Quote Originally Posted by Alex Hawley
I have worked up to where I now have about twenty prints that I feel strong about. I have nearly completed matting all of them and am now contemplating approaching a couple regional galleries. This will be a first-time experience for me.

Is twenty prints too many? There are three general themes, two major ones and one minor one.

Should I arange the portfolio with the themes grouped together or start off with what I feel are the strongest photos overall?
20 prints is perfect, if you have them in themes, put them in themes with the strongest image of each theme first. In any case, it is good to first start with the "projects" and lead off with the "singles". You have no idea how tired I have gotten of the "we would like to see a project" objection. BTW, if it was me I would open with the strongest photo of the strongest theme, and close with the second strongest theme with the strongest photo last. The reason for this, you want to make a strong impression when you start and leave them with a strong impressio of your work.

Before you present your work, go check the gallery and make sure your work more or less fits with what the gallery is showing or handles. By this I mean not only what is on the wall, most have bins with past shows, check those out too.

Some gallery directors will review your work while you are there, some dont, they like you to step out of their office while they do, if they ask you that, take the time to see the work they handle and dont be afraid to ask about any of the work.

If the director declines to show your work, dont be afraid to ask why and for a critique of your work, tell them the truth, that this is your first time doing this and that any help and insights they might offer will not only not offend you, but help you greatly in your work. IOW, kiss a little bit of ass...... If he/she give you a critique, ask if they would be willing to review your work again at a future date.

Goes without saying, dont take it personally if they decline. Good luck!