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Four easy steps to a successful photography degree show


Check out our simple guide to planning a photography degree show which will put you and your art on the map.

At Spectrum Photographic we understand the importance of getting every detail right.

We have years of experience printing degree shows and this simple guide will help to ensure yours runs smoothly.

“Our master printers, photographers and marketing experts have come together to put together this guide,” said co-owner Hazel Watts.

“A lot of hard work goes into a successful show but if you get it right it can create fantastic opportunities.

“A good show makes you remember that artist and seek out their work in the future.”

And, to give you that little bit of extra help, Spectrum Photographic offers a 20 per cent student discount.

“We appreciate that photography can be an expensive subject to study so we offer a student discount on all our services,” said Hazel.

Here are four top tips for degree show success.


  • Have a plan
  • Make a list
  • Give yourself deadlines

As soon as you start thinking about your degree show – whether it is graduate or postgraduate – it is vital to have a clear plan of what you want to achieve.

Think about how you would like to showcase your images and ideas. If you’re not sure what you want, try visiting other exhibitions for ideas.

Make a concise list of what you need to get done and by when. Not only will this give you a clear plan, you can also refer back to it to make sure you stay on track.

Remember to allow yourself enough time to produce the exhibition panels – ideas may not be possible if you don’t leave yourself long enough.

The space

  • Know your space
  • Be ambitious

Knowing the space is vital as it might affect which images you choose to show. Visit more than once – ideally at the times of day your show will open. Immediately before the show check everything is clean, tidy and as you expected.

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.


  • Quality over quantity
  • Make a good edit
  • Naming

After spending so much time on a body of work, it can be tempting to include every image in your show. However, it is better to be selective.

Busy curators and gallery owners might not have time to view dozens of images so choose those that really showcase your talent.

Once you have made your initial selection, go back in a couple of days and edit it down to ensure each image has earned its place.

Consider your image titles and captions and how you want to display them – does it all fit your overall vision?

The prints

  • Optimum quality
  • Test prints
  • Lead times

When it comes to printing, go for optimum quality. Big isn’t always best – don’t go beyond the capability of your negative/file.

Allow time for running test prints and experimenting with different papers to ensure your vision is best for the work.

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?

More top tips

  • Write a clear and concise artist statement
  • Get advice where you can
  • Market yourself
  • Research gallery owners and curators you want to invite

Student discount – save money on your degree show

Spectrum Photographic has been working with students for years, so understands the importance of getting every detail just right.

We offer a 20 per cent student discount on all online services.

This offer extends until the end of December the year you graduate. You then receive a 10 per cent discount for the next 12 months as a recent graduate.

Whether you are looking to produce portfolio prints or create your photography degree show, we will work with you from the initial consultation right through to the date of dispatch.

For more information on how we could help you create your dream photography degree show, and to register for your discount, visit

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