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8 Excursus: Submit photos for application

If you want or need to submit digital photos of your artwork with your application, you should familiarize yourself with a few technical details. In some cases it is specified exactly how the file of your photo should look like. Here you have no choice but to get this done somehow. If you can’t do it yourself, you need to find someone to help you. Otherwise your application may be sorted out directly – or in some cases of online applications, the system won’t even allow you to send the application at all. In other cases no precise or only partial specifications are given. Even so, there are a few things you should know.

Type of file

Unless otherwise specified (!), You should send an image file in the attachment as a single file in JPG format. This means that under no circumstances should you insert an image file into a Word document or PDF or any other program that is not primarily intended for the transmission of image files.

Naming the file

Unless otherwise specified (!), It is a good idea to use your last name and the title of the image to name the file. If you send multiple photos, you can also number them. Make sure, however, that the file name is not too long, you may shorten the title of the image. It’s best to add underscores between the individual parts. An example: 1_Sommer_Meeresblick.jpg

Size of the file

Check the file size of your image file. Unless otherwise specified (!), A size of less than 1 MB is sufficient. Photos with more than 5 MB or even more than 10 MB can lead to long download processes, which are very annoying for curators who want to get a * quick * overview.

Resolution of the file

Unless otherwise specified (!), A resolution of 72 dpi is sufficient initially. Otherwise the download process will be delayed here as well. Resolutions of up to 300 dpi are only required for good print catalogs, but this is usually expressly stated in the tender.

Amount of image files

This, too, is usually precisely specified in the tender. If you are applying on your own initiative, it is best to limit yourself to three – at most (!) But five – image files. As a curator, it is not uncommon for me to suddenly receive over 20 pictures and I have neither the time nor the inclination to look at them all. All I want is a first impression.

Large amount of image files

If – for whatever reason – it is necessary and agreed that you send a larger number of pictures, you should not put more than five in a single email in order to avoid technical problems. It is possible that your program will automatically convert all files to a zip folder. Or some mail programs automatically upload the files to their own cloud and the recipient is then sent a download link. However, it is advisable to find out beforehand what the recipient prefers. If you don’t know how your own mail program reacts and what the other side wants: I can highly recommend the WeTransfer service, which allows you to send up to 2 GB for free in a really simple way.

Quality of photography

It goes without saying that your photography should show your work of art in the best possible light. This is to be understood both literally and figuratively. A picture for the wall shouldn’t show wallpaper around it, it shouldn’t hang crooked, it shouldn’t be distorted and the sunlight or lamplight shouldn’t reflect in it. Also, no “creative” extras such as additional lettering should be incorporated. Even professional frames don’t really improve the quality of photography. Just show your picture as it is! With a sculpture, you have to make sure that no disturbing elements appear in the background and that the color contrast of the work of art and the background clearly shows the work of art and does not make it disappear.

Nina Davis

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