So I had a booth at a Art and Crafts show this past weekend
I thought I would share my adventure with my fellow apugers.
This past weekend I did my first art and crafts show to try and sell a few photos. It was a two day event in Burlington, Ontario. The weather was perfect and the show was well attended.
I was selling prints in two sizes... 8x10 black and white prints matted to 16x20 for $100 and 16x20 black and white prints matted and framed with a nice black wood frame for $300.
All the prints were black and white landscapes, shot on an 8x10 camera on film, printed by me on Ilford FB Galerie. A rather purist approach for this show.
The first day I sold one 16x20 and one 8x10.
The second day I sold three 8x10's.
I had a great deal of interest and gave out many cards but it was hard to convert the interest into hard sales.
Open to comments and suggestions.
That's great news.
Did the sales cover your expenses?
I'm not sure .... the booth cost was $250. Plus I had printed and matted about 30 prints to take to the show.... of course I still have these to sell at the art fair next month.
I would say that seems pretty successful - well done. On reading this, I thought "he's probably covered his costs". This is something I've never done myself, but I have seen a market in Sydney a few times where there are about three or four different photographers, most of whose work is very nice, and they seem to turn over quite a few prints each week. No doubt your business will improve a little each time.
Art Shows and Art and Craft Shows are a tough business. I have been doing them for about 10 years as my main source of income. Sales can be very erratic. I sell color Nature, Landscape, and Wildlife. Over time, I have increased the image sizes till now I sell most of my work in the image sizes of 9" x 14" to 24" x 30" (most work now in the larger sizes). My work is digitally printed off a Chromira machine. Additionally, I have changed from metal to custom made wood frames and most of my work sells in framed form.
Good luck. If I can give any pointers send me a PM.
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I'd say that's an excellent result Rob,
it's very hard to tap into selling any kind of artwork
lots of people say "I love black and white", or "I love your work", but they won't buy
well done, try again
You're off to a good start. I've exhibited at just one arts & crafts show a year for about 20 years, and business has steadily improved. You should have much more sophisticated and affluent customers than in my town of 8,000 in rural Missouri. That show attracts only between 5000 and 10,000 over two days. Booth space is $60. In this market I sell traditional 11x14 B&W prints archivally mounted and matted for $20, and framed for $40. To keep costs down I do all all mounting, matting, and framing. Around here buyers are neither rich nor sophisticated. Repeat customers are frequent. As people become more familiar with your work, you should have repeat buyers and more sales in other venues. From your sales and from talking to viewers you'll gain knowledge about what sells best. In addition to cards, consider making up a brochure with information and examples of your work, and a bio. Desktop publishing is great for this.
Good job Rob! You should be happy for your first outing. You'll be buying "Sunshine Artist" and hitting the road in no time! As Jim said, repeaters and small item sales will help a lot. I know people that continue to make a very nice living doing the show circuit.
Hey, that's awesome!
After doing this, a show in the local museum or library doesn't seem so daunting does it?
Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.
From a customer point of view I think a variety in sizes is probably helpful to generate sales. Since you can't go any smaller than the 8x10 contact prints, you are limited there. But, I think you might be able to generate more interest if you had an example 8x10 negative displayed perhaps along with the camera. That would probably make a fair amount of potential customers very curious, give a sense of something well out of the ordinary and aligned to their idea of the great popular iconic landscape photographers like Ansel Adams who use such large cameras.
Frame a couple of those matted 8x10s as well. That way they could have the option of a ready-to-hang print at a lower price than the 16x20s. The convenience factor might kick in there and spur further sales. I know if I were to buy a print I generally wouldn't want to frame it myself and I'd realize a custom frame job would cost extra which might make me think twice about a purchase.