A show I just submitted to gave photo requirements that said something like: "No hanging rods showing, no feet, no garage doors in the background. Hire a professional to photograph your quilt." Having taken my fair share of crap photos, this is a no-brainer. I don't have proper lighting. I don't have a tripod. I couldn't tell a shutter from a soft box if one bit me on the aperture. I'm not proud of this. I also don't know how to land an airplane or weld or make artisan cheese. These are the things that make me feel inadequate.
So when it comes to hiring professionals, I'm first in line.
Brian Adams and I have a little joke about him being my "official photographer." It's very generous of him to even make the suggestion because he's the official one and I'm the neophyte fumbling my way through The Art World. Last week he waited very patiently while I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to straighten a textile piece on the wall. He'd shoot it, preview the shot and say, "What do you think? It still looks crooked." Then I'd dink around with it some more, then he'd shoot it, and it was still crooked. Eventually we both agreed to accept that it's fabric, not a board. That was freeing. I appreciated his patience. Here's how else you know you have the right photographer:
1.) He gives you a hug when he shows up at your door and is genuinely happy to see you.
2.) Your super shy cat thinks he's the bomb (he moves very slowly, is very quiet, unlike small children ... this is intriguing):
3.) He makes your work look like this, even though you didn't know it could:
4.) He gives you the confidence to look like this even though you didn't know you could:
5.) He's serious about the pursuit of his personal work (Brian's stunning work) and is equally serious about yours (see comment about crooked quilt):
(Did I mention his incredibly talented wife is also a photographer?)
Invest in good materials, tools, photography and books. Invest in relationships and friends. Hire the professionals.
Some of these things will remarkably overlap.
Artist in Anchorage, Alaska, sometimes blogging about the collision of history, family & art, with the understanding that none exists without the other.