Do you sell you work?

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by David Allen, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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  2. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I TRY, try being the operative word. I hang work in restaurants/cafes/bookstores, group exhibits, and very rarely solo exhibits. It's a really tough hustle to get your work in front of people enough that they start to recognize you and want to buy your work. But every once in a while, someone will.
     
  3. Sirius Glass

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    On rare occasions when I am taking photographs, if someone requests prints I will sell them one by mail.
     
  4. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    I have tried half-heartedly, and have done a few group/solo exhibits. But my sales have been limited to one person who likes my work and happens to be a friend, who has bought a bunch of prints. That's OK, I'll take whatever I can get. Supposedly the prints he has bought hang in his corporate office in Chicago, but I've never checked. I think the serious seller must have a website, and that has always sounded like too much work for me. I haven't tried to sell anything in 5-6 years but now that I'm printing in colora again I intend to start showing again, maybe in a year or so.

    I have also sold photographs that illustrate a couple articles I've published but those are hardly worth mentioning because the photos were not very good. They were just appropriate and necessary.
     
  5. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Yes, I do. I started out as a portrait photog, did weddings and proms, and sold to magazines. Now I sell prints through a local art dealer.
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    yes ... both commercially, and work that has hung in galleries, on ebay, through my website, and through imagekind a website that prints frames and mails out work that i make.

    how do i best achieve this ...
    constantly getting my name work and expertise in front of people who may or may not be interested ...
    lts not ez
     
  7. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    No, I do not. I was approached by a local camera shop once for a photograph they wanted to display on their wall.

    Aside from that and wedding photography 10 years ago, I have never sold a single print. I really do not try to market my images. I don't do photography to get rich from, or even modestly compensated. Maybe that is what keeps it fresh. I guess I am the type that if I depend on the income derived from something that I truly love it gets tarnished and personal work suffers. This is why the wedding photography was ten years ago and not current.
     
  8. Sirius Glass

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    Penn Camera asked me to do a show a couple of years ago, but I did not have the time to make a large number of large prints. So I passed on it.
     
  9. eddie

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    I do. For a long time, it was mostly at art festivals. In my "heyday", I sold a lot of hand-colored images. I had a bunch of people who would buy something each time I exhibited in their towns. I also have others who collected my Caribbean photos. I can think of at least a dozen people who own 10+ of my photos.
    I have a propensity for changing my photographic interests, though, and it doesn't usually align with the expectations/desires of the people who previously purchased from me. It caused a severe hit to my wallet, and I've scaled back my show schedule severely. I have no regrets about "my ever changing moods", even though it has had an effect on my income. From time to time, the hand-painting starts to feel stale, so I need to get away from it for awhile. I always come back, but prefer to spend my energy on projects which I find more exciting, at a particular time. Making money is great, but it's not why I do this.
     
  10. rorye

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    I make most of my sales (and print rentals) at SFMoma Artist Gallery.
    I also do Open Studio every couple of years, this year's being the best in a long time. I think the mid range market is coming back a bit, it was grim for a few years.
     
  11. benjiboy

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    I don't sell my work, it saves me the disappointment of nobody wanting to buy it :smile:.
     
  12. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I used to, and hope to have time for this again, once I retire from my day job (hopefully soon). Did commecial gigs (high end galleries), spinoffs
    from publicly-funded shows, word of mouth. Website is an utter waste of time. Once you develop a reputation for high-quality prints, how the hell does someone perceive the quality if it's been sifted through a digital saltshaker, with 90% never getting through the tiny holes? In my case, people need to see the real deal.
     
  13. Christopher Walrath

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    Could not agree more.
     
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  15. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Only on request. Basically, I do my own thing for my own purposes but sometimes people see something they like and I'll print them a copy. I also do portraits/weddings on request - it's not something I tell people I do, but occasionally people decide they like my portraits and ask for a session.

    I could never come close to making a living from photos.
     
  16. eddie

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    I strongly disagree that websites are a waste of time. I've sold through mine numerous times. In fact, I'm finishing up three hand-painted prints for a couple who saw them at an art festival last August. They recently visited my Facebook photo page, were reminded of the photos, and placed an order. I've also sold to people who had seen my work in a gallery, googled me, and saw work I wasn't showing at the gallery. I arranged for them to see the other work at the gallery, where they made a purchase. They were happy, I was happy, and the gallery was happy (they got their % on the sale).
    If you really want to sell your work, in this internet age, you must use it as a marketing component.
     
  17. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Well, I'm being dragged, mostly (initially) against my will, kicking and screaming :eek:, to Photo LA in January. First public showing in 5 years (i.e., since the start of the Depression).


    A website is not "an utter waste of time". It is a tool, which if used correctly to support worthwhile work, can assist potential buyers in finding, identifying and branding your work. For those of us who are unable to sell by our name alone, a website is the necessary calling card of the age, if not an actual point of sale. Beyond that, some (:wink:) have used their, as well as other internet, sites as outreach and education to the community as a whole.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2013
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    if a website is a waste of time, why do YOU have one?
     
  19. Christopher Walrath

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    Well, at least he didn't bust ME on that one. :pouty:
     
  20. StoneNYC

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    I don't think websites are a waste of time if they are designed as selling sites, the problem is most don't do it right (including me).

    I do sell some, I often sell them by accidentally leaving them exposed to the public, like going to Starbucks and leaving them spread on the table while doing something else like reading.

    People who WANT the image will ask, and those that don't, won't, and you don't get a lot of "having to sell to people" which is nice.

    Also word of mouth.

    I also sell large family portraits to people after a shoot (but most of those are digital).

    I leave prints on my mothers dining room table and when they have parties some of the guests buy them :smile:

    I've also sold a few prints to people when I was trying to figure out which images I wanted to print for a show, I sold more images asking which ones they liked and which I should leave out of the show, than I did in the show itself LOL. (Coffee shop show...).
     
  21. walbergb

    walbergb Subscriber

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    I do and I don't. I got interested in b&w analog photography as a hobby with no intention of selling any prints. I enjoy experimenting with different techniques, cutting my own mats, and making my own frames from rough lumber. That desire hasn't changed, except for the interest in alternative processes which I have yet to fulfill:smile:. I could never make a deadline and enjoy the entire process if I felt compelled to sell my photographs. Having said that the community art gallery, whose darkroom facilities I make good use of, often asks me to donate prints as a fundraiser for their education programs. Sometimes I make extra prints, frame them, and donate them to the gallery. Sometimes when a print sells, I get a tax receipt, but I have never received or taken any money. Nor do I intend to in the foreseeable future. My hats off to those who do sell their work. I've seen how hard it can be.
     
  22. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Depends what you're selling. If it's a commodity like a Big Mac or a pair of Levis, then the web seems to work. If its's something far less tangible, or involves nuances the web is inherently incapable of communicating to the viewer, then it is indeed a waste of time. People looking
    for nominal subject matter or some color splash of color for above the sofa might do fine selecting over the web, but otherwise it's like trying
    to produce fine furniture in a woodshop only equipped with a double-bit axe and a spiked ball. Not exactly going to impress any gourmet, who
    wants to actually smell and taste the nuances of the meal. And if it wasn't for the fact of the web being today's equivalent to a business card
    and letterhead for basic contact purposes and IRS recognition, I'd wouldn't even bother. Every single print I've ever sold in my life was due
    to someone seeing the real deal.
     
  23. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    drew,
    why do you have a website ?
     
  24. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I already answered that. It kinda goes along with owning a business. Just a modern business card. I haven't updated the damn thing since I first put it up. No need. When I finally get to modernizing it, I'll probably strip all the images of except a few token ones. Way back I had a very well connected pro ask to be my rep, so I made a big set of high-quality copy slides like were standard in those days (and far better for actual visual presentation than the damn web, if a lot more clumsy). Then I transitioned at the request of a few repeat customers already familiar with the quality of my work. But they always wanted to see prints in person anyway... and only about 5% of my images come across even vaguely on the web. None of the subtle color or extreme detail is conveyed. So it's a very low priority thing for me now. I've had hits and comments from almost every country in the world, but so what. As far as I'm concerned, the web is just the new norm of visual mediocrity, and it's damn sad that it's all that much of the younger generation knows.
     
  25. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Drew, I want to say this as politely as possible, and not come off like a total jerk, but in my opinion I would suggest you taking down the website entirely and just posting something about you as photographer and that the website will be updated in the future, or to contact you directly for prints.

    The site design you have is just awful and images are terrible representation of what you could produce I suppose based on what you've talked about. I saw the images on your site and I can't see a single one that is at all appealing to me, they all look like they were taken with a Lomo camera.

    This is not to be harsh, I recognize that all the images are very old, when scanning and posting imagery on the Internet was not at all what it is today, I'm just saying that it might actually detract people from purchasing from you because the images aren't up to date.

    Just thought I would give you some constructive criticism, I know my site isn't much better hah! But I also use other outlets that allow me to attract many more people such as Instagram and Tumblr which are modern sites with millions (probably billions) of users to view my content. I just haven't hit the last step which is being able to sell the work...
     
  26. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Bingo, Stone... Yeah, the site was indeed set up by one of the most qualified people in Silicon Valley, who still has a very high reputation for
    building sites for even the techie corps; and low JPEQ content was considered crucial for speed back then. But the parameters of the web still
    haven't changed much in terms of its limitations in this regard. And it is a very low priority for me. I figure I'll retool it once (and if) I get the
    physical gallery going in a couple years of so, but that's a complicated issue in its own right. I've got bigger fish to fry at the moment. But thanks (and no offense taken).