Entering the world of the art galleries
A photography can be just– a photography. It can also be a pure peace of art. Between millions of amateurs taking snapshots of their vacations, kids and pets and fine art photographers with great reputation, there’s a whole world of commercial photographers. While earning and paying bills by wedding shootings, many of them continue to make personal collections of photos, expressing their artistic talent and unique ideas. Many of them actually wish to take their photography to a higher level.
Partial solution is to make an online profile and publish artwork on a website, but nothing beats real, classic art gallery exhibition.
Stepping out of the comfort zone of commercial photography market into capricious world of pure art can be frightening sometimes. Fine art gallery business is exactly what it says – a combination of art and business, an intersection of artistic expressions, viewers’ critiques and the ultimate cost – benefit calculations.
All the doubts are usually summed up into: “How do I even step into any decent art gallery? And what if nobody likes my work?”
The truth is that galleries usually don’t want to take financial risks and they’d rather feature something guaranteed to be sold successfully. Fortunately, there are some advices you can follow in order to make a good, professional approach and get yourself a well prepared collection of photographs. These tips lower your chances of being turned down.
Don’t be to harsh on yourself, but apply some rational self observation when evaluating your work. Be honest. You need to have something unique and meaningful to say and show. You should have an entire series of photographs centered around any subject or style that you’ve studied thoroughly enough. Produce set of photos related to one another and carefully select a final set of images that work well together. The better you tell your story with artwork, the more interested audience is going to be.
The overall color of the photos matters. So does the color of the frames. Keep in mind that frames should focus the eye on the photography, thus pick adequate color of the frame to make a contrast with a photo.
Once you’ve polished your collection of photographs, get yourself some marketing material. Show you’re a professional by creating representative portfolio, elegant and creative website, business card and an artist statement that describes your work and puts that photo collection into some context.
Choose wisely the art gallery you will contact first. There are numerous different galleries and group shows and you should get to know the market, conditions and offers before reaching out for a particular gallery. A local young gallery is a good place to start. You get to see how people will respond to your work before you spread your working field. Plus, gaining some experience in smaller galleries is a smart move before you give a shot with some more established one.
Personal approach is the best way to appeal to a gallery. Find out their submission requirements and meet their standards as precisely as you can.
Once you get their green light to exhibit your artwork, make sure your presentation is as good as your photos. Visit the facilities of the gallery and adapt your collection according to the properties of the given space. Pay attention to how people react to your art, so you can adjust your work a bit if needed further on. Be professional, kind, available and don’t push the line when setting a price. Keep in mind you’re a beginner, but trust the magic of new beginnings nevertheless.