Quick Art Marketing Tip | Request a Photo of Artwork Recently Purchased

I’ve written extensively about the process of selling art – everything from building relationships to following up and closing the sale. Today, I’m going to share a simple tip that will help you turn your sales into marketing tools for future sales.

In past posts, I’ve encouraged you to follow every sale with a handwritten thank-you note. This thank-you note adds a warm, personal touch that will let your clients know you truly appreciate their business. By adding one simple line to your thank-you note, you can encourage feedback from your clients, and get a picture of the artwork you sold them that will be of incredible value to you in your future marketing efforts.

The line to add to your thank-you note is this:

If you have a moment and would be willing to snap a photograph of the piece, I would love to see it in its new home, and I’d love to share the photo with clients who are considering my work. You can email the photo to me at me@theworldsgreatestartist.com

This simple request almost always results in a photo, and often several photos of the piece. I have found that my customers are not only happy to take the photo, they enjoy showing the piece off and love the thought of helping the artist’s career along. Often, the client will also write a little note to accompany the photo, sharing their feelings about the piece.

You may adapt the photo request to suit each individual situation, based on the relationship you built with the customer.

Now you have photo of the piece in a beautiful setting that you can post to your website, your blog, your newsletter, and place in your portfolio. Future potential buyers will be influenced and encouraged when they see your work in other collectors’ homes. When they buy, you’ll ask them for photos, and the cycle continues.

Don’t be shy about asking – the worst that can happen is the client will ignore the request, but no one is going to be offended that you asked.

By the way, it’s never too late to ask for this photo. Getting in touch with past clients to ask for a photo of artwork is not only a great way to get the image, it’s a great excuse to get back in touch with a past buyer and remind them of your work.

Have you requested photos from clients in the past? Have those photos helped you make sales? Post your experiences, opinions, and thoughts in the comments below.

Sample Photos Our Clients Have Sent Us






Imagine II installed

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.


  1. Excellent idea! I had thought of doing this before but got lazy. You have encouraged me to write notes. I have these personalized colorful post cards that I think will be perfect. I am quarantined at the moment, but I will get started today! Thank you

  2. I have done this, but have yet to receive an image I could use on my website. Usually terrible photography, or a bad angle so you can’t really see, or see someone else’s art more prominently, or just a so-so photo of your art on a wall with nothing else around it for context. I’m grateful they tried, but I want to know how to ask them to take great photos! 🙂

    1. This can definitely happen Julia, and it’s important to remember our client’s aren’t professional photographers. We’ve had better luck, but we do get some shots that aren’t the best. That’s okay – better than no shot at all. The more shots you get, the more likely you are to get some good ones. Another method that can help is to give some guidance in your request. Include an example of the kind of shot you are trying to get – you can even stage a shot to show the elements that are important to you. Include brief instructions as to what might be helpful to you (the artwork showing the wall and some surrounding furniture, for example). Don’t get too complicated or you’ll scare your client out of taking the shot.

      If the client is local you might even ask if you can come out and get a shot. Most clients are honored that you think their installation important enough to get a shot and will gladly let you come out.

  3. Hi Jason. Thank you for sharing your wonderful idea. A little warmth and caring goes a long way in establishing all relationships. Stay well and be safe! Thanks again

  4. I really have NEVER heard of writing a note to the buyer. In the past I have thanked them. I love the idea of the photo request and will do that!
    Stay Creative, Diane

  5. I have been asking customers who have purchased my handwoven rugs for photos and they love the idea. A lot of the photos are not the best, but I keep them in a notebook to put on my desk at juried art and fine craft shows. When someone asks if they can put a handwoven wool rug on the floor, I show them the photos. It helps them to understand that my rugs can be used on the floor. Even better when the photo shows a cat or dog curled up on the rug.

  6. I’m in several galleries and when a piece sells, I don’t receive information about who bought the piece – the gallery wants to keep that relationship so that future sales to the client runs through the gallery. I have a studio and website that I occasionally sell directly to clients, and I do send thank you’s and am going to start asking for photos! Interior designers shop my studio and they’re great at getting pictures… but again, they want to direct the sales so I don’t always know my buyers.

  7. Something I have done was ask the clients if they would agree to allow me to take their picture in my gallery with their new purchase. Then I would create a simple thank you card with their picture on the front. Inside I would write a note of gratitude and mail it off to them.

  8. Not every gallery would offer for you to do this. Why? Because they have to give you an address for the client. And here is where it all goes wrong.
    “They” some owners believe, unfairly, that now you have the address, you will sell under them. Bypass them. This is a matter of the kettle calling the pot black.
    Even when I assured the gallery I would never, ever sell behind their back, I could never get a mailing list of clients who bought my work. It always had to go through them. Lousy attitude if you ask me. Mistrust doesn’t start with the artists. They want to sell. It starts with shady galleries around the country.

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