Quick Tip: Make a Folder for Images of Art in Client’s Homes

In many of the articles I write on RedDotBlog, I’m asking you to make major life commitments or giving you big marketing strategies. Today I want to invite you to do something that is going to take you all of five seconds: Set up a folder on your computer where you can collect images of your work in client’s homes or businesses, or in public spaces.

This may sound exceedingly simple and elementary, but I’m willing to bet that there are a good number of you who haven’t implemented this simple strategy. I know I’m safe in this bet because I hadn’t set up a client photo folder until a couple of years ago.

Once I did set one up, I was amazed at how frequently I used it. When a client was considering purchasing a piece of an artist’s work, I could go to my file and send the client photos of other installations of that particular artist’s work. If I was promoting an artist in our weekly newsletter, we could include installation photos.

The biggest benefit of the folder, however, is that it serves as a catalyst to remind us to ask for photos from our clients.

Today’s 5-Second Challange: Create your Client Photos Folder

After you finish reading this post, I invite you to open your file explorer and create a new file called “Client Photos” (or whatever makes the most sense to you) in a location that will be easy to find. I have the file in my Google Drive folder so that I can access it from any computer – you could do the same, or place it in your Dropbox folder, or, if you don’t use a cloud backup service, in your documents folder.

Bonus Challenge: Ask a Client for a Photo

April 28, 2015 at 1251PMNeed some photos to begin populating your folder? The best and most reliable way to get these photos is to take them yourself if you have the opportunity to deliver and/or install the artwork. Make sure you take photos with each installation. If possible, try and include your client in the photo.

What if you have failed to take these photos with past sales? Email or call your clients! Asking for photos of your work is a great excuse to get in touch with past clients. Getting in touch with past clients is a great way to remind them of your work, which could potentially lead them to visit your website and look at your current work.

Send a quick email with the subject line: “A quick favor” that reads something like this:

Dear _________,

I hope you are having a great summer!

Several years ago, you acquired the painting “Desert Sunset” from me at the Cave Creek art festival. I hope you have enjoyed the piece and that it has enriched your life and brought beauty into your home.

I have just begun collecting photos of my artwork when it has found a permanent home, and if it would be convenient, I would love to have a photo of your piece to add to my file – it’s one of my favorite paintings!

The photo doesn’t need to be fancy – you could even snap a shot with your phone and email it to me in reply to this message.

I’m including a photo from another client below so you can see what I’m looking for. It’s great to see a little bit of the artwork’s surroundings to help put the work in context.

Thank you in advance! If I may ever be of service, please don’t hesitate to let me know.




Gallery Sales

What if you are selling your work through galleries and they haven’t been getting these photos? I would suggest you contact your galleries and request that they ask for these photos. Suggest that it could be a great marketing tool to remind past clients about the gallery. You could even provide a link to this article!

Share Your Experience

Do you already have a folder for collecting photos from clients? Are you already in the habit of requesting photos from clients? How has this worked for you? I would also love to hear your experience after you request photos from your clients or galleries. Were they responsive? What was the experience like? Share your thoughts, questions, comments and experiences in the comments below!

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. For my jewelry pieces that are sold, I do request that a photo is taken with the customer wearing the piece. I post the photo on my Facebook page and it always garners a nice response!

  2. I will do both of the challenges as soon as I finish this comment.
    DO IT! We think we have time but we don’t.
    Life progresses and the intention is kept as an intention. And then, life slips away.
    I did a major tapestry commission decades ago. All I have is a polaroid of a progress-shot. There was a beta tape made where I was “interviewed”. It is irreparably deteriorated. All of the principals involved in the commission are gone (as in deceased). The church where the tapestry was hung, may or may not be in existence anymore, and even so, the tapestry may have slipped into myth as I like to say.
    MAKE THE FILE and SEND the Emails. Yes I’m using my big voice., so Jason doesn’t have to.
    (There was a second fiber project I did on my own. And that finally has a photographic record but there is no documentation of te few times it has seen the light of day)

  3. I ask my clients to send a photo with their new art piece in their new “natural habitat”. Most do. I post these on my website for other potential clients to see. It also demonstrates how my work can look with diverse decor.

  4. What a great idea. I do this already but hard-heartedly because I find the photos are often not of a quality that I can put them on my website. Now I realize this is not entirely the point. The idea of reconnecting or even connecting when they bought at the gallery, is brilliant. So off I go to get this done. Thanks Jason, you are like the best big brother we artists can have.

  5. Great idea Jason! I have lots of those pics and need to request more. Also, to show collectors how your unsold paintings would look in a room, FASO (fine art studio online) websites now have a “Room” button that collectors can click when they’ve clicked on a painting. That button leads to views of that piece in living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, kitchens, with several choices of paint colors. It’s a great way to get the idea of the scale of the work across to potential buyers. A picture (pardon the pun) is worth more than 1,000 words and maybe $$$$, too.

    1. Hi Chuck, I started using this FASO feature on my website and know what I discovered? I need to paint larger! If I temporarily “lie” about the size of the work in my artwork file on FASO, making it much larger than it is, and then look at the “room” feature on my website for that painting… wow! the larger version always looks more impressive. The real life size looks pretty pitiful in the room setting.

      That doesn’t mean that I need to paint large for every work, but it sure made an impression on me. A friend of mine who recently started working with a gallery in Maine relayed something the owner said to her… “the majority of work we sell is large – especially 3×4 feet or larger”. So, my friend started turning her smaller works into larger works (in real life).

  6. That idea popped into my head yesterday and I emailed a customer just two minutes before finding this post. Must be the influence of your books which are proving very valuable. Thanks, Chris.

  7. Thanks for the great advice Jason. Since I’ve been selling directly for some time now, it’ll be easy for me to contact my clients/collectors. Hadn’t really thought about this until I read your post.

  8. That’s a really good habit to get into.

    I’ve sold (and given away) a few works of art over the years and wish now that I would have taken a picture just for my own records. I’m sure even if i did, by now i would have lost most of them from moving around so much.

    Now that most of us have cell phones and computers there really no reason not to.

    I’ve spent a lot of time looking thru old photos to see if I could find some of my work in the background. Not much luck with that.

    Oh well live and learn.

  9. Thank you, this is such wonderful advice, Jason. I did manage to get a couple of great photos prior to reading this, but I also have had a few I would not show. This is because some of my clients would send me a photo of the artwork alone on a wall, or have it placed in an entirely uncomplimentary position in their home. Sigh, not everyone who purchases my work is an interior designer but I am still thrilled that they enjoy my work. Your sample letter is a great guide for my future photo requests.

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