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10 ways to promote your next exhibition

You’ve had this fabulous idea for an exhibition for over a year now.

You are lucky enough to get a space to show your images and, though it’s been a whirlwind, six months have passed and it’s now 3 months to the day before your exhibition opens.

Sound familiar?

If so, you’re probably working crazy hours thinking of ways to promote your exhibition, trying to make sure that somebody, at least, comes to see it after all the hard work you’ve put in.

You know there’s still a lot of work to do but you also know that without a little planning right at this time about how to attract attention to your exhibition, it might pass without a whisper.

By no means is this is about ensuring buyers for your work. No, this is all about the top 10 ways to get people in the door to begin with.

10 top ways to promote your next exhibition

  1. Create a press release for your show. Tried and true, this is an extremely useful tool to create. It helps you on many levels. Create a press release of just a couple of paragraphs with some background information specific to the exhibition and send it to local newspapers and websites.
  2. Once you’ve created a short promotional piece, make sure to send it to all your previous contacts. Even if they’ve never bought anything from you, chances are a few people from your list will visit the gallery, and who knows, maybe even one of them might part with some cash in exchange for a fabulously creative piece you’ve produced.
  3. Identify your market. For a successful promotional campaign you need to find whom your target audience is. Every one will be different. For example you might have put together a striking collection of native flora prints that you want to exhibit. Well, aside from the public who might like to look at beautiful images, you might consider targeting nurseries and botanic gardens for some promotional activities. These are places where people who like trees and flowers often visit.
  4. Make use of community notice boards. Very often opportunities to advertise your exhibition for free, or even at very little cost, are right under our noses and we forget about them. Look for online notice boards like weekend notes and what’s on in Sydney to promote. Mind you, the ‘whatson’ city of Sydney site will only permit listings of events within its local council frame-work. For events a little further out, other local councils have a similar thing in place so don’t forget to ask about it or check on your local council website.
  5. Advertise at other local spaces. Places like the local library, council buildings, schools and community halls make great places to place a simple flyers. Make sure you get all the right permissions though, before you place anything up, or you might end up having to take it all back down again. A little common courtesy often goes a long way.
  6. Do an interview. Volunteer to do an interview with the local media; newspaper or radio. In preparation, think about the ‘pitch’ you will use to garner interest. Remember the person with the most vested interest in your exhibition is you and everyone else needs to be made excited about attending the exhibition.
  7. Use social media. I should have made this number 1, not 7, but social media is a crucial part of your campaign. If you’re not social media savvy, make sure you seek out the services of someone who is so that they can help you with this aspect of promotion. It’s not enough to discard the thought of it just because YOU cannot make sense of the technology.
  8. Create a folio website and/or blog to show your best work and promote your exhibition. Make sure you regularly update both to keep them fresh and SEO ready.
  9. Network. Personal networking does work. An exhibition is a lot of work and in many ways it is a personal representation of what you think and feel about a subject. Make sure to tell everyone you meet that you have, or are just about to have an exhibition and always be ready with a card or a flyer with the exhibition details listed. Your life should not be so compartmentalized that one aspect doesn’t flow over to another. You are the sum of all those different aspects and you will often find that people who you never thought are interested in other facets of your personality. You never know when you might be talking to someone who collects exactly the type of photographic imagery that you specialize in. Networking can also mean getting to know other photographers as well. Your local association or photography club is a classic example of a place to build relationships with other photographers. There is great value in the support network photographers generate and they can often offer valuable advice so listen with your mouth closed and your mind wide open.
  10. Be generous with your time. A good exhibition can generate a lot of positive interest in what you are doing creatively so allow plenty of time to take each task on this list seriously and do each task to the best of your ability. Remember what you think and feel when you see an exhibition that doesn’t appear properly finished.

Of course this list is not complete and we could go on and on with lessons learned from previous experience.

We’d like to hear from you with your experiences on this subject as well, as no doubt we can all learn a thing or too.

Think about this; in which area did you fall down when preparing for your last exhibition, and how could you do it better?

So you’re a photographer are you? If so, how do you…

Recently we starting really thinking hard about the types of things you might be interested in if you’re really into photography as an art and in particular what’s happening around Sydney in the photographic landscape and came up with a few suggestions.

This list is definitely not complete and we would appreciate some advice from all of you about your thoughts on the topic as well.

In the meantime here is the list of top 7 topics we will explore through this site. As interest prevails we will start adding these items to the blog and we definitely want to encourage your participation

Top 7 photography related topics for inclusion on the blog

  1. Interviews. Several people have already asked for interviews to be included on the blog. Interviews of photographers as well as other professionals that have an impact in the photographic space. We plan to track down and ever so nicely ‘grill’ as many people as we can to give you the ins and outs of everything from tripods to fine art. If you know someone you would like to see interviewed, drop us a line here at sydneyphotographicblog@gmail.com and we will try our hardest to make it happen.
  2. Building better business. Many, many people grab their camera first and think later about their business model for turning their hobby into a thriving business. However it’s not always easy and can, in fact, be downright financially disastrous so why not ask the experts for some pointers.
  3. Genres. How many different types of photography do you know about? How does it influence what you shoot? Do you aspire to follow in the footsteps of someone great? We will talk to people who produce all different types of photographic material and find out what’s hot and what’s not in the land of genre.
  4. How to series. Did you ever wonder how people magically produce colour in the night skies or HDR finishes from a single image? Through simple examples of techniques we will explore both post production and in-camera ways to make that finished look you are after.
  5. Competitions. There’s no doubt we’re a competitive bunch and there’s about a zillion competitions to help keep us on out toes. We’ll explore some good and not-so-good aspects of competition life.
  6. Photography clubs and associations. There’s no doubt that photography clubs and associations are a lynchpin in how cohesive the photography market is. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to those faceless people who continue to make things happen behind the scenes. Here we have an opportunity to explore how involved you can become and what services your local clubs can offer.
  7. Festivals and workshops. This is where we quench our thirst and renew our enthusiasm for photography opportunities. Across Australia we have a number of leading edge festivals that have become internationally renowned over the years. Find out when and where they are and how you can get involved as much, or as little as you want.

For the topics listed here you can generate at least 5 to 10 sub-headings, the material is so rich so why not help us to keep you informed.

We know this list is not complete by any means and we welcome your comments about what you would like to see on this website. Help us build a better site for you to enjoy and take part in.

If you have a topic you would like to see included send us a note via our contact page or email us directly on sydneyphotographicblog@gmail.com.

Additionally at this time we are looking for creative writers, who are also interested in photography to work with our in-house team.

Is there a topic you know heaps about and willing to share with others? If so please contact us at sydneyphotographicblog@gmail.com.

Images for Life Force. Photographic Auction, Sunday November 17th

Event  Life Force 2013 – A fundraising Art Auction & afternoon of entertainment

Address: Stills Gallery, 36 Gosbell Street Paddington, Sydney

Cost: $50 pp, children under 16yrs are free

Buy tickets: at the door OR via the website

Event website: http://www.lifeforce.org/events/stills

Life Force Event and info contacts: Katy Fitzgerald 0418 447 600 / Jann Chambers 0410 587 496 /

Media Contact: Cassie French, Pop-Up Publicity 0416 209 391

Time 3 – 6pm

Date – Sunday November 17th 2013

There’s a lot to be said about the generosity of people, in particular artists. This cause is no exception. This weekend only will be an auction of premium works by 22 photographers. Among those who have donated works are Pat Brassington, Mark Kimber, Belinda Mason, William Yang, Bonita Ely, Luke Hardy, Bob Kersey, Peter Solness, Zorica Purlija.

This is themajor fundraising event for Life Force Cancer Foundation, a Sydney based non-profit organisation founded in 1993 that provides a range of programs to aid people dealing with the emotional and psycho-social impact of living with cancer.

There is a separate silent auction of jewellery and fabrics on the day as well as live music performances and events throughout the afternoon.

Organisations like this can only help others through your generosity of spirit so we urge you to come out and enjoy the day, visit the artworks and settle in for an afternoon of celebration of life.

PRESS Images for Life Force 2013.pdfsingle pg

David Moore, Capturing the creation of the Sydney Opera House

Photographer: David Moore
Exhibition: Capturing the creation of the Sydney Opera House
Venue: Customs House
31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay, Sydney NSW 2000
Level 2 Library, 1 November 2013 to 26 January 2014

Since opening in 1973, the Opera House has entertained audience in excess of 65 million. This year the Sydney Opera House will celebrate four decades as an eminent national building valuable piece of cultural and tourism infrastructure.

David Moore (1927–2003) was Australia’s most renowned and widely travelled photojournalist. His extraordinary archive covers both his homeland and the many countries and assignments he covered over a sixty-year career.
From 1962 to 1973 Moore photographed the construction of the  Opera House. The selection from that body of work exhibited here at Customs House is eloquent in its commemoration of a unique building while at the same time reinforcing a noteworthy photographic legacy.

Jørn Utzon’s reaction to Moore’s epic depiction of the construction of the Opera House was to classify the photographs as ‘marvelous (sic)…by far the best I have ever seen’. Writing in early 1968, he added: ‘the Sydney Opera House needs to be seen with a great artist’s eye such as yours to make people understand [the building’s] poetic qualities’. It was a generous tribute to a fellow spirit, a photographer who was in communion with, and acutely sensitive to, Utzon’s mould-breaking vision.

The Customs House exhibition is Moore’s posthumous returning  of the compliment, a homage to the daring and genius of Utzon’s expressionist architecture: an approach which insists on the new, original and visionary; the concept of architecture as a work of art. Moore himself called the Opera House ‘a fabulous freestanding sculpture’. His meticulous application to documenting the construction process from the bones upward was passionate and committed: a kind of love affair in which his images reflect an awe and respect for Utzon’s work. Alternatively alive with the play of light or suffused with a brooding romanticism, they sing of purity, precision and technical control.

Copyright David Moore - Opera House geometry

Copyright Estate of David Moore – Opera House geometry, 1966

Copyright David Moore - Sydney opera House shadows

Copyright Estate of David Moore – Sydney Opera House shadows, 1962

Copyright David Moore - Sun patterns within the Opera House podium

Copyright Estate of David Moore – Sun patterns within the Opera House podium, 1962

Reinforcing steel, Sydney Opera House

Copyright Estate of David Moore – Reinforcing steel, Sydney Opera House, 1962

Isolations – David Knight

Exhibition title: Isolations
Artist: David Knight
Venue name: Meyer Gallery
Artist Website: http://www.knight-photo.com

Venue website: http://www.meyergallery.com.au
Venue address: 2 Danks Street, Waterloo, 2017
Exhibition dates and venue times: Currently showing until November 9, 11am – 5pm
Cost: Free

To many, David Knight has a keen reputation as a prime portrait artist having been selected as a three-times finalist in the prestigious British Photographic Portrait prize (’09,’10, & ’11) and locally, as a finalist with the Head On Portrait prize, to name just a few of his accolades. This work however presents us with a complex critique of our own inner consciousness. David’s work, thoughtfully curated by Mary Meyer, challenges us to confront our prejudices, both conscious and unconscious.

The work presents us with powerful and evocative visual evidence of social issues confronting modern-day Australia. Those issues include immigration, social dislocation and destruction of traditional community entities. The work is fantastic and compelling, the narrative alongside each image is confronting and I would suggest you leave yourself ample time to meander among these images.

The exhibition closes this coming Saturday so take advantage of the day and come and speak with David who will be at the gallery between 3 and 5pm to answer questions and chat with you.
Opinion: Not to be missed.

Early poll results

Already responses are flowing in from the poll recently created to help us find what you wan to read about on this site.

We’re interested in all your responses so if you haven’t taken the poll, please do so and help us create a blog that meets your needs. To those who have responded so far a HUGE thank you. Feedback makes our job so much easier.

So far, we’re reading you loud and clear. What we hear is that you want currency; in reviews, in topics you might miss otherwise but may be interested in. You want your data up to date and unbiased. Is this correct?

We also hear that you don’t want boring repetition either of information rehashed from other sites, or within this site, themes repeated over and over again. How are we doing? Are we getting your messages clearly?

Some of you have expressed an interest in us profiling upcoming photographers from different genres and some have even volunteered to be our guinea pigs. Thank you. We will be in touch. 🙂

These are all good ideas and we will incorporate them into our mantra. We want this site to promote a community of shared information that can benefit everyone and that can only happen if this site is a two-way street.

If you would like to leave a comment for discussion or inclusion in how we approach topics, please use the contact form to let us know. We’re a lot like you, keen and passionate about photography, but it’s such a wide open field that sometimes we might need gentle steering in the direction you want us to take, and believe it or not, we’re not mind readers, so unless you tell us, we may not know what’s upper most in your mind.

One other thing. None of the group currently writing on this site are professional reviewers but we’re learning as we go. To be fair, art in general, including photography, is a very personal experience and, what’s that saying; one man’s junk is another man’s treasure? We’d love to encourage everyone to either start, or to continue, if they’re already in the habit ,of appreciating other people work through unbiased eyes.

If you know of an exhibition happening somewhere around Sydney (anywhere in Sydney, including greater Sydney) and you would like to write a review for it please let us know in advance. We would love for you to share your impressions. We’ll have a few rules and we can cover them in another place but we want you to take an interest in what’s being posted on this site and we believe that will happen if you’re not just listening to us, but working with us. Funny eh? Talking about ‘listening’ when we’re really reading and writing. That just shows how far blogging has come of age.

What do you think of this idea? If you’re interested in writing a review for something you’ve just seen or are about to see, let us know. If you’re unsure of what to say or how to write it let us know and we can help you. We will also put up a guide to writing art exhibition reviews with some simple guidelines for you to follow if you need it.

The important thing to remember is to speak up if you have a specific interest, and you want, it premiered on this site.

Coming soon, Spring 2013 – group collection and Isolations – David Knight

Somehow we’ve found the time to visit these two exhibitions situated in Danks Street, Waterloo and with powerful images in both, each deserves their own review. So that being said, in the next 24 hours we hope to post our review on each.

Stay tuned.

Have your say here

‘Lost in Place’, Damien Minton Gallery, Nov 5 – 9 2013

This exciting exhibition is the work of 10 local photographers; Catherine Cloran / Digby Duncan / Helen Grace / Caroline McLean-Foldes / Sally McInerney / Ian Provest / Suellen Symons / Chris Round / Lynn Smith / Niobe Syme.

The exhibition highlights our attachment to ‘place’ and how that speaks to our identity and belonging, where memories are wrapped in place.

I enjoyed the different interpretations of ‘place’ from each individual artist; their different view points demonstrating a remarkable breadth of diversity.

It’s a strong group with each artist contributing a special flavour unique to them. The work of Lynn Smith is vibrant, moody and earthy, whereas the images by Chris Round are more restrained and precise. I particularly enjoyed the works by Catherine Cloran, a series of 5 images with an unusual point of view.

Ian Provests’ images are a powerful testament to his keen eye and interpretative spirit, definitely worth a long, hard look. The quirky eye of Helen Grace pokes at scenes revisited from long ago and images by Sally McInerny take on photo-documentary  stature.

I found I could associate strongly with the nostalgic lingering of scenes by Caroline McLean-Foldes, and the impressionistic look into a Chinese village slated for demolition produces two powerful images by Digby Duncan, and lastly, though not least important are the works by Niobe Syme and Suellen Symons. Having been to India 3 times in the last 18 months I’m fairly partial to Niobe’s images of ‘Leaving Jodpur’.

This exhibition works well with this diverse range of talent ,mainly through their collective interpretative skill.

I found the exhibition images raised questions about my association of place with my life as I know it today and the direction I my life is taking.

Definitely an exhibition not to miss. This group of artists let their experience show through and we should all take a moment to sit, or stand and contemplate the concept of place and association they present to us.

On Nov 5 – 9 at the Damien Minton Gallery, 583 Elizabeth Street Redfern. Open hours Wednesday to Saturday 11am – 6pm. Free entry

‘Guest Relations’, by Robyn Stacey, Oct 9 – Nov 9

Wow, it’s not every day we get overwhelmed when reviewing someone’s exhibition but that’s how  we felt when checking out this exhibition by Robyn Stacey. Showing at the Stills Gallery , 36 Gosbell Street Paddington this body of work is another fantastic powerhouse from the artist.

Right up front the power of the artist emanates across multiple facets. This series combines impressions of private and public spaces by the use of captured image projection into the darkened interiors of city hotel rooms. It somehow makes the impersonal, more personal.

Robyn uses the camera obscura technique to ‘project’ her outside visions onto the drab interior hotel room walls with stunning results.

Vivid in colour and clarity, the contrast is unique and thought-provoking.

With only 4 days left to see this exhibition please do not miss it. We were just grateful to have had an opportunity to see these works up close and personal.

Showing now at Stills Gallery, 36 Gosbell Street Paddington. Open Wednesday to Saturday 11.00 to 5pm. Free entry.               

DO NOT MISS, CLOSES THIS SATURDAY, Nov 9th

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