Jury Photos

​​Jury Photos Defined 
Many art shows and events are curated by a jury. This group of art industry experts acts as the judge of which pieces will be included, and their job is to evaluate all of the candidates. Some juries will be event staff with a history in the industry while others are made up of outside artists, gallery owners, art educators and more that have been specially recruited for the job. Because juries can't meet all of the applicants in person, they make their judgment based on photography of the artwork. Often the ideal jury photos are simple in staging, individual pieces or a small selection of work on a plain background. The goal is to show quality and craftsmanship with no distractions. They jury will be looking for talent and unique style compared with other applicants in the same artistic category, but also fit for the event if there is a particular theme. Some juries will also ask for a booth photo to see how art will be displayed. Its crucial that you catch the jury's eye and convey professionalism.

The Jury Process
Every event is different when it comes to the application process and evaluative criteria, but most follow similar steps for jurying. As mentioned above, the jury can be made up of one person or several with different perspectives on art. No matter their background, that common goal is to select the best artists among the applicants in order to fill spots at their event. This usually involves gathering together in one room to view all of the photos for each applicant and then vote.

Blind juries don't see the name of the artist or any other details when making their selection to help prevent any bias from impacting their votes. That means the photographs have to do all of the talking. These jurors will be looking for skill, originality and consistency across the provided examples of each artist's work. Many shows attract a high number of applicants, so the evaluation will likely be made quickly. Jury photos need to make a strong initial impression fast. 

Best Practices

  • Read the application directions for type and number of images needed.

  • Follow the recommended specifications for size and resolution.

  • Include a representative selection of the best work that you plan to show.

  • Many fairs specifically want to see samples of all you plan to sell.

  • As much as possible, convey focus throughout the pieces in your images.

  • If there is an event theme, demonstrate how you'll be a good fit.

  • Image order does matter; arrange your photos with intention.

  • Consistency across your images is key - background, lighting, staging.

  • Simple, clean and well lit will help your artwork stand out.

  • Make sure your images show accurate colors and avoid distortion.

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