The Internet has made it very easy for photographers to make their pictures available to the public. It takes just seconds to open a Flickr account, sign up with a stock photo site or start your own website and fill a SlideshowPro gallery with all your favorite images.
Getting people to see them though is a whole other story. The uploading might be a breeze but the traffic generation can demand skills you wish you didn’t have to learn.
And besides, while the Web is a great place to look at photographs, there is still something to be said for the printed image. Especially when it’s in a large frame and hanging in a place where everyone can see it.
Fortunately you don’t have to wait until the International Center of Photography invites you to put on a solo exhibition before people can see your pictures live and in person. Here are five things that you can do right now to market your prints where people have nothing to do but look at them:
1. Talk To Café Owners
It’s practically an old standard now. Café owners and restaurateurs recognize that local artists can give them cutting edge décor for free; photographers realize that they can show off their pictures to people waiting for soup. All you have to do is ask… and make some nice big labels with your name, telephone number and price tag.
2. Get Framed
No matter how attractive it might be, a frame always looks better surrounding a picture. That’s why they usually come with cheesy images of children holding flowers or women in straw hats. You can do better than that. Just open your Yellow Pages, look for framers, then take a drive down to the store with a portfolio and a smile for the owner. Make sure that your name and your contact details are visible next to the picture and when the framer gets an eyecatching display, you’ll get your photos shown in a mall window.
3. Put Model Pictures In Model Apartments
Not as common as cafes or frame stores but when a new housing development goes up, the developers often create a fully-furnished model apartment. If you can persuade the company’s designer to place one of your pictures on the walls, you’ll be showing off your prints to people with a mind to buy.
4. Photos That Make You Feel Better
The reason that people are willing to give your photos free space is that they’re more interesting to look at than a blank wall. Fortunately for photopreneurs, people often find themselves with nothing to do but stare at a wall… like when they’re sitting in the doctor’s waiting room or listening to the dentist’s drill in the room next door. Again, all you have to do is take a portfolio to a local clinic and ask if you can redecorate their waiting room.
5. Make An Ugly Space Better
Bare walls aren’t only found in medical centers though. There are probably plenty of spots in your town that could do with a bit of beautifying. Instead of creating wooden walls to hide construction sites for example, you could offer the building company a chance to improve its PR by hosting a series of your prints. You could get in touch with a councilor and suggest a way to prettify a walkway. Or talk to the manager of a car park about improving the look of its lots. You don’t have to go as far as the photographers at Face2Face, but you could still get your images seen by real people in the real world… and earn some real sales.
[tags] offline photo marketing [/tags]