General question about selling images from the web

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JAM, Jun 11, 2005.

  1. JAM

    JAM

    119
    Apr 30, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    The other day, my wife - who is both my fiercest critic and biggest supporter - suggested I look into selling prints of of some of my work on the net. This all started because a friend asked me to participate in a July art show, and little did I know what I'd be getting into trudging down the galley show route. Getting decent 20 X 30 inch prints made and going through the framing experience, not to mention all the schmoozing required is a little more then I bargained for.

    So we searched ePrey looking at what the photo market looks like there and its pretty dismal. The only thing there seemed to be a demand for were old celebrity photos that seemed to be autographed by the celeb. (I say 'seemed to' because there is no reliable provenance for this) Well, that wasn't fruitful.

    Looking at some of the more upscale art sites, it seemed that photos from dead photographers with a name were selling, but since I'm not dead yet and my name is known mostly to creditors, that too didn't seem promising.

    Being aware of these hosting sites that allow previewing images and then enabling the viewer to order prints, I was curious to know what any of you have to say about those. Are they truly worth the effort (no bloviating, now)?

    Or maybe with the zillions of digicams out there and endless places which make prints from said digicams, there just isn't much of a market for this stuff anymore.

    Anyone?
     
  2. MontyDog

    MontyDog

    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
     
  3. Gale

    Gale

    978
    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    I would sure like to know as well :>)))))))
     
  4. Larry Gleason

    Larry Gleason

    373
    Jan 26, 2005
    Don't think that a living could ever be made from "web-sales" and like most, I'm not out to make money from photography. Even though I have a gallery and magazine to vent through, I still keep photos on-line to pick up sales every so often. That is because once you get in with an ad agency or other publishing company and they know where to look, they will visit you albums from time to time to see what you have new that they can use. I think of the web as more as a portfolio than a direct sale location.
     
  5. JAM

    JAM

    119
    Apr 30, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Larry,

    It almost sounds like hooking up with a stock outfit is what you're proposing. Have you ever investigated that?

    I agree that 'making a living' from photography is tenuous and may be getting even more so, given the ever increasing tide of quite capable P&S cameras out there. There's also the fact that, in most cases, someone who buys a photo is making a purely discretionary purchase. Its not essential that they buy it.

    One clue to the broader market, especially for prints, is to peruse those home fashion magazines and see what people put on their walls. Not many photographic prints as far as I can tell. It just isn't fashionable these days, and maybe never has been.

    Same disappointment when going through local galleries - 'art' made by elephants and chimps with a paint brush maybe, but almost no photographic prints are hanging.

    The postcard business seems to be still thriving - especially in local tourist traps. Has anyone looked into that outlet?
     
  6. Larry Gleason

    Larry Gleason

    373
    Jan 26, 2005
    Now I know why these double entries show up. I hit the submit button by mistake and then backed up the browser to write a reply. At least one way it happens and can't delete because my response post blocks the deletion.
     
  7. Larry Gleason

    Larry Gleason

    373
    Jan 26, 2005
    I did look at stock photography as an option but I had made a decision early on that I wanted to become a "signature" photographer rather than sell without a name. Stock photography is a way to make money but since I don't need photography to make a living, I wanted to reach further out even though it takes longer.

    We find that people are buying framed photographic prints for their home walls more than ever now. So are businesses. Remember, even the local McDonald's has one of my prints above the soft drinks (I'm not picky).

    The other thing is that the gallery prints a lot of my stuff on canvas and that is wonderful for photographs.

    I view postcards like note cards and I have two series of note cards out. They do sell but here is the rub for both (postcards & note cards). The initial investment as an individual in printing and packaging (note cards) is high and the return sometimes doesn't seem worth it because it takes a long time to clear the shelf. Investment can run 40% for a quality product, 30% to seller, and that leaves you 30% profit for a high number of items that sell in low dollars over a long period of time. Big companies that do postcards and note cards can get a better and faster turn-around by sheer volume. The good side is that these items can benefit your overall name to product lines from a publicity standpoint if you fore-go them as a high money maker. I've talked to several well-known artists and they have said the same thing. Not a money maker but they still do it for the name recognition and the availability for some people that really want them.
     
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