Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson: Blog http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Mon, 01 Jan 2018 17:52:00 GMT Mon, 01 Jan 2018 17:52:00 GMT http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-5/u392066406-o626803503-50.jpg Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson: Blog http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog 120 80 2017!! What a phenomenal year! http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/2017-what-a-phenomenal-year 2017!! What a phenomenal year!

12 months
34 shows
14 states
41,000 Miles
31 motels/Air BnBs

 Those are the 2017 numbers for Left Behind photography. What the numbers don’t tell you are how super-fantastic this year has been! I have met thousands of fine and interesting people these last few months, and I am thankful to each and every one of them. I’m thankful that they took the time to talk to me and thankful that they were willing to spend their hard earned money on my art.

 Many of these 34 shows were new to me: I tried Florida for the first time this past winter and I am so glad I did, they loved me down there. I was able to come away with a few new friends and even a couple of awards!  I also tried Tennessee, Georgia, and New York in 2017 and I WILL be returning to TN. Georgia and New York was not so great, but I had to try. Maryland and Virginia continue to be the best states for me for the 3rd year in a row. Thurmont, Gaithersburg, Chantilly, Crozet, and Baltimore I am looking at y’all. THANKS A TON!  

  I have burned through 10 tires, 1 radiator, I CV Axle, 8 brake pads, and 2700 gallons of gas but my 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe is still running (fairly well). I have also recently invested into new Propanel displays and that has already paid off: I got into shows I previous did not with the old wooden walls I had.

  But above ALL ELSE is my photography, my ART! This is why I travel all the miles to all these states:  to see, to photograph, to share. It is all about making connections through Art. So many people are curious about my photos, my process, my style that I cannot shut up once I get started talking about it. One or two even commented later that I inspired them “to pick up their camera and get out there”. Countless people have told me what seeing/buying my art has meant to them. They often say my photos remind them of something: their grandfather’s old barn, their dad’s old truck, and Mama’s home town…… that sort of thing. That is when I shut my mouth and listen to their story. That is what makes what I do worthwhile.  

  2018 promises to be EVEN BETTER! I have my eyes on some bigger shows, new states (PA, MO, WI), and a new camera (fingers crossed). I can’t wait to meet y’all again and to meet a ton of new people across this majestic country!


kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) 2017 art shows arts and crafts festivals kyle wilson left behind left behind photography photography shows year in review http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/2017-what-a-phenomenal-year Mon, 01 Jan 2018 17:50:35 GMT
Can't Say Enough About Sugarloaf Crafts http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/cant-say-enough-about-sugarloaf-crafts Sugarloaf Gaithersburg was all I could have hoped for and more!

 I have written before about how unique the Sugarloaf shows are in the past (here)
and this time in Gaithersburg it was such a positive experience. This year I offered up all 10 of my free tickets to the show and ALL of them were snagged from me within a few days! I knew then that this Holiday show would be something special.

 I was concerned at first because my booth got moved from an inside building #2 at the top of the hill to building #19, inside a barn. This past weekend in November was COLD and on Sunday there were winds gusting to 40+ MPH! Would my customers be able to find me? Would people brave the cold to go shopping? BUT THEY DID COME! All of the people I gave the free tickets to made a point to stop by, say howdy and chat for a bit. I also had quite a few people who say me at Colorfest in Thurmont in October come by Gaithersburg! How cool is that? VERY!

 My worry was for naught because these Sugarloaf Craft fans will come out regardless of the weather. If they don’t make it Friday, they will make it out Saturday or Sunday.  Saturday was by far my best day this weekend, as I expected. I sold a large metal of End Of The Road within the first hour of the show. That is always a great sign. Sales continued virtually all day with me taking many special orders, despite the on-and-off light rain showers.

 Then on Sunday, when I thought most people would be at home staying warm, some hardy shoppers came out. In fact a lot more came out than I expected. I was able to sell about half the amount I did on Saturday.

 Many of the people I spoke with said that they are looking forward to seeing in at the Sugarloaf Crafts show in Chantilly VA in December. A couple of them said they are ‘saving up’ to make their purchase then and that they were narrowing down their choices at the Gaithersburg show.

This weekend Sugarloaf Crafts show in Gaithersburg ended up being MY BEST SUGARLOAF SHOW EVER! And it is currently #7 in my ALL TIME Best Show List.

kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) art art show reviews art shows festivals gaithersburg left behind md photography review sales shows sugarloaf http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/cant-say-enough-about-sugarloaf-crafts Thu, 23 Nov 2017 03:53:20 GMT
MY BEST SHOW EVER! http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/my-best-show-ever My BEST SHOW EVER!

The best art show I have ever had was this past weekend: Catoctin Colorfest in Thurmont, MD!
EVER! In the history of ever! This has always been a great show for me, consistently in the top 10, but nothing could have prepared me for the phenomenal weekend that was about to unfold.

 Colorfest crowds are usually large and usually early-birds. Saturday’s show officially opens at 9am, but I like to be ready by 8-8:30. Since I had a double booth it took me a bit longer to get 100% ready, but customers did not seem to mind as they were browsing while I was prepping. The people kept coming and coming, they seemed to love my art. At one point I counted twenty three (23!) people inside my 10x20’ booth (plus a half dozen looking just outside my booth). I had so many fantastic conversations, met so many sweet people and made so many connections through my art that it is hard to remember them all. I do know that I did not sit down nor stop talking for the entire 9 hours!

  Did I mention that the crowds were HUGE and the buying energy was electric? IT WAS! I have had a particular milestone that I set so that I can know when I’ve ‘Made It’ to The Bigtime. I have come close 2 times to reaching that milestone (Frankfort Fall Festival and Artscape) but those shows were 3-day shows. Well not only did I reach that milestone, but I surpassed it by a COUNTRY MILE! Colorfest usually draws about 100,000 people, whereas those other 2 shows draw 250,000-300,000 each. I have to think this year’s attendance broke some sort of record.

  But more than the attendance was people’s willingness to listen to me explain my process, my journey, my art and their willingness to spend their hard-earned money on my art. I am humbled that my photographs will be hanging in the homes of a lot of the fine people who attended Colorfest this weekend.

kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) art behind catoctin colorfest colorfest festivals left md photography reviews sales shows thurmont http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/my-best-show-ever Tue, 17 Oct 2017 01:40:30 GMT
Mad For Metal ! http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/9/mad-for-metal  

Metal Prints are always a conversation piece and not to be confused with prints on metallic paper. Metal prints are on aluminum, more accurately IN the aluminum. The process uses high-heat technology to fuse your image into the eco-friendly, 100% post-consumer recycled ChromaLuxe aluminum surface for incredible visual depth and luminosity. This process is called DYE-SUBLIMATION (more on that later). This technique will turn my images into vibrant works of art with ultra-high definition colors, intense blacks, and a unique, luminescent finish and ensures sharp, crisp contours, and seamless gradations.

 Telling you about a metal print is a lot like trying to advertise a new 4K UltraHD oled t.v. using an old standard definition T.V. You simply have to see it to believe it. Most of the people who see my aluminum prints say “I have never seen anything like this before”. This is truer than they know because the technology is still fairly new and there are not that many photographers printing on aluminum yet. The details and the clarity are unmatched and are perfectly suited to my HDR style of photography. My photos already have a lot of color, clarity, and definition because they are all High Dynamic Range photos; putting them on metal adds another layer.

I include a float-mount hanger on the back of all my metal prints, making them super-simple to hang. You will just need 1-3 nails or screws in the wall and then hang the metal from there. It will sit off the wall about ½ an inch, adding a drop shadow to the wall for added depth. These pieces of art come ready to hang, no need to pay or wait for a frame shop to prepare your art for display.

People who visit me at my shows often ask how this is done. I sometimes reply: “Magic” because that is often easier to say than dye-sublimation (which is like magic to me).

How it is REALLY done:

 Dye-sublimation printing is a digital printing technology using full color artwork that works with polyester and polymer-coated substrates. The process uses the science of sublimation, in which heat and pressure are applied to a solid, turning it into a gas through an endothermic reaction without passing through the liquid phase. In order to transfer the image from the paper to the substrate, it requires a heat-press process that is a combination of time, temperature and pressure. The heat press applies this special combination, which can change depending on the substrate, to “transfer” the sublimation dyes at the molecular level into the substrate. The most common dyes used for sublimation activate at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. However, a range of 380 to 420 degrees Fahrenheit is normally recommended for optimal color.

 The end result of the sublimation process is a nearly permanent, high resolution, full color print. Because the dyes are infused into the substrate at the molecular level, rather than applied at a topical level (such as with screen printing and direct to garment printing), the prints will not crack, fade or peel from the substrate under normal conditions.
These metal prints truly need to be seen in person. Check out my show schedule (on this website) to see when I will be coming to your area. 


kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) aluminum art contemporary dye-sublimation left behind metal photography prints http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/9/mad-for-metal Sun, 17 Sep 2017 23:15:47 GMT
Artscape 2017 Review http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/8/artscape-2017-review Artscape 2017 Review

 July finished out with a BANG! The weekend of July 21-23 was my second year doing Baltimore Maryland’s Artscape and I can’t wait to go again next year.

 FIRST: Sales!  I sell Fine Art HDR photography on aluminum, in frames, and also matted in 3 standard sizes. Sales were down 22% from last year however 2016 Artscape ended up being my #2 show of all time. 2017 Artscape lands firmly in my #7 show of all time. I sold more pieces this year, though at a lower price point. No big-ticket item sales but plenty of small and medium sales this year.  

 Second: Costs are high for this show. There is a $60 application fee and booth fees range from a ‘low’ of $700 to $950 for an ‘end of group’ space.  Also the parking garage is $15/day for a space and hotels in the city are not reasonable.

 Third: Crowds are HUGE! Artscape says it is the largest FREE festival in the US and I cannot dispute this. The whole city knows about this show and comes out for it despite the weather. It will be hot and there will be rain one (or more) of the days, but they come and come and keep coming. At times there were 12(!) people in my booth. They ARE here to buy Art, for the most part, and actually stop, look, and engage. Yes there are bands, performance art, and a whole lot of food but with only 130 Artists there was plenty of attention given to all the artists.

 Lastly: Miscellaneous – Hours are long 11A-9p Fri and Sat, 11A-8p Sun. No booth sitters nor artist amenities. Artscape supplies huge sturdy tents that you fit inside of with 3-5 other vendors. Backstock areas are on the sidewalk behind booth. There are no “bad spaces” as all artists are on the same street and patrons walk the whole show.

If I could give my deposit for 2018 Artscape now I would!

kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) art festivals left behind photography reviews sales shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/8/artscape-2017-review Thu, 10 Aug 2017 02:37:31 GMT
Near My Breaking Point http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/7/near-my-breaking-point Hey y'all! 

 It's been a while since my last blog post, my apologies. It has been a hectic beginning to my summer, more DOWNs than UPs. I can handle one bad or mediocre show, but I can not handle two in a row. That is what I had at the end of May and the first weekend of June. 

  To try to make ends meet and to put meat on the table I started driving for Uber. It was a great solution during late spring when the weather was mild because my car has NO AC. Now that it is July I can not subject my passengers to the North Carolina heat, this is cruel. Plus my ratings may get hammered by hot and sweaty passengers. If they drop below a certain point (4.7 I believe) I could get suspended by Uber. 

  In addition when I do Uber I can not CREATE! I can't; take new photos, edit existing photos, make art,  nor sell art. I just drive and sweat. And worry. It is sapping my creative juices. So I have parked my car for the foreseeable future to focus on Left Behind Photography. I know that if I sell just ONE photo a day, it will exceed what I could make driving 9 hours for Uber. 

  I am sorry this is not a post about "Kicking Ass and Living The Dream"! But I have always been honest with y'all. Being an artist is a struggle. Living Your Dream is harder than anything you will ever do. You will lose sleep, lose weight, lose some friends, lose money. I hate focusing on my cash flow more than my photography. It is not for everybody. But I know that it will be worth it in the long run. I just need to get to that point where I can look back at the Summer of 2017 and say " this is where things turned around and I truly began Living The Dream". 

  If you didn't know this already I do have a Patreon Page that offers ton of cool stuff to patrons of my art. 

Also my website is always being refreshed with NEW content. If you have not been in a while it is still here>

Slowed but Determined,

Near My Breaking PointNear My Breaking Point

kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Art Artist Behind Black Days Hardship Left Shows Starving broke funding money update http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/7/near-my-breaking-point Mon, 03 Jul 2017 16:05:26 GMT
Catching Lightening In A Bottle! http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/catching-lightening-in-a-bottle Gone ColdGone Cold Catching Lightening In A Bottle!

  Located in western Maryland in the tiny town of Lonaconing, the Lonaconing Silk Mill (aka The Klotz Throwing Company) is the last fully intact silk mill left in the United States.  It’s no longer in operation, but the looms and machinery are alive and well in the hearts of creatives, photographers, and its caretaker.

  Employment had ebbed and flowed throughout the 20th century. In September 1920, Klotz employed 359 with an average payroll of $8,491. That had decreased to between 70 and 80 by the summer of 1941 and just 27 by August 16. It dipped to just five workers by the end of the year. The number of workers increased to 30 by February 15, 1942 and 94 by late March and with it came the power of bargaining. Workers had requested an a nickel increase in wages  to bring it up to those of the nearby Celanese textile factory, and when it was denied, the employees went on strike, prompting General Textile to close the mill on June 23, 1957.

 The impact of the mill’s closure was devastating. Lonaconing, once the center of early industry in western Maryland, was in shambles. Deep underground coal mining had all but ceased and glass factories that once employed hundreds had begun to close.The silk industry left the United States and headed for China, never to return. This mill is the last remnant of that industrial age. A moment frozen in time. It’s not often if ever that a place this incredible is open to the public to photograph.

There is a lot of history on this place if you care to Google for a few minutes, so enough history and on to……
  This is How It EndsThis is How It Ends

My Adventure

  When I say that this day like “catching lightening in a bottle” I am speaking about the combination of elements that led to be at THIS place on THIS day with THIS lighting. I had wanted to shoot here for 2 years, since first seeing photos from other more talented photographers; it was love at first sight. This location is like the ‘Holy Grail’ of photographers of this genre. The timing had never worked out, until last November when I was in Gaithersburg MD for a show. On a whim I called Herb (the caretaker) and arranged a visit for that Monday afternoon.

   It had snowed the morning and was still super-cold. In fact it was about 35*F when I arrived at about 1PM. There was still snow on the grass and on the window sills here. Normally shooting between 1-4PM is not ideal with the sun being so bright and ‘washing out’ most photos; however this day was something special. See the glass in the mill was the old heavy, leaded glass that was typically used in the 40’s and 50’s. What this does is provide a special “filter” or “effect” of sorts that you cannot reproduce with software or a lens. When I got to the top floor it was ~3PM and the high sun was blasting and it should have made the photos look like a nuclear winter, but instead the lighting was positively ethereal and led to a slight glow around everything I saw on that level. That was like catching lightening in a bottle!  I feel that everything in my life, all my decisions, all I have learned about photography led me to be here this day, to make these photographs. I don’t know if it will ever get better than this for me.

This will probably be my ‘Opus’.



[ The mill is under the watchful eye of its lone caretaker, Herb Crawford. Herb not only oversees the property but has installed cameras and other security measures to protect the property from vandals and scrappers. Herb offers tours of the mill in 4 hour blocks for a measly $100. ALL of that money goes right back into the mills roof fund to help stop the impending winters. In fact while I was there I saw a large stockpile of roofing supplies and Herb said that the roof work was to begin that NEXT DAY!
Don’t wait, call Herb today!  Herb Crawford :301-268-1168


kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) America Americana Klotz Throwing Factory Left Behind Lonaconing Lonaconing Silk Mill MD Maryland abandoned bobbin decay industrial industry mill rust silk silk mill spinning states texture thread united http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/catching-lightening-in-a-bottle Sat, 15 Apr 2017 13:27:57 GMT
Fell On Black Days http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/fell-on-black-days I fell on Black Days

 These are dark days for me and for Left Behind photography. I can't hide it and pretend things are perfectly fine. 
Left Behind (and me) are broke. I have no money to restock after my last show. I did not sell a lot in Georgia, but I wanted to bring NEW products, new images to my next show in Gaithersburg MD. I can't afford new aluminum prints, lustre prints or even mats to mount the photos on. I am worried I won't have the gas money to get to MD in two weeks. I have paid the booth fee for my next two shows so there is NO way I will miss those. I will be
sleeping in my car for this show as I can't afford a hotel.

  I had big plans for Sugarloaf Crafts Gaithersburg as it is proving to be one of my BEST shows! They love me up there and they are loyal customers. No they are actually Fans! I wanted to by a large metal print of a new truck photo to debut up there, it could be as big as my signature photo: End of The Road. As is, I will be lucky to actually make it there to show anything.

  I can't ask for any more money as I have done that once with my Kickstarter in 2013. Then a second time recently when I pleaded for sales or just donations. And the third time was when I launched my Patreon for ongoing support: 
I can not ring this bell again. Y'all are tapped out and sick of hearing me beg, thinking "Here goes that Kyle Wilson again begging for money". That is a huge fear of mine. 

I am not giving up. I am not throwing my hands in the air and walking away. Hell, the Universe better make sure I am 6 feet under before they count me out! 

I just want to be honest with y'all, being an artist is not as romantic as it is often portrayed. 


kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Art Shows Artist Black Days Gaithersburg Hardship Left Behind MD Starving Artist Sugarloaf broke funding money update http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/fell-on-black-days Mon, 10 Apr 2017 12:14:53 GMT
Florida is for Sundays! http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/florida-is-for-sundays Florida is for Sundays!

I just finished my last show in Florida for 2017 and it was FANTASTIC!

 It did not start out that way at the Downtown Naples Festival of The Arts , however, as Saturday was extremely disappointing for sales. The weather was perfect and the crowds were huge. However, I sold only 4 items during the entire 8 hours. When I got back to the Air BnB where I was staying I had trouble falling asleep, despite waking up at 3 AM that morning to set up; I was so stressed out about this last day in Florida! Going to bed this night I was thinking that my poor sales had to do with the enormous competition in my field at this show, there were 30 photographers at this Naples show, almost the same number of jewelers! I had to do something to separate myself from the competition.

 So I got to my booth early and totally changed my setup. At this show, everyone, essentially, gets a corner booth. I did not realize that until it was too late to change on Saturday.  So on Sunday I moved a couple of walls and put 4 big pieces facing outward to take advantage of all the eyes that would be passing and looking.

 My efforts paid off! I sold, sold, and sold some more! THEY LOVED ME! It was like my normal formula was turned on its head. Saturday has always been my best day and Sundays have been a ‘chill day’ where I add a few more sales for ‘gravy’.  I have found that in Florida Saturdays are for looking and SUNDAYS ARE FOR BUYING!  

The details of the Downtown Naples Festival of The Arts 2017:
Organization was superior.
Layout and Setting were perfect.
Advertising and Attendance were phenomenal.
Prestige was above average.
Artist treatment was super-nice.

Mixture of Art was below average (a lot of photography and 2D art).
Parking was a nightmare (artist parking was 2.5 miles away and required a shuttle bus).

Now I am getting my car repaired and getting ready to head back to NC.


kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Art Behind FL Florida Left Left Behind Naples art show review festivals photography reviews sales shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/florida-is-for-sundays Mon, 20 Mar 2017 15:46:55 GMT
A Tale of Two Shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/a-tale-of-two-shows A Tale of Two Shows
It was the best of shows, it was the worst of shows.
A review of the February and March Bonita Springs National Art Shows
The February show (“Show #2”) was my first time doing this Bonita Springs show. It was at a new location from previous years and I was worried because I was not set up on one of the main paved streets but rather in a grass field behind the main strip of artists.

   Setup was a breeze in that I got to drive on the grass right up to my booth to unload the day before the show and then park within walking distance for free. I also got a nice corner booth under a historic banyan tree that provided great shade all weekend long.
    Saturday’s sales started slow and continued slow all day. I did get a few prospects and a few sales, the buyers were not there. I did get tons of compliments and I had great conversations, however I left Saturday’s show extremely worried in that the sales were half what they would be for a typical Saturday of a show this big.

  However Sunday quickly put my fears to rest as I sold, sold, and sold some more. In one 45 minute period I sold my 2 biggest metals and another medium metal. In addition I took a few special orders and sold a variety of prints, metals and frames. It seems this show brings the buyers out on Sunday. In fact it ended up being MY BEST SUNDAY EVER in terms of sales.

It was the WORST OF TIMES!

That would be the March Bonita Springs Show (“Show #3”).  I had my worst show EVER!
This includes shows that had costs of only $100! This show cost me over $1,000 to go to and do and produced sales that were 90% less than February.

I made 4 sales all weekend. Four sales and an ‘Award of Distinction’ is all I have to show for all this work.  

Why the huge difference in only 1 months’ time? I can only attribute it to 3 reasons:  LOCATION, LOCATION, and LOCATION. After February I asked the show’s organizers if I could please be moved to a street booth along one of the main thoroughfares. If I could not get there, I wanted to get back into space #174 where I was before. That is a simple enough request, 2  preferences, I thought.

However this past weekend I was placed in the totally different location from what I wanted or what I was expecting. It was in the middle of a round grassy area near the ‘Food Court’, a civic organization, and a Costco booth. There were also about a dozen other unlucky artists stuck in this no-mans-land. The only visitors we had were ones that were at the food court and happened to wander past our booth. I requested to move after Saturday’s ONE sale to a space that was empty on the main street. My booth takes 4 hours to set up and tear down myself. That was how serious I was to get over there and improve my sales. My request was denied. Sunday was horrible as well.

This weekend was a serious kick to my groin as I am stumbling to recover still.

I have two more shows this month while down here in Florida. I checked out both of the shows layouts and they are more logical with artists placed along a main avenue of ingress and egress.  My hopes and dreams are not resting on these next two weekends.
No pressure. HA!

Onward and Upwards!!


kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Art Bonita Springs FL Florida Left Behind festivals photography review reviews sales shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/a-tale-of-two-shows Tue, 07 Mar 2017 20:37:50 GMT
Cape Coral Festival of the Arts http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/cape-coral-festival-of-the-arts The Cape Coral Festival of the Arts, first show ever in Florida

was an astounding success!

This show was organized and held by the Rotary Club of Cape Coral and it was one of the most organized shows I have ever done. Check-in was a breeze on Friday night. I got there early, as usual and was greeted by many smiling faces and helpful people. I had about 2 hours to wait until it was time to drive up to my spot, unload and set up. All went smoothly. 

 Saturday brought HUGE crowds and beautiful weather. The show has a great location.... a wide street in downtown that is closed to traffic. The people came early and kept on coming. There were a LOT of artists, 300(!), for the visitors to look at and they did look at them ALL. This crowd walked slowly and actually looked at the art. On many occasions you could not fit another person in my booth! They were curious and asked many thoughtful questions about my photos. I could tell they appreciated art here and were prepared to buy, not just walk around and eat kettle-corn.
One guest in my booth even commented "I have been coming to this show for 20+ years and this year's artists were the highest quality I have seen yet". That was humbling to be included in such good company.  My nautical and truck photos did well this whole weekend. 

 Sunday was EVEN BETTER THAN SATURDAY! I had one of my BEST Sundays ever! It was amazing. Astounding. Fantastic. Mind-blowing! THEY LOVE ME DOWN HERE! Then it got even better when I WON SECOND PLACE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY! I KID YOU NOT! There were twenty six (26!) other photographers here and I won 2nd place. The smile is still on my face! Sunday exceeded all expectations. 

If I have one complaint is it that tear down was stressful. We are given 4 hours to set up and only 2 to tear down and pack up. My display is intricate and time consuming. It does not set up or tears down quickly. When i was not done by 7 PM the volunteers moved everything to a parking lot across the street where I finished packing up and loading the trailer. 

Overall a great show and I will do this again in 2018 if invited!!! 

Florida is starting to warm up to me and Left Behind photography. 

kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Behind Cape Coral FL Florida Left Rotary festivals photography review reviews sales shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/cape-coral-festival-of-the-arts Sun, 22 Jan 2017 23:14:49 GMT
Sugarloaf Shows: Building a loyal customer base http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/sugarloaf-shows-building-a-loyal-customer-base Howdy!

 It has been a long time since my last blog post, I apologize. I just got home from the Sugarloaf Crafts show in Chantilly VA. It was my second year doing the December Show there. And in November I did the Sugarloaf Gaithersburg show for the second November in a row. I have found these two shows to have the most loyal customers of any of my repeat shows. In Gaithersburg I had 25% of my sales from returning customers. It may have even been more but that is what Square reports to me if the same credit card is used (Chantilly was 15% returning). 

  I was not able to get the same booth spaces as before (I was close) but still the Sugarloaf customers walk the whole show and my fans found me. One gentleman says that every year he walks the entire Gaithersburg show and usually finds 2-3 artists to return to to purchase art from. He said "this year you were the only one who inspired me enough to return for". I was humbled. In Chantilly this year I had a couple come to me a bought my biggest piece without much talking or interaction. They purchased the 24 X 36 aluminum of 'End Of The Road' ! While I was finishing up the transaction they said that they "saw this last year in Chantilly and(we) have been thinking about it all year. We just HAD to get it this year". If I had not returned this year I could not have given this couple what they wanted. In another interaction at this show a young boy looked through my $30 matted prints for a long time. He found something he liked and walked his mom up to me. Got out his Boy Scout wallet and got out his own $30 and paid for it. I remember this young boy from last year. Same wallet and another $30 cash purchase. He then said that he did get 'End Of The Road' (8 x 10) last year. This year he got another car/truck photo ('Parked'). I then had a nice conversation with this boy and his mom. It was one of the highlights of my day. 

 If I had not returned to these two shows, I would not have been about to connect with these fine people and I would not have been able to fulfill their needs. I truly enjoy this personal interaction with people, guest, and potential customers. I know they could order art online from the comfort of their home but I believe the Sugarloaf guests truly desire the personal interactions just as much as the quality of the art they see and buy. 

  So even though my sales this weekend did not equal 2015 (they were close) I will keep returning to both the Gaithersburg Shows and this Chantilly show in 2017. I am determined make more Raving Fans at Sugarloaf! I will continue to bring new photos of different locations and of things Left Behind. 


kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Behind Left Sugarloaf festivals photography review reviews sales shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/sugarloaf-shows-building-a-loyal-customer-base Tue, 13 Dec 2016 04:54:53 GMT
Quick Update http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/10/quick-update Quick update on me:

 I just completed week 8 of 10 weeks in a row with a show. I am freaking exhausted. This is much harder than I expected, I barely sleep or eat. I wonder if I bit off more than I can chew. My suppliers cannot keep up with me as I try to resupply between shows. I have not gone out shooting in a while. The shots that I do get are ones from my travels between shows. I can’t recall the last time I edited some of my photos. Also the weather has been a real bastard. I have lost 8 frames in 2 weeks because of heavy rains.

   I just finished Colorfest in Thurmont MD and up next is the Poquoson Seafood Festival in VA. These two shows were 2 of my best last year. Colorfest was just ok because of Saturday rains, but Poquoson VA weather looks perfect. I can’t control the weather, but I can control the other things. Those things I try to make as perfect as possible.

 I sometimes think about giving up, but then I remember there are a lot of mother***kers out there I need to prove wrong!

  I get a jolt of LIFE and ENERGY from all of y’all that come to my shows and support what I am doing. I could not do it without y’all.


kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) art shows Left Behind Living The Dream festivals photography sales update http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/10/quick-update Tue, 11 Oct 2016 14:02:25 GMT
Festival in the Park (Charlotte, NC) http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/festival-in-the-park-charlotte-nc Festival In the Park

This weekend’s show in Charlotte was challenging but promising. There were some protests in the city last week that may have had an effect on attendance, but with this being my first time here; it is hard to say for certain.

The people that did attend were an art-appreciative crowd. They were super-friendly and genuinely inquisitive about my style of photography. I also had one of the BEST experiences ever this weekend:
A young couple came to my booth looking at my photos and were drawn to a couple of my Premium Framed photos. They left for a while to think about it.
When they came back the young lady, Amy, was drawn once more to my 'Maple Barn' photo. After about 10 seconds she was crying, and through the tears she said
"It is just so beautiful"!

"You HAVE to have this if it makes you cry like this", I said. 
I will always remember this encounter.
THIS is why I do what I do.

The sales were good, not great. I did well with my traditional framed pieces in medium and premium categories. That was different from the last few shows when my metal prints did well. I am glad I carry both types of art instead of 100% of any one.
There are a few things that need vast improvement at Festival In The Park. First is the booth layout and placement. I was 80% done setting up my booth yesterday when another vendor’s van/trailer pulls up next to me and starts unloading just 2 booths down. It takes me a few minutes but then it hits me…..
It is another photographer. Not only that BUT HE IS MY BIGGEST COMPETITION! Not only that BUT HE SHOOTS SIMILAR LOCATIONS AND USES HDR AS WELL!  It know it will be extremely confusing for festival-goers and it could hurt both of our sales. This is unacceptable I decide and call Vendor Relations.

  I explain my situation to them and after a while they call back and say they can move me to 86A. I tell them I will get back to them after I check out this new space.  It looks like a fine space at first; however space 84 is ANOTHER PHOTOGRAHER! Are you kidding me? This one is a wildlife photographer so no conflict there, but still not a great idea to put two photographers that close.

  Do the vendors themselves need to do the booth placement? I am so angry that I go to the office. I calmly explain that this could have been avoided IF VENDORS GOT THE BOOTH NUMBER LIST AHEAD OF TIME! I do get these for most shows so that this problem could be prevented. I check to make sure another photographer is that that close to me. I get an apology from the Show Director. So I decide to stay where I am. I don’t want to spend another 4 hours tearing down and setting up. So I stay put. I see this reoccur throughout the festival: 2 similar artists side-by-side.

Second issue is the variety of artists lean heavily towards the 2-D artists. It is mostly painters and photographers. I fit into this category and I think we are over-represented. There should be more 3-D artists in here, more jewelers, sculptors, potters, ect… This could bring in more people which benefit us all.

Third issue was the enforcement of the rules, or lack thereof. The rules clearly state that artists will NOT be allowed to drive or park on the grass. In addition we are instructed to drive to our booth, unload our gear, park our vehicle and THEN setup our display. I felt like a schmuck for following the rules because everyone who had done this show before did not. Most were waiting until there booth was 100% set up before moving their vehicles. And some ever left their van and trailers PARKED on the grass behind their booth all weekend. I guess the rules were meant for FIRST-TIMERS ONLY? What use is a rule if it is not enforced?
It does seem like more of a gripe list I know. I need to write this out even if nobody reads it. Maybe someone will who has control over such decisions at these shows and will make a note in their book?

Bottom line: I WOULD, most likely, do this show again. It had a fantastic setting and great potential. 

kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Charlotte Charlotte NC Festival in the Park festivals photography reviews sales shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/festival-in-the-park-charlotte-nc Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:20:25 GMT
Left of Centerfest! http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/left-of-centerfest Left of Centerfest 2016.

 Centerfest (Durham) was this past weekend, 9.17 and 9.18, and it was less than great. I an rating it as just 'OK'. And if it had not been for a LARGE sale at the close of Sunday's show it would probably rate as a 'Dud' for Left Behind photography.

 I feel the reason why was that I, as a new artist this year, was put at the end of a street with other new artists and left to sink-or-swim on our own. My neighbors were ALL new this year to Centerfest and we were not happy with our booth spaces. In fact one artist was supposed to be in Space A1. She saw where it was and threw such a fit that she got move closer to the CENTER of the festival. Good for her. I wish I had done the same. I was given A7&9, my first double booth ever! I thought that the 'A section' would be the first street visitors would travel. Not so. In fact not many people went up this street (Morris St.). There were bigger crowds down at the center where the street met. 

  These should be a way that the organizer can mix new artists with established artist who have been doing this show for years. I realize I was a newbie and should have to 'pay my dues' by being in that section in the beginning. But how many of my fellow new artists are likely to return with poor or average sales. Not many. 

 Another bad thing about this show was that downtown Durham smelled like RAW SEWAGE all weekend! I am not making this up! The wind would change direction and you would catch a strong wiff and it was horrible. So much so that my one neighbor called her friend who lives in Durham and asked "Why does Durham smell like POO"? At the end of Sunday I was getting a headache and nauseous from it. 

  On the plus side: HALF of my sales were from Metal Prints, prints on aluminum! Customers are loving this new medium. Every metal I get fom my lab now gives me chills. They are THAT GOOD. 

MOAR METAL !!1  \m/ O_O \m/

 A couple more pluses were the gourmet lunches that were delivered to our booth were fantastic and the load-in and load-out was a breeze. I do not often do I say that? 


kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Art Art Show Centerfest Centerfest Durham Durham Left Behind photography review sales http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/left-of-centerfest Mon, 19 Sep 2016 23:06:08 GMT
Checking In http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/checking-in Checking in with y'all .....


  Apologies for being MIA here, I have been so busy with my show schedule. 
I am in week 4 of my marathon of *10 shows in 10 weeks*! I have got to keep the momentum rolling. 

This may be a bit of a ramble here, bear with me....

  July was up and down with one of my best shows followed by one of my worse. August I think I turned the corner with one solid show and one fantastic show. September started off with a explosion of sales in interest in my work (set new record for my best show at 
#Frankfort Fall Festival). Since then I have been barely able to keep supplied. I am selling faster than I can produce. Seriously. 

  I think that is a good problem to have. So much better than the alternative. As such so much of my time has been focused on the business of +Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson that I *have not shot much in 2016*. That is the part that pains me so much. I have taken a few photos of some choice locations, but I'll be damned if I can find the time to edit and upload them. 

I am running on about *4-5 hours of sleep a night*. I am afraid of crashing soon and oversleeping for a show. That would be professional death. I am fueled by coffee and adrenaline. *I have lost 8 pounds since August!* 

I am so damn excited for this fall and even for 2017! 

  GUYS I THINK I HAVE FINALLY TURNED THE CORNER! I no longer fear my electric being turned off or not being able to pay for a hotel or my next booth fee. The Frankfort show put some much needed ca$h into my business that I am doing some much needed upgrades. In fact I am trying a *double booth* for the FIRST time at 
#Centerfest *in Durham, NC* this weekend! A double booth is a huge milestone for me!! 

Whew....I knew I would ramble if I got going 

Thanks for listening.

kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) festivals sales shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/checking-in Thu, 15 Sep 2016 17:29:00 GMT
Let me be FRANK about Frankfort Fall Festival 2016 http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/let-me-be-frank-about-frankfort-fall-festival-2016 This was my first year doing this show and I was blown away!

 Attendance was amazing, especially on Sunday. Quite frankly, the crowds were HUGE! Weather was perfect. Organization was professional, honestly, one of the BEST I have ever seen, especially for such a large show.  They treat the artists like honored guests supplying us with free water, booth sitters, fans and they will even deliver ice and food upon request. I swear it could not be better. My block caption (Kris) quickly became my friend.

 Load-in was challenging because my street could not set up until Saturday morning, so I got in line at 4:30 am to be open by 10. Load-out was much easier with nobody pushing you to hurry up. There were no awards for this show, which I was aware of. Layout was perfect for this quaint, historic town. It is so dang cute here. Also the mix of artists seemed perfect with not a flood of one particular media. My only small complaint was that artist parking was about .75 mile away (for me).

 Most important factor was the sales. This show quickly became my NEW #1 GROSSING SHOW OF ALL TIME! It beat out my previous #1 grossing show ( Artscape, Baltimore, by $50 )They came ready to buy and they came early. I have never seen Early Birds like these. Artists need to be ready to sell by 9 AM even though the show does not open until 10 AM, and they bought from 9 am until close each day. I am running out of positive adjectives. It was so worth the 850 mile drive! 


kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) . Frankfort Frankfort Fall Festival IL art show review festivals photography reviews sales shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/let-me-be-frank-about-frankfort-fall-festival-2016 Fri, 09 Sep 2016 03:07:14 GMT
The Cary Lazy Daze was ANYTHING BUT! http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/the-cary-lazy-daze-was-anything-but The Cary Lazy Daze was ANYTHING BUT LAZY! 

This August marked the 40th anniversary of Cary Laze Daze and it was quite an anniversary. This year it got extended to two days, Saturday 8.27 and Sunday 8.28. Well it was actually closer to 1.5 days because Sunday's hours were only 12:30 PM - 5:00 PM. 

It was hotter that death on Saturday with a heat index of 111*! That fact brings out the Early Birds who want to beat the heat, do their shopping and leave before they melt. Those patrons who stuck it out for longer then got to experience a brief storm pass by bringing wind gusts of 40+ mph! This will be one enduring image of Lazy Daze 2016:

Holly was standing in the middle of the canopy, holding on to it for dear life so it wouldn't blow away. Meanwhile a nice couple was trying ask questions and make a purchase as I talked over the howling wind and rain. The transaction was completed without anything breaking. Thank you to the kind couple for your patience and support

Saturday sales and attendance were flat after 3 pm. Holly speculated that many of the visitors would return Sunday, or come out Sunday, when the weather was forecast to be cooler. She was right! Even though the show lasted only 4.5 hours on Sunday I HAD MY BIGGEST SUNDAY EVER! WOW!
It was amazing. I sold so many Metal Prints! My HDR work on aluminum is proving to be a big hit! The more I put on metal, the more I WANT to put on metal. I even did 2 Special Orders for my metal prints. 

Once again Cary NC proved to be an Art-Loving community. THANK YOU ALL for your support.

Other great things about this show is that I had 2 fantastic neighbors to chat and share notes with, the organization was super, the volunteers were plentiful, load-in and load-out were a breeze, food  and drink options were plentiful, bathrooms were inside, artist lounge was available (did not use). 
In short..... Everything ran smoothly

kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Art show Cary Cary Lazy Daze Lazy Daze Left Behind art show review review http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/the-cary-lazy-daze-was-anything-but Mon, 29 Aug 2016 14:59:02 GMT
Kyle Wilson, The (nearly) Starving Artist (or How Homewood Suites Came to My Rescue) http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/kyle-wilson-the-nearly-starving-artist-or-how-homewood-suites-came-to-my-rescue So this weekend is the Havre de Grace Art Show up in Havre de Grace Maryland, at a lovely park on the river. I am sure to mispronounce that name a dozen times before Monday, it is pronounced 'Have a de Grace.' 

 For this show I budgeted everything so tightly. I booked the room on 'Booking.com' and chose to pay at the time of check in because I did not have the funds at the time I reserved the room. To be sure I had enough money for the hotel, I withdrew the fund in cash. I didn't want any unexpected debits hitting my account and me not being able to get my room. But I made a mistake when figuring out the gas I would need. I did the calculation with an MPG of 22. That is what my truck gets when it is on the highway WITHOUT a loaded trailer. With a loaded trailer, I get 15 mpg! So I had to stop and get an other $20 worth of gas. 

  There went my dinner money for tonight and lunch for tomorrow. But, 'what the heck' I thought. I have to get there today! I can eat on Friday evening after I sell a few things. I just hope I get a ca$h sale that first day. I fought traffic from 12n until 5 pm. Why the hell is it backed up at 1 pm on a Thursday afternoon? It blows my mind, the traffic in the Washington D.C. area. I was so looking forward to checking in, relaxing with a cup of coffee and putting together a few more mats and frames in my room before the big day tomorrow. 


 Upon checking in I was told that the total was going to be $577 instead of the $547 that I had reserved with Booking.com. I said "I am paying in cash, is that worth a discount"?. Apparently not. So I thought not I might not get a room for this weekend. I did not want to sleep in my truck down by the river. After much clicking around and trying to call someone, the polite Front Desk attendant, Allana Basham,  found a manager. Apparently Maryland charges a 6% Occupancy Tax as well as a 6% Sales Tax. Booking.com only charges the 6% sales tax. Therein was the issue. So the wonderful Allana  cancelled my original reservation and made me a new one at the quoted rate. YIPPEE! 

  ON TOP OF THAT, she told me that this evening they were having a free Social in the lobby. Did you say FREE FOOD? That is MY FAVORITE KIND OF FOOD! We had BBQ sliders, slaw, soup, salad and lemonade !!


kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/kyle-wilson-the-nearly-starving-artist-or-how-homewood-suites-came-to-my-rescue Thu, 18 Aug 2016 23:28:30 GMT
Artscape 2016 http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/artscape-2016 Artscape 2016 in Baltimore was the most challenging show I have ever done. The things I take for granted were roadblocks this weekend. However I was able to overcome those and make this my HIGHEST GROSSING SHOW to date!

  One of the challenges was PARKING. It is tough to park a truck and a trailer in a big city when the hotel has no parking available. So I had to pay $15 each time I needed to park. Not per day, but each time I move my vehicle and trailer. The required a lot of cash and planning. I even walked a mile to the show one day to save on expenses and hassle.  Also I could not run errands to resupply like I usually do. I could not just ‘run down to the store’ like I can in most shows.

Another challenge was that the Show Manager nor staff was not around. I had no contact with them all weekend. This absence made the load-in and load-out kind of a ‘Wild West’ where you had to fend for yourself.  Luckily I met some other artist friends who gave me some great advice about this show, that helped immensely.  The show hours were also challenging. Most shows I got to are 9AM – 5PM, 10A-6pm, or 9am-6pm. This weekend was 11AM-9PM. There were still TONS of people out after 9 so most days I did not close until 9:30 or 9:45. Those 11 hour days wiped me out. I went to bed exhausted, without dinner, both Friday and Saturday night.

Having said all that, IT WAS STILL A GREAT SHOW!
Friday was discouraging, out 3 sales for 11 hours.
Saturday blew away ALL EXPECTATIONS> all the people who said they ‘would come back Saturday’ actually DID come back. They bought, bought, and bought some more. We also talked a lot. I just now regained my voice. I met and talked to so many great people. Even 1 hour of rain in the evening could not dampen my spirits! So much fun!
Sunday afternoon picked up where Saturday left off. I SOLD EVERY METAL PRINT I OWN!  It was amazing. 

The show seemed well advertised and well attended. They claim to attract 350,000. That may have been, but hard to say as it was the biggest show to date for me and I have no basis for comparison. Load-out was a breeze with nobody nagging me to hurry up. My display is time consuming and it takes 4 m/h to setup and tear-down. 

So it would seem like a natural that I would do this show next year, right? I do have some hesitation brought on by the expenses. This was an expensive show to do, with one of the highest booth fees I have ever incurred ($750) for a 10x10. That plus the parking and hotel costs give me pause. If I could get that hotel bill down that I would go again in 2017 in a heartbeat!

Maybe I should start looking online for a hotel now for next year?


kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/artscape-2016 Sun, 24 Jul 2016 03:25:46 GMT