For some a gallery is not needed. If you have the time to market your work and pack up prints for individual sales going to each purchaser then you might not need a gallery. For those who may be on the road a lot, a gallery takes care of a great deal of the logistics. I no longer have any full time assistance, maybe someday I will again, but for now it's a very high expense and there's a long learning curve for most new employees. I rely on galleries as being part of my marketing, as they market my work in their region, and they are also part of the inventory, distribution and delivery system of my work.
The other part of being with a brick and mortar gallery is that they do add to the perception that you are an established artist. This may not be as needed when you are in fact an established artist, but in the beginning it does add greater credibility.
Buying art on the internet does have some risk. Look at EBay, they have all sorts of security programs and safe guards and scams still happen daily. And you're also buying a print that you have not actually seen firsthand. When you go to a gallery, there's a sense that they may have greater integrity because they have something valuable to lose if they screw up, their reputation and then possibly their investment in their business. Also their obvious investment in a real business location, all the inventory they possess would indicate to most that there is a commitment there. In addition you can see the actual print you are buying and can even take it with you. When you buy on the internet, you do buy somewhat blind and that is going to be a tough issue for internet dedicated sellers to resolve.
i'm with you murray!
Originally Posted by MurrayMinchin
Jim- you missed a point in the next sentence or two--
Originally Posted by Jim Jones
I said that if he wanted to go down a certain career path, which by approaching prestige galleries about showing his work, he is suggesting he is interested in, then he will at some point need to switch tracks. If not, then he doesn't need to. I also said that it is a judgement call that he needs to make for himself, and none of us should criticize it because we're not the ones who had to make it. I agree, there is room for all styles of photography marketing under the giant art tent. Certain styles will lead to certain outcomes - you just have to decide which outcome you want, and if you are willing to make the compromises it requires to achieve it. If you want fame and fortune from your artwork, then you go down the major gallery marketing route. If you want to make your friends and neighbors happy, then you don't market your work and don't put a pricetag on it. There's also lots of space in-between. Just, whatever path you choose, please don't become another Thomas Kinkade! There's enough mediocre overpriced kitsch in the world as it is!
If in the end it means you lose the smaller market galleries and your "affordable" sales there, then you do that. Maybe you don't do that now, at only four years in the "art" business, but at some point you'll have to, unless you want to intentionally limit your sales and your income. That's a value-call for you to make, and not one that anyone else can make for you, or for anyone to judge you by.
I would not deface my transparencies either, I am hoping to publish several books, I need the images for such publication.
Originally Posted by JBrunner
In marketing my prints to collectors, I've run into some issues with some who have refused to buy my work because it wasn't limited. At the end of the day, I want to make new work rather than printing old work, but I don't like the idea of "retiring" a negative simply to pacify collectors or some market condition. One idea I've considered is doing an initial edition of X number of prints - effectively the first printing of a given negative. Once those prints are sold, I would then charge considerably more to reprint those images again in the future. I'm wondering if this approach, along with price increases every few years, would effectively allow for the best of both worlds?
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No offense taken, more a counterpoint to photographers who think the world is going to beat down their door-
Originally Posted by billschwab
Success is of course a personal concept, but when running ads or promotions many people don't really understand how it works. Anything less than three or four impressions in a given placement is worthless. It takes eight to ten placements to really get any result that could be considered as representative. That means a B&W placement needs at least a year of running to show any results. Thats what any good marketing and PR person can tell you. Its cumulative, not resultant. Even more so with the photo game.
I must have spoken to one timers that hoped for instant return like many do when they first put up a website. Thanks for sharing the success side of those ads.
Originally Posted by JBrunner
I am too in the middle of trying to sell my prints for fundraiser. I usually do not sell or even actively show my prints, but I am trying this time for this purpose.
The thing that I tried to figure out is how to market them, which has been a big question to figure out.
I built a web page dedicated for that in the first place. Also, I certainly was hoping that the people who would buy the prints are people I have a personal contact with. So we did a fundraising party for them. Sure enough I have sold several so far.
But I do need to reach more than people that I know personally to achieve the amount of money that I need. So, I borrow a mailing list from one of the small very reputable publications for a very reasonable fee. I sent out about 1500 postcards to the people on the mailing list.
I am just about to place an ads in one of the small photography publications which will run the same ads quarterly for a year. This is a rather small publication, and I like images that I see. Also, I just started one here at APUG.
Now, I am getting these prints framed and go around the city to place them with some additional information. Anything from coffee shops to furniture stores. These are stores whose owner that I know well. I am framing the same print for these different locations in the city so that people became familiar with the image.
I am about to write press release to local news papers and magazines hoping that it will catch someone's eye. If someone writes about it, it would be a great publicity for us.
I am also considering of contacting to newly built condos in the city to see if I could put pictures up in their hallway. There was a surge of building condos in the city for a last couple of years, so that means there is a lot more walls to be decorated with some art.
My idea is that you do not know where people see your image and buy one. Certainly catering to "collectors" is one way to go, but my guess is that there is a lot more people out there do not necessarily consider themselves as a collector but still buy some arts for their wall.
So, I am doing a series of marketing one after another to publicize the print sale. Again, I am not recognized as a photographer in the area, and I do not do this usually which are not advantageous for me. It takes time and needs creative thinking. But, I am trying to figure out what would work and hope that accumulative marketing will work somewhat to my ends.
Last edited by Shinnya; 12-29-2006 at 02:14 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Tsuyoshi, This is right along the lines of a self-promotional campaign thread I just started. Your story would be a great one there if you don't mind sharing more.
Originally Posted by Shinnya
there is a seller on ebay who does nudes - he makes 5 prints, keeps one for himself, sells the other 4 each with a 1/4 of the negative. visions of grandeur i think.
Originally Posted by JBrunner