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Author Topic: Where should I sell my work?  (Read 3074 times)
Jason Denning
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« on: January 04, 2010, 10:44:26 PM »
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Hi All

I've been taking many photos over the years, and it's time to start making some money from my hard work so wondered if anyone had any advice on where to sell them, most of them I want to put on a stock library, others (my better ones) I'm not sure what to do with as I think they are worth more than stock. I shoot mainly landscapes and cityscapes, some macro. I've attached an example.

Thanks

Jason[attachment=19183:london_eye_feb_08.jpg]
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jenbenn
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2010, 08:15:37 AM »
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Quote from: satch111
Hi All

I've been taking many photos over the years, and it's time to start making some money from my hard work so wondered if anyone had any advice on where to sell them, most of them I want to put on a stock library, others (my better ones) I'm not sure what to do with as I think they are worth more than stock. I shoot mainly landscapes and cityscapes, some macro. I've attached an example.

Thanks

Jason[attachment=19183:london_eye_feb_08.jpg]
For stock you could try alamy. They pay very good per license, but it takes some stamina and careful editing to actually make sales. You will only make real money there if you did shoot your pics specifically for the stock market with a good sense of what people might want to buy and what is missing in the alamy library. I have about 500pics (manly travel) online and made   five or six sales in about 3 years. On average I made 200 Euros per sale. The highest sale came from a photo that was licensed to TIME Magazine.
For gallery type images you can try LUMAS (just google it) You can apply online via a pdf portfolio. Be aware however that they look for very specific kind of images and even if your photos are very good they may not want them because they dont fit their portfolio. ( Very generally speaking and with some exceptions, they look for desaturated, green tinted out of focus images that look like old school polaroid stuff.I have to admit that this is not my kind of thing.)

For nature images there are a few online poster stores that accept submissions by virtually everybody. Dont expect sales however, if your image is just added to some online library and burried there among thousands and thousands other presumably not so good images. If you make a sale through this kind of businesses profits are usually marginal and not worth the effort.

In essence: You can always do stock. If you want to sell art as in prints and your work does not fit into a gallerys portfolio you need to do self promotion. Try to sell prints locally directly to people. If you are successful you could set up a gallery.  You will increase your chances to get into a gallery if your pictures have been published a lot and can be considered artistic or the very least decorative.
To be honest, these days people buy only three kinds of photos to hang on the wall: 1) photos taken by people who have a big name in the business 2) Photos taken by someone they know personally 3)Photos whose artistic quality is "certified" by a reputed art gallery.
Apart from that  pictures only sells if they are fit for the particular purpose of the customer.

One last idea: If you dont mind your pictures being perceived as decorative items rather than art, you could approach a home decor store and ask whtether they would sell prints of your pictures. Again, your pictures would have to fit the stores style.
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EduPerez
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2010, 03:42:43 PM »
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Anyone has comments about sites that sell prints (like RedBubble, for example)?
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markhout
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2010, 05:03:41 PM »
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Quote from: EduPerez
Anyone has comments about sites that sell prints (like RedBubble, for example)?

Think these sites should be part of a grander marketing / business development plan. As noted above, these sites carry far too many not-so-great images for beter marketable images to rise above.

But they do work as a part of self-marketing, e.g. as outsourced printers / fulfillment centers. In all of my 2 years or so at Imagekind I sold one pic, gross turnover $36 (under their $50 quick-payment threshold!).

I found out the long and hard way that the Internet plays a very limited role in fine art sales. I sell mostly locally, to friends, other parents or coffeeshop visitors. Charitable auctions work wonders to build a name/reputation. The audience want to have some personal rapport with the artist... Redbubble, Imagekind, Etsy etc to my mind only serve as fulfillment alternatives - if needed. Your own website supports local marketing and acts as a storefront. There are some links on mine to Imagekind, but they are hardly if ever used.

Have a look at Alain Briot's website - he is not only a great artist, but also a brilliant promoter/marketeer.
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2010, 09:18:45 PM »
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Potential sales venues are going to depend a great deal on your subject matter. Stock sales can generate some income, but the best sellers are images that are either somewhat generic or at the very least not location specific. If your outdoor photos feature highly recognizable locations, your potential market is going to be limited.

If your photos feature significant detail which give away the location, you might be best trying to pedal your wares to local business, marketing companies, galleries, etc, as they will have the most interest in such images.

Online sales are always an option, although there a couple of big hurdles to overcome. The first is getting potential customers to even know you exist. That will take some time and legwork. The second, and by far most difficult,  is getting people to open their wallets to purchase a print they have only seen online.

As far as these generic web-based stock agencies,  there's not a lot of money to be made in such ventures, except by the company itself. At best, you're likely to make just enough to pay for the time it took you to upload the photos. Whether or not that's what you'll be satisfied with is up to you.
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Jason Denning
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2010, 10:02:25 PM »
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Thanks for the input, has anyone managed to sell an image to a big department store? I may try and contact ikea.....
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EduPerez
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2010, 01:52:57 AM »
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Quote from: markhout
Think these sites should be part of a grander marketing / business development plan. As noted above, these sites carry far too many not-so-great images for beter marketable images to rise above.

But they do work as a part of self-marketing, e.g. as outsourced printers / fulfillment centers. In all of my 2 years or so at Imagekind I sold one pic, gross turnover $36 (under their $50 quick-payment threshold!).

I found out the long and hard way that the Internet plays a very limited role in fine art sales. I sell mostly locally, to friends, other parents or coffeeshop visitors. Charitable auctions work wonders to build a name/reputation. The audience want to have some personal rapport with the artist... Redbubble, Imagekind, Etsy etc to my mind only serve as fulfillment alternatives - if needed. Your own website supports local marketing and acts as a storefront. There are some links on mine to Imagekind, but they are hardly if ever used.

Have a look at Alain Briot's website - he is not only a great artist, but also a brilliant promoter/marketeer.

That is the impression I had, thanks for the confirmation.

Quote from: satch111
Thanks for the input, has anyone managed to sell an image to a big department store? I may try and contact ikea.....

Have you seen the prices of the fine-art sold at Ikea? Perhaps you will get lots of sales, but the price per print is really low.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 01:55:10 AM by EduPerez » Logged

Gary Ferguson
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2010, 10:34:16 AM »
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Quote from: satch111
Hi All

I've been taking many photos over the years, and it's time to start making some money from my hard work so wondered if anyone had any advice on where to sell them, most of them I want to put on a stock library, others (my better ones) I'm not sure what to do with as I think they are worth more than stock. I shoot mainly landscapes and cityscapes, some macro. I've attached an example.

Thanks

Jason[attachment=19183:london_eye_feb_08.jpg]

Jason, absolutely no criticism of the shot that you posted, but I'd be cautious about its market value in the internet era.

My best stock library earners certainly haven't been my "best" photographs, they've been the shots that the commercial market is searching for.

For example, I earn comparatively little from my portfolios of Rio, the Kremlin, the Taj Mahal, or the Great Wall. But my mundane shots illustrating the growing purchasing power of the emerging middle classes in Brazil, Russia, India, and China sell very, very nicely. The harsh truth is that the stock market doesn't value what we as photographers value. That perfect sunrise as a group of worshippers immerse themselves in the Ganges may be a very satisfying shot to take, but it'll be crushed in terms of earning power by a scene showing a respectable family in Chennai standing outside a hypermarket loading groceries into their modest saloon car.
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NoahJackson
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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2010, 12:26:19 PM »
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I have been selling my work since about 2001. I'm just starting to sell image rights of my work. I recommend art shows. It's very hard work but there is a lot of support and information. There is a wonderful yahoo group forum. The specific name of the group is artshow_photo. Good luck. Send me a PM if you want more information.
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