Degree Show Exhibition Plan

I am currently offering a photography service that is very similar to that of many other local photographers. For this reason I chose to focus my time at University around learning composite photography. A bespoke service that I can offer my clients….. creating unique portraits to suit the individual. The images that I will be displaying at my Degree Show Exhibition, will showcase that i can offer something more than the a standard photoshoot.

To appreciate these type of images I feel like they would lose detail if they were small, for this reason I have chosen to display 3, a triptych of my newborn composites. I will also have a portfolio on show containing more examples of my work that might appeal to a more diverse client base.

Researching Degree Show Advice

In an article by Spectrum on how to ‘Make the most of your degree show’ I picked out these key points….


  • Have a plan / Make a list / Give yourself deadlines
  • Get ideas from other exhibitions you enjoy, get advice where you can
  • Choose an exhibition presentation display style that suits your images but also works in relation to the space.
  • Don’t be afraid to be ambitious. Consider objects, aside from photographs, that will complement the display and message you want to convey
  • Naming – Consider your image titles and captions and how you want to display them – does it all fit in with your overall vision
  • Write a clear and concise artist statement
  • Market yourself


  • Quality over quantity – When it comes to printing, go for optimum quality. Big isn’t always best – don’t go beyond the capability of your negative/file
  • Test prints – Allow time for running test prints and experimenting with different types of papers to ensure your vision is best for the work
  • Lead times – And don’t forget to take lead times into account – how long will all of this take and how long will it take for the final exhibition panels to be produced?

This information was all found on


So taking advice from the very wise Buzz Lightyear I have made a clear plan on my calendar for the next 2 months to keep me on track with everything on the run up to the show.

april-plan.jpgMay Plan

…. how can I go wrong now 😀


Print Layouts & Options

Different coloured frames


Large Prints or Small Prints, White walls or painted walls &

In line or randomly hung



How do i find out what works for me and where do i start??

I have been printing my images in many sizes and on different paper types from One Vision Imaging to see how that effects the final image and I also have a 30×20″ HD Acrylic Print from The Print Foundry on the wall in my studio:


I love the HD Acrylic and everyone always comments on it but it has a glossy finish and that’s something that when I was doing the test prints on different papers the matte finishes suit my images better. Acrylic & Gloss finishes are very reflective and that can distract from the image.


 Matte                                                                                              Gloss

There is another option from The Print Foundry that I might use, they are like the HD Acrylic in the way that it looks like it is hovering in front of the wall but without the gloss finish.


Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 19.26.20



I decided to try and make a mock-up gallery to get an idea of what my images would look like on a wall first so I downloaded this image:


I cloned out the current pictures and replaced them with my own and scaled them using the PERSPECTIVE tool in Photoshop:

gallery mockup

These three images are what I have worked on during Negotiated Studies 2, they are from 3 different client shoots but I have edited them so they work together as a collection. I have other images that I would put on the wall but with space being limited and that the images need to be large I have decided to put them in a portfolio on the table for people to look through. It is great to have large displays of my work but I need an equally powerful portfolio when talking to prospective clients.

Cost of 3 Pro Mounted Prints:

30×20″ Pro Mounted Print with (studio sample discount) – £37

30×20″ Pro Mounted Print – 2 x £60

= £157 +VAT & Shipping


OR I could have 2 Pro Mounted Prints either side of a Framed Pro Mounted Print in the middle:

Degree Show Layout practise 2.jpg

This is the Framed Pro Mounted Print:

Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 21.52.24


30×20″ Pro Mounted Print (with studio sample discount) – £37

30×20″ Pro Mounted Print – £60

30×20″ Framed Pro Mounted Print (with studio sample discount) – £58

=    £204 inc VAT & Shipping


I like the idea of having a framed print in the middle because this displays another product that I offer.



Expanding on my display idea:


In the scene above I have added a studio set, having the tiny teddy (that looks huge in final picture compared to the baby) in a mock up shoot with a pretend camera…because what I create with the composites is realistic but not reality?? And the room would be half black half white like you’re stepping over the line into the other world… like Charlie & The Chocolate Factory…In the TV room where everything is big and then they shrink it….just like I do with babies!



The portfolio that I would like to get is from Plastic Sandwich, I looked at their products at The Photography Show and loved the simple natural style of them.


The leather is considered to be of the highest grade and is died with Aniline rather than sprayed with a pigment. This allows the natural growth marks and character to remain visible in the absence of artificial surface treatments. This will deliver a UNIQUE piece as no two Aniline hides will be the same.

I highlighted UNIQUE in their description because that is why this portfolio is the perfect home for my unique portraits.



When I received my quote I was disappointed, it wasn’t made clear when I enquired that everything was added on as ‘extras’ so the £233 book ended up a £466 book!! And this is without the prints, I would still have to get them printed at my lab so I would be looking at somewhere in the region of £500 just for the portfolio.

Quote - Suzanne PMBS Photography


I thought about having a printed book as my portfolio but I don’t want all my images mixed together permanently. I liked the idea of the Plastic Sandwich portfolio because the prints are in sleeves which I could interchange whenever I needed to.

There is a portrait box that i like and currently have a sample of in my studio from Koylab:

The box holds between 10-20 mounted prints which you can swap around as needed, so this is another less permanent option.

OR I could have a selection of photo books, one for each collection:

Maternity & Newborn Collection

The Wedding Collection

Family Photography

Commercial Photography

Unique Portraits

These would be good for people to choose what collection they want to look at rather than sift through a box of mixed prints. After the Degree Show, I could display these books in my studio showcasing the albums that i offer.


In reflection, although I would like display all the work that I do, my Degree Show is focusing around my composites so I put together an album ‘The Bespoke Portrait Collection’ and ordered it in the lush red as a 12×10″.

12×10″ Album + Box = £110 inc VAT & Shipping




It was an exciting morning, 2 weeks before the show, when we found out our allocated spaces. It was hard to visualise the end result before this. Our room is filled with natural light, spacious and lovely. When we arrived it was still filled with students work from last year which was all to come down that day ready for our areas so start being cleaned and painted.


This is my booth, and although I don’t have my wall art yet, please see blog –


Once I knew how much space we had, I sketched my idea for it. Originally I had thought about having a miniature studio set up with backdrop, camera and the little props I used for the images. That wasn’t going to be achievable within the space I had. I modified the idea and decided to still use the props but have them on little white shelves underneath each of the images. Two floating shelves would be on the side walls to hold my album, business cards etc.


I made paper templates to scale where they will go, so that when they do arrive it should be a quick process to hang them.


Kamila is in the booth next to me, unfortunately she won’t be there on the opening night so I will be there to talk to anyone on her behalf who is interested in her work.


At this point there is nothing else I can do until my products arrive. So I made some invitations, I have already electronically invited lots of people but I may be old fashioned and a paper waster but a REAL invitation is much better than a digital one….. just like a printed photo is better than a digital one!



I have also ordered a 20×20″ Birch Orb of a composite that I created minute.

Arabella Orb 20x20


This wasn’t planned but I was inspired to make it whilst suffering with writers block one week before the Degree Show. Blog link:



I will be collecting this the day before the Degree Show and hanging it on one of the side walls of my booth. I hope there is no issues with it like I’ve had with my other wall art, which are currently being re-made for the THIRD time!! These are due for delivery this morning…..and my nerves are in tatters because this is how close we are now:

Screenshot_20180523-064716_Time Until