How do you measure success?

Success is something that we all try to achieve bit often it is not that easy to define outside of the sporting arena (where there are generally scorings to work such things out).

Each year the Hutt Camera Club holds an annual exhibition (mainly of prints) in which members submit works that are then displayed in a local gallery over a two week period. Most years I have submitted images and this year is no different, with three of my images taking part.

The essence of dance. A composite of several shots
The essence of dance. A composite of several shots

As the exhibition came to a close, it made me think about how success could be measured with such an event. I have come to the conclusion that it all depends upon your point of view.

If the exhibition had been run by a single artist then it could have primarily two aims:

  1. For new or emerging artists it could be to raise their profile (which would lead to further works)
  2. Sell their works, and therefore earn a living.

Now this is valid for a professional artist, but is it the same for an exhibition run by a camera club, where the majority of its members are amateurs. In such cases I believe that the exhibition has quite different aims, namely:

  1. Provide its members with the opportunity to have their images appear in an exhibition
  2. Raise the profile of the camera club and as a result attract new members
  3. For the members taking part the opportunity to sell their works.

Because the aims are less measureable (apart from the last one) it is often difficult to measure success.

Close up of a cello
Close up of a cello

In terms of the first aim around half the club members submitted something with quite a number of images coming from members that joined this year, so you could say that it achieved its goal.

In terms of the second aim, with the 2015 exhibition, we managed to get an article in the local newspapers on the day that it opened and as a result attendance numbers have been much higher than previous years. On this basis the profile has been raised but whether that translates into people joining oly time will tell.

In terms of the third aim, four images sold over the two weeks of the exhibition which was great for the photographers concerned. However only four sales out of 71 images would not be considered successful by most people.

Seen better days - shot on an iPhone 5S
Seen better days – shot on an iPhone 5S

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