What’s the best way to get the word out about your photography and attract your ideal client? In our guide, The Inspiration Handbook: 50 Tips from 50 Photography Trailblazers, get advice from Rich Clarkson, Hamidah Glasgow, Emiliano Granado, Alison Zavos, Ben Lowy, and John Keatley on how to market you business better once and for all.
1. Rich Clarkson, NCAA Sports Photographer
“There were times in the past when, to market your photos, you needed an agency or someone to do it for you. But today, you don’t need that nearly as much. Instead, you need to attract potential buyers and commissioners of your photography directly to you. And that’s a matter of introducing yourself. But more than anything else, the best way to market your business is through word of mouth and having other people recommend you. And that’s something you can accumulate over time.”
2. Hamidah Glasgow, Executive Director, The Center for Fine Art Photography
“Creating connections with artists and influencers is one of the most important pieces of getting your work seen. Receptions, talks, workshops, gallery openings, and other events like these allow artists to talk to professionals in the fields and learn about the industry. But remember, don’t try to push your own agenda and be a salesperson. Instead, be genuine, interested, and ask good questions. First impressions can go a long way.”
3. Emiliano Granado, Commercial Photographer
“You can choose to market yourself with big, loud tactics. I’ve chosen a slower approach with my marketing; I’ll call it ‘white noise marketing.’ The secret for me has been to continue to produce quality images and quietly remind people about them. To do this, I like to send people anywhere from 5-8 postcards a year and usually write something funny and personalized on the back. I’d hate to be the photographer version of a used car salesman with loud gimmicks and cheap suits. That’s not the association I want people to make when they think about my work.”
4. Jen Bekman, Founder & CEO, 20×200
“For emerging photographers hoping to get attention from gallery owners and curators, they must understand that it’s a relationship, not a transaction. I look for people who are genuinely engaged, not just in their own practice, but in the field itself and the community at large. It’s also really important to me that people educate themselves about my tastes and track record before approaching me, so that they have a clear idea of how their work might fit in with my approach overall.”
5. Alison Zavos, Feature Shoot, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Feature Shoot
“Many photography blogs, including Feature Shoot, take submissions, so once a photographer is ready to put his or her work out there, they should start submitting! Keeping an updated blog, posting new work on Facebook, and staying active on Ins- tagram are also important avenues for up-and-coming photographers to get noticed. I know curators who have found work for a gallery show via Facebook and photo directors who hired people based on the work they’ve shown on Instagram. Don’t underestimate these platforms!”
6. Ben Lowy, Conflict Photographer
“Branding is a concept that can be elusive to many, but it’s a key element that touches every aspect of your business. A brand is more than your logo or the color scheme you choose for your website. Your brand is evident through your niche, your technical style, your website, the way you interact with your clients, and much more. The good news is that, as an artist, you already have a distinct style and point of view, which are essentially what make up your brand. You just need to consciously identify the characteristics of that style and make sure they are apparent throughout all the marketing you do.”
7. John Keatley, Advertising & Celebrity Portrait Photographer
“It’s really important to create work and great content, but what do you do with that content, and how do you communicate your vision? That’s why email marketing can make a difference. For any email I send, I believe in catchy subject lines that tell a little about your content; that it’s something they might actually want to check out. I take an approach of ‘bold, simple, and clean.’ The goal with any email you send is to get your point across as quickly as possible.”
For more tips to market and grow your photo business better, check out The Inspiration Handbook: 50 Tips from 50 Photography Trailblazers.