View Full Version : Print cases?

10-27-2006, 02:43 PM
I'm entering my first competition this weekend. Can anyone tell me what standard procedure is for packing my competition prints for submission? I don't have a fancy case or anything. Will the box they came in from the lab be acceptable?



10-27-2006, 03:01 PM
No, you need to get a hard plastic case. Well, there are others that are acceptable, but they are even more money. Something like this: http://www.adorama.com/FIP5016202.html

10-27-2006, 03:16 PM

Mark is correct when it comes to most state, regional and national competitions where you have to mail/ups your images in.

I have competed in some state and local competitions where we hand deliver our images to the competition. In that case the box they came in is ok.

Best thing to do is contatct the print competition chairman at Triangle or call Becky or Sam and ask them, this is of course if that is where you are competing at.

John Stein

10-27-2006, 03:29 PM
Hello all,

What do you place between your prints to protect them from themselves?


10-27-2006, 04:32 PM
We use black felt, cut to same dimensions as the print case itself. One layer between each print and one piece top and bottom. Keeps prints from rubbing each other and is easy for the print crew to unpack and repack after print competition. DO NOT put your prints in individual plastic bags or tape anything arount them etc. Remember the print crew is wearing those yucky cheap white gloves. Image trying to type with rubber kitchen gloves on. Make it easy for them - you don't want them to have to use a knife or scissors to unpack your prints.

Keith and I have some extra print cases laying around if anyone is interested in buying a used one. We both had non-master 16x20 cases. Then Keith had a case for artist competition. Then we both got 20x24 cases when we became Masters - them one year Keith entered a 24x24 print and needed a larger case. Plus Keith used to enter wedding albums so he needed a deeper case for that and so on and so on... Anyway. If anybody is interested let me know and I'll see exactly what we have that is still in good shape.


10-27-2006, 04:42 PM
Thanks Holly,

Black felt sounds like a great option, and less visible lint. I'm off to the fabric store.


10-27-2006, 05:00 PM
Forgot to mention the lint factor - which is why we started using the felt in the first place!


10-27-2006, 05:05 PM
Another option is mat board or foam-core.

10-27-2006, 05:20 PM
Mark - mat board or foam core is a great choice if you are hand carrying the case. If you are shipping (and for us usually next day air as we are running late) weight is a consideration. While mat board or foam core don't weigh much - felt is a little lighter plus it takes up less room in the print case. Either works great - use what you have and don't have to pay for!


10-27-2006, 05:22 PM
I used the release paper that I removed from mountboard.

10-27-2006, 09:44 PM
Nate - READ and FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS ON THE ENTRY FORMS Sorry for making that so strong but you would not believe the number of people that don't read those things - sometimes resulting in DQ of one or more images. Put the print lables on the back of each entry that they send you. ALSO put your return address lable or stamp on the back of each as well. If the images are med. to dark then take a blk marker and blk the edges of the the boards FROM THE BACK. This makes the presentation sharper but mainly it eleminates the bright white line from reflecting into the judges eyes as it rotates. Impact as the print rotates is important and you do not want the judges distracted by the edge. Make life simple for the print crew. Write the title on the back of the print fairly large and near the top. This makes it easier to read in the dark and indicates which way is up. Good Luck!!!

10-29-2006, 04:14 AM
Thanks everyone!

I dropped off my entries at the hotel today. (they were accepting drop offs from 12-2:00) I don't have a "real" approved print case, so I used a generic portfolio case. Michael Redford said that many places wouldn't accept that, but they will because they're "nice." Thank goodness.

Keith, thanks for the warning. I did attach the labels and all to the back of my prints and White House blacked out the edges for me.

Competition should be good times. I don't have high hopes of winning anything, but it should be a good experience.



10-29-2006, 04:38 PM

Competition is fantastic if you can get the feedback! I went the extra and ordered the video critique for the prints I entered in the International competition and boy was it great. Very thorough and educational. If you can, be present when yours are judged or when others are judged that you find intriguing. Soak it all up!

And good luck!

10-30-2006, 01:40 AM
Wow Holly,
You and Keith are just a wealth of information. I LOVE the felt suggestion. I've done all the things you mentioned not to do with the bags etc. I will not do that this year!Off to fabric store I will be going.
One thing is that it seems that two print cases might be necessary. If you were lucky enough to have an acceptance into the PPA competition, the print cases aren't returned in time to use them for the western states competition/PPC with is in early January.
Oh yeah and get those critique tapes. Keith did mine.

10-30-2006, 01:58 AM
Oh yeah and get those critique tapes. Keith did mine.

Okay - spill! Did he do a good job or was it a big waste. I asked Keith and he said he doesnt remember your prints but he does remember your name cause he wasn't sure how to pronounce it!


10-30-2006, 03:40 AM
This was the first time I got the critique (2nd time I entered). I DO think he did a good job. What I think is very useful if you haven't competed much is the introduction and explanation of print judging.
Keith's critique matched the comments I received from the PPCalifornia competition where you actually get to hear the judges comments. It is good when you hear the same information from more than one person. I take critiques seriously, but don't go into a funk if someone doesn't think my print is great.
Here in California, we have so many affiliates of the State Association that it is a wonderful opportunity that photographers can get monthly programs and print competition that keeps them striving for improvement.

There is one thing that I've learned over the years is that competition prints are petty special and "in general" they aren't the images "my" clients are buying. Also, I haven't gotten a merit for a portrait yet in the PPA national--that's my goal for the future.

Also, it seems when you are working on a print you think you will enter, you sort of get too close to it and don't see the things that will pop right out to a judge. Entering is the only way to keep improving and stretching yourself to do more creative and technically excellent work.