Carmel author outlines pathway to gallery photography

Author Kara Lane’s friend and inspiration for the book, Tenna Merchant, took the photo on the cover. (Submitted photo)
Author Kara Lane’s friend and inspiration for the book, Tenna Merchant, took the photo on the cover. (Submitted photo)

By Navar Watson


There are many books about how to take a good photo, but few exist on how to get that photo in a gallery.

Carmel author Kara Lane set out to find the “how” in her book, “From Photographer to Gallery Artist.” The book debuted July 14 and made number one new release in two different Amazon categories.

It started as a project for a photographer friend, but Lane quickly grew interested in the topic.

Though photography was invented in 1839, it wasn’t until the 1980s that galleries actually recognized it as fine art, Lane learned.

“It’s kind of the new kid on the block,” she said. “No wonder [my friend]didn’t know how to get into a gallery. This is pretty new.”

Lane’s friend, Tenna Merchent, knew the technical side of photography, but she didn’t know the business side. She asked Lane, former vice president of financial planning for Golden Rule Insurance Company, to create a business model for getting photography into galleries.

Lane reached out to more than 60 top art galleries that feature photography, asking curators what they specifically look for in submissions.

“What a lot of fine art photographers … think will get them into the galleries actually won’t work,” Lane said. “Collectors want something exclusive.”

They’re looking for a photographer’s vision and purpose.

And just emailing one’s work for submission is not enough. Lane’s book details necessary marketing tools, like a personal website and artist statement and marketing strategies, like portfolio reviews and art fairs.

“Talent alone is not enough,” Lane said. “If no one knows who you are, it doesn’t matter how talented you are. You’ll never get out of your studio.”

The book also includes profiles of eight famous, living fine art photographers and several additional resources on art fairs, art magazines and more.

“From Photographer to Gallery Artist” is available for Kindle or paperback on Amazon. Lane’s previous works include “Simoni’s Gift: A Story about Your Purpose in Life,” a fictional tale, and “Wake Up to Powerful Living: 12 Principles to Transform Your Life!”