had pretty good luck with my booth shot. And this is the first year I haven't re-shot it. The main issue I have with your shot is that it doesn't look functioning. It is totally set up just for the pic. I think they want to see your set up just like you stepped away from the booth. I don't think you need more stock. Clean is nice. I might think about changing the visual height with small areas that are built up. I use hat boxes. Some people wrap boxes in their table top material and make smaller areas that are higher. I include my chair ( yes it matches!) and as dumb as it sounds, since I have a cheaper tent, I put flower garlands on them to jazz it up. Hokie but cheerful. Good luck I'm sure you will get lots of good advice from these folks.
        • Both of your pictures look so nice and neatly organized.  My first thought is that I would like to see some openings in the tent to show what's happening around it.  Like some trees or live greenery in or outside the booth.  I would also like to see a sign with your business name/logo.  I will be shooting mine this week.  Thinks for sharing yours!  Best Wishes!
          • Pam,

            I shot the booth in my backyard. You really don't want to see my patio!

            If you're shooting a booth photo to be juried, you can't have anything in it that identifies you. The jury is supposed to choose you based on your look, not who you are.

            I'll also be shooting my booth for lesser shows that aren't juried.  I'm assuming it's OK to include your brand banners etc. I'm hoping Larry or others will answer that question.

            • I have no idea if lesser shows will except your booth image with identification, though they probably would. But what's the point of having a second booth picture unless it's identical with the one without identification which you can probably use for every show you apply to.

              Not all the major shows specify no names in booth pictures, but they will automatically deduct points if you submit one. It's interesting that I've spoken to artists who've been applying to shows for over 20 years with their name in their booth because not a single show ever told them not to. I also scanned jury slides from a 20+ year veteran whose slides were labeled upside down. Red dot in the top right corner instead of the bottom left. In the 20 years he sent them to art shows, not once did a show tell him that they were upside down when projected until I informed him.

              You can't always trust the shows to give you all the information you need to submit what they want in a way that can actually get you into the show. Sharing accurate information is one thing these forums are good for, if you can eliminate the information that isn't accurate.

              Larry Berman

      • The article on my web site was by a juror that juried Long's Park a few years ago. Since then the shows have become more specific about what they want to see in the booth picture. You don't have to move the tripod, but separate the items on the table so they don't overlap from the camera angle. The reason I suggest seeing the underside of the canopy roof is so that they understand it's an outdoor booth without having to think. It also gives you room to hang pictures to fill the space better.

        Larry Berman
        Art Show Jury Services
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