Documentation and images

Getting high quality documentation of your work and your projects are vital.  Often the first time people will encounter your work will be through the documentation they see of it, be it what appears on your website, images on printed invitations for your exhibition or with applications that you send out.  

If you don’t have good photography skills yourself, it may be worth investing in a professional photographer to document your work, or asking a fellow artist who is skilled in this area to do it.

When you are sending documentation for promotional purposes or in support of an application, check with the person you’re sending it to what format it is required in. In the case of an application the required format should ideally be outlined in the application guidelines.  Always follow these instructions in the first instance, only supply up to the maximum number of works indicated – it is better to submit fewer, stronger works than more, weaker works to ‘pad out’ your application just to take it to the recommended number of pieces.

When documenting work think about how to best represent it. In most cases this is easy to decide, so some good photos will work to show off a painting or sculpture, a film clip on Vimeo or YouTube will work to represent a film work. Things may be a bit trickier in the case of a multi-media installation for example, where you may need a combination of moving image and still documentation to do the experience of it justice.

Nowadays you will mostly be dealing with digital images. Generally the most flexible format/file type to send images in is in a JPG format. If the image you’re sending is going to be used for print it generally has to be at least 300dpi. If the image you are sending will only appear online then it need only be 72 dpi.

In most cases you’ll be sending images by email. Don’t send unnecessarily large image files as they clog up people’s inboxes. If you have to send large files, compress them using a programme such as Winzip, or use a file sharing site such as Hightail, Dropbox, Google Docs or similar. Always check though that the person receiving the images will be able to access them in this way.

When sending documentation of moving image it may be easiest to send links to videos hosted on VimeoYouTube or similar and accompany these with digital film stills. There is a more detailed information on the LUX website on the specifics of documenting and distributing moving image work.

If you end up sending physical material (Such as DVD’s, CD’s, Printed images etc) make sure they are clearly labeled with your name and full contact details. If you want them returned, please be clear about this and provide a self addressed envelope with the correct postage.

Whenever you send images of your work they should always be accompanied by full image credit information.  It’s also important to indicate whether the image is a detail, film still, installation shot or similar. So include…

  • Artist Name, Title of work – Year of production
  • Medium
  • Dimensions / duration

And in some cases…

  • Photographer Credit
  • Other info: Is the image a detail, a film still an installation view?
  • Image Courtesy (who owns copyright for the image? In some cases this might be the gallery representing an artist, or the artist themselves)

If possible you can put this information in the file name of whatever digital file you are sending over. Failing this an additional document which clearly indicates which image credits relate to which image file is ok too.

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