Regular readers of my blog will know how I strongly urge taking that photo today, now, when you have the opportunity in front of you, rather than assuming “I can always come back tomorrow/next week/ etc.” Never assume! Next time you’re there, they may have cut that tree down, put new vinyl siding on that character-filled weather-beaten home — you name it, a whole catalogue of missed opportunities.
But this time I want to offer a different take on that theme of the dangers of procrastinating. When I’ve committed to submitting photographs for a show or to selling my wares at an event like the Windham ArtFest, I decide what’s going to go, in what size, and in what format. Then I make sure that I have all those photos/sizes/formats ready to upload to the print vendor’s website so I can order all the necessary prints. Needless to say, I try to get that all done in good time so that I’m not unnecessarily spending money on rush fees, premium shipping, that sort of thing.
Coming up in two weeks is one of my favorite shows of the year–Twilight Park Artists in the Catskills. I needed my two photos that were to be framed and hung, plus various others for what they call The Corner Store, the chance to sell extra product such as cards and matted prints. All done, ordered in time, arrived in good time.
But here’s where the danger of procrastination reared its head. I waited a while — like a week or so — before opening the package. After all, my living space is small (major understatement), and I didn’t want two framed photographs out where I could have tripped over them and damaged them.
So, yesterday, during a brief respite from the loathsome summer heat, I decided to open the package and get on with framing the two major photographs, matting another, inserting the others into the card frames, etc.
Whoa, surprise. How could I have ordered something that bad — what was I thinking? The main photos looked as if I’d had a field day with an “increase the shadows” slider, and the card ones weren’t much better. Did I really hang that autumn scene in the Ringwood show back in March?
Well, yes, I did — and someone bought it. But I had used a different print vendor for that job, the same vendor I used to make card prints for the Windham event, and they were just fine. And the tree photo — to fill an order for 100 cards from a friend who is also my best customer (quite honestly, he qualifies as a patron) I used the popular print vendor I always use for my ready-made cards and most of my books, and they turned out just fine. No complaints from the customer — I mean, patron.
We have to be aware that back-lighting from our computer screens will make the photographs appear brighter than they do when printed, and so when preparing a file to be printed I tweak the various brightness settings accordingly. And that’s what I upload for my orders.
If I had waited until the really last minute to open that package and frame the pictures, I’d have had to withdraw them from the show rather than ruin my reputation by hanging bad work. Instead I immediately submitted a new order, for the two large prints as well as for some card prints, to the vendor i normally use and trust. So this time when I say “Do it now!” I mean, please, if you’re ordering prints for something that has a deadline, open that package as soon as it arrives. You never know.
P.S. If you’re traveling through the Catskills in mid-August, you might want to check out the Twilight Park Art Show on Saturday August 13 and Sunday August 14. Paintings, photographs, something for everyone, on the walls and in The Corner Store. Route 23a in Haines Falls. If you’re driving up through Kaaterskill Clove, the entrance is on the left just as you reach Haines Falls. See you there!