I love my little soapbox here at the top of the ACGA newsletter, and I'm going to use it to harp on something that has been on my mind. For the past two years, I've been designing the Clay and Glass Festival postcard and poster. I get hundreds of images from ACGA members to pick from to feature on the card. It's a hard job, a really hard job. Not because I get so many great images that it's hard to choose, but because I get so few good images. And I'm not talking about the quality of work. I'm talking about the quality of the images themselves. I receive images that are poorly lit, have used a flash, or were shot in bright sunshine. Images that are blurry, images that have not been color corrected, images where the background is clearly a sheet. Last year I was getting so desperate to find three or four decent images that were not only of high quality, but also worked together on the postcard that I almost used an image of my own work. The appearance of being that self-serving I could not abide, but I make no promises this year. I haven't yet seen the new crop of images I will be choosing from, but I will use one of my own if I have too!
We are all artists here, and the importance of having high-quality images on hand cannot be overstated. You need them. They are your calling card to the world. Hire the best photographer you can afford to take your images. Or better yet, learn how to do it yourself. It's so possible these days with digital cameras, inexpensive editing software, online tutorials and how-to's. I took some pretty bad photos before I figured it out, but I did figure it out, and you can too. I use these two images, take a year apart, to illustrate:
There will be a workshop in April on taking images of your own work, more details are below. It is free for all ACGA members, so I hope to see you there!
Part of what the ACGA does for you is publicize your work, and if we don't have the best images of your best work, then our efforts amount to a puff of smoke on the breeze.