As photographers, you are in a constant marketing “battle” to not only market yourself as a creative photographer but to distinguish yourself amongst the throngs of photographers out there. Today, here on the ShootQ blog we hope to help you think about marketing in an “old” new way. We are going to talk about how to build your business with photography displays.
NO!!! Not at all. While yes, a large portion of marketing is comprised of having a great website and social media channels, you cannot forget to PRINT your work and should be encouraging clients to do this regularly. Yes, it is great to have a potential client fall in love with images, not matter the medium, but imagine:
Potential Client A: Sees your work on Facebook, comes to you and books you, expecting to be able to put her photos on Facebook. Either you must provide that expectation or she will violate your wishes and put the images up herself.
Potential Client B: Sees a display of your fine art canvases and comes books you. She then purchases a beautiful canvas for her fireplace because she fell in love with it in person. The richness of the colors, the feel of the finish… these are all depths of photography that cannot be reached with digital files.
There is nothing quite like standing in front a well-lit photography display and considering it ART. You are no longer creating “pics” for digital, but artwork and with that comes a financial expectation that we can guarantee you, puts your business in a more advantageous position.
Where to find photography displays?
So, you have decided that yes, you are ready to put your work out there in display. But WHERE do you find the space to display? Well yes, you can go to a mall, buy a kiosk and place artwork there and yes it will probably be a great marketing piece, but there are many other locations you can garner displays without paying for the wall space.
Think about what type of photography you do and what type you WANT to do. Are you a wedding photographer? Now is the time to call in the network of people that you built (Check out our previous article on photographer networking here, here and here). Mostly, gaining display space, is about asking! Offer various vendors such as bridal dress shops, cake shops, wedding planners, etc. FREE photos of THEIR work in exchange for hanging your work and business cards on their wall. Who would NOT want free photos of their work to display?
If you are a baby photographer, offer free shoots to local OBGYN offices and allow the doctors to give these sessions as a gift to new parents. This could bring a huge stream of babies through your door! Partner with local children’s clothing stores and offer your services to photograph children in their clothing and then donate a display for their shop.
If you focus on seniors, find where these kids hang out, orthodontists, coffee shops, etc. Ask for displays there. You could even consider donating your time to help teach the yearbook or newspaper staff photography at the local high schools. Building relationships with these students will lead to a steady stream of clients!
How to Setup photography displays and what to include?
So yes, your display will be completely dictated by the genre of your location, there are still some good general rules for photography displays:
- Display only your WOW images. Images that elicit emotion or make you truly FEEL something. These are the images that will “sell” your work.
- Host a contest to vote for one of the pieces of work that will be displayed. You can do this through social media and gain an instant following for your display before it is even hung!
- Consider keeping your display appealing to all. Include a variety of ages, races, family types etc. Be sure that you have some piece of art in your display that will touch each walk of life.
- Use one medium. Don’t try to do too much with one display. There is no need to have wood, metal, print AND canvas all in one display. Pick one and allow the imagery to impress.
- Don’t use frames that overwhelm the images themselves. Even if your area still likes the larger formal frames, tone it down in your display and go simple. This will also save you money.
- Consider doing FRAMES as you can swap out the images more quickly and for less cost than canvases etc.
Treat the photography display like marketing, have a call to action!
When you setup your display, have a “take away” marketing piece. Install an inexpensive holder for marketing materials. A simple postcard, one sheet or business card should ALWAYS be mounted near the display to enable people to walk away with a reminder. You could even place a special offer on your marketing piece for the display. This will entice potential clients to action quicker than allowing a business card to float around in a purse for months.
Check in on your photography display often.
This should be a given but you should create a regular time each week to check in on your display. This will ensure that there is no vandalism and that you can refresh marketing materials or change out prints if need be.
A good general rule is to think of changing out your display every 3-6 months. This will ensure that its effectiveness does not stalemate.
All in all, displays are still a very effective tool for marketing photography. Images elicit emotion and if properly setup up and conducted, you can create quite a following and partnership, as a photographer, while soliciting displays.
Do you have tips for using display to enhance your photography marketing? Feel free to share your wisdom below!