Category Archives: photo show

Where Art Shows Go To Die

So, you got yourself a show, congratulations. Maybe it’s just a coffee shop, or a bar, or a small boutique in an alley. Better yet, you are in an actual gallery. The big time! Wherever the show is, it is an important acknowledgement of you as a photographer and artist.

Let’s begin getting everything ready. Most people submit low res digital images to the “curator” or barista ( in my case ). Then you need to make prints. Better find a photo lab that will throw you some love, because this gets expensive, and benefactors are hard to come by these days. Wait a minute, you shoot film, and unless you can spend hours and hours in a darkroom, you are going to need to some fancy scans made $$$$$$$.  Next, how to display?? Custom framing? Mounting? DYI, ouch I just cut off my thumb with a glass cutter. Ikea frame department here I come.

Here’s an idea, do a kickstarter and lean on your friends and family to fund your show. This might work, but will  take months and you will be buying beers for everyone the rest of your life.  Okay, let’s assume you have made it through all of the hurdles, and the Opening Reception is upon us. It’s hang time people. Ever try this maneuver on your own? Better have a ruler, tape measure, pencil, one hell of an eye for presentation, and a damn good friend to hold the ladder.

Next step: Time to make postcards, or homemade paper flyers done on your $60.00 printer. Then you need to spread them around town where they become a needle in a haystack of band flyers and random announcements. No worries, when no one is looking just throw the other shit away, so your postcard is the most visible.  Now,the big day is getting closer. Facebook Posts and tweets in the can and now WHAT THE FUCK DO I WEAR?? If you are a slacker dude, you go with the bad ball cap look and jeans too low even though you are over 30 and look ridiculous. If you are woman, well I can only assume you make more of an effort which means God Knows What?  Almost there Baby,just gotta grab some Pabst and Two Buck Chuck and we are home free!  Wait a minute…pricing??  Well, you spent say $200.00 a piece so you need to recover your investment and then some. How’s $500.00 sound for a framed and matted limited edition ( one of one )? Sounds fair, but jeez the economy sucks everywhere but Valencia St, so these may be hard to sell…..

Exhausted? I am,but the turnout was solid, and you had a blurb in say The Daily Candy.  Your show will run for the next three weeks, and in case anyone missed it, the hair salon is open 6 days a week until nine. That’s my photo over the hair washing station.

Ahhhh, it’s over now, better get down there and take the work down before the shop owner chucks your work into a broom closet.  Now what? Well, if you are lucky you can re purpose your gems, show them again somewhere in another town.  For me, the whole sad irony is, after all the effort,my show is hanging in the most prestigious of galleries….my garage. It’s part of the permanent rafters collection, where viewings are open to spiders. No appointment is necessary.

My Babies

Gallery De Garage

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I need a Parklet, Artwalk, a Food Truck, and a Meetup Stat!

Tomorrow night from 7-10 we are having an art opening at Photoworks.  We will be featuring work as seen in our latest Zine Photoworks 6.  Most of the photographers will be present.  There will be the usual red and white beverages served along with some simple Trader Joe’s snack fare, and maybe a homemade dish or two as well.  And That’s All Folks!  I am hoping that some of the 169 people I invited on Facebook will make it.  Currently the number stands at 33, but I am confident that the event will be a success despite the fact that we sit on an undefined stretch of Market St. that no one perceives as a destination.  If I named the area at Market and Church ( called it Murch maybe) would that make us cool?  Maybe a DJ blaring electronica would entice people to come and see these photos.  I guess there are many options on a Friday night in this town,

by Paige Campbell Linden

and we do not have a Ritual Coffee Roaster embedded in the lobby.  Actually, we don’t really even have a lobby.  How do I get one of those outdoor bike rack cafe thingies with a dumpster full of succulents?  Then when the crowd swells people can spill over to the photoworks promenade.

Lastly, how does one spread the word?  Of my 2000 Twitter followers, I think 1500 live in Alaska.  Someone tell my story in The Fecal Italic, or tumble me, foursquare my shit G.  I want to be in the Best Of The Best Of The Best.   Alas, we will proceed with humility and sans fanfare, and just say COME TO THE SHOW THE PHOTOS ARE GREAT.


2077a Market St at Church  (murch)    PS, I just found out we are going to have mood lighting…


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Artist Reception Featuring Saroyan Humphrey


Photoworks is proud to host a new series of photographs by Saroyan Humphrey.

Saroyan Humphrey is a San Francisco based photographer, designer & art director. In 2008 he opened his photography studio for clients & personal projects.

He shoots portraits, forgotten places and landscapes using a variety of medium format and 35mm film cameras.

Saroyan’s photographs have been exhibited in the U.S. and abroad. He has spoken and participated in Bay Area panels on Lomo Photography. Two of his portraits of California musicians were included in the 2011 book Unlimited Grain which was edited by the International Analogue Photographic Society.

Saroyan’s interests also include music, racing & various forms of creative expression.

Reception starts at 7pm tonight
at the shop, 2077A Market St @ Church

Free Pizza if you bring it!!!

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Your Photography is Too Serious for This Cool Cafe

My friend and good customer V just had her photo show removed from this so called “we do everything the right way” coffee place in San Francisco’s most bitchen neighborhood.  The works, innocuous elements of an apartment, basically muted color photos of furniture was deemed “too intense for people trying to escape into a cup of coffee.”   The problem it seems was the artist’s statement which was interpreted by someone to be about “loss, attachment, family, and death,” are concepts too heavy to process with a $4.00 cup of something called single origin espresso.  Someone wearing a black beanie in 90 degree weather must have looked up from their laptop long enough to be traumatized. So I guess the mass produced shots of sepia toned coffee beans found at Starbucks would be more appropriate or as the owner wrote, ” the art that belongs in a cafe is fluffier stuff and should not make people think about the tough questions in life:  pictures of telephone poles, birds sitting on wires, tapestries of heavy metal lyrics, whimsical stuff.”  So like a nice, soothing  Metallica Macrome?

There are too many hypocrisies and ironies to point out here.  I actually believe that the clientele of this coffee house would appreciate something thought provoking, these are not stupid suburbanites, but serious  people that think about stuff for a living.  Hmmmm, makes me wonder if the cafe wants to expand it’s customer base to the non-thinking coffee drinkers?

The big problem is that the cafe agreed to show the work, the artist made a huge financial and personal investment, and she has now been shown the door because of a photo of ……….a door.  I hate to rat on any local business but this cafe, a  self proclaimed organic mecca has shown it’s true colors by removing this photography.  A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community.

They might want to change the name to……….you fill in the blanks.

Here is the actual work:–

this one gave me nightmares?

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Root Root Root For The Film Team

“And if they don’t win it’s a shame.”  Well it seems like the film team is going to win after all.  Much like the SF Giants, the film shooters are a band of over achieving misfits coming together at just the right time.  And like our World Series Champs, the film team was born out of  disenfranchisement .  In this case a frustration with digital photography as an art form.  I’m certain that The SFAI teaches plenty on digital photography, but isn’t it ironic that many people I meet prefer to explore the boundaries of film and alternative processes.  The toy camera, holga, and lomo are the low fidelity player’s choice around here.

This Friday we will hold a reception here at Photoworks to prove the point.  Hope you can join us, and meet the members of the San Francisco Toy Camera Club, or as I call them, The Film Team.  ( certainly not misfits)

"doubles" not really about baseball

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“How About Two of Each Today Sir”

Here’s another post about the good old days of photo processing……..Believe it or not I actually took a course in how to develop film and operate a One Hour Photo establishment.  Circa 1987, though our store was to be here in San Francisco, the course was offered in Minnetonka, Minnesota, the actual One Hour Photo capital of the world.  So when I say I’m an expert, I can back it up.   One of the things we learned in the course was to up sell customers.  The script went like this, “matte or glossy, 3 1/2 x 5 or 4×6 prints, would you like a second set?”  I’d say at least half the people went for the double prints.

Nowadays it’s a struggle to get anyone to print at all.  Just for kicks I broke out with the old “how about a second set today” line the other day.  The customer responded by saying that it was a “waste of paper and bad for the environment.”   Seems like a weird place to take a stand if you ask me.  I once lived in an old house that was wallpapered with photos.  Now I live a less cluttered life, and like many of you my “mess” is confined to my computer’s hard drive and my phone.

Speaking of prints, there is a new show up for viewing at Photoworks.  We are proud to display the work of Aeschleah DeMartino. These pieces are striking to say the least.  Moody, joyously morbid, posed yet voyeristic.

I asked our artist for a bio, but she was humble and did not send much.  I’ll use the old cliche and say that these images speak volumes.  Perhaps some of you will be inspired to print some of your own work, and remember to ask for, “two of each.”


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Abandoned Photos

You take a dream vacation, take lots of photos, bring them to a photolab, and never pick them up. Seems odd, but it happens all the time. About 10% of film and digital images ordered never get picked up. There are lots of reasons: people forget, don’t have money, lose interest in the subject matter, leave town, die………. Sometimes these photos are market “urgent” or “rush” because at the time it’s a freakin’ big deal. I have photos of babies being born, kids parties, Bar Mitzvahs, weddings, funerals, naked people, dog portraits, burning man crap, actor headshots, artwork, and everything under the sun.

I can see losing interest in a digital order since it’s on someone’s computer. But negatives and prints??? This is not dry cleaning! And by the way, we make every effort to contact the owners of the photos, and some people do eventually collect their property, but I have pictures here from The Eighties.

So, here’s my idea: I’m thinking of putting together a photoshow of a bunch of the ‘left behind and abandoned” photos. A random collection of the stuff people decided was once important enough to photograph, but not important enough to pay the proprietor of the photolab for his developing services. Is this an invasion of privacy?? Hell yes, but obviously someone doesn’t care enough to protect themselves.

Maybe you will see someone you know on the walls of my shop and let them know that they have film waiting to be picked up. Maybe it’s a picture of you on the beach, or in Paris, or getting stoned in the park, or maybe it’s a shot of an ex-girlfriend from a happy time in your life, or maybe it’s a photo of your old cat, or your old Mustang convertible, or even your Mom and Dad……….

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photos I actually like

Friday the 8th day of june there will be a fine photo show at photoworks. I say this proudly, as these are images that I like. We’ve had shows in the past, some good, some not so good, some pretty dull. Sometimes you commit to an artist/photographer without really knowing much about them. Sometimes you get burned when you do this, but in this case it’s been a blessing. The featured photographer tomorrow is Jacob (jake) Appelbaum a self-described “world traveler, photographer, and unix computer user.” Being in my forties, I don’t know what EMO is, but just because Jake wears black, and has some sort of cosmic hair color, does not put him in this category. This was my misconception which Jake politely corrected. One thing I like about Jake is that he appears to have left a trail of broken hearts all over Europe. Never got to live that life myself.

Oh yeah, about the photos on display. They are done with color infrared film. What is color infrared? It’s actually a positve, not a negative. Don’t try and get that, it’s an esoteric process that’s dorky unless you work here. The point is that despite all the layers of chemicals, the images are wonderfully composed, and show a gorgeous color palette. I will be serving the usually red beverage. Jake Appelbaum Photo Show Friday June 8th 6:30-8ish at Photoworks Market at Church St.  ( the show runs through July, so come on down anytime and have a look)