Whether you’re a commercial photographer, fine artists, or writer, anytime you produce something, the ultimate goal is usually for your work to leave the nest and go out into the world. Maybe you’ve shot an ad campaign, maybe your thesis project is going to be part of a group exhibition…. Whatever the case, you should document it both for posterity and for self promotion. You want to have an archive of the work you’ve made and where it’s been.
Documentation of your work in a variety of contexts can be great blog fodder (who wouldn’t want to brag that their photograph was on a bus shelter?) and content for your website (clients love to see that you get published). Support material can be helpful when pitching new projects, to show how previous projects were executed and presented.
Exhibitions – Photographs of the work in an exhibition space can be helpful further down the road as source material when applying for additional exhibitions. Keep a copy of any show cards, mailers, or invitations and keep track of any press or reviews the exhibition receives.
Print Publications – If your work is featured in magazines or newspapers, see if you can get a pdf of the spread from the publisher. Scanning the publication is a good alternative, or, in a pinch, photograph the pages.
Campaigns – Photograph your work in the landscape, on billboards, bus shelters, garbage cans, wherever it is shown.
Online Features – Though the internet is fairly permanent, links don’t always stay functional. Consider taking a screen shot of your work on the website, blog, or newsletter.
Think about it this way – when it’s time for your 50 year retrospective, or the launch of your autobiography, you’ll be glad you were so on top of things right from the start.