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  1. #21
    Aggie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck94022
    And what magazine might that be, Emulsion maven...
    Naw not me, we are about the nuts and bolts of doing and portfolios of those who do. I leave the marketing to B&W and others that are good at it.
    Non Digital Diva

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck94022
    I too do not sell photos for a living, but I have been a potential customer in a gallery. Does that count?
    ...
    Chuck,

    As a potential buyer, you are the most qualified person on the forum to answer this question . I hope others chime in too.

    Thanks for your thoughts. I'll think most carefully about your answer.

    Cheers,
    Graeme Hird
    www.scenebyhird.com

    Failure is NOT an option! It comes bundled with your software ....

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graeme Hird
    Niko,

    You suggested denying being the photographer or in some other way misrepresenting one's relationship with the photographs. I call that dishonesty, but you are free to disagree.

    As I mentioned earlier, my gallery is essentially my retail outlet. There are no "openings" with wine and canned smiles. We open 6 days a week during normal retail hours. Much as I'd like to give out wine to all our customers, I think the Liquor Licensing Board might have a thing or two to say about it. I'm the same person in the gallery as I am when I'm out making photos, running workshops or at home with the family (or for that matter, typing over the internet).

    Anyway, enough of my defencive stance. My wife runs the gallery for 6 hours a day, Monday to Friday. She doesn't have any better sales ratio than I do, even though I'm intimately involved with each photo (which is why I stated the photos sell themselves). She is a good example of the "slightly disassociated" person who is trying to sell my work. Neither of us have ever worked in retail before this venture - we simply interact with customers in the same manner as we would with anyone - as friends.

    Do I want to be good at marketing my work? You bet!!! Then both my wife and I can make a full time living from it (only she does at the moment).

    Cheers,
    I have to say I'm surprised by your defensive stance. I don't believe I said anything warranting that, but sorry if I did.

    My "wonderings" concern the formation of opinion. As idealist as we tend to be as individuals, believing we are able to decide for ourselves what to wear, what to listen to, and what art to buy, the truth of the matter is otherwise. You will have trend-setters, early adopters or some other catchy term used by marketeers. They are the ones who form an opinion and act as leaders which many of the followers use to "form" their own opinion.

    In this marketing context (that's what the thread was about, no?), is it possible for the creator to efficiently act as the trend-setter? Or is it more effective to have a third party between the artist and the potential buyer that can be seen as "independently" validating the customer's purchase? A buyer, daunted by the unknown value of a piece, would be comforted by a critic writing positively for example. Even more so if a friend of the buyer could say, "Hey, I bought one for X." Or if a gallery having bought the artists work for resale... etc etc. The artist can not offer that independent validation the buyer is seeking, just as Nike or Quicksilver can not offer that validation to their customers. Of course they will say their surfer shorts are the hippest etc. They lack that certain "credibility" by being too close to the product. Instead, they (try to) cultivate a group of opinion formers and trend setters, who then evangelize to the followers while appearing to be independent (sponsorship as an example).
    That's the only question I was trying to raise. Is this approach, widely applied to the consumerist world, applicable to art?
    If you tone it down alot, it almost becomes bearable.

    - Walker Evans on using color

  4. #24

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    It seems that the approach is applied to art in that people are often compared to sheep in their tendency to follow. A good marketer would, of course, attempt to put a trendsetter in a positive light. Art, on the other hand, at least to me, should rise above this hustle and come from a place of purity (not necessarily in a moral way but a single-hearted sort of way). I would love to have my work sell and become popular, but not at the expense of charlantry or sales propoganda. If art is meant to inspire and if it comes from a place within then isn't that enough? The approach you are suggesting seems to smack of manipulation which ultimately causes resentment and cheapens the true value of the art into a 'how many' or 'how much' business. A person may live in more economic ease doing so but I would think that the process of attempted influence, be it overt or covert, would diminish the artist. We must each find our own way.

  5. #25

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    Hi Niko,

    I think I assumed you were attacking me personally with the message:
    Quote Originally Posted by NikoSperi
    Who exactly is the one forming a "relationship" with the buyer? The Graeme that offers the wine glass and the canned smile at the gallery, or the one that spends lonely hours on a hilltop waiting through the night to catch those epic lightning strikes on film? Can you be good at both? And more importantly, do you want to be?
    No matter which way I look at it, you appear to imply hypocrisy on my part. You have implied that I deal with people differently when I'm selling my work to when I'm out making photographs.

    Such an affront is bound to prompt me to defend my integrity, hence the defencive stance.

    There is principle tenant through which I live my life: Treat others as you would like to be treated. You might do well to heed that advice too unless, of course, you prefer to be duped into buying something of little value by a sneaky photographer's agent.

    Regards,
    Graeme Hird
    www.scenebyhird.com

    Failure is NOT an option! It comes bundled with your software ....

  6. #26

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    Hmmm...I think you are missing the point. If you are showing at a gallery and they are taking commision to sell your work, it is their job to sell the prints, not yours. At the opening you should just have a good time, enjoy your 15 min of fame and let the gallery people do their job.

  7. #27
    NikoSperi's Avatar
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    Graeme, I don't know you from Adam. Why on earth would I attack you personally? Everything I said using the word "you", I can and do say using the word "I". Am I the best person to sell my own work? C'est tout. It was a simple thought and you've all gone and gotten your knickers into a twist. So, the spell it out in B&W: I never called you a hypocrit a fake a charlatan or any other term you may have deemed offensive. Maybe the OP to this entire thread was right, and you need a little more self-assurance in your own work and the way you talk about it? But as far as I'm concerned, my addition to the thread only revolved around how many consumeristic marketing principles can be applied to the Fine Art product. You were the counterpoint example of the artist/salesman in one. I believe they should be apart. Witness the Yann Arthus Bertrand machine, the Philippe Plisson machine, pretty much the entire approach brought on by french publisher La Martinière.
    If you tone it down alot, it almost becomes bearable.

    - Walker Evans on using color

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge
    Hmmm...I think you are missing the point. If you are showing at a gallery and they are taking commision to sell your work, it is their job to sell the prints, not yours. At the opening you should just have a good time, enjoy your 15 min of fame and let the gallery people do their job.
    You know, that's got the ring of truth to it. Maybe I should just hang back to answer any questions concerning the actual making of the work. Yeah. They are getting (up to 50%) commission to sell my work for me, so that I don't have to stand around a booth in Union Square and do it myself.

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