Fine Art Photographer Rich Smukler gives great tips and insight about getting your work into art galleries and working with the galleries for optimal sales.
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Tips on Getting Your Fine Art Photography
into a Gallery with Rich Smukler
“It’s the rare photographer that can make a living selling pieces off the wall.”
Considerations When Choosing Galleries
Build your resume with galleries that will ENHANCE your name.
- Look at the QUALITY of the other work on display.
- Are they in a good location? How much traffic do they usually get?
- Check their website.
- Do they have a good history?
- Do you recognize any of the past artists?
Do you know them? Talk to them about their experience with the gallery.
Approaching a Gallery
Enter group competitions.
- Follow all the rules and guidelines for submissions!
Walk in and check it out. (Be sure to look professional and have materials with you.)
Is it a good fit for your art?
- No? Walk out and find another gallery.
- Yes? Find the curator. Introduce yourself, make CONVERSATION – it’s not all about you.
- Develop a relationship. Send a follow-up thank you email and direct them to your portfolio/website.
“Recognize that top quality galleries are inundated with artists who want to show there.”
Read it thoroughly. Does it answer all these questions?
- How long will the pieces be displayed?
- How many pieces will be shown?
- How much space is available? Be insistent about the aesthetics of display and lighting!
- What if it’s damaged while in your possession?
- What happens with your work after the show?
- Will they put your work on their website?
- Are they marketing your work?
- What is the duration of the contract?
- Do they assist with pricing?
- What is their commission?
- Who is responsible for food/refreshments at the opening?
“Be wary of gallerists that show their own work in the gallery. They may not have YOUR best interests at heart.”
Tips for a Successful Show
- Advertise – on your website, on your social media accounts, on your blog
Contact the editor of the Arts section of your local newspaper.
- Look professional.
- Be confident.
- Stay by your art and keep an eye out for potential buyers. Introduce yourself as the artist and tell the story behind the image.
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Gear Recommendation of the Week
B+W’s F-Pro HTC Kaesemann Circular Polarizer MRC is a screw-mount filter available in 20 different sizes to fit mounts from 37-120 mm. The filter ring is brass. Polarizers are used in photography to eliminate reflections on glass or water and to saturate colors, particularly blue skies, also by eliminating reflections. Polarizers block certain orientations of polarized light. You need to rotate them in order to block the orientation that will eliminate glare.