Experiencing a RAW Showcase As a Photographer

As some of the readers on this blog know, I recently featured my printed work as a RAW: Natural Born Artists showcase at the Southport Sharks on the Gold Coast. Now I’d like to share my experience to help you understand what it might be like if you ever want to showcase at one.

How was my experience overall? Good. I got found through my Facebook Page and received an email to ask if I’d be interested in taking part, which before I said yes to, I did my research.

I wanted to weigh up what it would cost me and what I could achieve from the event. When I did my research, I knew I could achieve the results I wanted with minimal cost. The things I took into consideration were how many photos I would need, will I have time to fully prepare? Would I have everything I need for a display, if not, what would it cost? Lucky for me I had prints in a few locations around where I live that I was able to take with me so I only had to get a couple of canvases extra.

IMG_0762Also, a big factor I took into consideration is that doing my first RAW event meant I had to sell 20 tickets, and if I didn’t sell them, I had to buy the remainder. I was glad I sold some of my tickets but I did have to buy some too.

The plus side of showcasing your photos in a room designed to get artists together is the people who come are usually interested in seeing individuals work or looking to book or use an artist. Something else I liked about the terms of doing the showcase is you’re encourages to sell your work without losing any commission as RAW don’t take anything. I loved this because I did sell a print on the night and some the next day.

As for communication between RAW and myself, the did an awesome job of helping to make sure I had everything I needed and answered all of my questions with a quick check in phone call each week to help out, which is a nice touch. I know it sounds like I’m trying to talk you into doing one, but I’m not, I’m just sharing my experience.

In the lead up and on the night of the showcase all the artists were featured on social media and we were brought up on stage (it’s your choice so you don’t have to if you get stage fright) to share a little about ourselves and our work which gets your name out there to people who may not know you yet.

IMG_0769A slight downfall was in the room, the main lights got dimmed which made it a bit harder to see the printed images and didn’t really make them ‘pop’ the way I would’ve liked. We did however get given two IKEA lamps to add some extra light but if you want to do it, I suggest you bring some additional ones as you want plenty of lights shining on your images to get them to stand out.

I got lucky with extra lighting because next to me was a live body painting and they had a small floodlight on for most the night which was great for me. Another photographer who was there on the night (@mattzpixz – really nice guy) brought along his own continuous studio light with soft box which looked really good to illuminate his prints.

My summary of all this, I enjoyed the experience, got some good exposure, got great feedback on my printed work and if you’re thinking, would I do one of these again? Most likely, yes. It also helps now that I’ve done my first one I can go to any RAW showcase around the world without having to sell anymore tickets, I’d just need the stock printed. Also, if you are interested in doing one of these, take extra lights so your work looks at its best.

I hope this article has helped you from my experience. I was fortunate that I didn’t have to spend a lot on my setup with printing and props etc. I’d just make sure it will be worth doing for what you want to achieve in your photography journey.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think or please share your experience, I’d love to hear from another photographer who’s done a showcase too.

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