How To Get Your Photos In An Exhibition

Do you have some engaging or interesting photos sitting on your hard drive? Sick of no-one ever seeing them, or getting disheartened with posting them on Instagram in the hope of getting a few likes? Maybe it’s time to bring your images into the real world and put some prints on the walls where people can really see what you do.

It can be pretty daunting to figure out what to do. There is no preset method for getting a display up, so you’ve got a real challenge on your hands sometimes.

We’re going to be taking a look at a few options to get your photos set up in an exhibition.

Hire Out a Gallery

Galleries are setup especially for showcasing photos in the best light possible, so they’re a good investment. One of the first things that you’re going to want to do is research galleries in your area and find out what sort of work they accept and what the costs will be. Don’t expect it to be cheap though. The bigger the gallery and the more prominent the location, the higher the price, but you’ll get more exposure. Additionally you’ll need to make sure you have enough images to fill the walls, so pick a gallery which has the right amount of wall space.

Check Out Alternative Venues

OK, so you don’t want to fork out a lot of money to hire out a prestigious gallery for a few days. That’s fine, because there’s a lot of alternative options. Places like cafes, bars and hotels could be open to showing your photos on their walls. Not only do they get to have some great art of the walls for no cost, but they could also attract free attention to the venue, and you can get a space for your work. Win-win for everyone.

Get Your Style Nailed

Exhibitions are where you are the focus, and you’ll be more recognisable if there are a unifying theme and style. If you’ve not got a style as an photographer already sorted, you should start thinking about that now. If you have a unifying style, your exhibition will make more sense to potential venues who may be interested in showing your work.

Have a Project Ready

We recommend having a project ready to go before approaching venues to show your work. It’s much easer to explain why a venue should show your work if you can show a gallery or venue owner the completed project. Alternatively, you could use the deadline of your exhibition date as the motivation you need to complete a project idea.

Take Part in a Group Exhibition

Joining up with fellow photographers to organise your own group exhibition can help get your show off the ground. It helps to save costs as you can split the fees involved with hiring a space if you go down that route. Being part of a group also means the emphasis is not only on you, so you could display less work, and you may feel less stressed about producing the content for the exhibition. Other benefits include moral support, sharing the admin burden and pooling your resources and contacts to promote your exhibition. Additionally you’ll get input and feedback from your group members which will be useful when choosing which images to display.

Know How You Will Promote The Exhibition

When you’re trying to get your images out there, it will help if you have some kind of reputation that you and the venue owner can utilise to make the exhibition a success. The venue should be able to utilise their connections to get some people through the door, and it will help if you have a plan how you yourself will reach lots of people who will come and see your exhibition and make it a success. Make sure you list the exhibition on all local listing websites, and do what you can through social media to promote your show. If a gallery or venue knows you have a clear plan on how you will promote the exhibition, they will be more open to your proposal.

Get a Printed Portfolio

When it comes to your exhibition, you’re going to want to make sure that you get a printed portfolio of at least some of your photos. This gives people a good way to experience images you’ve taken and they’ll be able to visualise how the exhibition will look in their venue.

Tell Your Story

When it comes pitching your photos to a gallery or venue, you should tell a story of who you are and why you’re taking these pictures. It helps to provide a level of authenticity and helps you to really create a connection between you, your photos and the people that you’re showing the photos to. You will make your exhibition more appealing if you have a story to tell. Why should the gallery be interested in you? Why should they be interested in your photos?

We hope that helps! If you have any other tips, let us know in the comments below.

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