This week The Kiernan Gallery asked photographer and blogzine writer Ashley Kauschinger to write a piece on self-promotion and goal setting. She explains a bit about how she connects with the photographic community and promotes her art.
As an emerging photographer, I spend a lot of time on promotion. I enter around three juried shows or publications a month. When I first started submitting, I sent my work everywhere. I soon found that this was not an efficient use of my time and money. Now, I am more selective and do more research beforehand. Shows juried by curators, editors, and collectors are excellent shows to enter because they have more avenues to help further your career. The best thing about participating in juried shows is being seen by your chosen audience, and building your exhibition record for galleries and teaching jobs in the future. Another excellent and less expensive form of promotion is online and print publications, such as PDN, Shots, Flak Photo, Fototazo, La Journal de la Photographie, and F-Stop Magazine. These venues are a good way to be connected to the photography community and create an online presence.
Above all is to make friends with other artists. This is the greatest form of inspiration and promotion. If you respect a fellow artist or enjoy their work, send them an e-mail. I am always surprised at who will e-mail me back and at the friends I have made. In the past, I have has a hard time reaching out to other photographers. As a way to create friendships with other artists, I founded the blogzine, Light Leaked. This allowed a platform to have conversations, honor artists, and create inspiration. It is important to me to be a positive force and contributor to my fellow photographers. Sometimes the business aspect of my career distracts from art making. Sharing experiences with other artists helps me stay connected to my love of photography and not get caught up in the serious elements of the business. In building my career, my submission experience and blogzine have presented me with opportunities that I did not expect, and I can see advancements in my work being seen.
A good exercise to help focus your goals is to write down what you would like your photographic career to look like. Where would you like to see your work? What are your dream galleries? Where do you see your artistic life going? Put the answers to these questions on your refrigerator as your “fridge dreams.” This will help you stay committed to yourself, and turn your dreams into goals.