Saturday, October 21, 2006

Low Cost Prints, Photographers and Market

Scott's comments about selling are I think very important and deserved more than just a comment. Scott uses the experience of Brooks Jenson of Lenswork to illustrate selling large numbers of inexpensive prints. I tried selling 8X10 images for $19 at the local Farmers Market and if I was lucky I'd sell a few a day, yet sell 5 or 6 13X19 @ $69 and one or two really large ones for $250+.

I wanted to get rid of the small prints after trying this for a few months but my daughter pointed out that people looked at the $19 prints but bought larger ones - so to keep them.

I believe Brooks was selling larger images for $20 but to be fair he has a huge captured market for his work.

I found that at the farmers market anyone walking around with an slr around their neck was first off very unlikely to even stop to look at the images and second, almost certainly not going to buy one - even though they sometimes took up a lot of my time.

No, my market was the general public. I sold mostly colour images but there was definitely a population of young people interested in Black and White and also interested in the more abstact or industrial images as artwork as opposed to a pretty picture.

I note that probably one of the most successful photographers of fine art work is Alain Briot. Mind you he's a shameless hustler of his work (he even got The Online Photographer to promote his new book - nice going.

He has a picture of the month which he sells fairly reasonably ($100). He made his money off art shows to start - never galleries, and he worked damn hard, and had his wife working with him, and spent many many hours on framing and matting and packaging - a full time occupation in other words.

It's unrealistic I think for anyone who wants to spend less than 8 hours a weeks selling (not photographing) to even expect to break even, never mind make an income.

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