Galleries Addendum

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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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4 comments for “Galleries Addendum

  1. August 1, 2009 at 10:32 am

    These are great tips for getting into a gallery but there is another aspect of gallery life now and that is the Call for Entry or Calls to Artists that is all over the web and Craig’s list. As our Gallery does this for artists (The Center for Fine Art Photography) I have seen many people getting into more and more and not just galleries.

    Here are a few tips for artists.

    1. Do not be dazzled by high cash rewards. This is an easy way to get noticed but as with all things Online be very careful. You are giving someone your credit card out so be very weary.

    2. If the show is only online what is your payout for being in the show? You can set up a Flicker account or even in your own website and get more out it. Gallery shows in brick and mortar buildings allows the public to view your work at it’s best.

    3. What is the fee for entering the show? The average for calls is about $25 to $40 for 3 to 5 images. This is really a low fee for a chance to be in a gallery show when you consider the payout for being in a show. But do not think that the gallery is getting rich of of artists. There is a lot of overhead for operating a brick and mortar gallery. Outside of rent there are salaries for personal that take care of upkeep.

    3. What is the criteria for choosing who is in the show. Is it just the guys who set up the show or a well know professional in the art world. Getting into a show like this gets the artist a much better leg up for marketing their works to other galleries.

    4. Speaking of Marketing what are doing once you get your work into a show or gallery? Without your legwork for getting your work out in front of the public what you are really doing is just a hobby. Be sure to ask the galleries for all press releases of the show or maybe even a personal press release highlighting your work in the show. Plus request photos of your work on the walls if this is not in your town. Taking these and putting them into a press book will help get your foot in the doors of other galleries.

    As with everything in life keep your eyes open for both opportunities and pot holes in life.

    • August 2, 2009 at 10:26 am

      Great info here Bill… thanks for sharing these tips for considering gallery submissions

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