the gallery system

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by PhotoManiac3000, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. PhotoManiac3000

    PhotoManiac3000 Inactive

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    I recently attended a show in new york city where I dropped postcards with my name and photography on it. I'm not very web savvy so I also dropped a CD with high resolution images on them. I have yet to get a call back from any of the galleries...how does one break into this elitist gallery system that exists?
     
  2. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Luck and skill to begin with, also the stuff you dropped off, was this non-solicited or did they request information from you, I know often times in the past, when I have made non-solicited submissions, often times they ended up in the trash, most of the time if I am interested in showing in a gallery, I will make an appointment with the owner or represenitive and take a portfolio and sit down talk and find out if my work is within what they want to display, then thank them and keep in contact with them over a period of time.

    Do you have any other places that you have displayed or sold, it is alway better if you have been displayed somewhere, than trying to get in cold.

    Good Luck

    Dave
     
  3. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    Galleries are more than tough. If you haven't yet, start by entering local group shows, to build your resume. Attend a LOT of gallery openings to get your face familiar, and try to talk to owners if you can even if it's just to say hi. Then go back in the middle of the week, if they're not so busy. Most are surprisingly approachable.
    Kathleen Ewing once told me that she doesn't show one in fifty photographers whose work she sees. And most of the portfolios don't get past her assistants. There's a lot of photographers out there. Good luck. Dean
     
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  4. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    You do not have any pictures in your gallery, so it is hard to judge your talent. But, right off the bat I think your approach is somewhat unprofessional and not well thought out. Is your work that good that you expect galleries to trip over themselves to get you to exhibit with them?

    What is your background? How many exhibitions have you had? How many museum shows have you had? What sets your photography apart from the million other photographers who are doing good work and like you are trying to break into the gallery market? Have you been published? if so, in what magazines? Are you doing a long term project? What is the intention of your photography? Most important, why should anybody buy your prints?

    Answer all these questions, put in paper, contact the galleries and ask about their submission guidelines and follow them.

    Frankly, and I am sorry to be so blunt, your question either shows incredible naivety or laziness.....
     
  5. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    As a starting point, I suggest you read the book Taking the Leap by Cay Lang.
     
  6. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Kerik,

    will the book help my prints to look like yours?

    Dave in Vegas
     
  7. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Dave,

    I thought we took care of that in Montana last summer. Don't forget:

    1) Single Malt
    2) Everclear
    3) Moose Drool
    4) Repeat

    Kerik
     
  8. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    Single malt? As in Laphroaig?
     
  9. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    If you're seeking gallery representation you need to do a little research first about the galleries that you are thinking about contacting. Many galleries have a specific point of view, some like very avante garde work, some like more traditional, some are more oriented towards landscape others towards documentary, etc. You want to contact a gallery that appreciates and exhibits your genre or style of work. You also need to see if the gallery already has another photographer whose work is very similar in style to yours, as many galleries do not want artists that are too similar.

    After you've done your homework then you need to contact them and ask them what their policy is regarding viewing submissions.

    Your use of the term "elitest" regarding galleries may indicate that you have a less than satisfactory opinion of galleries and their staff, you may be projecting this attitude towards them and they may pick up on this. It is not an elitest industry, it's more a meritocracy. If your work is outstanding some gallery will want it but understand that most galleries get hundreds if not thousands of submission requests every year. Good luck.
     
  10. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Yes, that's a good choice. Although my favorite is Lagavulin.
     
  11. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Ah Yes, just went through my notes and you are absolutely correct.....

    Now gentlemen, a toast for the thirst that is yet to come!
     
  12. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    I keep thinking about this post. It is a bit harsh (museum shows?), but it raises some salient points about motivation.
    Do you think cameras are cool? Have you seen photographs you like and want to do some just like them?
    Or can you simply not live another moment of your life without anticipating your next chance to turn camera on subject? If this is it, you might spend your life photographing even if you never sell a print.
    But who wants to work in a vacuum? Everyone wants recognition for their efforts, and constructive criticism when warranted. You have to figure out where you are in the process of becoming a photographer. How long have you been at it? How many classes/workshops have you had? Have you created a strong, coherent portfolio of images you're not afraid to share with anyone?
    When I first read your post, I presumed that you've reached the portfilio stage. If so, then the advice I gave is, I think, valid. And of course get one of the guides on how to build an art career. (Some of these are better than others, but none I've seen address issues of time and money. I've never had enough of either, but I still keep working.) And post some images. We want to see what you're doing. Again, good luck. Dean
    __________________
     
  13. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Mine is Glennmorangie..... but heck, anything is better than Johnny Walker.. :smile:
     
  14. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Dean, I purposely was a bit harsh because I wanted to drive a point. It seemed to me that his approach was somewhat lakadeisical and lacked focus.

    Anybody that beleives that they can just drop a CD on the desk and walk away either has some outstanding photography or has not done their homework.

    Early made a very good point, which I also picked up. It seems he has a disfavorable views of galleries, put all this together and the questions pile up.

    As to museum shows, you will never know if you can get them if you dont try. Now, you have to be realistic, if you contact MOMA and ask them what do you need to do to get an exhibition you better have a kick ass resume. OTOH there are many small regional museums who can be very good and are more willing to give you a shot. It is what I did here in Mexico and has worked for me.

    The difference is that I have made a plan and have followed it, I did not just drop CDs and went home to sit and wait for the deluge of calls... :D
     
  15. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I agree with Jorge on this,

    If you want to be represented by a Galley, just dropping a CD or even a portfolio off at the front desk is going to get you Absolutely no where, it takes a lot of hard work to be displayed in a Galley, and using the tacked of Here I am and heres what I have, and now I will wait for your call, does not work at all. You need to develop that relationship and find out what they want, not what you want.

    Dave
     
  16. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    Jorge and Dave: I agree with both of you; you're going to get nowhere by dropping off a CD at a gallery, or cards, and waiting for someone to call you. That's why I made the suggestions I did and asked the questions I did.
    I don't think it's laziness as much as a problem with just not knowing how to get started. And at least the man has the you-know-whats to start asking how.
    I spent about three years going to openings, entering competitions, etc, before I got ANYWHERE. And that was after making photographs for a number of years. It was all very, very confusing, and I'm sure I made myself look like a fool more than once. But you've got to start trying sometime. Dean
     
  17. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    Does anyone want to start a thread on scotches?
     
  18. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Boy that thread could go on for many moons...

    LOL

    Dave
     
  19. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    Actually, Johnny Walker Blue ain't bad. Just too expensive. Bowmore Islay malt goes around here for under $25. Can't beat that.
     
  20. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    We dont need a thread, we need a whole subforum.....maybe under chemicals... :smile:
     
  21. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Glennmorangie is owned by the Morange family. It's a french name and not a common one outside France. I always wondered if showing them my ID would be good for a glass or two... Great stuff, especially the port barrel aged version.
     
  22. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I think what we need is a good pub, a winning lottery ticket and an agreeable group of photographer/fans of the golden/amber water with a lot of time to spend, a huge pile of photographs to peruse, and a long interval to sleep. Wait...don't you have to die first???