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. That is a great idea! I’ve wondered how to do that. I noticed a lot of artists on Instagram are posting beautiful photos of their sold pieces in their new locations. I think it looks even better than the generic artinsitu shots done with an app.

  2. Jason, do you give your artists the information about clients who have purchased their work so they can do the follow-up you suggest?
    I am represented by a Gallery, but doubt that they would give client information to me

    1. No – the gallery should do the follow up with their clients and ask for the photo – which they can then share with you. You can do this kind of follow up with clients you sell to at art shows or out of your studio.

      1. So then, how does the artist thank the purchaser in this case? Do you think that the artist should give a thank you note to a purchaser through the gallery? Or should the thanks come only from the gallerist?

  3. What a wonderful idea and so timely. I just sold two pieces out of a gallery this past week. Obviously I would have to find out from the gallery who they made the sales to. My question is this — will the gallery feel like I’m trying to circumvent them regarding future art sales by contacting their clients directly? Or have I misinterpreted your advice in that you were speaking to artists making sales directly to clients, not through a gallery?

    Thanks so much Jason. I have enjoyed reading your blog for years now! Such sage wisdom and advice.

  4. Great idea, except for one thing. Galleries (including yours) are reluctant to share the purchaser’s contact information with the artist. Many galleries have it in their contract that the purchaser’s information belongs only to the gallery and they refuse to share.

    So how is the artist supposed to develop any relationship with a collector?

    1. Hi Cynthia – you’re right that galleries are unlikely to share contact information, but the gallery can ask the client for a photo and share that with you – we do it all the time!

    2. Keep trying to get YOUR OWN mailing list. Outliers do this. I sell my art, have done so for years.
      I know it sounds difficult. Get ten snail mail addresses from people in your city/ town.
      Stay in touch with them old school-USPS. See my Tools 4 Artists- on Lori McNee’s-Fine Art Tips!!!!
      Bob Ragland -Denver, Colorado

  5. In the past I have asked my clients, to whom I’ve sold personally, to provide me with a photo of the art in their home. They are always flattered to do so and I think it’s a great idea to pass on to others.

  6. I’ve made this request often, especiallly when I couldn’t be there for the installlation. They nearly always send pictures along with a nice note. Sometimes they’ll want to share on their social media which is a great bonus.

  7. I read once that in California the artists got a law passed that says the client information belongs to (and is beneficial to) both the gallery and the artist and the gallery must provide it to the artist on request. Do any of you know if this is true?

    Although I understand the concern of the gallery that the artist will try to “go around” them and “steal” the client, the artist also has a legitimate concern that the gallery will not promote them assertively and thus they will lose potential sales to an established client.

    A gallery is not going to tell a collector about an artist’s work that is in a different gallery, yet it may be just what the collector is looking for. How can the artist tell them about it?

    What happens if the gallery goes out of business, or steers the client to another artist, or no longer carries the artist’s work? Why shouldn’t an artist be able to tell the client about a show in another gallery?

    Or what if a museum wants to do a retrospective show, but the artist has no idea who owns their earlier work?

  8. These are all very good questions, I am not represented by a Gallery and I wonder about the answers because I was not aware that the information was not given to the Artist. Through the explanations, I can see both sides and the reasons why things are done as they are. I suppose it all a comes down to the integrity of the Gallery and the Artist and to a trusting relationship. I do still wonder, however, about the question of when an Artist leaves a Gallery relationship and then has no contact or information about the providence of their art.

  9. Terrific idea. I’ve received photos of my paintings in their new homes, but hadn’t thought about another step, i.e., sharing that photo (with permission, of course) on my newsletter. Thanks!

  10. good advice. Clients are more than happy to share photos.I also obtain permission to post on social media and ask if they are interested in being added to my mailing list for monthly newsletter.

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