I apologize if I'm blunt with some of my comments. Owning most any small business, especially in the 21st century is a challenge!
I'm new to LF photography but already, I can see my potential in selling quality prints as a way to gain more experience and cover the cost of attending a workshop. Let's face it - workshops are very expensive. If I could sell a print or two, to pay for a workshop, it would be more than worth it to me.
Great, you have taken up Large Format Photography!
You need to sell more than a print or two or you need to keep a day job. Don't look at getting sales to cover just costs. Work on more than that. Aim high because you may come in lower than that!
I just finished a 1-week workshop that was inexpensive compared to the costs of a lot of workshops being offered and it was well worth the money I spent. If one attends one or two workshops a year, the cost of the workshop, plus travel expenses, hotel accommodations, and food quickly add up. One could easily spend $1500 or more on a single workshop not including travel, food and lodging. And in my case, the cost of a rental car.
Some workshops I pay that per person. That's one reason why good professional photographers charge what they do!
So if you've spent $1500 to gain the knowledge to produce a fine print - where's the breaking even point for selling the artistic byproduct (print, etc.)?
You have to figure that out! Sorry! Look at the workshop expense as an investment. Go there to learn. You can do some socializing but that shouldn't be the main focus of your time! With Monte Zucker we started at breakfast around 7:30 AM took a few breaks, lunch, dinner, then worked until sunset. Made beautiful sunset photos at the beach in Florida!
Knowing ones potential market and pricing accordingly, really means knowing your potential target clientèle. I think it is just as easy to under-price one's work as it is to over-price it. Undercutting yourself is not a good idea, so how do you find a balance between the time and work you put into making a print, and offsetting those cost in the selling price? How much is your time worth? Your creativity? I think the materials cost is much easier to figure out.
You need to know your competition as well, especially when first starting out. Some who have a "name" associated with notiority get more money. It's usually taken them a long time to get to that level!
Also, at this stage in my photographic development, I wouldn't want to spend a lot of time in the traditional darkroom. I think scanning film negs and making prints from digital negs would be my best option. I'm way ahead of the curve in setting up a digital darkroom versus a traditional darkroom.
Then find a good printer that works for you. Scanning is an alternative but I recommend getting a quality lab to make you prints be it analog or digital. Three good ideas to help with time management:
So my question is this: How does one promote themselves in such a way, as to finance attending 2 maybe 3 workshops a year?
Many ways. I'll mention a couple. Do you go to a dentist? How about using the office walls to show your work? Rotate the prints every 3 months or so. Do it for free. See if you can have business cards on site. Where do you do your banking? Another spot to check out. Your Church or other places of worship? The library. Coffee shops. Flower shops. Bakeries. Offer to do photography for them.
I make photos of cake, flower, presider and give a disc to them. Great PR.
Restaurants. Retail stores. Hotels & motels. Let your mind wander. Try them all. Even if they say "no" keep on trying.