Saturday, September 17, 2011

Atlanta Mini Maker Faire [and a small rant]

[Photo courtesy of Flex Family Arts]

Last Saturday was the first Atlanta Mini Maker Faire and it ended up being a lot of fun! I shared a tent with Amanda of Flex Family Arts and her fiancé James [aka SquidFlex].  Although the event ended up being a great success both Amanda and I encountered some frustrating experiences from a few attendees. I encourage you to go read her blog post on it--she'd love to hear feedback!

I'm only going to touch on one thing that seems to be quite prominent no matter the show I'm doing.

People taking photographs of my booth or products without a single acknowledgment that I am there. 

I love that people think my booth and items are cool enough to take a photo, but a simple, "Hello- do you mind if I take a photograph?" goes a long way.  Taking a photo in silence and then walking away is rude and yet it happens constantly. I don't mind that people want to take pictures, but after enough people don't say anything or make eye contact, you start to think you're invisible or you have your dress tucked in your tights! Even just some eye contact and a camera wiggle, and we are instantly on the same page. If all that fails, taking a business card is always nice. :)

What is really frustrating are the people that pretend I'm not standing inches from them while they talk about how they could make this stuff or that it's too expensive. If you want to make your own jewelry, by all means--I think that's great! I just think some people go to indie crafts shows and forget these are not huge corporations hawking their wares. I'm a one person show--I'm with each piece from concept to completion.  I strive to make affordable pieces, because I myself can't spend a lot of jewelry...but if you want Forever21 prices, you're going to have to go to Forever21. It just gets frustrating when these kinds of people are blocking your booth from people who actually want to buy items-- a booth in which I have spent time and money to have. I actually had a couple at the summer I.C.E. show ignore me while the boyfriend took close-up photos of necklaces his girlfriend liked because, "His friend could make these." 

Does anyone have any advice or methods they use to handle such situations? I'm worried a "Please Ask Before Photographing" sign would turn people away from the booth. Plus, at the same time I'm not going to chase you with a pitchfork the second I notice a camera. I know some people are just shy and I don't want to unintentional intimidate someone.

Now with all that being said, I know not everyone that takes a photo is trying to be rude!  A lot of people are taking the photos because they want to make a blog post or something similar that helps promote the artist---and us crafters would LOVE to see it! 

My background is in photography, so I've shot my fair share of events. The number one question people always want to know is, "Where can I see these photos?" If you get an awesome shot of my booth, get a shot of me not looking like I'm impersonating Jim Carey, or just have a write up about the event-I'd be thrilled to see it and to help drive traffic to your site. :D 

I understand people love to document with photography...I AM that person.
Just sometimes your actions, or lack thereof, can be interpreted differently from the crafters side of the booth.  Just something to keep in mind

My side of the tent!

[Photo courtesy of Flex Family Arts]

[Photo courtesy of]
*I didn't know that drinking Mountain Dew products was considered trashy until last month. So of course the one photo I find of my booth on the event page is documenting my "trashy behavior".
Whatever, I love my sugary sugar fest! ;D

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