Step 1 of the Humboldt County 2010 Fair

Summer is almost here, for those of you in the south it has probably already arrived in full force :). What happens in the summer that is so special you ask? Well, aside from all the sunshine (if this rain ever lets up), summer means that annual county fair is only a few short months away!

Last year I entered 6 photos in the fair under Fine Arts-Juried-Photography- Amateur and came out with a third place win for my b&w redwood tree titled "Land of the Lost". I won a grand $2, which doesn't even cover the cost of printing and matting the winning image- go figure.  

The fair defines an amateur as someone who has won less than 5 ribbons, & does not compete or sell their images regularly.

 I didn't really win much- the experience of showing was scary as shit- but the pride I felt at seeing my images hanging on the wall and seeing that ribbon next to one of the first images I had taken when we moved up here was awesome! It was my first show/gallery/competition of any type and I was so lost in the beginning. The fair provides the artists with some rules like max. size, matting and framing guidelines, date ranges, and subjects. The rest is up to the artist to figure out. So after that first run I learned a few invaluable lessons for showing at the fair, and possibly showing just in general.  I feel much more prepared and less nervous this year- Here's hoping for my first blue ribbon!

Rule No. 1: Get your editing done early- REALLY EARLY!
 I filled out all the forms for entering the images, and then let them sit on my computer untouched for nearly a month. Before I realized it the fair was a week away and I had quite a bit of editing to do to the images before I could even get them printed, much less matted. This year I will have my images edited and sent to be printed before I even enter the paperwork!

Rule No. 2: DO NOT wait until two days before your entry is due to try and get it matted. 
You will have few if any choices of matt's (because everyone else in town got there before you) and will probably not even be able to get anyone to matt the image for you (because they are working on everyone else's). I just got lucky on that one last year. 

Rule No. 3: DO NOT just mat your images. Use a foam backing.
 If you do not use a backing and just have the image and the mat your image WILL get damaged- if not at the fair then on your way home or in storage. With all the humidity in the air your mats, without any structure, will get all warped- they are only strong paper after all. Plus, if you have a foam backing you can hang your winner on the wall as soon as you get it home instead of having to put it away. 

Rule No. 4: DO NOT under any circumstances put labels on your matt's or images. 
When I was getting ready for the fair and matting my images I thought it would look nice to put labels on the mats. These labels had basic information- my name, date taken, title of image, and division entered, with my signature. BAD IDEA! The woman taking the entries at the fair almost wouldn't take my entries because they had labels on the front. Turns out, the fair makes their own labels that they put on the image when you turn it in. Luckily the woman was a sweetheart & took the images anyway after I explained to her it was my first show and nothing said I couldn't put labels on the images so how was I to know? Labels on the back of your image is okay and even encouraged so you can pickup your images after the fair, but the front is a huge no no!


Post a Comment