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Photogs / Photo Exhibits This is the place to discuss a particular Photographer (work, style, life, whatever), as well as to post Gallery and Museum Photo Exhibitions and your own impressions of them. As we march on in this new digital world, it is often too easy to forget about the visual importance of the photographic print, as well as their financial importance to the photographer. It is also interesting to remember that some guy named Gene Smith shot with lenses that many lens test reading "never had a picture published in their life" amateurs would turn up their their noses at, as being "unacceptable."

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Shipping large pieces for exhibition
Old 05-18-2019   #1
Ian M.
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Shipping large pieces for exhibition

Greetings all,
since having a little more time to myself I've gotten back into the art world and have some work up in a few shows this and next month. Had three out of town, where the work was due Friday after only being notified the week before (which was an adventure in printers/framers/bus drivers/shipping clerks taking pity on me).

These were some big (16x20" or so) photos, framed for hanging. I used to be represented by a gallery in town, so getting work there was less of a challenge (but still one; don't drive). Had a few people suggest just bubble-wrapping the hell out of everything, and layering that with cardboard and tape. Having also worked at said gallery, I know how miserable that is to unpack and repack, so I ended up with some of FedEx's HUGE artwork boxes. Safe enough.

After getting some help getting everything to FedEx, the total cost of round-trip shipping clocked in at a whopping $800-something: said insured artwork could only be transported by air. Oof. Ended up going across the street to the post office and it was a tenth of that figure.

Interested in what others who exhibit work do for both packing and shipping for shows. Additionally, where people stand on nicer framing: I reuse the same set of nice custom metal frames, but I know others that go with Walgreens printing and IKEA frames, reasoning that it's less of a loss if/when they get damaged in transit. I figure if work is going to be sold, it better look good, however.

On the plus side, a couple of these shows are at photography-specific galleries that do the printing and framing for me with a bigger commission chunk. A lot more peace of mind.
Ian M., Seattle
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Old 05-18-2019   #2
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I had a couple wood packing crates made with corner inserts and dividers for 3 framed prints, since I standardized my frame size. Initial outlay was expensive, but saved money over time. (I also stopped using glass, and instead found a high-quality perspex material).

I've seen more than a few people modify or use the wood crates from Uline.
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Old 05-18-2019   #3
Bob Michaels
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Takkun: about 12 years ago I searched through the surplus electronic shipping cases at our local outlet and selected two. I fitted them with Styrofoam sheets lined with cardboard so each securely holds up to 14 16x20 framed prints. They can be either transported in a small van or shipped by UPS or FedX ground.

I standardized on 16x20 Nielsen #11 matte black frames with pexi instead of glass around that same time and reuse them as my work is not for sale.

Some of my exhibits have been in Cuba meaning I must carry the cases of prints as excess baggage on the flight. That was no problem when I had friends at the airline and at Havanatur who checks in flights departing Cuba. They could conveniently look the other way and check them in with no charge. But now that is history. Each container is both oversize (+$150) and overweight (+$150 more) and I calculated baggage cost at $1,400 for my last exhibit which I could not handle. So I had to carry 24 matted but unframed prints in a big suitcase. Since the gallery was not air conditioned, some of them warped which was embarrassing. I have another exhibit down there in October and not sure how I am going to handle that.
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