Showing your work. It always astonishes me how few photographers actually show their work! I mentioned in a previous blog how to make a photo book with Blurb now I want to suggest a few tips on getting your work out where people will see it.
The most immediate way is to post your photos on Face Book, Flickr etc that may well draw favourable comments – it’s damned unfortunate if someone slams your pictures! But that’s also the case with hanging pictures on a wall – nobody is going to say anything unkind – what makes exhibiting worthwhile is what people say – un-prompted. It’s when they say nothing at all that it may be time question your choice.
The best place to hang pictures is your own home. The Japanese have very small homes and often have space for only one picture which they change according to the season. And that I believe is the essence of it: pictures like crops should be rotated. That way you’ll find out which of your pictures are the most successful – they’ll be the most talked about ones.
I do my own printing on fine art paper with pigment inks and this is the greatest revolution of the last few years. Pigment inks can be used on any primed paper – I personally use Hahnemuhle’s ‘William Turner’ and ‘Torchon’. What is more these new K3 inks don’t fade – or at least they shouldn’t for well over a hundred years!
The printer I use is the Epson 9800 which will print up to 110cm wide by as long as you like. But you don’t have to own one yourself, practically anyone who does own a pigment printer will be happy to print for third parties. I for example print for others and use a simple formula to calculate cost based on the size of the print in square cms. This includes the minimum of work necessary to bring the photographer’s file up to a printable state. Anyone can send me a file for evaluation and I can send a print back in a tube. That said, it’s useful to be there leaning over the printer’s shoulders, so you might be best off trying to find someone local who can also show the papers he uses.
I personally like to print BIG! I have a photograph of the British Museum hanging on our wall here in Italy that is 200x80cm which covers an entire wall. It is dry mounted and framed without glass. This is the other revolution: you don’t need to use glass frames so there are no nasty reflections and even a big picture is very light to hang. Dry mounting is best left to the framer – I’ve tried doing it myself with double-sided tape – disaster. The mounted print is easy to take in and out of the frame – I ask him to leave the print loosely stapled into the frame. So you just take your old print out and tack in a new one with a few staples or nails.