Planning Your Own Photo Show
The easiest way to get started holding a photo show is by volunteering to judge a show from a benefit series or a monthly club point show, since most of the work is done for you and there's very little expense. But there comes a time when a person wants to hold their very own show, or a benefit for a favorite cause . . .and that requires a bit of planning.

This document will walk you through the steps to setting up a show of your own for the first time.


This outline provides a sample classlist for your first show and will allow you to view the competition as well as associate names with models and the level of craftsmanship displayed. The samples will provide adequate variety with enough different classes to test your skills, but small enough to handle in one to two days.

After you have tried a show or two using the example provided, you should be ready and able to expand your classlists to offer other classes you would like to judge and view.

Decide What Type of Show You Wish to Hold
Decide if you wish to offer a show with results only, a show with prizes of some type, or a benefit show (an example: to raise money for your local animal shelter.)
Give Your Show A Name
You might look at some model hobby magazines for references on the subject and get some ideas
Decide Upon a Date to Hold Your Show
Select a date at least 3 to 4 months in advance to allow for time for advertising.
Decide Upon a Classlist
Use the classlists provided (at the end of this document), or make up one based on some you've seen advertised in hobby magazines. Remember that fewer classes might be quicker to judge, but most exhibitors like to get some mileage out of their photos, and tend to prefer shows with larger classlists.
Determine the Prizes You Would Like To Award
In most cases, prizes of some sort are awarded only to Champion and Reserve title winners. Some types of awards you might wish to consider included:
These are but a few examples to give you an idea of where to start.

Decide Where and How You Will Advertise Your Show
Advertising needs to be considered at least two to three months in advance if you wish to place your ad in a hobby magazine. The alternative to this is to send out flyers, however, in most cases, public advertising in one or more of the hobby magazines will net you more entrants.

Determine the Entry Fees
Entry fees should be based on your costs, divided by the number of exhibitors you expect will enter. You might receive as few as 10 to 20 entries, or over 100, and it's impossible to tell beforehand.
If you will be advertising in a national hobby magazine, it is probably wise to 'guestimate' from 25-35 entries. What entry fee must you charge to break even on your costs if that many people enter?

In most cases, if you hold a benefit show, with a large selection of classes, where the proceeds will go to the beneficiary instead of prizes, $1 to $2 per stable or so is a good place to start. $3 if you have a lot of classes to offer exhibitors.

If you are offering prizes, then the fees might range from $3 to $5 or so. Keep in mind that potential entrants want to be able to enter a decent number of classes for their money, plus have a shot at some decent awards. Charging too much for too few classes, or offering too little by way of prizes for the money charged is a sure way to end up with few entries.

If your calculations aren't working out too well, or you find that you are going to need a few hundred entrants to account for the costs, it's probably a good idea to scale back the prizes and work with your plans till you come up with something manageable.

Putting Together The Show Information
Whether you are advertising or sending out flyers (or both!) you need to organize the show information to present to potential entrants. Make sure your show information contains the following:
  1. Show Name
  2. Your name and mailing address
  3. Show date--a range of 3-4 days in a row is a good idea, and for most people scheduling the show over a weekend works best.
  4. State the Show Fees--Its simplest to have a flat "stable fee" per entrant, and the exhibitor may enter however many photos they wish for the basic rate.
  5. List any prizes you intend to award, and who will be responsible for the cost of shipping them.
  6. Provide the Classlist, numbers and class names
  7. List any special class rules or notes
  8. Make note of any other special information, such as whether or not you will accept postage due entries, preferred method of payment, if the show is a benefit show, indicate who will be the recipient of the funds, etc.

Place Your Advertising
In most cases, advertising needs to be placed 2 or 3 months in advance. Check with the editor/publisher (or look for the ad rates inside the magazine(s) you wish to advertise in to find out current rates and deadlines. You may need to adjust the show date so there will be plenty of time between when the issue is due to arrive at subscriber's doorsteps and when entries from your show will be due.
Arrange the data in your ad to take up the smallest possible space. That usually means using text that is on the small side (for classlist/rules) about 7-8 pt or so, and setting the classlist up in multiple columns. The less space your ad takes, the less it will cost you.
Make sure to make some photocopies of your ad before you send it off . . . so that you can send a copy of it along with regular correspondence to your hobby friends.
Wait for the show date to arrive and have fun!



Date: January 7-10, 1996
Jane Shower, 123 Model Street, Anytown,NY 00000
Fees: $3.00 per stable
PRIZES: $2 Gift Certificates to Rio Rondo for Champs, $1/reserve, Grand Champion $10 Rio Rondo Gift Certificate, $5/reserve

  1. Arabian
  2. Appaloosa
  3. Paint
  4. Quarter Horse
  5. Tb/Trak/Warmblood
  6. Gaited/ASB/TWH
  7. Morgan
  8. Ponies
  9. Draft Breeds
  10. Other Purebred/Mixed/Part


  11. Bay/Brown
  12. Chestnut/Sorrel
  13. Buckskin/Dun/Grulla
  14. Palomino
  15. Grey
  16. Pinto Color
  17. Appaloosa Color
  18. Other Color


  19. OF Breyer
  20. OF Hartland
  21. OF Hagen-Renaker
  22. OF Northlight
  23. OF Other Brand
  24. Customized Breyer
  25. Artist's Resin
  26. Customized Ceramic/other medium
  27. Original Sculpture


  28. Stock Type*
  29. Gaited Type*
  30. Light Riding Type*
  31. Draft Type*
  32. Other Type*
  33. Headstudy


  34. Western Pleasure
  35. Western Trail
  36. Cutting
  37. Roping
  38. Barrels
  39. Poles
  40. Other Western


  41. Huntseat Pleasure
  42. Saddleseat Pleasure
  43. Park/Gaited Saddleseat
  44. English Trail
  45. Over Fences (Hunters & Jumpers)
  46. Dressage
  47. Other English


  48. Bareback
  49. Arabian Costume
  50. Indian Costume
  51. Other Costume
  52. Light/Show Driving Harness
  53. Draft/Work Harness
  54. Other Perf or Scene

One photo per horse per class.
Showmanship: proper halter/headgear for breed required. For headstudy, halters optional
All Perf classes: appropriate tack for the event required. For Trail, Barrels, Poles, Over Fences--obstacle required. For cutting, roping, cattle props required. Reining, state maneuver horse is performing; Dressage, state level and movement on back of photo. Bareback: Eng OR west OR bridle appropriate to breed.
Halter Championships Named:
Ch/Res Stock Type, Ch/Res Light Riding Type, Ch/Res Other Type
Performance Championships & Reserves:
Western Performance, English Performance, Other Performance
(Optional Titles) Overall Halter Ch/Res, Overall Perf Ch/Res, Overall Grand Ch/Res. or Overall Hi Avg Ch/Res

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