Friends and family,

In the past several years, not only have I grown to love photography, I have had the opportunity for some introspection, and indeed learned about myself in the process. Of these things, one of the most relevant to photography is that I quite enjoy seeing my work printed. More specifically, I LOVE printing BIG pieces. To me, there is something grand about seeing your photos printed 11×17”, 20×30”, 24×36”, or possibly even larger — though I’ve never seen my work that large.

After deciding to order a print, my first thought is always: “How big can I go?” (Bigger is better, you know). Often, that question is answered first by price, and second by space. Print prices vary substantially from printer to printer: larger prints are always exponentially pricier than a more plebeian 8×10”, and gallery-quality products are frequently mind-bogglingly expensive. After evaluating my desired print quality, and whether or not my student bank account can take the hit, I look at where I’m going to hang the print when it arrives. This is often a larger limiting factor than price: the walls in my room are lined with art from friends, framed pieces of my own, and various pieces of athletic memorabilia. Thus, even though I find far less excitement and joy in a small print, it’s often all I can justify — and is still more pleasant and professional to look at then a backlit LCD screen.

For many artists, hosting gallery exhibitions is a continuing professional goal: a way to market themselves, connect with people, receive feedback and critiques, and ultimately, enjoy their work in a presentation setting.

After being struck by the quality of two portraits I took a few weeks ago with a “lower-end” camera/lens combination, I decided to print both of them in an 11×17” size; the reasoning was two-fold. One, I’ve been stressed with approaching exams, a new internship position, and lack of time to workout or photograph. Printing and looking at images soothes me. Secondly, I wanted to write a blog post about the prints to the tune of: “gear doesn’t always matter.” (I suffer from pretty severe gear envy and desire, so a post like that would be as much for me as for anyone else). Soon after ordering the prints, I thought it might be cool to find someone to help sponsor a large print of the Doak Campbell Stadium HDR image that has quickly become one of my most popular pieces.

After some brainstorming, and some quiet conversations, a new idea emerged: what about a gallery exhibition of my own works? I don’t consider many of my pieces to be “art,” but am told that many people think otherwise, and that hosting a gallery had the potential to be an extraordinary event. Ultimately, I found the idea to be intriguing and desirable, and would like to move forward with the project.

As mentioned above, the two main concerns are space and price. I would need a space that has room to hang anywhere from ten to thirty framed prints ranging in size from 11×17” to three or four feet wide. Ideally, this location should be reasonably-priced so as not to break the bank of a poor college student, and suitable for however many people are interested in my work to come and meander about. Then comes price. My current go-to printer for posters has thus far done incredibly well, delivering bargain prices while also delivering exceptional quality. However, they do not print larger than 24×36” and I would dearly like to see at least one piece larger than that. In addition, in a gallery setting, it is customary to frame and possibly mat work. Using my budget printer, that is where the real cost would come in.

Enter a proposal, from me to you — the reader and admirer of my work.

I would like to ask for sponsors for each image. A sponsor could be an individual or company that wishes to take on the cost of the print, matting, and framing of the photograph. They would be given the privilege of helping to chose the work they wish to sponsor, and at the conclusion of the gallery exhibition, would have the choice of letting the piece go to auction for charity, or taking the piece home with them — theirs to keep forever as a token of my gratitude.

Obviously this is no small task, and not something I foresee happening in the coming months. That being said, I wished to float the idea out into the world to see if indeed there might be a favorable reception.

Thank you as always for your continued support,

Best regards,
Colin Abbey


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