Organising and Exhibiting

I said it before – as soon as the semester is over, there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. It’s hard keeping track of all the things that are going on, actually. 
A lot needs doing. There is the upcoming exhibition of the 2nd year students of GCD in La Catedral Studios Dublin. While the choice of images was not that difficult to make, the real dilemma comes when you have to decide how to exhibit your work. A large factor for up and coming photographers is always the financial outlay connected to exhibitions. There is the cost of having a show put on – renting a venue and buying the obligatory refreshments for the official opening night, printing costs for promotional material etc. Thankfully, in a group show, that is spread among all participants and is therefore a manageable expense.
But when it comes to individual outlays, there is the presentation of the photos to consider. As a starter, I am all for economizing and keeping costs on a realistic level. And yet I do want to show my images in the best possible light. While I have seen professional photo shows in which the images were simple print-outs, nailed to the wall, a custom frame obviously lends a bit more importance to the photograph. Depending on the size of the prints, the price for custom frames starts at € 30 and goes up – well, infinitely. Not exactly student-friendly, so to speak. I have therefore opted for shop-bought frames that fit my images exactly. The reasoning behind that also being that if I should be so lucky that someone wants to buy my image, my choice of framing may not suit their taste. In that case my print can be removed and sold separately.
However, I am not skimping on the prints themselves. For the first time I have gone to a fine arts printing business, inspirational arts in Dublin. I had no idea what sort of choices would be expected of me, but Jim, one of the owners, sat down with me, explained things and guided me helpfully through the various options. And as soon as I saw that gorgeous fine arts paper, I was completely sold on that. Or rather – it was sold to me. 
Paper choice is – of course – highly subjective. And fine art printing isn’t cheap – but it certainly enhances an image and it gives it its dues. I personally have never particularly liked glossy paper (mainly because it shows up fingerprints and I am too impatient to handle prints as if they were raw eggs), and so my choice here is a matt paper. Moreover, inspirational arts informed me, the matt papers are very  similar to the kind of photo papers that would have been used in the earlier days of photography. Considering that I am showing images which refer back to the 1920s, I like that subtle reference to the past, as in the choice of paper. I am dying to see my finished prints and hope they will look good in my chosen frames.
Right, the price list has been sent off, the frames are waiting to be filled. I am also waiting for my postcards from Vistaprint to leave at the show. And then all that needs doing is hanging the images on the day of the opening. Exciting times!!

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