Are You Ready to Exhibit Your Photography in a Gallery?April 15, 2017
Many photographers soon find themselves wanting to get their work out there into the public eye – more so than social media or their online portfolio can offer. However, they may also find the idea of an exhibition or displaying their work in a gallery to be incredibly overwhelming.
If you’re nodding your head in agreement – don’t fear! Today we’re actually going to break down the process and offer you the best tips and tricks to having your first photography exhibition be a success.
Firstly though, we want to address the question: ‘are you ready to exhibit your photography in a gallery?’ We’ll teach you the tell-tale signs to determine whether this is the right direction for your photography career or not.
How to tell if you’re ready
Have you built-up a lengthy and impressive portfolio of work that has gained you quite a bit of attention? For example, you might have a social media following growing considerably each and every week, or perhaps you’re already at the stage in your career where brands and companies are wishing to work with you.
These are tell-tale signs that your work is more than ready to be exhibited through a gallery or some kind of public photography display.
Alternatively, it’s not all about social media numbers or the brands who you get to collaborate with. Perhaps a local community group will be putting on a creative display, or a similar group may have even reached out to you to ask if you would like to showcase some of your photography in their upcoming exhibition?
Don’t forget, if opportunity doesn’t come knocking on your door, why not go knocking on the door of opportunity instead? Contact gallery spaces or similar venues within your local area asking if they would be interested in showcasing your work.
Professional photographer Cameron Knight further explains: “local coffee shops, our public library, eclectic retail shops, community centers, schools and universities are all great places to have an exhibition…. Don’t be afraid to approach places that have never done exhibitions before. You’re bringing all your friends and your local community art supporters to their business for the night of the reception. That gives the space exposure. And if the space happens to sell things, especially food and drinks, they can sell those and make money.”
Prepare and gather your work
The first step to partaking in an exhibition is to work out what photographs you’ll be showcasing. Photographers have 2 choices here: they can either shoot new work to suit the specific theme of the exhibition (for example, if it’s a community showcase revolving around ‘summer’), or they can simply display their best work from their portfolio’s archives.
Ensure your work is display-worthy
The next part is to ensure that your photos are printed and ready to display in their best possible way. Make sure that all photos are of the highest quality and determine whether you want to display them in frames, on canvases, or any other way that takes your fancy.
Just keep in mind that preparing your work is your own responsibility and you must also factor-in the cost of doing so (i.e. how much frames or photo printing costs).
Spread the word
In order to have a great turn-out at your exhibition, you really have to spread the word about it in the weeks and days leading up to your showcase. Hop on social media and regularly promote it, plus don’t be afraid to reach-out to family members and friends to ask them to do the same thing for you.
Another great idea is to contact local newspapers, magazines, or websites to share the event with them. They may share it via their own social media to help you gain additional exposure, or if you’re even more lucky, they’ll send a team member to attend your exhibition in order to report on it through their platform.
Additional tips to keep in mind for a successful photography exhibition
It’s a great idea to collect attendees’ email addresses upon their arrival so that you can add them to your mailing list. This is a great tip because they’re showing interest in your work and therefore you want a way to be able to contact them and update them with your photography into the future.
Can you assist with the vibe or mood of your exhibition through music, certain lighting, entertainment, or food and drink? This really depends on what your venue allows, but even a playlist that amplifies your theme or style would work wonders!
It’s also helpful to ensure that someone is taking photos of your exhibition, whether it be on the single night it is on or even the opening night if it’s a longer event. These photos are then great to use on your website to highlight the fact that you’ve had your own photo exhibition.
There you have it – everything you need to know about having your own photography exhibition! So, are you ready to exhibit your photography in a gallery? Best of luck if you decide to do so!