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. I was reluctant at first to ask for this photo but after getting these pictures from clients, ones I’ve taken myself or even past ones, has boasted business. It has been a great addition to my portfolio and it shows a nessessary component of ones artwork: in that it is being enjoyed – as we intend it to.
    I just made a sale and when asked to take a photo for my portfolio it was again well received. Thank-you for this post, Jason

  2. Great idea!, do you reccomend a mailing thank you or via email. It feels like attaining the client’s email of a new client would be easier to get than their home address?
    Also any particular apps for creating a thank you best?
    Thanks so much for the input.

    1. We’re shifting from mailed to email thank you notes. Email is becoming the default communication, and while I can see advantages to a hand-written thank you, I’m coming around to the idea that an emailed thank you can be just as effective.

  3. I started asking years ago, not for marketing reasons ~ but because I wanted to make sure Art got to its new home intact. Plus I wanted the satisfaction of knowing what it looked like in the new environment.

    I have one collector who considers it protocol and sends me a photo of each new purchase on his walls. So cool!

    Thanks for putting this practice in a new light for me, Jason!

    1. In this case, the gallery should be sending the thank you note (as we did to the clients in this article). You will send notes and request photos when you make the sale directly to a client.

  4. I did a limited edition suite of prints for a composer friend of mine when he began a teaching job. He loved them and had them framed for his college office. Until this moment I hadn’t even thought of that. With the website revision well underway, I will ask him to take some photos. This will come in handy as I offer the remaining copies for purchase.
    There are a couple of other people as well as I’m remembering.

  5. I have started asking for a photo of them with my work. It helps me to recognize them and remember names and what they bought. I keep notes, but things are becoming a blur.
    I don’t post them, they are just for my files.

  6. I just sold a small painting I did of a Puffin swimming about in the Atlantic. The woman who purchased it told me she had bought an adoption certificate for a puffin for her husband last year. When she saw my painting at a recent show, she decided to purchase it for her husband for this year’s birthday and will hang it with the framed certificate. I have just printed off a notecard with the puffin painting on it and will send it off to her to thank her and ask for a photo of the painting and certificate together. It was a fun sale. I hope to see both of them when I am traveling in her area.

  7. I have always written thank you notes to people who have purchased my paintings. It has helped me establish a repore with the buyer and in some cases they have purchased more paintings from me. I have not thought about asking for a photo of the work in their home or office. It is a great idea and One i will use in the future. Thanks for all the great tips and encouragement. Kathleen Stark

  8. All of your comments are great. I also do a handwritten note to the buyer. It is on a note card of which the front is a photo of one of my paintings! I finally released one favorite to the co-op gallery for sale. It was juried in a local gallery exhibition. One buyer has two paintings of mine and recently, I had posted a on FB, a photo of a 30×30 painting and she showed interest. So I followed up on her ‘interest’ and said I’d like to bring it to your house on approval, just call me after one week and let me know what you think. She had it one day and sent an email that she would take it. That is her 3rd paintings of mine. She also has a wall that had once held a painting by a former owner and already has two lights that were installed when the house was built. That 30 x 30 looked great there under the lights, but, she wanted it for her dining room….bear in mind, always agree with the buyer!!!

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