Useful Photography Tips

Applying to the Pelham Art Festival? Here are some useful tips to help you prepare your application and photos for the Online e-commerce platform.

How do I apply?

All applications are submitted through our online e-commerce platform at PAF’s website.  New artists create an account here.  Returning artists/ or those that have applied before, login to your existing account New artists (only) place your name, address, phone, email and social media information in the application form but skip the banner image and profile photo for now; those are not available to the jury and during Online Festivals, only become publicly visible if your application is successful. Please check spam and junk folders if you have not received an email confirmation. Keep your login information safe, since you will need it later to check your results on your Artist Dashboard. When new artists are accepted by the jury payment is due.

1. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.


  • Valid files types:  .jpg or .png.
  • Maximum size: images should be no larger than 1024 x 1024 pixels and 4mb (max) in size.
  • Images that exceed this size will be automatically resized to fit and may be distorted.  
  • Minimum size: no less than 600 x 600 pixels (height & width)
  • Artwork Image File Names: should be named as follows: YOUR NAME_IMAGE NUMBER OR TITLE_YEAR CREATED

Don’t neglect your images! Your images are an important part of your application. You may only submit 5 images of your work so they need to be eye-catching. Jurors will be viewing your images blown up, and projected on a screen. It is very important images are high-resolution, clear, in-focus and well-lit so that your work can be properly assessed. Take a few test shots, review them on your computer, and make sure that they are oriented in the proper direction before uploading your images.

We recommend hiring a professional photographer to document your work if you don’t have experience making digital images. If that is not an option, here are some tips for shooting quality images yourself:  

  • Ask a friend to borrow their camera, rent one, or use a high quality cell phone camera.
  • Photograph your work in a room with soft, even light. Avoid direct hard lighting. Do not use Flash.
  • If possible, on a soft cloudy, diffused day, take your work outside to photograph.
  • Do not include any distracting background; crop your work.
  • If your work is framed or has a glossy finish, do not use the direct flash on an SRL camera.  
  • Put the work flat against a wall at a 45-degree angle to a window with indirect light.
  • Use a tripod to adjust for the angle.
  • Choose the correct white balance to make sure that your colours do not get distorted.

For more tips, check out this great video from Satchi Online about how to photograph your art
and Photographing Artwork For Your Online Application for more details. 

2. Cohesiveness is Key

The images you submit should be a single cohesive body of work that you intend to show at the Festival. The works you submit should relate to each other visually, be in the same medium, with a similar style and subject matter. If you have artwork in different media (e.g., painting, collage, sculpture) you will have to submit a separate application for each medium category. 

3. Start Strong, End Strong

Your images must be strong and the order in which you present the images is important. The order in which you upload your images is the order that the jurors will see. When you are uploading your images, select your strongest image to upload first - this will be your ‘feature image’ (with a red star) and the first image jurors see. Think about the story this body of work is telling as you click through the images. Similar to a job interview, you want to start and end strong.

4. Don’t ignore your statement!

You only have 500 + 200 characters (NOT words!) in total to tell the panel about your artwork. For the Artist Statement (500 characters), use it to describe where you are coming from and how it informs your artwork. If there is anything important that you would like the jurors to know about this body of work, put it here.

For the Descriptions of Works (200 characters), expand on your techniques or what inspires your work.

You won’t be in the room to answer any questions the jurors might have so be as descriptive as possible. If there is something unique about your process, or your subject matter is unusual, expand on it. You can also write about your education and accolades if there’s room, but making sure they have enough information about the portfolio they’re looking at is more important.

Don’t just copy and paste your usual bio - work with a character counter to maximize the important points only.

Thank you to the TOAF website for this content that has been adapted for use by Pelham Art Festival. Check out Toronto Outdoor Art Fair at

Where Do I Find Support?

Admin support will be available for you if you need it through [email protected]
Please state the title of your question in the heading of your email so your question will be forwarded to the person who can help you. 
with the subject line: PAF 2024 Photographing Your Art for the Online Gallery + Your Name 
with the subject line: PAF 2024 Artist Gallery Setup Support + Your Name 
with the subject line: PAF 2024 General Support + Your Name

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COVID-19 Safety Measures:

The PAF team cares about the health and safety of our artists and the public we serve. In spite of cancelling the in-person show in 2020 and again in 2021, we returned to an In-Person Festival in May 2022, following the safety guidelines provided by Niagara Region Public Health. We continue to be aware of Niagara Region Public Health communications and will follow the guidelines they recommend during PAF 2024.