5 Things I learned Preparing for my RMSP Exhibition

I’m very excited about my upcoming exhibition at the RMSP gallery that runs from May 4 – Aug 3. The opening reception is this Friday May 4 from 5pm – 8 pm. Please do stop by if you get a chance.

I wanted to print and frame the work myself at least this once, even though I know that there are people who tell me that photographers should photograph, printers print and framers frame. It was a good experience and I learned a few things along the way that I should have already known. Here are 5 of those things:

1. It took longer than I was expecting

While I thought that I had a good handle on how long the various steps in preparing, printing, framing and shipping my photographs would take I was very wrong. It’s always the same whenever you’re doing something for the first time, or come back to it after awhile, it takes a while to get into a rhythm that is efficient.

2. Stuff happens

While you can’t know what’s going to go wrong you need to anticipate that something will go wrong and plan and prep before hand to allow you to be able to deal with whatever happens. For me, I ran out of ink while printing the prictures but i was ready for that and had new ink on hand, getting the glass took a little longer than I had expected, and then I broke one of the large pieces of glass. That I hadn’t expected but was lucky in that I had a spare piece on hand from an early framing effort.

3. I enjoyed the process of framing my prints

While the novelty would surely wear off if I were framing dozens of prints a day, I really did enjoy the process of framing my prints. Not sure whether the purists would consider it really framing, in that I bought the glass from a local glazier and the assembled wooded frames and matt-board and then just assembled the sandwich. I enjoyed the process and could see myself doing more of this in time.

4. I like big prints

Until this exhibition the largest I’d printed my images was about 10 x 16. 24 x 36 by comparison seems gigantic and comes with a whole set on handling issues that I wasn’t ready for. For instance, I ended up doing all the framing work on our dining table because I didn’t have another flat surface, other than the floor, that was large enough to deal with both the print and the frame. 44 x 66 would be completely out of the question. It also made me think hard about image quality. When you are up close to your image at that size you see all the imperfections. Even if I don’t print every image at this size in the future, knowing that I might will make me step up my game and look for ways to maximize image quality.

5. The product of the work is the print

While I had always considered that the print was the destination, seeing this project through to a completed set of prints under-scored that thinking. I will certainly make more of an effort than I have in the past to work up images regularly to framed prints, even if it’s only one a month.