FAQs: Is it appropriate to use your client’s name and event images to promote yourself?

(No name image via Natalie Maynor)

This is a good question. It’s important to be very careful about how we use our client’s name to promote our work. Make sure you don’t sound like you are just name dropping.

Believe me, I catch myself when I am nervous and trying to impress a new client by mentioning my celebrity clients. Many times I sense that that this completely turns them off.

You see, most clients like to think (and rightfully so), that their event should be THE ultimate event–not your other clients’ events.

With that said, it is very important to use images of what you have done in the past to promote yourself and get new work.

This is what I suggest:

  • Make sure your client contracts contain a line item stating that you have the right to use these images for self-promotion. Usually this includes the stipulation that it doesn’t show any pictures of the client, client’s family and guests (only the decor).
  • If you are planning to use pictures of your clients or their guests make sure you get their written consent before using.
  • It is extremely important that you photograph every single job you do. (I cannot stress this enough). Aside from using these photos for self-promotion, it is a wonderful way to see your progress as a artist. (I look at work I did 10 years ago and think, “What was I thinking?”)

Though mentioning other clients can be a great way to gain credibility, I suggest showing new clients images of the work. Let your work and service speak for itself.

How do you feel about name dropping other clients names with a new client? Has the practice ever worked to your advantage? Do you photograph or record all of your new work? If not, why?

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