Archive for December 16, 2006

ON ENTERING COMPETITIONS: DO YOUR HOMEWORK

In an earlier post I reminded artists that many important grants are awarded through an anonymous nominations procedure, noting that if we don’t know about your work we can’t nominate you. I want to add this thought: when considering entering competitions, which takes time, and money – I urge you to ask yourself if the JURORS are individuals that can move your career forward. Do your homework – not just on the competion sponsors but perhaps more importantly on those individuals who will spend time looking carefully at your submission. Observe their professional affiliations (i.e. the magazines they edit, the gallery they direct, the collection they may serve as curator for, and so forth). Based on what you learn, if you feel they would respond positively to your work, DO invest in putting your work in front of them – and doing this via juried competitions can begin a professional relationship.

Additionally, if the competition you are considering entering will circulate the work more broadly than a gallery or museum presentation, i.e. through an on-line presentation of winners, and/or a publication featuring the winning entries, all the better.

Lastly, consider the COST to enter. My feeling is that fees charged by organizing venues are used to quite literally produce the competition – from flying in/feeding/housing distinquished jurors, renting judging space/tables/light/LCD projectors and other equipment, securing PR for the show and producing a catalogue on-line, on CD-Rom or in print. Personally I am happier when there is a flat fee and one set number of images that may be presented per submitting artist, rather than being able to pay more and gain more “exposure” in front of the juror(s). If you have questions about how any aspect of juried competitions are to be judged (i.e. will images be projected, or not), and how the winners will be promoted, do not hesitate to call and inquire. The more questions you ask, the better the chances are that next year’s application information will be more clearly spelled out.

I hope this perspective helps you sort through the maze of competitions to enter; know that on this blog I will suggest those I feel of great value to you and your career.

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DEADLINE: “FLASH FORWARD” Competition – December 31

The Magenta Foundation has announced “FLASH FORWARD,” Year Three of its Emerging Photographers Exchange. This competition is open to photographers in Canada, US and UK whom are 34 years of age or younger. The selected photographers will have their work published in a hardcover book and will have an exhibition in Toronto in October, 2007. Addtional prizes TBA.

This year’s judges:
Daniel Faria from the Monte Clark Gallery in Toronto
Darren Ching from Photo District News in NY
Simon Bainbridge from British Journal of Photography in London
Rebecca McClelland from The Sunday Times in London

DEADLINE December 31; guidelines are posted on their website. To view FLASH FORWARD 2006 winning entries, go to this link.

Magenta has also published CARTE BLANCH, a showcase of Canadian Photographers, a valuable contribution to broadening awareness of talent in Canada. This book is available from their website.

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ASMP Call for Member Non-Profit Experiences, for Winter Bulliten

ASMP has seeking information from members for an article to appear in the Winter 2007 issue of the ASMP Bulliten about working successfully with non-profit organizations to illustrate the following themes:
– How to seek out and pitch non-profit work
– Creative strategies to ensure you get what you need
– Stories from the field about shooting or producting work
– After-effects of this work on creative vision and subsequent career
Please email relevant information to share on this them to Bulletin Senior Editor Jill Waterman (waterman@asmp.org) with any weblinks by December 20. Thanks for helping others learn about this market sector.

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