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!