In thinking about the work to be displayed I established a number of clear criteria I wanted to meet, namely;
- To utilise the display space, including printed portfolio, to make an attractive and engaging display for all show visitors.
- To maximise the publicity for myself with a view to attracting potential clients.
- To demonstrate a variety of work i.e. a range of photographic techniques and skills.
- To particularly highlight the work I had done in completing the HND syllabus.
- To demonstrate that it was possible to make an effective presentation of work on a modest budget as well as a more generous one.
1) Display Space
As the primary display spaces are at right angles to each other I decide to treat them as separate areas as they would be viewed as such when looking at the images in detail. In terms of meeting criteria 3 (range of work) and 4 (highlight HND syllabus) I have chosen one board to display images from the many media make up shoots I had undertaken over the 2 years and for the 2nd board selected images from the “Windows on the World” project set by Roger Vlitos which I have named “Home Grown”.
The MMU shots demonstrate proficiency in the studio covering lighting, posing and creative images with a variety of models whilst the “Home Grown” ones demonstrate development, planning and execution of images from scratch which requires a different set of skills in addition to competence in capturing images from a technical standpoint.
In addition to the display areas I wanted the portfolio on display to reflect a continuation of the aspects of my work so the portfolio consists of;
- The complete set of 8 “Home Grown” images with background information
- Further MMU images including an advertising shoot.
- A selection of more general images including landscapes*, street scenes* and infra red to demonstrate range. * Some images were captured prior to the HND course but have been included because the post processing skills I have learned have enabled me to present a fresh view of these images.
Although the display spaces are separate I wanted them to be connected as a whole which will be achieved by displaying the portfolio on table along with business cards and some old cameras from my private collection to reflect the photography theme.
I wanted to prominently display my name or my website address and considered various ways of achieving this, a specially made banner or print of my logo, however I came across some metal faced pre-cut letters in, of all places, a motorway service station that I thought were attractive, reasonably priced (£2 per letter) and suitably sized being 8 inches tall. The only limitation was that only letters and not numbers were available and this dictated that it would be my name rather than web site address that would be displayed.
The table display will include show flyers for distribution as well as business cards, a visitors book for comments and possibly some sort of competition for show visitors, maybe to have a “free studio shoot” for a randomly drawn entry. The purpose would be to collect marketing data from visitors e.g. email addresses so there could be follow up contact to solicit customers. This will need to be agreed by the group.
3) and 4) Range and HND syllabus
Covered in Point 1
5) Effective Presentation
As mentioned previously I wanted to use the “Alumini” prints from Loxley as from my research at the Photography Show I found this style of presentation particularly appealing and in addition would find a permanent place at home after the show. I choose the “Home Grown” images for this treatment.
I mocked up the proposed layout allowing for the height of a table and the lettering which gave a display space of approx 56 x 48 inches, established that images around 16 inches wide would be appropriate. I was using a set of 3 images of 1 square and 2 landscape images, by having them all the same width I was able to stack them as a set, further applying the rule of thirds to the presentation space I offset them to the left to create a pleasing impression. With captions to be printed at home on card.
For the MMU Board the challenge was to make an interesting presentation on a modest budget, this evolved due to my concerns over the venue and / or potential turn out due to limited time to advertise the event.
I printed all the potential images out as A4 proof images although I was planning A3 images for the final show and laid them out to select an attractive set that matched in terms of colour, poses and sizes. I made a short list and then asked the group and several lecturers before finalising the set. This was a useful exercise resulting in several helpful suggestions including reversing some images so that of 4 all appeared to face towards the centre, and eliminating some dark colours.
Mock up of layout.
To make a contrast with the HG board which is set against a plain white background after some experimentation I decided to use a hessian background for the images The images would be unframed prints, printed on the college large format printer, to give the appearance of a “frame” the hessian would be edged with 4 laths of white painted wood. The hessian would be fixed with wall paper paste and the prints with double sided tape to the hessian to keep them flat, however from a test the tape adhesion was relatively low and so small brass pins were added to the corner of the images to hold them in position.
One thing I particularly wanted to do is credit the make up artist and models in the images as I feel this is not only proper but helps build a relationship for future projects with the people involved and helps encourage reciprocity. I left a set of the A4 proof prints with the MMU course leader, Ellie Baskerville and asked her to identify the MMU artists involved, once I had the final images I would contact the make up artists to identify models and check spelling of names. I intend to print the captions on 6×4 photo paper at home.
Preparation of images.
The MMU images for display along with the associated portfolio images were all cropped and resized to A3 size, adjustments in photoshop were minimal mainly being done in camera raw with possibly some adjustment to levels and colour tone in photoshop
Detailed description of the post processing of the “Home Grown” images is in the background information with the images in the portfolio but basically consisted of resizing to 16 wide, then converted to B&W and often a high pass filter applied.
The remaining portfolio images were treated on an individual basis but again basically consisted of cropping and resizing to A3 format with the bulk of post processing performed in camera raw.
The printed portfolio will be presented in a simple display book on the table, in addition to the image work I will have on display the hard copy of the written essay created for Dave Caton’s brief as I feel this shows complementary skills in writing, research and presentation compared to the purely photographic elements of the rest of the display. The table will also have business cards and show flyers in suitable holders along with some old cameras for decoration.
In addition to the printed portfolio, business cards will direct users to my public website www.55red.co.uk which also contains samples of my work and will be regularly updated with new examples to maintain variety and interest for viewers.
Lastly there is an AV presentation of all the images used on the stand which is set to music and will require space for a PC and / or data projector on the night. This can only be finalised when we see the venue in the flesh. Space permitting it is also intended to have a presentation of images from all members of the group.
A basic set of tools only will be required to install both sets of images, step ladder, tape measure, square, pencil, hammer, velcro, double sided tape for MMU prints, screws and drill / screwdriver for the “Home Grown” images and brass nails for the MMU images. I envisage that the hessian will need to be installed 24 hours in advance of the print hanging to allow the wall paper paste to thoroughly dry.
The cameras will have security chains fixed to the back boards, this will probably not stop a determined thief but is designed to prevent an opportunist theft if the camera is not attached.