|How not to photograph your artwork|
Information requested on the entry form is not optional. Make sure it's legible. If you have the penmanship of a drunken chimp, get a friend to write it for you.
Visit the gallery/organization's website for past shows and SEE IF YOUR WORK IS A GOOD FIT! If you do abstracts made from glue and cake mix (yes, that was real) and enter it in a competition that focuses on hyperrealism in oil, you are wasting your entry fee.
The vast majority of competitions have gone digital. File naming conventions (the way they want the entry image labeled) MUST be correct. Most places won't take the time to rename files and will reject them instead.
When you take images of your artwork please follow the basic tenets (these are particularly important if you don't know how to fix perspective or crop in your photo editing program):
- Photograph only the artwork, not the frame, the wall it's hanging on or your cat sitting next to it.
- Do not try and take photos of a painting that is under glass. I'm sure I've passed by some great work because I couldn't accurately assess the art thanks to reflections.
- Make sure your camera lens is parallel to the image and aimed at the center of the artwork.
- Make sure the artwork is evenly lit. If you don't have color-correct bulbs, outdoor indirect sunlight is your best bet.
- Do NOT alter the image! You may (if you know how) make minor level adjustments to accurately show the colors, but adding to, subtracting from or altering your image is not kosher! I actually sent a couple of paintings back over the years because it was painfully obvious when they arrived at the gallery that the artists had made huge changes in their digital images to make the work look better. The paintings themselves were NOT acceptable.
- Prepare your image to the specifications. If you don't know the difference between dpi, ppi or inches or don't know a .jpg from a .png, seek out a friend who does. You can't just change the numbers in your photo editing resolution box from 72 to 300. It doesn't work like that. Again, only a few very friendly curators will bother walking you through the process. There are lots of great places to get information on the internet and video tutorials are available for every photo editing software program.