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Exhibitions - who pays?

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by Bazarchie, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    I met a photographer the other week when I was out with my camera and as we parted he mentioned that there was an exhibition of his work in a nearby village, not something I will ever say. As we were due to visit the village I had a quick look at the exhibition and was impressed. All the prints were for sale.

    Something I have not considered before but what are the financial arrangements for exhibitions? If it is a touring exhibition or the work of a top photographer then I assume the exhibition site pays to show the photos and makes income from ticket sales or there is a sharing arrangement. For others, do the photographers pay to have their work shown and hope to make money from print sales?
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    My understanding is that, unless the exhibition is commissioned, the cost is borne by the exhibitor.
  3. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Printing, framing, etc. are paid for by the photographer. I've never heard of a gallery that pays to exhibit pictures but equally you should be deeply suspicious of a venue that charges you for space. It may be worth it but if your pictures are any good, why would they charge?

    Frances and I have had many exhibitions, together and separately, so I have some experience in this realm. The venue may or may not pay for the vernissage (private view): it depends on where and when the exhibition is.


  4. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Thank you Roger

    My thinking was that if the exhibition was mainly a means of selling your products, you may have to pay, but from what you say this doesn't apply.
  5. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Exactly, because both parties have to believe that EITHER your pictures will sell OR that the publicity will attract people to the gallery/shop for other purposes.

    There are of course galleries who will display any old rubbish if you pay enough.


  6. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I suppose it depends what the purpose is. As design students we have had to organise an annual exhibition of work as part of our degree experience. Much of the work is experimental, or at least, still in development. We're not necessarily hoping to sell it, more to to exhibit it in the hope that an employer will like what they see and offer us work! Certainly here in Glasgow, there are very few venues willing to exhibit for no fee, even where that fee is in the form of doing some graphic design work for the owners. Our last exhibition, five nights at the Lighthouse in Glasgow, cost us £750, plus obviously the cost of materials. We organised sponsorship in the form of free drinks/nibbles etc for opening night guests.
  7. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Libraries and shopping centres charge for the space and also demand a share of sales.
  8. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    Speaking for where I live in Germany, the arts soc. I belong to expects a modest cut- 10% as a donation to funds- on any sales you make. The cafe where I'm currently exhibiting costs me nothing apart from getting the pictures prepared. Publicity, if any, is my job. Were I to be represented by a gallery then the cut on sales would be much bigger.

    Then again, I'm lucky not to live in a country where central government is hell-bent on emasculating the regions!

  9. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Yes, there's a difference between galleries and other spaces - church halls and the like generally do charge, but don't take a cut.

    The only gallery in this town is a bar artfully named "The Gallery" which is a rather nice combination.
  10. IvorCamera

    IvorCamera Well-Known Member

    I have a friend who used to search the city for empty shops where he could display in the window a few his best works for free that way he always managed to sell a couple of pictures! I still think its nice to see a photo exhibition with a collection box somewhere in the hall......it is a very expensive hobby for some! I think others who earn a living out of it deserve every penny they get!
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  11. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Thanks to all.
  12. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Lynn, funny you should say that but in London, a very non-emasculated place in some ways, exhibition space is at a premium. Photographers from well-established pro level through to photography clubs are presented with the choice 'pay up or no show'. Quite modest venues charge fees. The more prestigious seek sums beyond most individuals or groups without wealth or sponsorship or a waiver from the site's owners. Four figure sums were commonplace in the 1980s. That situation probably hasn't improved in thirty years. Cheers, Oly

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