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.
why do you have a website ?
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.
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.
Originally Posted by DREW WILEY
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...
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).
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Back to the OP's question, yes I do sell my work and in a number of ways although I've scaled it back in recent years because of very infrequent darkroom access while living abroad (outside the UK). I do some commercial work (non analog) but plan to resume traditional prints ales when I get a new darkroom setup (it may be temporary).
I sell through workshops, Exhibitions and Galleries, plus a few on-line although that side could be vastly improved. Apart from sales I've also had support & sponsorship from Arts bodies and suppliers and I think that support for production is extremely important - if the work merits it.
I started exposing negatives with my solarization project about 10 years ago, I started putting my images out there for sale about two years ago, I am selling mainly to people in the Toronto GTA . I have shown here a few times in Gallery settings here in Toronto and that is where my sales are coming from.
I have moved my work to three locations , Calgary, Riverside, Springfield,Louisville, I have not sold anything from those showings, but I feel that one must show the work, and get more and more people looking and liking your work, the sales will follow, but it is hard work and needs an investment of your time, and money, as well marketing the best you can.
I think that once I have shown 25 more times in Locations other than my home town, my sales will increase and be worth the investment.
I am not interested in grants, as a small business owner I do not fit the criterea, but I am willing to put all my effort into creating, printing, framing and moving the work to venues that want to show my work.
I feel strongly about my work, and I think the prints are as good as I can produce , and am willing to wait another 15-30 years to be an overnite sensation.
Other than the flavour of the months , I think it takes 15 -25 years to hit the market properly and those not willing to be patient and or invest in their work really do not stand a chance of selling for large $$$.
I must also add that I am prepared for the worst and be in the position of leaving behind editions of all my work in nice archival boxes, without ever realizing my goals.
Oh good, I only have 12 years more or so of being patient!
Originally Posted by Bob Carnie
I've had a couple of good years where I've sold more than a dozen prints, which was nice for me, because it was enough income to sustain the hobby.
But lately the economy has changed a lot, and it's difficult to get people to invest in prints, so that made me stop trying a couple of years ago. But I also stopped because I just didn't have time to pursue opportunities anymore. Working more than full time, I went through divorce, moved twice in a year, and going to school for a degree, all at the same time, means I don't even have time to print. So, in the unlikely event that anybody would like to purchase a print from me, it's sad but true to say I wouldn't even have time to make the print.
Maybe when I'm done with school and things settle down I can spend more time on it. I see a couple of my photography friends having some commercial success, which is really good to see, but only after they work really hard at it, and also spend a lot of money on it. Money is another really rare commodity in the Bertilsson bank account.
It is strange, because I feel that when I print, I am producing the best work I've ever produced, but I have no time, literally, to bring it in front of other people or potential buyers.
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
don't hang or advertise in libraries. they are only frequented by people who are to cheap to buy books!
Last edited by RalphLambrecht; 12-13-2013 at 08:15 PM. Click to view previous post history.