When I was first starting photography as a more serious hobby and then as a profession I had a hard time figuring out exactly where my work fit and who my “clients” were. Over the last few years I’ve been working more consistently with art consultants. At first I had no idea what art consultants did, basically they procure artwork for large clients…hotels, corporate offices, hospitals, universities, etc.
I think it’s common for photographers to struggle with finding a way to have their work seen and appreciated and to make a living in this profession. The things we most often hear about are either fine art photographers in the gallery/museum world or commercial photographers shooting advertising campaigns. Of course we know about wedding and portrait photographers and perhaps commercial architecture photographers shooting for architecture firms. But we don’t often hear much else. The reason I bring all this up is because there are so many other outlets for our work. Often these worlds overlap, I do a little bit of a work in a lot of these photographic fields, but I think it’s important for us to share with each other how to get our work out in the world.
A lot of the work I do throughout the year involves collaborating with various art consultants, some local, some national. Typically these projects involve my work being placed in hotels and corporate offices. Occasionally those placements are in Chicago, which is nice because I get a chance to see the final outcome.
The first project I’ll share is the placement of my Above the ‘L’ image in the guestrooms of the Chicago Westin River North. I don’t always know the exact location my artwork ends up, but I owe thanks to a very thoughtful concierge at the hotel for finding me. After receiving some guest inquires she researched who created the guestroom artwork and got in touch with me. She and the hotel’s management were kind enough to let me stop by to grab a shot of the space and image.
Another project completed earlier this year was for the Hyatt Place Downtown Chicago. This collaboration wasn’t my typical way of working with art consultants. In this instance, they licensed 4 images from me to be turned into a collage. Agreeing to this is very dependent on my working relationship with the art consultant and which images are being used. I thought the final result turned out great! Certainly different than my original work but, for this purpose, something I was perfectly okay with.