Jeff Kuhlman
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My experiences, failures and successes in film photography and as a traveling artist. 

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Show Notes 3

Posted by kuhlmanjeff@yahoo.com on November 16, 2018 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Grandview Hop, monthly one day show in the Columbus Suburb of Grandview. June 30,2018


This is not a show I would recommend for anyone out of town, but I will review for the sake that it is valuable to anyone to keep a local presence. It can help you promtote other parts of your business, online sales and usually are inexpensive to attend. This show is $40 for a booth and my sales are typically $100 plus some online sales or commissions afterwards. For this show I had one sale after. So for being local it was worth doing, I would not attend every month, but doing one a year does not hurt. 


Festival of the Arts, Howard Alan Events, Asheville, NC July 7-8, 2018 Booth $395, App $25 


This is going to be my last review of any HAE/ACE events. I have spent more than $5000 this year on their events and have done enough to conclude that they are lousy shows. They are not well attended, or recognized, they treat artists horribly from not giving out booth numbers, requiring you to print your own parking pass so they do not tow your vehicle. And yes I have had them threaten me to tow my vehicle and even had to confront the local authorities at the event about whether they had the right to tow a vehicle. And they do not have the right, but will act like they do. The shows are usually more expensive than the average arts festival. They own artfestival.com and allegedly set the standards, but that is all completely made up and they do not even hold their own artists accountable. They are the corporate america equilavent of arts festivals. It is a sad truth, I hope you do not make the same mistake that I did, which was to find their website and then find their schedule and fast forward 7 months and a dozen shows later from Ohio to Florida and in between and a lot of money spent, not much to show for it. They are completely not worth doing. And every show I have done the artist at the end of the weekend talk about the same thing, that it is a dissappointment and excuses about why the show was not good. Every time. My sales at this show were $400 and total expenses paid $638 and I camp and do not eat out. 

Show Notes 2

Posted by kuhlmanjeff@yahoo.com on October 31, 2018 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Crocker Park Fine Art Fair June 9-10, 2018


This is a Howard Alan event, applications are taken up to 1 week before the event, jewelry is the only catagory that usually fills up with them. This show is setup in a outdoor shopping mall on the streets with 90 artists. Event fees are $395 with the app fee. West side of Cleveland is being regentrified and the crowd is mid 30's mostly. This is the mid west though, so expect a good portion of that demographic. I heard quite a bit of price complaining out loud from other booths, personally not mine. My work is $25-$800. My sales were $760 and only being 2+ hours away I would consider doing this HAE again, but I will note that a lot of people had really bad shows with several neighbors not selling anything. 


Worthington Arts Festival June 16-17, 2018


Put on by the McConnell's Art center, the event is well organized, some prize money is awarded. This follows the Columbus Art Festival which in recent years has become quite competitive. The app and event fee is $250 with 130 vendors. This year they made the event quite a bit larger and moved it to a new location, that being said it was not as busy as you would hope for. It was very hot all weekend 90's both days, which definitely affects any show. The show is located on grass and under trees, there were some really bad spots for some artists. My neighbor was blocked by a huge tree root and the trunk of the tree itself, he won a cash prize of $150, but did not sell much. Load in and out was very easy, the show offers entertainment, food trucks, and a beer garden. The area of Worthington is average in wealth, demographic being 50/50 to 30 something to 60+. My sales were $360. Quite a few people that I talked to had really good shows with really good sales across all mediums despite the show not being that well attended. I feel like the show is too big and probably would do better for the artist at about 100 booths. At this point I would consider doing the show again seeing as this is my home town, so I have no travel expenses and there is not another competitive show that weekend. 

I hope you find this information useful and helpful in considering future shows of your own. I will continue to review arts festivals every week or so from my notebook and I will review them in order by date so if you are considering them there is plenty of time to apply. If you would like to support me and find this information valuable you can donate using the paypal button on the home page of www.jeffkuhlman.com or consider becoming a patreon at patreon.com/jeffkuhlman it really helps me to live my dream and keep me on the road. 

Best, Jeff 

Show Notes 1

Posted by kuhlmanjeff@yahoo.com on October 19, 2018 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Hey there, so I want to jump right into going over and reviewing the arts festivals that I have attended. I keep detailed notes for each show, sales, treatment, load in/out, app date, price and app date. I will be as transparent as I can be about the shows and sales. Each of these posts I will review 2 shows. 


Delaware Arts Festival May 19-20, 2018

This show is located in downtown Delaware, Ohio. The area is a little rural and blue collar with surrounding area being farms, Columbus is about 30 minutes away and this area really does not draw any people from the city. The setup is on the street with booths being right next to each other, so if you show up late there is a good possibility you will have trouble getting your canopy up. There is some storage behind your canopy, but not much. Bathrooms are porti potties on the streets, when setting up you are able to pull your car up to your spot. Application is in January and it is old school, you must send in prints of your work for the jury and the fee for the booth is $165 with 195 booths at the show. The show is interested in selling those booths so unfortunately they allow just about anything which brings down the show. That being said the show was bad, all around, the quality of shoppers, to sales, everyone I had talked to said the same thing. My sales were $48. 


Art in the Village, Legacy Village Cleveland, Howard Alan Events June 2-3, 2018

Held in a outdoor shopping center which is characteristic of Howard Alan Events. Expect to have a rough setup and teardown is always a problem. So show up early for HAE shows. Applications for HAE shows is up to a week before the show, you can apply through Zapplication, but have to mail your payment into them by mail. This show is not ranked, there is no prize money, you can rent tents and weights from them. They do provide water, but no booth sitters, bathrooms are local businesses, which do get annoyed by day 2 of the artists coming in and out. HAE keeps there costs down by not really doing anything for artists whats so ever, but there are always HAE events going on and it can be a good way to fill your calendar or use these events to fill in if you are waitlisted by bigger shows. They do jury by quality and all the work I have seen at there shows is very good. Application fees are usually $25, booth fee was $450 and my sales were $298. The general conversation from artists was that the show was slow, especially Saturday. For me personally I was right next to another photographer, which I do not know how that happened, but I do feel like that hurt my sales to some extent. I would not do this show again though, I really did not feel like this was my crowd. 


I hope you found this information useful and helpful in considering future shows of your own. I will continue to review arts festivals every week or so from my notebook and I will review them in order by date so if you are considering them there is plenty of time to apply and decide on the show. If you would like to support me and find this information valuable you can use the donate button on the home page of this website, or consider becoming a patreon at patreon.com/jeffkuhlman it really helps me to live my dream and keep me on the road. 

Best, Jeff 

Going on the road full time

Posted by kuhlmanjeff@yahoo.com on October 9, 2018 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)

I am not sure where to begin, so I will just start. I slowly progressed as a self taught film photographer to the point where I now do this full time. I travel to arts festivals and fairs about 35 weeks a year and my living comes from those sales. When I decided to pursue this as a full time career I made a lot of lists and tried to prepare as best as I could. There is no rule book or how to that exists as far as I know. I definitely made some mistakes in the beginning and I want to share them with you. If you are considering doing art shows in any medium full time I hope this will help you to avoid some of the mistakes that I made. 

First mistake was not realizing how important a booth photo is. It is very important, so important that it is valued as much as your work! Seriously, I did not have a proper booth photo for the first 6 months I was applying to competitive shows, and I did not get into any of them. Not a single one, I did however have one jury reach out to me and asked if I had a different booth photo and that the one submitted was not acceptable.  I really appreciated that person reaching out, if not I would probably thought my work was not good enough to this day. To see some examples of what your booth should look like, go to my places and booth page of this website and take a look. 

The second mistake is closely related to the first, and that was not purchasing a proper canopy. This is represented in your booth photo and is a really big deal. Although in certain shows that I have done, I have seen some pop ups, ez-ups, ect with propanels inside them and they were considered acceptable. Not sure what the artists booth photo looks like, but it is a gamble in my experience to try and go that route. The canopies are very expensive and that is why I had not purchased one. My plan was to purchase one as soon as I got into competitive shows. That never happened, until I purchased the canopy and took a new booth photo, after that I have been inivited to most shows that I have applied to since. It really was like flipping on the light switch, as soon as I had that booth photo with the right canopy I started getting accepted. My canopy is a showoff canopy, but there are a couple others out there of equal quality. Trimline is a big one and lightdome. Each one is very similar and costs about $2000.00 dollars, I will say having one now, I can not imagine not having one. The setup time is much easier and you travel with less gear for presentation than using tables and grid walls. However if you go the propanel route, those will cost about $1500 and a base canopy is about $900. You will need to have an appropriate vehichle to travel with all that setup, it is a lot. 

The third mistake that I made starting out is not realizing that I would be applying and paying for shows up to 6 months in adavance. And that mistake has almost taken me off the road. I did not save enough money starting out to pay for all that. It has totalled up to about $10,000 dollars. I have resorted to using credit cards to make up for it and hope to catch up to it in the next year. 


I hope this helps in your journey to make a living as an artist. If you value this information you can support me and my journey through patreon.com at Jeff Kuhlman. 

Websites ot visit: 

Propanel.com

Showoffcanopy.com

Trimlinecanopies.com



Key West Bicycle

Posted by kuhlmanjeff@yahoo.com on February 9, 2018 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I was lucky enough to have lived in Key West for a little while. This photograph was not taken while I lived there, but on a return trip to hang out. It was shot with a Nikon F5 on Kodak Portra 160

Is Processing Your Own C-41 Worth It

Posted by kuhlmanjeff@yahoo.com on December 11, 2017 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)


 

The economy of c-41 kits and chemistry is questionable and requires experience and personal judgement as to how far you can push it before it is exhausted. One thing is for sure it is not creative like black and white processing. It is just a simple recipe with an exact time and temperature. There are ways of adjusting these two factors, but you still end up with the same result. As I continue to grow my business, I am constantly at a crossroad of sorts of how much time I have and if it’s worth the amount of time I have invested in something. Ultimately does it add value to my process and my photography? I usually feel like I need to be in control of everything and especially the creative aspects. In today’s time it is completely acceptable as a photographer to merely push the shutter, processing, printing, ect can be done by someone else. I doubt I would like that, but maybe if you built a team of people that understood your vision it would work. For now I am completely in control of my own creative process. So back to c-41 processing, with nothing creative in the process I could easily have a lab process the color film and then I could handle it from there and it would save me a lot of time. Does it save me money in the equation of cost to time invested?

 

After revisiting shooting color, before I had only shot slide film for a couple years and usually less than 12 rolls a year. Since slide film is going away, I have accepted it and decided to move on, and have not shot color since. So I shot 12 rolls of Ektar 100, and bought a c-41 kit to process at home. So the experiment began there. I mixed the chemistry and started processing the film. For it to make sense for me to take on the task it needed to save me money, without affecting the quality of my work. I set up the perimeters that the chemistry needed to last 1 month and I needed to do at least those 12 rolls of film, preferably 15 rolls. This would bring down the cost of developing 120 film to $2 roll and that would be worth my time. After all I have all the equipment, but my time is important. I did not end up shooting any more than 12 rolls, but it worked out great. The negatives did not show any issues as the processing went on for the month and the reuse of the chemistry. So it definitely saved me money and while the chemistry is heating up I was able to multitask and do other projects in my studio.

 

I as I started scanning the negatives I was reminded of why I stopped shooting c-41 in the first place. And that was the disappointment of the photos and the richness of colors and dynamic range of the film. Slide film while tricky with the exposure, is incredibly rich and has some magic to it that sets it apart. But slide film currently costs me $3 a shutter click and I really do not feel it is that magical. I really feel like digital color photography has surpassed color film. I can not speak for shooting large format color film, but shooting 35mm for sure is a waste of time for me. The scans look like I have put a iphone filter on them, which would of saved a lot of time and money. Shooting ektar 100 with my Mamiya RB67 definitely has better results. But images that I shoot need to really speak out and evoke some connection and place and the lack of detail just really isn’t there most of the time.

 

I love shooting film and can not imagine being a photographer that is not dedicated to shooting film. I will continue to experiment with shooting color in digital format and I have plans to shoot Portra 160 for portraits. So stay tuned for those results. Below are some sample images of the current c-41 photos and some slide film. I also created a video of processing c-41. You can find that on www.youtube.com/foldunderbeforesealing make sure to subscribe to the channel.

 

Thanks for reading! Jeff


First photo is slide film and the second is Ektar 100



 

Fold Under Before Sealing

Posted by kuhlmanjeff@yahoo.com on October 13, 2017 at 3:45 AM Comments comments (0)

I started shooting in 2001, at least this is when I first was able to buy a 35mm film slr. I purchased it on a credit card for $450, and it was a huge purchase for me at the time. I was around cameras and used cameras quite a bit skateboarding as a kid. And that is what really got me into photography and filming in the first place. 

I shot with my Nikon N65 for many years and I still have the camera. I have not used the camera in a long time and it has those really annoying and expensive cr2 batteries, which by default the lcd screen is always showing the film count and burning up those batteries. 

I loved that camera and it set me on path that  I am still pursuing to this day. There was however always something missing when shooting 35mm. I could never really put my finger on it, and I really didn't understand it myself, but there was always something else. When I finally bought a Yashica Mat124G many, many years later, it finally came to me. Shooting medium format changed my life, love and obession for photography. The feel of the camera, the size, looking down into the camera and the roll film. I Immediately connected with the whole process. 

So the name was born there. On the rolls of exposed 120 film, not all, but most, there is a message at the bottom that states...Fold Under Before Sealing. I love seeing that message. 


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