Putting RedDot in Action | Asking Clients for Photos

Recently, I wrote a post suggesting that you should consider creating a file for photos of your artwork in clients’ homes. I received a lot of great feedback from blog followers, including this comment from Chris Aerfeldt (www.aerfeldt.com):

Thank you for the fabulous idea! I only have one or two photos of my work in situ as virtually all of my sales have been through galleries who jealously guard their client lists and mostly don’t even tell me who bought my work. I do know of a handful of my collectors so decided to give it a go. I reworked your sample letter, personalised it and sent it off. The clients were all so happy to hear from me and it worked amazingly well! Collectors seemed flattered to be asked and it has been a way to re-establish contact. One very important collector has asked to come for a studio visit soon as a direct result of my getting in touch. I am grateful for the wonderful advice.

I reached out to Chris and asked him if he would mind sending along photos that the clients provided. Chris provided these photos:

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Thanks for sharing Chris!

Try it Yourself!

Try contacting your own customers using the template in the original post. Let me know how it goes in the comments below or on that page!

About the Author: Jason Horejs

Jason Horejs is the Owner of Xanadu Gallery, author of best selling books "Starving" to Successful & How to Sell Art , publisher of reddotblog.com, and founder of the Art Business Academy. Jason has helped thousands of artists prepare themselves to more effectively market their work, build relationships with galleries and collectors, and turn their artistic passion into a viable business.

11 Comments

  1. I usually ask clients who purchase more than one at a time for pictures of them hung. I seldom get them! I tell them that the pictures are for my own information and perhaps would be used in a portfolio. Do you think that would put them off?

  2. My wife Linda is the artist but I have helped along the way and even though we ask for photos from most of her collectors we usually see about 50 % or less follow through and many of the photos are so so. What we have found most effective is to take the bull by the horns and offer to stop by and take photos when it is convenient for our clients. We have also for several years offered a free in home showing of art that clients are interested in. We have not had a lot of folks take us up on this offer but when they do we are over 80% sure to make a sale and have made more often than not been able to make a second sale as well. Where possible we like to ask for photos of the space they are looking to fill and always try to bring along a few extra paintings based on what they have already expressed an interest in seeing on their walls with ones that we feel would work or that might be good companion pieces. We have over the years collected several photos of Linda’s artwork in homes and have updated these on her website as she can. Just in the last few weeks she used a program to make all these still photos into what looks like a 2 minute movie using sweeping, zooming,and fading techniques. This takes all these past photos to a whole new level , Linda and I would encourage every artist to make this a part of their art ventures ASAP. It’s never too early or to late to start. Thanks Jason for making this topic such a priority !! A Big Fan in Texas. Thanks David

  3. I recently received photos of my paintings in situ from a client. Is it ok for me to use the photos in a catologue or on my website? The client’s name would not be mentioned but the photos do show the interior of their private home. Should I ask their permission?

    1. Yes, I think it’s just common courtesy to ask. Some people can be a bit precious about their privacy, even if you are not mentioning their name! The majority would be proud!

  4. Last night I decided to send a copy of your letter, with some changes, to 10 of my clients. I was a little hesitant, as I did not want them to think I was spamming them. These clients had all bought my ceramic sculptures online. To my amazement, 4 of them sent photos last night, and another 3 sent photos today. The photos were not good, and I don’t think I would use them, but all were so happy I had asked and kept emphasizing how much they loved their pieces. In my email back to them, I said how much I would love to keep in touch, and gave them my Facebook page. I list all my new work on FB, so am hoping this brings more sales.

  5. I also sent out my first photo request and quickly received several photos. I intend to do this with all of my prior customers. What a great way to reestablish contact!

  6. I have received photos of purchased works in situ from clients, some of which were given voluntarily (much to my delight)! I have been hesitant to show these photos on my web site or on social media because they are personal spaces, yet speaking with them about this does not seem daunting, — and so I shall.
    One tidbit, — one purchaser ingeniously made a very small copy of one of their purchased works, put it in a very small frame, and placed it over the mantel in their daughter’s dollhouse! Of course they sent that photo on!
    (BTW, I was not upset that he took that liberty with my particular image. It was an honor, and I was touched!)

  7. Hello Jason,
    I was approach by a home designer to hang my artwork in a parade of homes. How do you charge for something like that or should I think of it as more of exposure/charity and not charge? If anyone else has helpful advice please comment-Thanks

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