Peggy Farren talks with photographer and Art Show veteran Jack Megela. Jack gives us tips on finding the right show, getting your prints accepted, and setting up your booth for successful sales. Thanks for tuning into episode #90 of The Understand Photography Show!
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Art Festivals and Fairs – Tips for Booth Design and Sales Success
Episode 90 with Jack Megela
Retired Police Officer – Crime Scene Photographer
He traveled the country in an RV for 15 years taking photos.
He has been in the Art Show circuit for 25 years and has done shows in 17 states including FL, VA, OH, IN, IL, and MT.
“It’s still a passion for me. When I lose that passion, I’ll quit.”
Choosing an Art Show
You need to learn about the Art Show circuit.
Check out the website or magazine Sunshine Artist.
Start locally – just GO – look around. See what other people are doing. See what works for that area. (What works in FL will not sell in MT.)
- Look at the crowds.
- Talk to people.
- Look for prestigious shows – 10th or 15th annual…
- Look at the prize money – it gives an indication of how serious the organization is about that show.
Choosing Pieces to be Juried
You’ll need to send 3-4 pieces to be judged.
Show images from that area – people like the familiar.
The images need to be cohesive.
- They should compliment each other.
- They should be the same layout (all vertical, all horizontal, or all square format).
They should be high impact, attention grabbing, but not too bright.
Send postcards/emails to people who previously purchased your work letting them know you’ll be back in their area.
Post on Facebook/Social Media/Website where you’ll be and when.
“My only promotion is just being there. I see many of the same people. They know me. I just keep putting up new pieces.”
Setting up a Booth
Look and learn and ask questions.
Compare models and accessories.
It should be sturdy – and able to withstand rain.
Your whole set up can be quite heavy. You can hire a person to help set up.
When displaying your images, “Less is More”.
- Walls packed with images are too busy – filling every space causes sensory overload.
- There should be room to pause in front of each image. If you step back and look at the whole display it should be pleasing to the eye.
- Lighting is important. It’s a hassle, it’s extra work, but it’s worth it.
Interacting with Customers
Greet everyone that comes into the booth.
Let them browse – don’t bother them.
If they pause in front of a particular piece and show interest, start telling it’s story.
DON’T – sit in the back of the booth wearing sunglasses with your arms crossed.
Make eye contact with people.