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be careful when looking for a Jury Slide Photographer

A wise artist once told me that you have to be careful when looking for help with your images because most people you ask seem to think that they know everything, but in reality, they only know what they know and that usually isn't enough. I've written about bad scans from art shows and other image problems. For this article, I'd like to concentrate on one of the things an unsuspecting artist should watch out for when hiring a photographer.
I was approached recently by a furniture maker artist who needed photographs of his work to apply to an art show. I explained that he needed to make sure that he hire a photographer who knew what jury slides were.
Now, any artist who has tried to find a jury slide photographer knows that product photography and jury slide photography are two different specialized skills.
So the artist found a photography studio that told him they had experience working with artists, and even knew how to format images for ZAPP.
Well, it turned out that the studio didn't even come close to knowing what a jury slide was. Though the lighting wasn't bad, the furniture took up about 15% of the available area in the digital file. As a result, it was so small that it could barely be recognized for what it was in a jury room.
I was given the job of calling the studio and explaining what was wrong with the images. In a ten minute discussion, the person I spoke to went to the ZAPP web site and read me the image prep instructions three times explaining that they did their job because the images were formatted correctly. There were more than a few times I wanted to say, "it's the cropping, stupid." but I held my tongue and asked him to send me the full size TIF files so I could prepare what the artist needed. Not only was I able to improve the crop, but I was also able to improve the color as you can see below. And for the icing on the cake, the artist was accepted into the Baltimore ACC show.

photographed and prepared
for ZAPP by the studio

cropped and color corrected


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Slide scanning for ZAPP and other digital jury systems

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