Friday, February 19, 2010

Portrait Photography Exhibition

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I received a phone call on Wednesday asking me if I’d like to have an exhibition of my portrait photography for the month of May in the Bookshop Gallery at the Mill on the Fleet, in Gatehouse of Fleet, about 15 miles down the road from here.

It’s a converted old cotton-spinning mill with a visitor centre, shop and café. The top floor is half taken up with a 2nd hand bookshop, and the other half is a gallery space. In fact Maggie exhibited some of her work there a couple of years ago.

All excited, I said yes more or less straight away.

Now the panic has set in.

Waves of crippling self-doubt were always going to be a part of something like this. I mean, who ever puts on any kind of exhibition and doesn’t get flooded with fears of not feeling good enough, or people not turning up, or not liking it and so forth?

But there’s a more practical problem, which lies in just how much it’s going to cost to present 20 to 25 images. Unfortunately, printing them our on our home printer and sticking them to the walls with a bit of blu-tack isn’t really an option.

And of course, I won’t make any money back on any framing directly. No one is going to buy portraits of other people. The only way to generate any money from this is if people are impressed enough to commission me to do their portraits.

So I’ll also need some good quality leaflets for visitors to take away with them.

And as it opens on the 1st of May, I really need to have all the images ready for printing, mounting and framing by the beginning of April.

Which is less than 6 weeks away

And I don’t have enough photos of the kind I want to present yet.

So excuse me while I run screaming around the room in ever faster circles...
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31 comments:

The Pollinatrix said...

Congratulations, Kim! This is wonderful.

Maybe you could put a donations widget on your blog, and your readers could help you out a bit with the cost of putting this together. I'd probably only be good for a few bucks, but if others were too, it would add up pretty quick!

Can't help you with getting more photos, though.

hope said...

Good for you! (Not the running in circles, screaming part).

You just have to include the photo of you in the toaster...shows talent and whimsy. If you make people laugh and smile, they won't be afraid to sign up for their very own portrait. Even camera shy me would if I was in your neck of the woods. That's a huge compliment, even if it's not evident.

You know, we're all great proof readers. ;)

mapstew said...

Can't beat a bit of panic adrenalin!

I hope it all comes together for you.

Midnitefyrfly said...

I can't imagine it turning out anything less than stupendous! Sometimes the most creative and wonderful things come from the stress of a deadline and a budget.

A video of you running around in circles, screaming, would have been a great addition to this post- you know- just for effect :)

savannah said...

yikes, yikes, yikes!!!!

ohmygawd, ohmygawd, ohmygawd!!!!


ohshitdammittohellwhathaveidone????


repeat 10x and remember:

just breathe...

xoxoxoxox

Hindsfeet said...

it will be lovely, and it will be just fine, and it will all come together beautifully...or in the words of Julian of Norwich, "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well." ; )

but on a practical note, I agree with Pollinatrix here, about the donations widget...you've graced us with so many lovely moments of light, it would be a priveledge to give back a little push : )

(of course I also agree with Midnitefyrfly's idea for a video post of you running around in circles screaming, so, ya know, take my two cents with a grain o' salt ; ) )

either way, we're cheering for you, friend : )

p.s. orrrrrrr, how about sometime between now and then auctioning off a framed signed photo here on your site??? One that will appear in this exhibit and then be sent to the highest bidder? Just a thought...

Roschelle said...

Yes, indeed...Congratulations. After you finish running around and screaming...GET TO WORK!!

Yay!

~:C:~ said...

This is fantastic, Kim. And just think - not only do you get to exhibit your beautiful photographs, but you also get in a healthy dose of physical exercise. : )

Pat said...

Great! Congratulations! That's a terrific compliment and the fear factor is perfectly normal.
Is there any point in my begging you to include at least one landscape. You know which one:) I know - I don't know what I'm talking about- just ignore it.

Aly said...

Congratulations! Although I've only been following your blog for a few short months, I have fallen in love with your photography and have shared it with many of my friends, who have also been impressed. If anyone who comes to see is even half as in love with your photographs as I am, you'll have no worries about having others wanting you to take photos. I agree with teh first comment about possibly putting something on the site so bloggers can donate.

Jacqui said...

Wow, that's fantastic. A little apprehension is to be expected. I hope you thoroughly enjoy the whole experience. Your B&W portraits are fabulous.

Katie Roberts said...

Huge congratulations Kim!
You're work really deserves to be exhibited. And yes it it expensive but it will all be worth it to see it out there. (I think of it as a long term investment - in myself!)

Yes very exciting, scary & wonderful1!

:) :) :)

Well bloody done!

Yes, I reckon almost every artist I've met gets the major self-doubts a few weeks before a show. You just jumped in at that deep point, but boy I bet you can swim!

wish I could come see the show :(

Oh and can I tell you off?
No more negative self talk! Stop saying 'no ones going to buy portraits of other people' and you might just be surprised! Hope you're including/doing more of those interesting context shots... hmmm. And get a good invite list together...

...sorry I'll stop giving you unsolicited advice now :)

good luck and have fun getting those photos done, cant wait to see the work. Yay!

Postman said...

Congratulations on the upcoming exhibit, sir. I have a feeling you'll pull through somehow. By all means run around and scream if it makes you feel better, though.

starrlife said...

Will it soothe you if we all run and scream together?
That is very exciting but I can see why it would be a bit nerve wracking too! What an opportunity though.

Dan said...

I know you must be shitting it at the moment matey, but seriously, WELL DONE!!!!!

I've always loved what photos you have allowed us to see and can see why they asked you.

Seriously, I know you must be worried about it, but you have the talent mate, you really do.

Some of your landscapes are stunning.

Helen said...

Hey Bearded One - you forgot the most important factor! Pull your shirt up over your head first before all the running around. Generally when this is done, you tend to run into things and knock some sense into yourself at the same time.
Kim - you are an amazing talent. I know it all sounds pretty scarey - but you will get your work out in public, and this in turn will lead to (somewhere down the track) being the kind of eccentric photographer who gets to stay home all day in his slippers and crazy hat, bringing in ridiculous amounts of money for his portrait work. (the kind of portrait work you really want to do)
You'll be sitting in your maroon velour bathrobe one day, smoking a very big Cuban cigar, while Vogue (or some such magazine) asks you how it all began...
You will sit back and animatedly tell them of your exhibition at the local bookshop/gallery etc, and how it was all a great big, panic etc. and laugh madly to yourself.....
Just go do it Kim, we are all behind you!!!!

Thrup'ny bits said...

Mmmm . . . if all goes well I'll be in the Lake District in May, not far to travel the Lowlands of Ayrshire to see an exhibition of photographs and browse a few books . . .

Alan

Ponita in Real Life said...

How excellent! You'll pull it off with flair and ease... just you wait! The panic is temporary... ;-)

Fay's Too said...

Yay for you! I have ultimate faith in your talent.

Gillian said...

This is brilliant news!!!! Congrats...get snapping, get framing and put your inspirational hat on.

You'll do great! Would get your to take my pix if I was closer.

Mary Witzl said...

I got all excited reading this and now you've made ME nervous! Nothing gets me nervous like the thought of spending money, perhaps even losing it -- and it doesn't have to be MY money either.

But I think you'll make a name for yourself, meet a lot of useful people, and kick-start a business too. And it will look great on your CV. (I've been gritting my teeth and telling myself this for the past 2 years: never mind how hard this is -- it'll look good on a CV.)

Lynne said...

that is soo cool! Good luck and I hope it goes well. The leaflets can be easy with a color printer and some good wording but the rest....It can be done. I'm happy for you! And if I lived closer I would volunteer my 2 young kiddos as a couple of models to photography, my daughter Eddowyn has some "manga" eyes and my daughter Tarryn...well is just beautiful, but alas I'm in GA, USA and you're in Scotland.

Jayne Martin said...

Congratulations! I know you will get the job done and be a resounding success.

Kim Ayres said...

Pollinatrix - I appreciate the offer, I really do. But it's just not in me to stick out a begging bowl and just ask for donations. There are so many causes that are so much more important than mine, I just couldn't do it. I know there are plenty of bloggers out there who do - for that matter there's even FLG from my last post, who's looking for funds to get over to America to see his girlfriend.

I'll exchange services for money - I'll take photos, sell photos or even advise on websites & marketing, but I have to feel I'm giving something of value in return for money from someone.

Hope - I might use the toaster photo for the Biography you usually haave to write for these things :)

Mapstew - thank you :)

Midnitefyrfly - a video of me running round in circles, screaming, would be just a bit too scary...

Savannah - I'mbreathingI'mbreathingI'mbreathing
I'mbreathingI'mbreathingI'mbreathingI'mbreathing
I'mbreathingI'mbreathingI'mbreathingI'mbreathing
I'mbreathingI'mbreathingI'mbreathingI'mbreathing
I'mbreathingI'mbreathingI'mbreathingI'mbreathing
I'm hyperventilating...

Hindsfeet - I must refer you to my reply to Pollinatrix above for donations. As for the auction, I still can't imagine anyone would be interested in buying a portrait of someone else...

Roschelle - I am! I am!

~:C:~ - *collapses on the floor, clutching at heart and gasping for breath...*

Pat - I'm afraid it's going to be a portrait exhibition, so I won't be including any landscapes in this one. Have you got your one printed yet?

Aly - thank you for your kind words. As for donations, I'm afraid I have to refer you to my reply to Pollinatrix, above

Jacqui - thank you :)

Katie - I'm really not expecting anyone to buy the images. What I'm hoping for is people are going to be impressed enough that they want me to take their portraits - and that will suit me fine :)

Postman - as a sufferer of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, there's only so much running around and screaming I can do before I collapse in a heap. I might have to hire someone to do it for me...

Starrlife - while I catch my breath, you can run and scream, and I'll watch...

Dan - it's true, it is a good cure for constipation. I'm glad you like the landscapes. It's the portraits I'll be exhibiting...

Helen - sorry, can't reply. Too busy searching for a maroon velour bathrobe online...

Alan - I hope you get the chance to see it :)

Pointa - flair and ease? I think you must be mistaking me for someone else...

Fay - thank you :)

Gillian - get a few friends and neighbours together to chip in to fly us out for a couple of week's holiday and I'll do photo sessions for all involved :)

Mary - being self employed, I don't have to worry about having a CV... damn, that felt good writing that :)

Lynne - my printer is crap so I'll probably find somewhere online to get 500 1/3 A4 leaflets printed. Shouldn't cost too much (I hope)...

Jayne - thank you :)

Restaurant Gal said...

Self doubt? Wondering if you can do what others say you do so well? I don't know anything about those stray feelings. :) You will do well, and the show should indeed generate more business and ultimately pay for itself and beyond.

Kim Ayres said...

RG - I live in hope... :)

Sayre said...

You are your own worst critic! Kim, you portraits are just beautiful. Include some of Meg. Faces with lots of lines and expression. Include some self-portraits - those are some of my favorites! I think if you actually look at what you've got, you'll find 25 very nice (not landscape nice) photographs. Heck - I could scroll back through this blog and find them myself!

enlist Maggie's help. She's done this and has faced this particular anxiety before, I'm sure!

Falak said...

So glad for you! Congratulations! After so many comments reassuring you about how good you are at what you do I seriously hope you're feeling better. A little stress helps at times.Loads of best wishes:)

Carole said...

Completely awesome.

Kim Ayres said...

Sayre - for this exhibition, I don't yet have enough of the kind of images I want to display. I've decided against the idea of doing a wide spread of styles and instead will focus in on the edgier, moody images

Falak - while there's no doubt it's lovely to hear so many voices telling me good I am, I have to be aware it's not necessarily reflective of a wider opinion. By it's nature, most people will only leave nice comments on blogs, especially those they follow regularly. When we disagree, or dislike a blog post we are more likely to just not comment than challenge, as we don't want to cause offense. SO I do have to be a little wary of blindly accepting all the praise (however lovely it is) :)

Carole - thank you :)

Lynn said...

HA! HA! HA! I read your post again and had to laugh because even though we've never met in person I could imagine the scene! Good luck to you with the show I'm sure it'll be amazing!