Expenses to Enter Exhibit and Contest.

Discussion in 'Call for Entries' started by RedSun, May 22, 2014.

  1. RedSun

    RedSun Member

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    I'm totally new to the photo shows or exhibits. I just joined a local photo club and haven been receiving some requests to enter photo exhibits.


    Most would require some fees, from $30 to $50, to enter. Sometime you can send a JPG to enter, some you send in a frames print, etc. If you are selected, then you'll print and frame a final photo for competition and exhibit. You still may or may not get any prize.


    This seems an expensive hobby. We photographers bear all the cost to prepare and enter the exhibit. Only the few lucky ones can get some prize. Most would get nothing. As for the entry fees, I do not know how the sponsor would use the fund. Do they pay the folks who judge your photo?


    I'm just curious.
     
  2. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Many of these competitions, exhibitions and catalogue entry offers are scams, designed to take money from you. However, some are OK. In fact it would be a good idea if APUG listed the ones of reputable value.
     
  3. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Competitive exhibitions for paintings and the like run pretty much the same way; it's how it is! And cliveh is right, some such events are a bit shifty. I have stuck to smaller local shows which have smaller prizes and presumably less attention and marketing, but hey, it's a hobby. Many such events are put on by non-profit organizations to raise funds, and as such usually ask commissions of 30% or so on sales too. A local Audubon Society site has been having a juried art and photography show for a number of years now.

    I like to characterize the whole thing as playing the lottery -- but you have to bring a picture or two.
     
  4. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I would not pay to enter a show/exhibit that I were uncertain about how the money would be used.

    In what few I've entered, I am supporting a local organization that supports and champions arts education and/or amateur photography. Maine Media College for example, provides scholarships with some of their proceeds. Another local one I've participated in is riverartsme.org, which is a organization that does networking, education, exhibits, etc.. If it's a small non-profit, they probably need the entry fees to fund the exhibit space and related activities. Things like buildings and parking lots and lights and heat/ac cost money even if it's staffed by volunteers. The people that visit these exhibits are mostly other artists, not 1%'ers, so it's they aren't in it for the money.

    Even when it's used for the best purposes, some form of cost also causes some self-pre-curation. With painting or alt process printing or silver printing, you make an investment in materials and time and are limited in the volume you can produce or at least have to dedicate your time toward better negatives.. With Jpeg's you could theoretically submit any careless crap, thinking what the hell, nothing lost, why not submit?

    As the OP states, there is luck involved. The juror may different tastes than you, and not everyone agrees about what is good art. If I were a juror, Cindy Sherman might get overlooked, for example.
     
  5. M Stat

    M Stat Member

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    I, for one, absolutely refuse to pay any fee in order to have my work reviewed for exhibition. After over forty years of dedication to my craft, the time and effort and, yes, the expenses I have had to incur, these fees are totally insulting to me. It seems that with the advent of digital photography, the apparent ease of making a photograph has got everyone with a digi-camera thinking that they are the next Ansel Adams, if only someone would look at their work. To that end, these dilettantes gladly part with their cash for the honor and privilege of having their work reviewed by a gallery. This is the job of the gallery, it is what they are in business for, and it shows a total lack of respect to the serious photographer to require him or her to pay for this dubious honor.
     
  6. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Jury fees have a few purposes. They help limit the amount of entries to those who feel their work is strong enough for acceptance. They also finance whatever prize money is offered. Jurors are often given a stipend for their work. If the exhibition is in a physical location (a gallery), the fees can go to help with promotion, salaries, rent, etc.

    Before entering competitions, you should do some research. Much of it can be done online. First, check out the venue. If it's a gallery, look at their website. Look at the physical layout, the location, the artists they rep, and the kind of work they offer. Research the juror(s). Do you think your entries would be the kind of work they'd find appealing? If it's an annual competition, most galleries will have posted the winners/accepted work from prior years. Look at the quality of what got in.

    Competitions are a good way to get your work seen, add to your CV, and (to a lesser extent) get your work sold. The only one's I avoid are the on-line competitions. As Clive said, they can be scams. The only ones I enter are those in a physical space, with at least a month long exhibition, reputable juror(s), and reasonable jury fees. I've been accepted, rejected, won some cash, sold some work, but always apply knowing the odds are long...
     
  7. RedSun

    RedSun Member

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    Our club only sends info on reputable events, never spams. Most of them are non-profit, like nature preserve, trail association, ground for sculpture, etc.

    I'm not a pro. I do not need to promote to get customers. I'll be happy to donate part or most of the proceeds from photo sales to the sponsors. But I just do not want to incur the expenses to prepare something that has only a small chance of winning.

    The other thing is that I'm a traditional person, never like the Photoshop work. I do not even crop. But some other folks spend so much time with PP and make some perfect print to send to the event. Then the panel has to decide....

    We already sink so much $$ into this. Now we need to spend more???
     
  8. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    never pay

    I would never pay honest money up front for the "honor" of maybe winning a ribbon. It is a ripoff. If the organizers can't figure out how to come up with enough dough from persons other than the artists, to run their little scam, then they should get out of the racket. I imagine there are a few honest competitions that charge the entrant but there are dinosaur bones around, too. You just have to dig mighty hard to find them.
     
  9. RedSun

    RedSun Member

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    I think it may make some sense to require a very small fee, like $15 to $20, just to limit the amount of entries. You do not want to receive several hundreds or even more JPGs. But $50 seems excessive.
     
  10. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    For the $50, how many images are you allowed to enter? Most of the legitimate competitions I'm aware of allow 4-5 images for the original fee.
     
  11. RedSun

    RedSun Member

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    The one I'm looking at: $35 for up to 3 images. $8 additional. Some required JPGs on CD, etc....
     
  12. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I don't think that's out of line with the norm.
     
  13. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Galleries have expenses that they have to cover. I'm entering my photos to this gallery in my town. It cost $35 to enter up to 3 pieces. I've gotten into a few shows at this gallery, but never sold a single piece. But it's a 60/40 split. I see paying the entry fee as supporting my local gallery. This is a community gallery and not for profit.

    http://pencegallery.org/call_to_artists.html
     
  14. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I am a member of a photo club. In previous years, we ran a print competition as an adjunct to a photo symposium, which offered a small trade fair and several technical workshops from well known local presenters.

    The print competition had a small entry fee for each of up to three prints. The prints were judged by some local experienced judges and there was an opportunity to win both "ribbon" type prizes and some prizes with a small (~$100.00) market value.

    Entered prints were also displayed at the symposium and at the open to the public reception that preceded it.

    With the exception of the judges and workshop presenters, who each received stipends, all other work was performed by volunteers.

    The print entry fees and the workshop fees were enough to defray the expenses of the entire event, plus a very small profit. A whole bunch of photography enthusiasts from around our area got together, and many of them got to share their work with others.

    A good time was had by all. So I'd say, don't judge the process merely by the fact that a fee is charged.

    Here is a link to the info about the event in 2013: http://www.deltaphotoinspirations.com/Home.html
     
  15. Valerie

    Valerie Subscriber

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    I agree with eddie's comments. There are some scams. But many are reputable. I enter photos as often as possible and have had my work seen--and chosen for exhibition- by some excellent photographers and curators. It really is a matter of doing your homework and determining if that show is right for you. And remember that the organization putting on the show has expenses to pay as well... often the juror is given a stipend (or taken out to a nice dinner at least), advertising, costs associated with hosting a reception, etc. (oops! Looks like others already said this...).

    I do stay away from the galleries who just want a hi-res jpeg and will digitally print the entries in-house. If they want my print, it will be one I printed in the darkroom!
     
  16. Iluvmycam

    Iluvmycam Member

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    OP...with the world polluted with cell phone pix they would be drowned in photos if there was no fee. Most of us don't do contests. I'd suggest you start a Tumblr or some blog to showcase your work for free. Unless you must try to win contests. Good luck!
     
  17. RedSun

    RedSun Member

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    I'm not a show person. Let them be.
     
  18. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Interesting that only members from N-America participated so far. I do not know such competitions at galleries or similar.
     
  19. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I've never paid a dime to enter a competitionand never won anything either.
     
  20. RedSun

    RedSun Member

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    Haha, anti-social :wink:

    Well, I'm a member of a large local photo club. The club itself is somehow related (or a partner) to several local galleries. It is also a sponsor to a few other activities, like land preservation, trail association, park district, etc.....

    But nevertheless, I do not think I'll be active in the shows or exhibits.... Just too much work and little recognition.
     
  21. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Generally I work on the priciple of cost vs reward:
    - Costs include the entry fee, plus whatever rights you sign over to the organisers for use of that image.
    - Rewards can include the cash prizes, but also if they make you a nice print out of it, and the prestige and exposure you get.

    I've got no problems in paying for an entry, there's one on around here that I'm going to enter this year: they want a 4-photo entry for $40 entry fee, but the first prize is $15k. For that money they can have whatever rights to reprint what they want.
    Similarly, if it's a free competition, I'll enter it for no prize money, just to get some kudos and/or exposure. Depending on what rights they want to the entries will decide if I give them a decent photo, shoot one specifically, or give them a great photo I would like to use elsewhere.
    In certain circumstances I'd pay a fee for no prize money, eg if it's a charity, or if it a gallery I know and trust and I really wanted the exposure (ie, if I were trying to set up a photography business, which I'm not atm)

    But if they want a not-insignificant entry fee, for no decent prize, and unreasonable terms to use the entry image, forget about it.