The best way to promote a photographer, part 2

A while back, I joined the Communications Arts Group through my LinkedIn account, and last week I posted my first discussion topic: essentially, a link to my post “What’s the best way to promote a photographer?” A fellow named Greg Gutbezahl, whose LinkedIn profile lists him as a freelance visual communications strategist and adjunct instructor of design and visual arts at NYU, offered the following response:

“This is an excellent question in this day and age—as a creative director who receives many many promo cards each week, it is obvious there are many many talented photographers out there. Some I file away for the short list, some go in the swipe file, and some in the circular file. One can only have so many cards! :-)

While it is nice to get mail, I find that a phone call to ask permission to send an email and a link to a website is the best way to get noticed. By asking permission, you immediately get on the recipient’s good side, and you get to chat (briefly!) with him/her. They might even point you to a more appropriate person to promote to. Once the email is received, depending on the image being presented (we are assuming it is an HTML email, or has attachments), a short tour of the photographer’s website usually forms a fairly good impression. I have actually made ‘phone friends’ with several photographers whose work I enjoy. And bookmark many more websites for future reference.

The key, as with any business, is targeted promotion. A bit of research can go a long way—we do mostly corporate/B to B and therefore look at the work of those photographers who specialize in that area—we don’t need fashion or auto work, but tabletop and product photography gets shortlisted as well. The closer your work is to the target studio, the better the match.

I enjoy this blog:, which has a lot of time-tested promotional posts (you have to hunt for them though).

And, sadly, these days, it often comes to cost—clients are squeezing agencies so tightly, iStock is frequently the most likely option. (And clients even send us photos for us to use from iStock!)”

Thanks so much for the interesting and considered feedback, Greg. Readers, care to add to the discussion?

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