Documenting Your Work Part 2: Paying for Professional Help

Its time to work with a professional art documentator if leasing a camera, learning technical skills, photo-editing and spending the time it takes to learn this already seems like too much. And while you may prefer to be involved in many processes of making your work, documenting your work is a very technical process and can be difficult. Getting help with documenting your work is not cheating. If its just not in your skill set, it’s okay to get help. Paying for services to assist with your art career is important. Often times paying for help can save time and money when you add up all the time and expenses it takes for you to learn the skills yourself.

Before you work with a Professional:

As easy as it sounds to have someone else do the documenting, there is a bit of homework that needs to happen before you drop off the work. You need to have a plan. Here is what you need to figure out before hiring a professional:

  • Ask why you need these images and what they will be used for (their purpose)
  • Have a basic budget in mind for what you are willing to spend on photoing
  • Whether or not you need someone to help with photo retouching and editing also
  • Know the file size amounts you need (dimensions and resolution)
  • Learn the challenges of your work & know what you want highlighted in the images

Having these questions answered before you begin researching for a professional will help you chose the best option for you. Be sure to let your professional know what you are doing with the images, they may have different tools or processes to give you the result you are looking for.

Finding a Documentor:

Springboard for the Arts has a list of business referrals available on their website. Here you can find a list of referrals for Imaging, Printing and Scanning

If your not familiar with Springboard, or are not from the Twin Cities there are other ways to find a document or. Besides a simple Google search, the other best way to find a document or is to poll your creative colleagues. Ask who they use or what services and tools they use to document their work. Getting a referral is sometimes how you find the best!

Slide Documentation:

The days of using slides for artwork are over. Grant applications, exhibition submissions, and artist websites all use digital files of artwork. If you have a closet full of old slides, its time to archive those images to protect them. There are services avaliable by companies and local artist documentors who can turn slides into files. Keep your originals, but archiving them into a digital file is necessary if you want to keep records of your past work.

National Camera Exchange offers Archiving Services where they can scan in your old art slides.

Like this blog post? Check out Part 1 here!

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