It is a constant struggle to find good places to show my photography to the community and the world, and sadly this month I am loosing two of the best.
Selling photography in a retail establishment is a difficult challenge. I continue to prize my representation in quality juried galleries such as Vermont Artisan Design and Sharon Arts Center, but commercial success is all dependent on how the work is displayed. Photography is not seen at its best when flipped past in a bin or with an occasional framed piece amongst a jumble of other work. Retail sales also involves a substantial investment in inventory. One additional problem for me has been finding a good venue in Keene New Hampshire, where my work is best known. After years of displaying my pictures in restaurants, banks, churches and public buildings, and almost a decade of publishing my New England Reflections Calendar, most locals would be hard pressed to avoid exposure to my images, but I have always wanted a Keene venue to prominently display my work. Then along came Ann Heffernon and Pocket Full of Rye.
When Ann Heffernon offered to sell my work in her lovely gift shop on Main Street in Keene, I was thrilled about the location but also worried that my photography might seem out of place in Ann's world of jewelry, cards and gift items. Ann had no such concerns. She embraced my work, showing it prominently and continuously in her windows and within the store. More importantly she was an enthusiastic advocate, often directing customers to my photographs, and encouraging me to try creating different pieces, such as mini panoramas and note cards. The results have been great for both of us, but, more importantly, it has also been a joy to become friends with Ann.
It was a shock and a disappointment when Ann told me that she would be closing her shop. Retail is hard and she is off to do other exciting things. I am sure that her cheerful, honest and enthusiastic attitude will continue to server her well in her new endeavors, but for me she will be greatly missed. I'll start again to look for my perfect venue in Keene, but I know the opportunities that Ann provided at Pocket Full of Rye can never be fully replaced. It is completely typical of Ann's kindness that, even while she has been busy liquidating her store, she has also taken time to look for new opportunities to show my work in the community. That's just Ann. Pocket Full of Rye will be open for a few more days. Drop by to wish Ann well and take advantage of some great deals.
New Hampshire ToDo Magazine
Sadly, I must also say goodbye to New Hampshire ToDo Magazine, which will be ceasing publication with the July 2013 issue. For 11 years NH To Do has been an important source of information about the attractions and activities in the Granite State. Over the last couple of years the magazine's senior editor, Cam Mirisola, has been kind to my photography, using my images to decorate various articles and announcements, as well as four covers. Cam was even foolish enough to ask me to do an article about historic preservation in Harrisville, New Hampshire.
I always get a bit anxious when I send my pictures off for magazine publication, not knowing how they might be manipulated and how they will appear in a different color space, but I was never disappointed with my images in New Hampshire ToDo. The magazine was produced with consistent high quality. On my first cover, the designer flipped my image of the horse drawn sap gathering to accommodate the text, but It looked fine and I learned a lesson about the types of images that work best for covers. I have never met Cam, but it has been a pleasure to work with her. Of course, as with all magazine editors, Cam’s deadline were always “yesterday” and I was amazed that, even when I uploaded a image at 1 AM she always seemed to be there to comment. Cam needs a rest and I wish her well in her future endeavors.
My best gallery and my best magazine both gone in a month. It will not be easy to replace these excellent venues for showing my work, but I’ll keep looking. You never know when the next opportunity will surface. I’m excited about an image which will be published in an upcoming issue of the nationally distributed Backpacker Magazine and there will always be the phone book covers. You can check out some of my work in August at the Bagel Mill in Peterborough, New Hampshire.