Time To Create Self-Promos

Bird Photography by Scott Bourne

Those of you who want to get published, earn a little money from your photography or who want to go full time pro need to understand one thing. For this idea to work, you need to be prepared to spend way more time marketing and selling than you do making photos. There’s just no way around it.

Many creatives don’t like the idea of having to do sales. I get that. But at the very least you need to do passive marketing through things like self-promos and leave-behinds.

The photographers who visit this site almost all probably have something in common right now. They have downtime. Most of us are stuck at home. It’s a perfect time to create some self-promotion pieces. This lockdown won’t last forever, and when it ends, there will be pent-up consumer demand for all sorts of things, including photography.

I am getting ready to work with some interior decorators who are itching to get back to work designing commercial spaces. They all have an art budget. My hope is that some of them will give me some of that budget in return for the photo paintings I have been creating since my state issued a stay-home/stay-safe order.

To that end, I created two 8 1/2 x 11 promo pieces that I intend to distribute to people who might be good prospects for my work.


I have included copies here of two promo pieces I put together. I just freehand did this in Photoshop Elements and if I can do it, so can you.

Grab a handful of your favorite images and lay them out in a grid according to the final size of your piece. If you need ideas, visit canva.com or Adobe Spark. They have templates you can use if freehand design work isn’t your thing.

Bird Photography by Scott Bourne

Make sure you have a simple explanation of your work, a short bio, mention that the work is available for sale as prints or for license and include your contact info. I probably spent no more than 25 minutes on these and I am happy with the results.

Chances are, you are more creative than I am and you may be able to come up with something cooler. The important thing is to do SOMETHING. Photographers who contact me about turning “pro” almost never have a realistic idea of the amount of marketing it takes to sell their work. Most hope that just putting their images online will help them be “discovered.” My experience is that hope is not a strategy. I do put the images online, but I spend real time promoting that online presence to make sure the right prospects know how to find me.

Please use this post as inspiration to create some promo pieces for YOUR work. We’re all locked down, so we might as well make the most of it. If you like what I did, feel free to copy it or change it to suit your own tastes. When the lockdown ends, you want to be ready to hit the ground running. Marketing is a first step back. I am rooting for you.

Picture Methods has partnered with Hunt’s Photo & Video to bring you the best gear at a competitive price and backed by personal service. Call Alan Samiljan at 781-462-2383 or Noah Buchanan at 781.462.2356. If you cannot reach either one try Gary Farber at 781-462-2332. You will ALWAYS get the best prices if you call the store v. Using the web site. You can also email Noah at: nbuchanan@huntsphoto.com or Alan at alansamhunts@gmail.com or Gary at: gfarber@huntsphoto.com. Hunt’s has been around a long time and you can trust them. Make sure to mention that Scott Bourne sent you. That will get you the best deal.