31 Types of Photographs You Can Use to Promote Your Art

Don’t underestimate your audience’s desire to know more about you and more about your life as an artist. And never underestimate the story that a good photograph can tell.

How about sharing photos of . . .

Your Art

1. By itself – professionally photographed (you know – the usual)
2. In situ at someone’s home, office, gallery – even if you have to stage the photos

Adele Sypesteyn paintings in a room
Horse paintings by Adele Sypesteyn

3. Works in progress
4. Art lined up or stored in the studio
5. With the collectors who bought it
6. If your work is functional, show others sipping, wearing, sitting on, washing, stacking, etc.
7. Packing it or shipping it

Your Office

8. Your giant wall timeline that shows your commitments and projects

Sally J. Smith organizer
Sally J. Smith shows her colorful organizing

9. Your piles – in all their glory
10. Your paper calendar that reveals everything you juggle in your artist-life
11. Your colorful files or wacky way of filing
12. The office pet – because everyone loves pet pictures

Lindsay Wynne's cat, Quinn, makes sure Lindsay finishes editing her photos.

13. Your view, whether it’s gorgeous, surprising, or uninspiring
14. Your bulletin board of inspiration and reminders
15. Your bookshelf – for inquiring minds
16. Your desk – because we love to peek

Your Studio

Kathleen Probst's Studio
Kathleen Probst's studio. Used with permission. Image ©Kathleen Probst.

17. The interesting way you have enhanced your entrance door
18. The studio pet – Do I need to say it again? We like animals!

Rebecca Latham's studio
Rembrandt helps keep Rebecca Latham's studio chair warm. How thoughtful!

19. Your messy palette – because we don’t have one and that’s really cool
20. The dribbles, dust, and scrapes on your floor – the personality of your space
21. A pile of the scraps of paper you use for your collages
22. A row of glazes you use before firing
23. The collection of hooks and clasps you use to make jewelry


24. Actively engaged with other artists – perhaps at another artist’s studio or at a meeting

4 Artists in Denver
Alyson with 3 artists before attending an artist lecture at the Denver Art Museum: Julie Powell, Lisa Call, me, and Janice McDonald.

25. Shopping for art supplies
26. Talking about your art to a group of people (Staged photos sometimes work best here in
order to avoid the gaping mouth or closed eyes. Trust me. I speak from experience.)
27. Working with a piece of equipment that most people can’t fathom using
28. Looking at other art in galleries and museums
29. Contemplating your own art
30. Making art – look at the camera, look down, look pensive – try a variety
31. Researching – wherever you do that best

I'll bet you already have a lot of these photos, but are you showing them? Could you share a quick link to them if you were asked?

Feel free to share the link to your best photos (not straight art, please) in a comment here.

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33 thoughts on “31 Types of Photographs You Can Use to Promote Your Art”

  1. Great list, Alyson. I already use shots from shows on my intro page at arthurcomings.com, but you came up with several other ideas that I hadn’t thought of.
    I particularly like the one of the guy in the Hawaiian shirt; you can almost feel him thinking about the pieces. Unfortunately he’s in better focus than the work, but I still like the shot.

  2. Here are two of my recent favorite alternative studio photos (studio pets ARE a must!). The first was supposed to be a photo of the “canvas inspector,” but she made her exist before I could get her in mid-inspection. The resulting photo was even better…a rare sighting of the monster! The second is a shot from one of my time lapse videos (finished ones can be seen on YouTube, under my name) and I love how it shows the work in progress and the environment. Great blog post Alyson! Keep them coming!

  3. I have been learning so much about getting my art business going from reading your blog posts and following you on Facebook! I really like this post… it’s kind of fun to think that people might actually want to see some of the mundane, ordinary things about my life as an artist. 🙂

  4. My cat always has to settle on piles of paintings, especially if they’re wrapped in bubble wrap. The duck is an advertising gimmick fr our recent open studios county event known as “Bucks Open Studios” and was corrupted to “Ducks Open Studios”
    I’m also pleased with this picture of me taken by my cohost Alexandra Buckle at the same event.
    We also had a “washing line” of Alexandra’s prints in progress.

  5. One photo not on your list: an artist should always have a photo of themselves on their web site. Preferably on the about page or contact page. I can’t tell you how many times I’m looking at artist’s web sites and see no photos of the artist at all. Sometimes I just want to be reminded of the artist’s face in case I have met them in the past. Usually it is just nice to put a face with the name and the artwork.

  6. Pingback: | Genie Canvas | A new collapsible canvas systemGenie Canvas | A new collapsible canvas system

  7. Great post, Alyson. I’ve noticed that people respond well to photos of works in progress, but there are some great ideas in here that are a little more creative!
    (Unfortunately, no photos to share…just yet!)

  8. The picture here, on my about/home page: http://elainelutherart.com was taken by a professional photographer (Hannah Fehrman) and having that terrific photo ready to go was really helpful in getting publicity. It was used twice last year, once in my local paper and once on JCKonline! For JCKonline,
    I gave the writer a choice of photos and she particularly wanted that one. That really showed me the importance of having photos that are more than just a headshot.
    Hannah, the photographer, really captured the messy, busy studio. Had I been taking the picture, I probably would have tried to crop that out!

    1. I tried to leave a comment on your site, Lori Anne. Hopefully it’s just being moderated. Anyway, Misty is beautiful – and quite photogenic.

  9. Pingback: 9 Artist Resources for Better Performing Websites and Blogs « Art Biz Blog

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