Making the most of Redeye membership

Redeye members' garden gathering

Are you a member of Redeye and looking to get paid work as a photographer? Or are you considering Redeye membership and wondering what the benefits are? If so, read on; this page is about maximising your chances of being offered work through your membership.

Redeye's paid membership is not required for most of our activities but is aimed at being useful for people looking to develop their careers and networks, and for access to paid and professional commissions and opportunities. Redeye gets a regular flow of requests and offers of work for photographers. We always direct people to the members’ portfolio pages where there is a “Find a photographer” section. 

 

What do you get on your Redeye portfolio page?

On our current website you are limited to displaying 13 photos; one lead image and up to 12 others (you can store more than that but only display up to 13). The thumbnails are cropped to square, but the images when displayed fully are in their original shape. 

Our general advice is not to display 13 completely different types of images. It’s better for them to be linked somehow - for example showing the main subjects you cover, or linked stylistically, or grouped into series or projects.

Alongside that are your specialisms as selected in your Redeye account; your biography (or statement); and any contact details you choose to make public. There is no limit to how much you can write in your biography but the optimum length is probably about 100 to 250 words. 

We tend to get two types of request: firstly offers of commissions or assignments, and secondly curators, producers or organisers looking for a particular style of work, or in some cases, new talent.

 

Suggestions if you are looking for commissions

If you are looking to respond to the first type of request and get commissions for work, then four things to get across are: your specialist field(s) of work; your location; your track record of work; and your reliability and trustworthiness.

Mention in your biographical text any specialisms you would like to get work in. It’s slightly better to use plural terms as some people tend to search in the plural. So say “weddings” rather than “wedding photography” for example. Use synonyms that you think are likely to be searched - so you might say “weddings, civil ceremonies, christenings, baptisms, bar and bat mitzvahs, parties and similar events.”

Give details of past work, naming clients if appropriate and the work is in the public domain. “Ten years experience of working for health trusts / charities / large companies, for example A, B, and C” is very reassuring.

It’s a good idea to mention other things that a prospective client might want - your availability, and the range of services you provide for example.

It can be helpful to refer to any qualifications or training. It can also be worth mentioning your approach. If you like to work collaboratively, ethically, quickly or unobtrusively; or have experience of delivering workshops for example.

As for your images - it’s best if at least some of them reflect your specialisms. But you could certainly mix in some personal projects if they show the quality of your work better.

 

Suggestions for building your reputation as a photographic artist

If you prefer to focus on the second type of request, more about building your reputation as a photographic artist, perhaps to get the interest of curators, producers, publishers or buyers, then you might want to take a slightly different approach.

The images are very important, especially the lead one. It’s likely that people will be looking for work that stands out, and strongly reflects your style or approach. Within your selected images, we suggest you show one or more projects, with images reinforcing each other.

For your biographical text, you might be tempted to make it similar to an “artist statement“ you could already have written. We would advise avoiding jargon or “artspeak”. Camilla Brown wrote a very helpful piece for us in 2020 intended to help with writing about your photography. She talks about focusing on the “what, how, and why“ of your practice.

Of course trust and track record are just as important so it’s a good idea to include a brief mention of some of your past exhibitions, talks or publications.

Have a look through how other people use the portfolio pages - which photographers would you be most likely to contact if you had an opportunity?

 

What else does Redeye membership offer?

  • Influence

Redeye’s members “own” the organisation. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to talk to the staff and make suggestions, especially on behalf of the broader photographic community. Are there things you would like to see us doing or areas you would like us to research? You can always respond to one of our member mailings or just get in touch directly through the contact form on this website.

  • Reputation

We have a member-led programme of events. This is a good opportunity for you to deliver an event on a specialist area of knowledge. Redeye’s staff will help you plan the event to maximise its success, make all the arrangements and do the marketing. 

  • Networks

As a member you'll meet other photographers, artists, as well as others working in photography. And recommendation by your peers is one of the best ways of getting work.

  • Feedback

Members can receive up to four free critique and advice sessions each year.

  • Discounts and offers

There are also discounts available. If you’re interested for example in It's Your Business, our comprehensive business course for photographers running January to April 2022, it’s definitely worth joining as a member before buying a ticket.

We are introducing a few more member benefits, for example offers on buying or hiring photo equipment and materials, over the course of 2022, so keep an eye out for those. And don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any more suggestions. Redeye's membership currently costs from £2.50 to £4 a month. Click here to join.

Photo: Redeye members' gathering in summer 2021.

Redeye, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Market Buildings, Thomas St, Manchester M4 1EU, UK
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