In the process of building a name for myself as a photographer, I’ve tried a few different things: art exhibits at local galleries; offering a piece for silent auctions; art fairs; contests and more. Chances are I should be doing these things more frequently than I currently am, but I’m just trying each one out to see what the response might be first.
This year, the new thing I’ve tried is entering my art in county fair exhibits.
I haven’t had much opportunity to spend a lot of time on my photography lately, because other things have been getting in the way. So, I thought that I could keep my toes in the water, as it were, by entering art exhibits in local fairs. The entry fee is much cheaper than art fairs, and I don’t need to do anything besides drop off and pick up my art (that doesn’t sell). I get good exposure, the possibility that someone will buy my work, and a chance to win awards and/or prize money from the exhibit judges.
I entered art in four county fairs this first year, mostly because I’d missed the deadline for applying to other ones. Some of the county fairs allowed me to enter as many pieces as I wanted, and all of them required that the pieces be no more than three years old (some even had a one year cut off). Craig suggested that I enter the same pieces to each fair, but I wanted to mix them up a bit, so I could offer more variety out there, and so that I might be able to use the same ones at another fair next year. So I just entered two pieces to each of the four fairs.
It was probably a good thing that I was only able to apply to four of them, because the dropping off and picking up of art is a LOT of work when you have to drive 2 hours each way, each time. BUT, the driving around has paid off a little bit. I still have art in one county fair (picking it up at the beginning of August), but of the other three fairs I submitted my stuff to, I’ve won three awards! WooHoo!!!
The next art fair I entered was the Sonoma-Marin fair. And here, BOTH of my entries won awards!
The first one was for a new piece, titled “Praying Angel” that I’d taken at a local cemetery for a photography class I took last year. That one won Third Place! Here I am holding the picture and award.
And here I am holding the other piece, titled “Boston Cemetery – Flag,” which won Second Place!!! I was SO thrilled that both won something, but even more thrilled that one of them was almost good enough for 1st place!
It’ll be interesting and exciting to see if I’ve won anything from the last county fair, but it doesn’t really matter. The fact that I’ve already won three awards out of six photos is awesome to me. It’s another one of those moments that lets me know I actually am a talented photographer, and that others realize it.
So, while I might not do the same county fairs next year, I definitely will enter some again. I just need to make sure I’ve got enough recent photos to meet their requirements.