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. Hi Jason,
    As always I enjoy your article and helpful hints. I have been collecting art at a clients installation for some years now and have it on my IPad to show potential customers how great the work could look in their home. Have had very good success.

  2. It never occurred to me to ask for clients photos, until I read your prior post on the topic, Jason. I see the value of it if the photos turn out to be the way you want it, as an artist, but I also fear some surroundings the client has might not make a good selling feature. I got a picture from one, that was too dark, the light was colored. When trying to photoshop, I made it worse, there was no way to show a proper image, but I didn’t feel like telling somebody to send me another picture because this one was not great.
    I am also waiting for another commission work picture, in situ. I hope it will turn out ok, but the lady told me she went for a silver frame, when I told her to get a black. I can’t imagine my work in a silver (and also crazy expensive) frame but she told me it was perfect and better fitting the apartment. I seriously doubt this won’t end up tacky, but one never knows. Don’t want to be negative without seeing it even, but I nearly screamed when she told me about silver finish.

  3. I’m wondering about the legalities of using a photo of a client’s home in your publicity – for example, Facebook or your website. Shouldn’t you get their permission before posting it?

    I certainly wouldn’t want photos of my bedroom shared with the world, even if it does have some nice artwork.

    1. Yes – always ask permission. You will find that most of your clients are thrilled to give permission – they’re happy that you think their home is cool enough to share! We always ask, and I can’t think of any instances where the client hasn’t given permission. Obviously they wouldn’t want you to share personal information about them, or a location, so you have to be a bit careful of the details in the image.

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