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Author Topic: Print Sales  (Read 19425 times)
Neil Hunt
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« on: March 09, 2008, 09:30:30 AM »
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Just picking up on some posts elsewhere in 'The Art of Photography' section on this forum, which is obviously where all the best folk hang out instead of with the gearheads in 'Equipment & Techniques' (Sorry that was a joke - honest!)

It just seems to me that many photographers have this notion that if they are really good at it, they can stick up a gallery on-line and people will pay them good money for prints. I'd love to know what the revenues from this really are, because I just can't see it.

Gallery sales - yes, using the internet as the point of sale for interest generated elsewhere - yes, specialisation, like marketing to enthusiasts of aircraft, buses, trains, animals etc - yes.

But I just can't see why someone would pay a lot of cash for an art print, which is afterall a physical artifact sight unseen over the net.

I'd really be interested to hear the views of anyone who makes a living from this?

Neil.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2008, 09:30:55 AM by Neil Hunt » Logged

wolfnowl
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2008, 01:32:52 PM »
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Alain Briot has a series of article on this.  Check out http://www.beautiful-landscape.com

Mike.
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amcinroy
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2008, 05:50:20 AM »
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Neil,

You are right, people won't pay a lot of money for a print seen online.

But if you have a reputation and a niche then they can sell in good numbers. Word gets round.

http://www.skyandstone.com
« Last Edit: March 11, 2008, 05:50:36 AM by amcinroy » Logged

Andy McInroy Photography
Landscapes of Ireland and Great Britain
http://www.andymcinroy.com
Neil Hunt
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2008, 06:19:03 PM »
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Mike,

The thing about Alain Briot is that he's not really talking about selling on-line I'd guess most of his no doubt considerable sales are generated from shops, galleries, shows, seminars etc etc. The internet has definitely got a use for closing deals, where someone already knows what they want to an extent, but I still can't se it as a primary income stream. Perhaps thats what amcinroy is alluding to with his comment 'word gets around.'

Neil.
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2008, 07:25:11 PM »
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But I just can't see why someone would pay a lot of cash for an art print, which is afterall a physical artifact sight unseen over the net.

I'd really be interested to hear the views of anyone who makes a living from this?

Neil.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180212\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Prints do sell online.

I do it, and I know others who successfully do it too. My website returns a healthy profit in direct print sales.

It's not about 'sight unseen', it's about traffic. People will indeed buy good images online if you can establish your credentials as a trustworthy dealer but no-one is going to do this if you can't get traffic to your site.
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Nick Rains
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alainbriot
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2008, 11:03:15 PM »
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Just to set things straight I do make a lot of print sales online.  I won't repeat what Nick says because he said it well.  I'll just say that I concur with him.
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Alain Briot
Author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Composition, Creativity and Personal Style., Marketing Fine Art Photography and How Photographs are Sold.
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
amcinroy
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2008, 04:29:14 AM »
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It's not about 'sight unseen', it's about traffic.

Exactly. Anyone who does a search for the popular query of "ireland landscape photography" will understand why I make a few sales.

Andy
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Andy McInroy Photography
Landscapes of Ireland and Great Britain
http://www.andymcinroy.com
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2008, 09:59:20 AM »
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I doubt if any photographer makes a living at it exclusively through a web site. Anyone considering use of a website for photographic sales would do well to study the sites and backgrounds of Alain, Nick, and Andy.

Here are some of my observations, from a quick glance at each of their websites:

1.   Each of them has had substantial exposure through exhibitions and galleries, where potential buyers can see real prints.

2.   Each is a superb photographer, both technically and with artistic vision.

3.   Their websites are all elegant, with useful information, and easy-to-navigate web galleries.

I expect you need to establish your reputation through a variety of different avenues, all of which require much hard work. After that, a good website is a valuable marketing resource.
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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Rob C
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2008, 11:08:23 AM »
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That, Eric, is more nor less what Im told by a friend who does painting and photography. He has a long-established reputation via art-school, professional prizes etc. and has had many shows. His advice to me, when I said I was thinking of setting up a site to try direct photo sales, was that the world and his wife are both trying to do that; better that I try my luck first with galleries, and then, only then, if the demand grows I could use the web as a further base. He does have a site of his own.

In fact, it sems that it is ever easier to pour money after dreams than ever it was; so many hungry, shiny outlets...

Ciao - Rob C
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Chris_T
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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2008, 12:48:21 PM »
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Here's someone sharing his success story:

http://www.davebeckerman.com/general/Selling-Photography.htm

In a nutshell, he concluded that "It's harder than it looks." I agree with his assessment that the online buyers who haven't seen the actual prints are not buying "art", but decorating items. They are most likely interested in the subject matters, such as a critter, a face, a place which they must have. [Hint: Those who call their work "fine art" should stop wondering why their sites bring no sale.]

I have no data to support my following thoughts, other than that many are doing it. Sites like Flickr and Smugmug may change the game a little. There, your images are viewed, ranked, and discussed by large communities of captured viewers. Connecting directly to printing services also makes ordering easy, and saves you the trouble of printing and shipping. Some of these sites' gallery designs are quite nice. With a little tweaking, you don't even need your own site.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2008, 12:50:06 PM by Chris_T » Logged
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2008, 02:12:56 PM »
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That, Eric, is more nor less what Im told by a friend who does painting and photography. He has a long-established reputation via art-school, professional prizes etc. and has had many shows. His advice to me, when I said I was thinking of setting up a site to try direct photo sales, was that the world and his wife are both trying to do that; better that I try my luck first with galleries, and then, only then, if the demand grows I could use the web as a further base. He does have a site of his own.

In fact, it sems that it is ever easier to pour money after dreams than ever it was; so many hungry, shiny outlets...

Ciao - Rob C
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181125\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Something like Zenfolio might be of interest to you.  Low power to setup.  Nice look.  No one need know about it unless you hand them a business card with the link.

When you get around to making a Blurb book of the finest of your calendars of the 60's 70's (Not so much the early 70's and that fat faced side effect from the "pill" look.) and 80's, let me know.  (I hope some of the images survived.)
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Rob C
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2008, 04:18:07 PM »
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Something like Zenfolio might be of interest to you.  Low power to setup.  Nice look.  No one need know about it unless you hand them a business card with the link.

When you get around to making a Blurb book of the finest of your calendars of the 60's 70's (Not so much the early 70's and that fat faced side effect from the "pill" look.) and 80's, let me know.  (I hope some of the images survived.)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181489\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for the idea, Mr P, I never had any idea what Zenfolio was about; now, I shall look into it. The pill. Yes, it also seemed to make for overdeveloped shoulders, as I recall, but it was strange that women tended not to notice these things as much as males did. Some few calendar transparencies did survive - Kodachrome 64s - and Im happy to say they scan well. I wish most of my old stuff hadnt been lost when we moved from the UK to Spain, but you cant take it ALL with you when you go, if you see what I mean.

Rob C
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luong
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2008, 07:20:54 PM »
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I doubt if any photographer makes a living at it exclusively through a web site.

I support a family of five in the SF Bay Area exactly that way.

In my experience, the main point is that the ratio of print buyers (and image buyers for that matter) over visitors is microscopic, however, if you have enough traffic (think solid six figures monthly visits) you will sell.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2008, 07:38:18 PM by luong » Logged

Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2008, 11:09:50 PM »
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I support a family of five in the SF Bay Area exactly that way.

In my experience, the main point is that the ratio of print buyers (and image buyers for that matter) over visitors is microscopic, however, if you have enough traffic (think solid six figures monthly visits) you will sell.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181560\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Tuan,

I browsed parts of your website, and I am very much impressed. You do beautiful work!

Would you say that your book publications were helpful in getting more potential customers to your website?
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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Chris_T
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2008, 08:52:26 AM »
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Something like Zenfolio might be of interest to you.  Low power to setup.  Nice look.  No one need know about it unless you hand them a business card with the link.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181489\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I have been debating between Smugmug, Zenfolio and Flickr. My pros and cons:

Smugmug

- lousy name, which you can replace with your own domain at a cost.

- lets you customize to the point that it can appear like a standalone and complete site, with text pages, etc.

- has a huge community, i.e. exposure

- has support and community forums

Zenfolio

- better name, which you can replace with your own domain at a cost.

- better default gallery layout than Smugmug's default

- lacks customization

- much smaller community

- no support or community forum

- revision update very infrequent

Flickr

- great name

- very lousy default gallery layout

- has a huge (biggest?) community, i.e. exposure

- has support and community forums
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Chris_T
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« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2008, 08:55:26 AM »
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I support a family of five in the SF Bay Area exactly that way.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181560\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Q: What is the difference between a photographer and a large pizza?
A: A large pizza can feed a family of four.

Congradulations, you are way ahead.
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luong
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2008, 12:42:34 PM »
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Tuan,

Would you say that your book publications were helpful in getting more potential customers to your website?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181609\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I have no way to know it, but I doubt it. All my publications so far have been individually licensed images. The most has been a few dozens in a NGS book. People don't look at credit lines. On the other hand, I hear that monographs can help with print sales. I have a few in the works, so I'll try to find a way to find out.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2008, 01:18:25 PM »
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On the other hand, I hear that monographs can help with print sales. I have a few in the works, so I'll try to find a way to find out.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181732\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
You certainly have material for several good monographs already. Do post a note here when the first one is available.

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2008, 07:40:02 PM »
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Zenfolio

- no support or community forum

They have a community/support forum.  Just opened up a few days ago.
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viswan
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« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2008, 10:39:13 PM »
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HI:

You might also look into foliolink.  that is what i use for my personal website, and i like it very much.

My new online photo print sales gallery is being constructed with WordPress, but that is another topic.

-Josef
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Many of my photos are on Facebook and Flickr.
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