GVACE 2017 – Sign & Date

2017 - post - sign and date

This will be almost verbatim from my 2014 post…

Now that you’ve printed your photograph, prior to, or even after, mounting and framing your piece, you should sign and date it.

DO NOT print an intrusive watermark or logo onto the photograph. While such things are common when distributing your prints or publishing them online, it is not a part of your photo and should not be included in a “work of art”, and make no mistake, you are submitting a work of art to this competition.

Once you sign the piece, you consider it finished and ready for public viewing.

Recto or Verso
There are two surfaces usually available to sign, the front (Recto) or the back (Verso). Traditionally most artists use Recto Signatures. This lends to easy identification of the artist. Verso Signatures are often used by artists who think that their pieces are easily identifiable and need not intrude upon the image with a signature.  It is important to note that in the 2014 editing of the competition, the chief judge had mentioned a preference for Verso Signatures, this was not mentioned in 2012 but it is food for thought.

Because this competition is time sensitive, the date of the piece is important. In the traditional arts it may well take many years to complete a piece, and that completion date is what is important. In Photography this process usually tends to be faster. The date I put on the recto surface under my signature is usually the date (month) it was printed, but I have sometimes used the Capture date when it seemed to me that that date was important.

As photography goes, here is my suggestion:
Use only photographs taken within the stipulated time period, this may be queried with the secretariat, but I think this is the safest way to approach it.  Sign and Date your piece, whether you use a Recto Signature or Verso Signature, it doesn’t matter.  On the Verso side, affix something, a card, a sticker, that may contain such details as you would like to be known about the photo; I suggest the following basic information (for your own purpose as well as for anyone looking to purchase the piece):

Photographer’s Name:
Capture Date:
Date Completed:
About the photo:

When talking about the photo, remember that you are trying to express something through your art, this should complement or augment the photograph.

Optionally, you may also include such things as location (GPS co-ordinates, village name, country, etc) as well as technical information such as the EXIF information

Every piece is unique, show us what you have to offer 🙂


Michael C. Lam works in Graphic layout for a living, one of his images gained the Bronze medal in the 2012 GVACE, he was shortlisted for the 2014 GVACE, was an exhibiting artist in the Un | Fixed Homeland curated exhibition at Aljira, New Jersey in 2016, and an exhibiting artist at the 2016 VISIONS Curated Exhibition. Some of his work can be seen on his site The Michael Lam Collection

Your Photos and Copyright

An Opinion piece by Michael C. Lam

Over the last few years I’ve learned some things about the images I produce through photography and the copyright laws that help to protect them, I am by no means a lawyer nor expert on this topic.  This article is based upon what I have learned through discussions, reading and research; the topics are touchy, they are complicated at times, and the simple explanations that I try to give in no way covers Copyright completely. Continue reading

Selling the “Rights”

I’ve had a few of my images used in print by media houses before, most free of cost, but a few (which can be read as just more than a couple) I have actually been paid for, one was a nominal fee, once was a fair but cheap price and recently, a very fair and unexpected fee from a reputable regional magazine.  This article is just to share a little of what I have learnt along the way

In recent weeks, with the approaching Christmas Season, we’ve been asked by many of our members about “selling their photos” for use in items such as Corporate Calendars,  Greeting Cards, or even media publication.  So we thought that now would be a good time to clear up some of the confusion and shed some light.  It also makes a good follow up to Dwayne Hackett’s “Making Money From Your Photography”.   This is not meant just to answer the questions for this “Season” but for future reference as well.

Some of us take photographs and keep them to ourselves, for our own pleasure and to share among family and friends. Some of us tend to try and get our work out there, for others to see and admire.  If your work is out there, you may be asked at some point if you would permit your image to be used for one purpose or another, whether it is to beautify a web-page, be included in a new article, or even as the cover image of a magazine.

Many of us starting out would jump at the chance to have our work printed in a well-known newspaper or publication, and starting out, we would even let it be done for free, just to see it in print.  I think (and I know many who share my opinion) if someone thinks that your photograph is worth using, then it’s also worth some money in your pocket.

Continue reading

Making Money From Your Photography

A Feature Article by Dwayne Hackett

-Consider trading the fruits of your passion to finance more of your passion.

Let us say you are a serious, passionate amateur photographer. Your photography skills are steadily improving and as you proudly show your creations to your friends (and maybe the world), you get kind comments and “oohs” and “ahhs”. Sooner or later you’re going to get the request from someone who is interested in your photography and who would like to buy one or some of your creations, or even want you to create some photography for them. You might politely decline or you might accept the opportunity. Continue reading