Most photographers (as well as artists and writers) create work so they can share their views and ideas of the world with others. Making work for yourself can be satisfying, but many find it rewarding to sharing it with others. For some it’s as simple as a website, for others they aspire to an exhibition, publication, or career from their art.
There are so many photographers today (and many who are quite good) that it’s not easy to get your work noticed, but there are a few very simple things you can do (beyond creating insanely great work) that will help to open doors.
Here are six simple things that will go a long way to achieving success.
1. Is your work a match?
Is what you’re offering what they’re looking for? This sounds obvious, but take a critical look at your work and then look at the history of the organization you’re approaching. Do they work with similar artists of similar experience? Making sure your work is in their area of interest is a very important first step.
2. The Pitch.
What’s your proposition? Make it tight and appetizing. Make your first sentence irresistible and build from there. We’re all busy, and maybe few more so than editors and gallerists. If you can’t grab them with the first 25 words odds are they’re already gone. Remember, they generally care most about the image and the ideas behind it. The method of production while it may be enormously important for you, is usually low on the list of their priorities (unless they serve a very specific niche market).
3. What’s in it for them?
What do you bring to the table? Can you quantify it? How can you help them achieve success? This is extremely important. You’re expected to bring more than just the work, but also a network of contacts and relationships. If you haven’t begin cultivating such a network start today.
4. Find the correct name and email for the person you wish to reach.
Emails or letters addressed to “whom it may concern” or sent to an “info@…” address usually end up in the trash. It’s not hard to do a quick internet search to find the right person. Most have LinkedIn and/or Facebook accounts, many have participated in other professional activities and the information is freely and often easily available. It’s rare for someone to not have an online footprint today.
Not every day, but start an event on your calendar that reminds you to email or call to check in. And keep checking in until you’ve received an answer. Until you’ve heard back consider the lead open.
6. Keep making new work.
Don’t stop making work. Keep making more and more and more and more.