Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Photograph an Art Show (Improve Your Photography)

Every spring or summer, my area is booked with art shows. One of the most popular in the country is the Ann Arbor Art Show, which takes place every July. There are also numerous art shows which take place in almost every major community. You can go to different shows every weekend of the summer, and never run out of shows to visit. Quite often, I'll know one or two of the photographers displaying and selling their artwork, another incentive to go.

I like to go to as many art shows as I can for two reasons. First, as a photographer, I like to view other photographers work, and talk with them. I consider myself an artist, and a great way to expand your artistic horizons is to talk to other artists! Its one of the ways I learn, and it gets me in touch with others with similar interests. The second reason I enjoy art shows, is the diversity in subject matter in which I can take photographs. I always bring one of my digital cameras with me.

While at the art show, I'll photograph whatever the day presents to me. It may be a closeup of a sculpture from an artist, it may be one of the musical artists that is performing, or it may be one of the other people enjoying the fair that day. No preconceived agenda, just going with the flow, and photographing as I go. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions I have for you when you visit art shows, and carry your camera with you:
  • When photographing other artists work, ask permission first. Ask the artist for their business card (this is important), and explain to them you're just enjoying the day, and like to photograph people and artwork. If the artist agrees, let them know that if you ever publish any of the photographs that you'll first contact them and ask them for a release. This is of respect for other artists and their work. If the artists objects, thank them, tell them you understand, and move on to the next booth.
  • If the artists gives you permission, thank them. You can even take their photograph in front of their booth, and email them a copy as a gesture of gratitude. Shoot for color and abstracts. Personally, I am constantly adding to my abstract and color-study portfolios. Shooting close ups of artwork is one of my sources for these types of images. Don't be afraid to get in close on sculptures and other pieces of art. You'll be pleasantly surprised at some of the images you'll get.
  • Watch the people. Take a look around, and fire off some candid's of interesting people attending the art fair.
by: Kevin L. Moss

Related Post:
Carry a Camera Wherever You Go (Improve Your Photography)
Shoot With a Fixed 50mm F/1.8 (Improve Your Photography)

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