Thank-you notes can be a good way to initiate professional relationships with curators, photo editors, and others who review your work. Hannah Frieser, the Executive Director of the Center for Photography at Woodstock, advises artists who have entered juried shows or contests to follow up with jurors by sending a note, even if they aren’t chosen for an exhibition or award.
“If they selected you, then it’s, ‘Thank you for selecting my portfolio…If you would like an extended selection of the series, here’s my website.’ And if they didn’t select you, then: ‘Thank you so much for taking the time to consider my portfolio,’” and offer to stay in touch about new work you’ll produce in the future.
She advises photographers to plan their follow-up strategy even before entering the competition. “You can’t expect the curator [or any other reviewer] to follow up,” she says. If you’re waiting for a response, it might never come. “If you have a strategy, you can say [to yourself]: ‘OK, this was my first thank-you note. In three months or so, I’ll send something else,’ if you have permission [to keep emailing the person].”
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