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. Hi Jason
    The curator of our local art center asked a few of us local artists if we would hang some work in the auditorium lobby area for a few months. I took him four large paintings 5 months ago. Last week I got a call telling me that one of my pieces had been sold. The next day I received a photo of it installed. It looks great in its new home. I plan to include it in my next newsletter after I ask for the new owners permission. Too many times I never even know the names of people who buy a piece through a gallery. Great blog!

  2. I think that is a great idea Jason. I am going to start doing that straight away. I recently sold a painting to a collector that has become a Facebook friend, he posted a photo of the piece on Facebook the day after he collected it from me without me asking. It is sensational marketing!

  3. I see it not just as a great marketing “tool” but as an amazing confidence booster! Seeing your artwork used and appreciated by someone who is a complete stranger, fills you with, so desperately craved for, sense of worth as an artist.

  4. I have 2 people who I consider good friends and who have purchased some of my pieces. They have responded to my requests to write a little something about why they purchased the pieces. However, they are reticent to have photos of my work in their settings because they are very covetous of their privacy. I haven’t really pursued further.

    Do you have a thought or a strategy on perhaps getting by that concern? Or should I move on with just the verbal parts?

  5. Great idea! Great tip!
    When I opened this post I thought you were going to ask for recently sold art by your readers who are Xanadu gallery or studio artists and I think that could be a great idea too and possibly generate more interest for them at Xanadu as well.

  6. Great tip. I have asked for the two from previous clients and they are “excited” to do so; but I have yet to receive anything. Hoping! Thank you – Following your Mentor ship program. She has extensive background! Just starting off – first show Oct. 6th. Thank you for wanting to help all of us!
    Forever grateful.

  7. Three comments: 1. How am I supposed to send a thank-you note or photo request if my gallery won’t share the contact information? (In another post you said that Xanadu does not share such info either.) 2. Don’t say “love to” twice in the same sentence. Be as thoughtful about your writing as your art. If you’re not good at writing, have someone check yours before you send it out. 3. The comment about clients’ privacy is a serious concern. I would hesitate to post anything that would identify the clients or their home. And any post should have their permission. Suppose they are robbed by someone who identified them from your Facebook post. Would you be liable?

    1. Cynthia,
      Re: Comment 3. Privacy is a serious concern so once I receive permission to post a testimony or comment from a collector, I use only their initials and city/state/country. You could even use only the initial of their first name if you are uncomfortable with first and last. I never divulge their full name or an address. Even when a collector specifically gives permission to use their name, I still prefer just initials for privacy reasons. This has worked well for me over the years without any repercussions.

  8. This seems to work really well if the work was placed by a designer who also gets credit for how great your piece looks in the space.

  9. Nice article, and great advice. I have some, but hadn’t thought about going back to collectors and asking for photos of pieces that were sold a while back. Good way to stay in touch. Thank you. 🙂

  10. I did a laborious custom commissioned piece for a neighbor, changing up a photo to customize it for them. They were very particular and we went back and forth for a couple of months, refining it, making sure everything was high quality and just what they wanted. It was finished as a large canvas artwork. When it was done, I asked if I could take a picture of it in it’s new home. (They lived next door, so I just went over.) They were proud to show me how it looked in the space and talked about how they felt about it. At the same time, I gave them the back story about the photo I had taken, nicely typed up in an envelope, so they could tell visitors to their home about it and the significance of it, ( the special place it was taken, when, etc.) I think they appreciated that. I then posted it on my Facebook business page saying, “and here is the finished project I was working on for so long!”

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