SOAG Photo Show Frequently Asked Questions
- Should my entries represent a particular kind of photographic approach?
No. They may be traditionally or digitally produced and printed. There are no content, size or age specifications either. Manipulations of the image are acceptable as long as they begin with a photographic process. Scanned images are acceptable.
- How much paperwork is there to fill out?
We have two forms. The first is the Call for Entries that is published on the gallery web site about two months before the deadline for submissions and sent via e-mail to the gallery mailing list. The second is an Exhibitors Agreement, a form on which the entrant gives us complete contact information, information about the work being submitted, the relevant dates during the show, and the agreement concerning the works between the gallery and the entrant. That form is filled out when the entrant brings their work to the gallery. It may be filled out ahead of time but please bring two copies with your work.
- Why do you need two labels on each photograph submitted?
We do ask for two (2) labels. One must be permanently affixed to the back of the photograph and one temporarily affixed with tape to the edge of the frame so that they hang down over the front of the photograph. The label on the back assures that we know the owner of the photograph when the show comes down. The label affixed to the front is used to make sure we place the right wall label with the correct photograph. The gallery produces the wall labels for the show in order to be consistent and look professionally created.
Each label from the entrant should include: name, title, medium (ex: archival inkjet print, or silver gelatin print etc. etc.), and price or NFS if not for sale.
- How many photographs from each entrant do you usually accept into the show?
It varies according to each jury. There is no set rule. Sometimes we take two, sometimes one and sometimes the jury decides that neither entry will be chosen for the show. The jury strives to upgrade the quality of the show each year so there is no guarantee given to any entrant.
- Why should the work I submit be recent?
As we noted above, we try to make sure that each year the show represents the best work possible and not simply agree to show anything submitted. The more current the work is, the more likely it will represent current photographic trends and practice.
- If my work is accepted into the show, does presentation still matter?
Yes. Even though the jury process is done electronically/digitally, how the work appears when it is brought to the gallery for inclusion in the show is important. In general, standard gallery approaches to matting and framing should be followed. Narrow, black, wood and/or metal frames are preferred that compliment the photograph while not dominating it. The photographs should be under glass or plexi-glass. Non-colored mats are also preferred because they focus the attention on the photograph and not the mat. Mats should extend on average from 1 1/2 to 3 inches from edge of the photograph to the edge of the frame. This is not a hard and fast rule, just a general acknowledgment of good presentation practice. Frames need not be expensive, just simple, professional looking and complimentary of the work.
Images today can also be printed on metal, ceramic, wood and glass. The work must be ready to hang which generally means a wire across the back or clearly identified secure devices from which to hang the work. Finally, the jury reserves the right to turn down any submission that is not presented in a professional manner, exclusive of the content.
- Are your rules and deadlines for submission of work hard and fast?
Absolutely. We accept no entries after published deadlines. The jury begins it’s work very soon after the deadline for entries passes so it’s really not fair to those who manage to get their work in on time if we accept late entries. Also, two entries means two entries. Every year a few people try to convince us to take more than the allotted two entries. We don’t.
- How does the jury and prize process work?
After all the entries are in, a panel of members from the gallery made up primarily of experienced photographers, decide what will be accepted for the show. After the show is hung, a prize judge, selected from outside the membership of the gallery, looks at the show and she or he decides how the prize money will be awarded. The prize judge is different each year. We try to find experienced, respected and successful photographers and/or teachers of photography and imaging arts in order to make the experience for the entrants a meaningful process.
- If my work is rejected an/or accepted does it diminish my chances for being accepted in future shows?
Absolutely not! We encourage everyone to enter each year. Being rejected is not an indication that your work will be rejected in future years nor does acceptance or winning a prize in a given year guarantee acceptance the following year or years. Each year the jury may be different as is the prize judge. For many artists/photographers rejection from a given show can provide insight and creative stimulus to change and/or see a path for improvement in their work. However, one should not change a direction if the belief in that work is strong and directed. As we noted, a different jury in all likelihood may have different criteria for judging.
- Does it help if my work is for sale?
Yes! It has no bearing on whether or not the work is accepted into the show but we encourage everyone to offer their work for sale. It enhances the value of the show and helps to promote the idea that it is a relevant, professional offering. That being said, we will not reject a good work if the artist does not want to offer it for sale.