Holding Your First Photo Show
You've been hearing about all the great and wonderful models and photos out there, but how do you get to see some of them? One way is by holding a photo show of your own.

You will find that holding a photo show is an invaluable learning experience and educational tool in many ways.

Since it is likely you won't be amply compensated for your time and efforts to hold a photo show, think of the work you do here in the following terms:
The time and effort spent by you as a judge
The time and effort spent by other judges of shows you enter!

Well, how do I get started?

There are a couple of easy ways to get to judge your first show. One of them is to volunteer to judge/host one of the monthly "point shows" within a club. Another very effective way is to volunteer to host/judge a benefit show that a magazine or other group may be offering.

The advantage to volunteering in each of these cases is that the classlist is previously set, and is usually the same from show to show. The club or magazine, etc., does the 'advertising', listing your name/address and date for one of the regular shows. Fees you collect are sent to the club, and often most show judges in this scenario 'donate' the cost of results. Prizes are not usually awarded at these types of shows. This is an excellent way to get up and running quickly.

The other alternative is to hold your very own show, plan the classlist, titles and prizes to be awarded, advertising and so forth.

Whichever way you choose to go, the following will apply:

Plan Ahead-----Organize-----Keep it Easy-----Be Responsible

This document will outline the steps to follow to hold any photo show. Refer to the related text Planning A Photo Show for more details on setting up a show of your own.

There are a number of things you should gather up and have ready before the first entries arrive by mail.
Begin by getting two boxes (shoeboxes are ideal), one for photos and another to store the entrant's return SASE's in.
  1. Using 4x6 index cards, write the number and name of each class on a card, and arrange the cards in numerical order, and place them in the box that will hold the photos.
  2. On a sheet of paper, make yourself a SHOW LOG which is a simple chart with the columns

    Name of Entrant---#of Pix Sent---Amt. of Fees Paid---Enclosures

  3. Get a large envelope and mark it "ENTRY FEES"
  4. Place the Show Log and the Entry Fees envelope in the box for return SASE's.

Within two weeks of the show date or so you should start to receive entries. The same day an entry arrives, you should open it and "log it in" on the SHOW LOG. Keeping up with the entries as they come in will make it easy!
  1. List the NAME of the entrant and COUNT the number of photos (to double check the number of photos the entrant has stated) and enter the number on the log sheet. List also the amount of fees paid, and then any enclosures such as baggies, stamps, rubber bands or other things.
  2. Take the photos, and file them in the Photo box according to the first number listed on the back of each photo. Place each photo behind the index card of the appropriate class number.
  3. Take any plastic baggies, coin envelopes, rubber bands etc. that were enclosed and place them inside the Return SASE for safekeeping until the show is over. Place the Return Envelope in the appropriate box.
  4. Place the entry fees in the Entry Fee envelope and leave them there until the show is over.

When you have completed processing each entry for the day, set the Photo and Return SASE boxes in a safe place out of harm's way.
Keep in mind that YOU are responsible for the safety and condition of other people's photos while they are in your hands. Treat them as you would want your own possessions to be handled.
It is customary to wait until the mail has been delivered on the first day of the show before beginning to judge, in case there are any last-minute entries.

The first thing to do is to prepare the Heading for the results.
  1. List the name of the show, the judge's name and address, and the date
  2. List the number of total photos entered (use your show log to obtain the total count)
  3. List the total number of entrants (also from your show log)
  4. Make an "ENTRANT'S KEY", that is, list the name of each entrant, and assign them corresponding initials that you will use to refer to them in the results.
You are responsible for other people's photos while they are in your hands, so take special care with them. Do not allow the photos to get anywhere near anything that could damage them. Keep the photos and SASE's etc away from young children, pets, beverages, burning stoves, you name it.
Judge and Complete the show in a Timely Fashion

Holding a show requires a bit of responsibility and stick-to-it-iveness. Judge the show ON TIME, don't delay or be lazy about it. Get your results printed, photos sorted and returned to the entrants as soon as possible. It is wise to have a backup plan just in case, such as a friend or family member who can assist you if you need it, and help make certain everyone's photos get returned to them properly.

The fastest and most efficient way to get results done is to have your keyboard handy right where you are judging. Take the photos for the first class, and count them. Then, judge and place the entries and arrange the first through tenth placing photos in order in a stack.
  1. Type the number of the class, the name of the class and number of entries for the class, and underline it.
  2. List the first placing 1.) and then the name of the first place horse, with the owner's initials after it:

    24. Western Pleasure-18---1. Poco Dinko-cw 2. Skeeter-rre

  3. Honorable Mentions--(or "HM")--are just that, mentions for models you felt were really good or really close in the competition, but did not make it into the top ten. Only use HM's for entries you feel truly deserve it, and in most cases should not be used in classes with under 20-25 entries or so. More than one HM can be noted for a class if you wish.

By using this method, when you are done judging the show, class results are already typed and all you need to add are the championship titles you will name!

I presume if you're reading this web page, you have access to a computer. However, I realize you might not have access to it for judging a show. In any case, a regular typewriter will work as well (except perhaps for the underlining part, depending on the typewriter...) and you may hand write the results also. If you need to handwrite results, remember to PRINT neatly, and legibly.

Next Class Please!

Once you have typed in the placings for the class, it is time to re-sort the photos from this stack. Simply file each photo in your Photo box based on the NEXT class number listed on the photo back (if any). Photos that have no more classes to be entered into can be set aside in a stack.

It is common practice to award championship titles to deserving horses of the show. If you are judging from a set classlist from a club or other organized fundraising series, a list of titles you are to name will usually be provided (and often how you are to go about deciding them.)

Usually it is best to wait until you have judged and placed all the classes before naming your title winners.

What Titles Should Be Awarded?

If you are hosting and judging your own show, you can name as many or as few titles as you wish. In most cases, usually a title is awarded in the major divisions at minimum, to include:

Determining Title Winners

There are three basic methods of selecting Champion & Reserve Champion title winners.
  1. JUDGE-OFF--this is the best choice for most halter titles. You take all the first place horse's photos from all the classes which count toward this title and line them up on the table. Select your CHAMPION from among them based on quality, realism and appeal. You want to be sure that the Champion you name is the model you consider the best of the group shown.

    Now find the photo of the model that placed second to your Champion in the original class the Champion came from, and put that photo in with the other class winners.

    Now, select your RESERVE CHAMPION. You may wish to write all these down on scratch paper first, then type them in when you have all your title winners selected.

  2. HIGH AVERAGE--this method is often most effective for performance championships. The averaging method favors horses that place consistently well in the classes they enter, whether or not they are shown in every class.

    Using the results, list all the horses who have placed well (generally third or fourth or above). Write in all the placings each model has earned in the division the title is being named for next to each model's name.

    Convert the placings into points...by assigning 10 points for a first place, 9 points for second, etc through tenth place (1 point) and HM (1/2 point).

    Add up the total number of points, then divide by the number of placings earned.

    The horse with the highest average is named Champion, the second-highest is Reserve Champion.

    If you have a tie, use a judge-off of the tied horses to decide, or award the tie.

  3. HIGH POINT--using the results, list all models who have done fairly well and locate all their placings and write them down as indicated above for the High Average method.

    Convert the placings to points and total up the points earned. The model with the highest number of points is Champion, second-highest is Reserve.

    You should note that this method does give emphasis to models that are exhibited in many classes, over those that are shown in fewer. It is possible for a 'mediocre' entry who places 4th or 5th in many classes to beat out a better entry that placed 1st and 2nd in a few classes. It is important to have an idea of WHAT you intend to "reward" by way of Championship titles, as this will indicate the best method of determining them.

When you have selected all your title winners, type them onto your results sheets.

You can use your computer's printer to output a copy of the results for each entrant, plus a copy for yourself. If judging a show for a benefit series or a club, usually you will also need to send a copy to the club as well.
Of course, this can be a tedious process depending on your printer, so of course, printing one copy and making photocopies on the nearest copy machine is also an option! If you are holding your own photo show, this is what part of the entry fees are for!

When the results are complete, take all the photos and sort them into piles according to the owners.
  1. Using your show log as a guide, count each pile and double-check to be sure that each entrant gets back all the photos they sent. Be very careful and meticulate about this! Just because there's the right number of photos in a stack doesn't always mean they all actually belong to that owner! Double check to be certain.
  2. Take one stack of photos and find the corresponding Return SASE for it. Place the photos back into the SASE the same way they arrived--in baggies, with rubber bands, in special envelopes, etc.
  3. Place a copy of the results in the Return SASE. It is often effective to wrap the results around the photos and put them into the envelope at the same time.
  4. Weigh the entry on a postage scale to be SURE there is enough postage affixed.

    If there is not enough postage, check inside the Return SASE for an extra stamp or two and add only what is needed to the envelope.

    DO NOT KEEP EXTRA STAMPS FOR YOURSELF, nor use them if they are not needed. If there are no extra stamps enclosed, return the entry Postage Due.

  5. Seal the envelope and then tape the opening flap securely with packaging tape.
  6. Repeat for all the other entries, and mail them home.

After all the entries are mailed, you can file your copy of the results away for posterity. If a copy needs to go to a club for recordkeeping purposes, don't forget to send that off as well.

If you have held your show independently from a club or organized circuit of shows, and you had offered prizes for winner or Championship title holders, you are expected to make good on those promises. Small or flat items offered as awards such as stamps, gift certificates, ribbons etc, can often fit into the Return SASE along with the photos and results.

Other prizes may require special shipping or packaging and this should be taken care of at the same time the entries are returned

For additional notes to help with specific problems you may encounter while holding a photoshow, see the document on Troubleshooting.

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