Yesterdays post on how to get into galleries generated some great questions and comments both via email and on the blog, so in the interests of keeping that interest and momentum going, here’s a few more tips on Getting Into Galleries, courtesy of Dave Warner from LensFlare 35 and Rich Charpentier (who I’ve interviewed here on the podcast). Thanks guys for chiming in and offering your assistance! Onto the 5 additional tips:
- Make sure the gallery shows photography – if gallery owners deal primarily with paintings, sculptures, metal work, and such, the odds of being accepted are much less. This involves actually doing a little research into the gallery. Perhaps a visit or two during different showings could help determine whether the venue is appropriate for your work.
- Make sure the gallery shows your type of work – if you are primarily a landscape artist and the gallery primarily shows urban gritty work, portraiture, or architectural types f work, then again, reconsider the venue.
- Contact the gallery – let them know you are interested in being considered, and give a few small samples via email. Ask if you can schedule a time to visit with them. Like Dave and Rich said, nothing can be a bigger turnoff than showing up unannounced and possibly interfering with a scheduled appointment or client sale.
- Be professional – treat a prospective gallery showing like a job interview. Just like you wouldn’t want to show up with 4×6 photos in a binder album, also don’t show up on site wearing cut-off shorts or be un-groomed. It’s not just your work that is being considered, it’s YOU. If you are accepted into the gallery, in all likelihood, they will want you there for the opening day, so people can meet you, learn about you and interact with you. If you don’t present yourself with your best foot forward, then clients and gallery owners will probably be less interested. Once you are big and famous, sure, being unkempt can be part of your “flair” or quirks, but until then, you are just messy!
- Be prepared to be told no. It’s tough to hear, but don’t take it personally if at all possible. Running galleries is a business, and when it comes to running a business, it’s not personal – it’s just a business decision. Consider also that gallery owners get many many requests from aspiring artists, and simply do not have room or space all the time. In the most recent podcast, Matt Timmons mentioned this briefly. Just because someone says no, doesn’t mean a lifetime of “no”. It just means “No” today. Ask again in a few months. Sometimes people like to see persistence, especially if your craft is getting better.
So, there you go, two days of tips on getting into galleries! Ten tips total, so go forth and good luck!
Speaking of luck, best of luck to everyone who has been submitting their “Numbers” themed photo contest running right now over in the Flickr forums. I took a quick glance this morning, and there are just shy of 50 entries. Amazing given that only one entry is allowed per person! And there’s still time – you have until midnight tonight to get your picture in. The winner will walk away with a free copy of the OnOne software Plugin Suite (valued at over $500 retail)! If you are thinking of getting in the game, now’s the do-or-die moment. Like they say in lotteries – you can’t win if you don’t play! Here’s the link to get in the game: Numbers Contest
Have a great weekend everyone – Happy shooting and we’l see you back here next week for the latest and greatest in photography news, nuggets, interviews, reviews, and all that goes into Canon Blogger. We’re closing in on some pretty fun dates, including the 500th post, the 2 year anniversary of CB, 1000 Twitter followers, and much more, so be sure to pick up the feed. I know I had mentioned the next contest on the podcast as well, so be sure to stop back in Monday for the news on what the theme is, and to pick up the tag on Flickr for the thread.
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For many photographers, the Mecca of accomplishments is to have your work displayed on a wall – and in many cases that means a wall other than your own home. In other words, gallery displays. There are lots of ways you can go about accomplishing this, and for the record, I have not had my work featured in any galleries to speak of. However, in talking with people who manage galleries, and in hearing nuggets and useful tidbits of information from those who have had work featured, it seems there are commonalities that can be seen no matter where you want to have your work shown.
So, here are 5 tips for getting your work into galleries:
- Have a theme to your work – while we all enjoy showing off “Best of” works, that doesn’t really work in galleries, so make sure the work you want to have shown has a theme to it – whether the theme is urban architecture, natural landscapes, gritty portraiture, or fruit baskets, gallery owners will be sold better on displaying your work if there is a flow to it.
- Follow the submission guidelines – Galleries get people from all walks of life and submissions all the time. To make their process flow easier, they establish parameteres to make the process easier. If you want to get into a gallery, respect their time by following their guidelines. As a corollary, a quick way to get rejected is to think their guidelines don’t apply to you.
- Be consistent – besides the theme of your work, make sure all your images are printed to the same dimensions, matted the same, and framed the same. You want the gallery owner to see your work, not a mish-mash of geometric shapes and colors that will only serve to distract them from your work.
- Deliver prints loosely – in the event they don’t want matted work, framed work, or shrink-wrapped work (many don’t), deliver your prints loosely. This allows the reviewer to lay all your images out on a table, move them around (seeing how things might flow best on the walls), and awkward mats or heavy framing can be a detraction.
- Let them know who you are – this doesn’t mean just walking in, saying your name and dumping the prints on their hands. It means having an Artist Statement that talks about your background, your creative vision and artistic goals, or even a little about the body of work. Title it how you want, whether it be an “Artist Statement”, “About the Artist”, or even “Fruit Montage” – give the reviewer more information. Include your name, address, phone, email, and even a website if you have more work featured there. How sad it would be if an owner wanted to give you a show, but couldn’t find you!
SO, there’s the quick tips for today on how to get your work featured in galleries. I’ll be back tomorrow with a Friday wrap-up, and some more useful photography information as we head into August! Don’t forget, tomorrow is the last day to enter your best “Numbers” themed photo in the OnOne Software giveaway. Check out the details on the Flickr Thread.
Until tomorrow then, happy shooting!
No cheeky title today, just a straight up informational one because the podcast was a super long one with all the news, interview time, and listener Q&A so I’ll stick to the meat and potatoes.
- On the Photo News Beat
- Canon Announces Hybrid IS technology
- Stock Exchange joins Getty Images
- Think Tank Photo Announces a New Bag System
- OnOne Software expecting to release a Remote Capture update soon
- LDP/CB Notes
- The OnOne Software Plugin Suite Ends Friday – last chance to get your best image in the Numbers Contest
- The August Prize is announced: A Bamboo Fun, courtesy from the folks at Wacom
- Exposure Denver Photo Club
- Interview With Matt Timmons – MTM Studios
- Listener Q&A
- The Sony A100 DO Range Optimizer – Bog Segrell from NJ
- Martini Memory Lighting Setup? – Alistair M from New Zealand
- Where do you get the EOS Digital Capture from Canon? – George Maskaly from Nevada
Here’s links, as promised for the show notes to for those coming over from either PLM or iTunes. Please let me know if I missed any (it’s getting late here)…
A last little bit of blog news – closing in on 2 yrs, 500 posts, and 1000 feeds – I don’t know how this ever happened, but there’s definitely going to be some prizes coming soon in celebration and to say thanks to all the loyal, faithful readers and listeners! I teased the date a few days ago on Twitter so if you’re not on Twitter, get there for extra added value too! Happy Shooting All, and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow!
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