There are many ways to get your photographs noticed. However, unless you are working on a commission, or taking photos just for fun, there is no need to pay for advertising – the real money is made from selling the rights of your work to publishers, TV companies and magazines. In this section we look at popular ways to sell your work and how to get started.
Ways to Get More Exposure for Your Photography
If you’re a keen photographer, then one of the best ways to get your work noticed is to exhibit it. You can create a mini exhibition, give a talk or workshop, or simply display your images at a local event such as a festival or fair. Whatever method you use, the most important thing is to give yourself plenty of time to think about how you are going to present your work. This will help you come up with an approach that is both interesting and engaging.
Try to build a small following by offering freebies. If you are a wedding photographer, for instance, you could offer to take free portraits, or if you specialize in nature photography, then you might want to offer a free day’s photography instruction or workshop. You could also run a competition, where people can enter with their photos, and the winner will receive a prize. Another idea is to ask your local library or bookshop to put your photograph in the window. Many people will enjoy looking at photographs and if you provide them with a little information about your work, they will be more likely to buy your books.
Find an event where you can display your images. If you are exhibiting in a local community hall or church hall, you will need to find the right venue and make sure that your chosen spot is well lit. If you are giving a talk at a local school, you will need to find someone who can help you with the venue, and check with the local council whether the school has a licensing agreement for this kind of activity. Even if you have no venue in mind, it’s worth visiting different venues, to see if you like the look of them. If your photographs are striking, you might be able to set up your own exhibition. There are many options online, which you can research and plan with.
If you’d like to be creative and stand out, you could create a website. You will need to choose a hosting company, so that your site is searchable. Then you will need to design your site, using templates and graphics, and you’ll need to make sure you are clear about what you are trying to achieve. Remember that if you have a business page, you will need to tell potential clients why they should buy from you.
The final step in preparing your exhibition is to make sure that you’ve prepared your work. Take a few minutes to look at each photograph and decide whether it is of sufficient quality to feature in an exhibition. Are the lighting and composition good? Is there anything that would detract from the image? Do your colors look natural? Is the background distracting? Can you improve your work? Are your subjects well defined? Does the pose look unnatural?
Once you’re happy with your work, it’s time to get your exhibition ready. If you are displaying your images in a shop window, you will need to take some photographs of your work to put inside the shop. Make sure you have permission to take these pictures, and check with the shop owner about the rules of showing photographs. You’ll need to take photos of the back of your photographs, too. If you’re using a shop window, make sure you have the right lighting, and you may also need to adjust the window so that you can see your work properly.
If you’re exhibiting at a festival, you will need to prepare for the event well ahead of time. You’ll need to find the location for your stand, check the weather forecast and the layout of the area, and make sure you’ve got the right transport. You’ll also need to arrange with the organiser to set up your stand on the day, and get a display board to advertise your work. Once your event starts, you will need to make sure that your stand is lit, and that the right equipment is working, so that people can see your work properly.
If you are exhibiting at a fair, you will need to arrange to meet your exhibitor’s requirements well in advance of the event. This may involve buying stands, setting up a display board, and making sure that the event is promoted through leaflets and posters. If you are exhibiting in a village hall, you will need to apply for a license from the local council. It’s important to make sure you understand the rules and regulations, and to follow the local council’s rules.
Once your exhibition is ready, it’s time to start promoting it. The easiest way to start is to put your photographs in shops and websites that target your market. If you are targeting people who live in your town, you could put your photographs in the local paper and the local paper’s website. If you’re aiming to sell your work to professional photographers, you might want to get your images featured in a portfolio magazine, and you could advertise your exhibition in photography magazines. If you’re exhibiting at a bigger event such as a national festival, you could put your work on social media, advertise your event, and invite your followers to join your Facebook group.
Be in the right place at the right time
You cannot just go and shoot without a plan, and the best way to be sure you are in the right place at the right time is to create a clear plan of where you intend to go and when. Knowing that there will be a window of opportunity, when you are likely to see something interesting, can motivate you to make the most of that moment. However, it is important not to get ahead of yourself and to keep an open mind – sometimes the most exciting moments occur unexpectedly.
Take the initiative
Once you have chosen the place and the time to shoot, it is important that you take the initiative and make the first move. The most effective way to do this is by asking the people you are photographing if you can shoot your photos.
Be prepared for rejection
The chances are you will be turned down many times before you are accepted. However, the important thing to remember is that each time you are rejected, you have the opportunity to practice your shooting skills. Being rejected is an invaluable lesson and you will develop confidence and improve your photography skills as a result.
Choose a good subject
Photographers have a habit of choosing beautiful subjects that are not always the best choice for their images. Always consider the light, the composition and the subject’s impact on the image. If you are photographing a subject that does not offer a good opportunity for a dramatic photo, do not be afraid to choose a different shot, and the one that does offer the best opportunity for a dramatic shot is the one you should be taking.
Do your research
Many people assume that a photographer is able to capture a perfect shot, without making an effort. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it is not only photographers who need to do their research. The best way to ensure you are making the right choice for your image is to do as much research as possible. Read magazines, websites, blogs and books that cover your topic.
Find the right people to shoot with
If you do not have the skills to do your own photography, find a photographer who will help you achieve the look you want. For example, if you want a very natural look, it may be worth looking for a local nature photographer. If you want something a little more dramatic, you might consider a fashion or glamour photographer.
If you are stuck for ideas, the best approach is to be as imaginative as possible. Try thinking of unusual ways to photograph a subject, and even if it is not successful, you will have learned a valuable lesson.
Use your skills
Another great way to get your images noticed is to use your skills to help you achieve a specific goal. If you are a writer, create a blog and write about your experiences. If you are a musician, compose and record a song. Many people are surprised when they discover the impact that these activities can have on their professional life.
Practice makes perfect
Finally, you must not underestimate the power of practice. There are some areas of your photography skills that will take you longer to perfect. For example, you will need to develop your skills in lighting and composition, but the difference between a good image and a bad image is not so obvious. As you work on your photography skills, it will become easier to tell the difference.