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Author Topic: A legally binding contractual terms to cooperate selling art-photo ?  (Read 2683 times)
Sunny Alan
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« on: September 09, 2013, 11:10:10 PM »
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Hello,
I am from Kochi, India, with large format digital and screen process graphics printing experience currently in the work out of an Art Gallery; a calibrated, ICC profile environment to reproduce exact color and resolution on quality papers and canvas with Epson large format printing facility. Many fine art painters and art-photographers are joined as associates, welcoming the venture as another  opportunity to sell art in recession-hit times. Marketing is planned through Exhibitions in all major cities in India and through a portal.

Though not in organised manner, fine art is moving but photo prints as an art medium is yet to be accepted in developing countries. Once accepted, it will be a huge market.
In India, as in the case of all developing countries, price must be lower, to enable art to move in numbers. Also India is vast with huge population, middle-income group is growing fast; a piece of art on wall is a trend, of course if affordable.
It is difficult to create market and sell art or photographs direct to India at current prices from USA or UK etc. To lower prices, printing must be done in India, availing Indian low prices.

I am looking for association of photographers to utilise it as chance to sell in developing countries.
THE HURDLE, I am facing is lack of a system, a business model/ a contractual term by which printer-marketer and photographer cooperate and coexist with trust to reap mutual benefit.
Is there any such contractual terms, a legally binding arrangement existing, which ensure artists/photographers right on his work is safe, same time he can entrust his work to printing-marketing agency ?

I am looking for any preposition to make it possible: a win-win situation for both parties.
Opinions, suggestions are most welcome...
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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2013, 01:12:18 PM »
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To lower prices, printing must be done in India, availing Indian low prices.

so did you try to start w/ local photogs in India ? what was your success on a home front, so to say ?
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Bullfrog
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2013, 01:55:19 PM »
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Hello,
I am from Kochi, India, with large format digital and screen process graphics printing experience currently in the work out of an Art Gallery; a calibrated, ICC profile environment to reproduce exact color and resolution on quality papers and canvas with Epson large format printing facility. Many fine art painters and art-photographers are joined as associates, welcoming the venture as another  opportunity to sell art in recession-hit times. Marketing is planned through Exhibitions in all major cities in India and through a portal.

Though not in organised manner, fine art is moving but photo prints as an art medium is yet to be accepted in developing countries. Once accepted, it will be a huge market.
In India, as in the case of all developing countries, price must be lower, to enable art to move in numbers. Also India is vast with huge population, middle-income group is growing fast; a piece of art on wall is a trend, of course if affordable.
It is difficult to create market and sell art or photographs direct to India at current prices from USA or UK etc. To lower prices, printing must be done in India, availing Indian low prices.

I am looking for association of photographers to utilise it as chance to sell in developing countries.
THE HURDLE, I am facing is lack of a system, a business model/ a contractual term by which printer-marketer and photographer cooperate and coexist with trust to reap mutual benefit.
Is there any such contractual terms, a legally binding arrangement existing, which ensure artists/photographers right on his work is safe, same time he can entrust his work to printing-marketing agency ?

I am looking for any preposition to make it possible: a win-win situation for both parties.
Opinions, suggestions are most welcome...

OK.  You've goaded me into responding.

You state India is a developing market.  That isn't really attractive unless the investment I make is rewarded with a higher than average return.  Your post (as I understand that) doesn't appear to offer that (you appear to want artists to sign on and sell cheap if I read between the words - and cheap is only attractive if there is volume, of which there is none).

You say fine art is not a marketable product in India (now) but once accepted it will be huge.   Says who?

Without a business case, or plan, or SOMETHING more than "trust me" , my sense is, you hope or think it will work but really, you have no idea.  And (I guess) you are posting here asking people to validate that.

Fine.  

Accepting i have no experience in off shore marketing, and no real plan to be one, here's my 3 cents (harmonized tax included)  

You want to print in India.  Well, then you would need a fulfillment partner in India that is set up to receive files, register businesses, pay commissions (an accounts payable and receivable system) and have a front end (website I guess) for people to upload and a database large enough to store them.

Not exactly cheap.  And then there's the printers and the entire set up to produce it.  And the staff. And the building to house it all.  If that exists, then you have something to work with and they are the people you should be approaching with your idea before you try to get photographers to sign on.

If it doesn't, well, where is the money going to come from to create it?

Do you have a LOT of money to loose if things don't go as you hoped?  Are you asking people here to front you some?  Why would they ?  If no, what exactly do you want people to provide?

Short answer : I have no idea how you would go about it.  And really nothing to offer except skepticism.  Sorry.


ETA: I really should read your post more carefully.  Sorry.  If you are saying you work in a printing house - well then, make people an offer.  Its chicken egg scenario - no offer, no artist - no artist - no offer
 Huh
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 03:25:54 PM by Bullfrog » Logged
Sunny Alan
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2013, 10:59:30 AM »
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OK.  You've goaded me into responding.

You state India is a developing market.  That isn't really attractive unless the investment I make is rewarded with a higher than average return.  Your post (as I understand that) doesn't appear to offer that (you appear to want artists to sign on and sell cheap if I read between the words - and cheap is only attractive if there is volume, of which there is none).

You say fine art is not a marketable product in India (now) but once accepted it will be huge.   Says who?

Without a business case, or plan, or SOMETHING more than "trust me" , my sense is, you hope or think it will work but really, you have no idea.  And (I guess) you are posting here asking people to validate that.

Fine. <<<<<<

<<<<<<< First of all, I think you taken my post in a prejudicial manner, more in slight pessimistic way. 
secondly, I didnt ask any artist to sign in at this point. I mentioned clearly *** "currently in the work out of an Art Gallery; a calibrated, ICC profile environment to reproduce exact color and resolution on quality papers and canvas with Epson large format printing facility."***

In fact I was requesting if there is any specific such business model is prevailing in this market. So far as many are Repro firms are doing business in association with artists and photographers, I am sure they are working on certain terms that safeguard interests of both sides. I requested if anybody know anything of that system, and share if they think ok to do so.

Anything wrong with the request ?>>>>>>>

>>>>>>>>Accepting i have no experience in off shore marketing, and no real plan to be one, here's my 3 cents (harmonized tax included) 
You want to print in India.  Well, then you would need a fulfillment partner in India that is set up to receive files, register businesses, pay commissions (an accounts payable and receivable system) and have a front end (website I guess) for people to upload and a database large enough to store them.<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Not exactly cheap.  And then there's the printers and the entire set up to produce it.  And the staff. And the building to house it all.  If that exists, then you have something to work with and they are the people you should be approaching with your idea before you try to get photographers to sign on.

If it doesn't, well, where is the money going to come from to create it?<<<<<<<<<

<<<< I am owner of a similar printing house with some 15+ employees as designers, pre-press workers, printers....though not Art Repro. But I was studying Art-Repro business, and on a learning curve.

AND importantly, I am no pessimist: Whatever I dreamt of, I materialised them, it is only a matter of time. >>>>>


>>>>Do you have a LOT of money to loose if things don't go as you hoped?  Are you asking people here to front you some?  Why would they ?  If no, what exactly do you want people to provide?<<<<<

<<<<Did I ask anybody to invest in my business??? Can you please show me a sentence in my above posts,  before 'imagining' so ? >>>>

Short answer : I have no idea how you would go about it.  And really nothing to offer except skepticism.  Sorry.
<<<<< Every entrepreneur build his venture among a 1000 skeptics and their doomsday predictions !! But he is determined, fight with all odds, and succeed.... In fact skeptics make them bolder, like a Knife on a grinding stone !!!  Cool >>>

ETA: I really should read your post more carefully.  Sorry.  If you are saying you work in a printing house - well then, make people an offer.  Its chicken egg scenario - no offer, no artist - no artist - no offer
 Huh
<<<<< Once I launch my venture, I am sure all 'chicken' will come to me offering their eggs at the right $$s.  I do not think your's is the common response to my post.

Howsoever, you enlightened me on some points. Thanks a lot... Good day!>>>
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2013, 12:04:34 PM »
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Well, even after so many lines of text (some of which are rather indecipherable, being interspersed with quoted text) I am not exactly sure what is it that you are trying to accomplish and what exactly are you asking us, other than you are doing it in a rather aggressive manner.
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framah
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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2013, 04:08:11 PM »
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I agree with Slobodan.

Right from your second post you go pull a race card where none existed. Really? You're going to pull that one and then expect people to respond/help to you?

Waaah!!! No one responded to me after ONLY 12 hours!!! Waaah!!! It MUST be because I'm Indian! Bunch of racists!
Seriously?
Do you think people just sit at  their computers all night, waiting for you to post something?

Your whole existence in this thread is one of aggression and  confrontation. Not exactly the way to endear yourself to anyone who might have possibly helped you... assuming they could even begin to decipher  your rambling, run on jumble of words.


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Bullfrog
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« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2013, 04:59:06 PM »
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<<<<< Once I launch my venture, I am sure all 'chicken' will come to me offering their eggs at the right $$s.  I do not think your's is the common response to my post.

Howsoever, you enlightened me on some points. Thanks a lot... Good day!>>>

??  ( scratching head to again decipher cryptic message whilst searching for politically correct farm metaphor that will not offend any other nation)


Let me just close with this:   I think you will attract more bees with honey then vinegar.  (is that a farm metaphor or an urban myth...are bees really attracted to honey or do they actually MAKE honey....and this is a conspiracy against Canadians who are anti-bee or perhaps just diabetic)

 Roll Eyes

Good luck with your new venture.  

ETA:  The farm thing got me going -   We have legal "co-ops" in Ontario which are really a consortium of farmers (really - not a metaphor this time) - they get together and sell their crops.  It works because they all know each other and they all live in the same general area.  The venture is taxed differently in canada than corporations, or even not-for-profits.  Another example of a co-op that has done well in Canada is MEC (Mountain equipment co-op).  

Your initial post suggests to me that a co-op type arrangement is your thinking (again, its hard to say because its difficult to understand)  Accepting I'm not a lawyer, and just babbling (?)  these things are difficult if not impossible I would think to do in a world market.

Point:  I think you would fine the legal T&C (Terms and conditions) to be a must have before you even waste more time.  Its also expensive (lawyers) and if you have no experience in it, and no access to people that do, its that more difficult. It would suck the life out of any business proposal pretty quickly and banks here in Canada have the attention span of a gnat if you come asking for money without the legal proof that it is viable.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 05:20:34 PM by Bullfrog » Logged
PeterAit
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2013, 09:22:58 AM »
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The reason you are not getting replies is because people don't have an answer. I sure don't. It's a difficult problem that you describe and my "educated guess" is that you will not be able to rely on legally binding contracts.

Let's say you are selling your photos in Brazil through a gallery and they are cheating you. How feasible is it for you to hire a lawyer in Brazil to go after them, particularly if it's for a modest amount of money? My feeling is that you will have to rely on a trusted agent to distribute your photos, where you have a mutually beneficial relationship and they have no incentive to cheat you.

Good luck.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2013, 11:04:42 AM »
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...  you will not be able to rely on legally binding contracts.

Let's say you are selling your photos in Brazil through a gallery and they are cheating you. How feasible is it for you to hire a lawyer in Brazil to go after them, particularly if it's for a modest amount of money?...

Equally true.

Forget Brazil. My company was fleeced for $40K here, in the States, by another US-based company. As good, law-obeying, contract-believing citizens, we hired a US lawyer, he sent a US sheriff, who found empty offices and disconnected phones. It just happened that, and I am sure purely coincidentally, the company was Indian-run.
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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2013, 11:18:55 AM »
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Like other commenters, I’m at a loss to understand the goal(s), and while I’m not sure, it reads as if the language you use suggests you may be over complicating the issue(s), or goal(s).

Doing things in-house is typically the least expensive way to do things on a small scale. What is stopping you from buying a good photograph printer and then pursuing the goal you’re after? That is, if that is your goal.

Contracts are valuable but they are typically only worthwhile to use as a remedy if the potential loss exceeds the cost of hiring a lawyer to settle a claim. In other words, if you have a loss of $1,000 and it will cost you $3,000 in legal fees to recover this loss, then a contract is not very useful.

If you are looking for prospective contracts, talk with a local lawyer. The enforceability of a contract requires that the language used accurately reflects the laws of the area. Trying to find something like this on the internet is a waste of time.
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Colorado David
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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2013, 12:21:40 PM »
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Once several years ago, I needed to shoot a scene set up in a large computer retail store.  I talked with the store manager several times about the arrangements.  In the end he couldn't understand what the benefit to him and his store would be, so he said no.  There was nothing I could do to change his mind or force him to cooperate.  There really was no tangible benefit to him.  My point is that when people don't understand and appreciate the benefit to them, they will decline and you can't force it otherwise.
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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2013, 12:47:25 PM »
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Once several years ago, I needed to shoot a scene set up in a large computer retail store.  I talked with the store manager several times about the arrangements.  In the end he couldn't understand what the benefit to him and his store would be, so he said no.  There was nothing I could do to change his mind or force him to cooperate.  There really was no tangible benefit to him.  My point is that when people don't understand and appreciate the benefit to them, they will decline and you can't force it otherwise.

so why didn't you give him some cash ? I mean you were doing that for profit and expecting to do that for free (in terms the set location) ?
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Colorado David
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« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2013, 09:51:04 PM »
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I think you missed my point.  The store manager was not allowed to take anything in exchange for the use of the location so that was off the table.  His corporate office approved it but left the discretion up to the store manager.  Anyway, the point is, if someone doesn't understand that there is a benefit to them, they say no. Or in this case, they don't answer the post.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2013, 12:19:32 AM »
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... the point is, if someone doesn't understand that there is a benefit to them, they say no. Or in this case, they don't answer the post.

That is way, way off-base!

What exactly do you think we have benefitted by answering million other posts before this one?
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« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2013, 06:19:58 AM »
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While I understand and appreciate what it is you want to do, Sunny, I think some of your reasoning isn't overly sound.

You say that in order to keep prices down printing needs to be done in India.  That's an understandable assertion since India has developed a reputation as a low cost outsource location.  However, unlike call centres where people are a major cost, in this instance hardware is the major cost.  You say you are using, or will be using, large format Epson printers.  That's a big investment.  You can't buy those for less than we can here.  You can't buy genuine Epson inks for less than we can here.  You can't buy the high quality Epson or Moab or Hahnemuhle papers for less than we can here.  Hardware and materials are a major, ongoing cost in this operation.  

A website costs little to run and maintain and an FTP process for taking in image files isn't that hard or costly to set up.  That part of it is fairly simple, the rest is not.  

Also, when you look at how art is priced, it's based on a few of things.  It's based, in part, on what the main market the artist is selling in is willing to pay.  It's based on the quality of the work; which is very highly subjective.  But it's also based on the reputation of the artist, also subjective (art being an entirely subjective arena, after all).  The more well known and regarded an artist is, the wider his/her audience, the larger the potential audience for the work, the higher the prices will be.  The more the last variable plays into pricing the less the first does.  What you're asking is for artists who may have a strong reputation to accept lower prices because India is a market that can't bear the higher prices.  I think the likelihood of that happening is low.

I think your better option may be in working to help promote Indian artists.  Helping them to get greater exposure, helping them to produce high quality prints that will last and help command higher prices.  I think, perhaps, that may be the avenue to explore rather than trying to connect with international artists.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 06:22:22 AM by BobFisher » Logged
Bullfrog
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« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2013, 07:13:13 AM »
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A website costs little to run and maintain and an FTP process for taking in image files isn't that hard or costly to set up.  That part of it is fairly simple, the rest is not.  

Agreed. But in my mind its the issues of managing multi-currency, multi-language, and various tax /incorporation /statuses that would spiral.  Taking my image is simple.  Tracking its use and paying me for it is a whole other set of problems and this is where creeping operational costs would stifle margin.  Accepting the OP has not really defined his business plan, a similar model in place today to use as a benchmark would be stock photography sites which I presume (but don't know) India has access to.  And we all know what they pay (no printing service is offered, its a download and for the most part, royalty free).

The only other business model I'm aware of that is currently in place is web hosting services like Smug Mug or Zenfolio - they offer a web service and back-end fulfillment but they print in the USA and if you are a Canadian (like me) and want to benefit from their printing service, the artwork has to be shipped - which is about 3000 miles and then its stuck in customs - possibly for weeks.

Neither business model above provides what the OP wants ( a platform that will allow upload images internationally but only fulfill /print and sell in one market - India)  - and I think there's a reason for that.

I think your better option may be in working to help promote Indian artists.  Helping them to get greater exposure, helping them to produce high quality prints that will last and help command higher prices.  I think, perhaps, that may be the avenue to explore rather than trying to connect with international artists.

Agreed.  Learn to walk before you run.  Adopt a business model that you can prove works in your own country and do that for at least 2 years.  If you are still afloat and your business is a going concern, come back and tell us what you think.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 07:27:49 AM by Bullfrog » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2013, 08:52:01 AM »
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Agreed. But in my mind its the issues of managing multi-currency, multi-language, and various tax /incorporation /statuses that would spiral.  Taking my image is simple.  Tracking its use and paying me for it is a whole other set of problems and this is where creeping operational costs would stifle margin.  Accepting the OP has not really defined his business plan, a similar model in place today to use as a benchmark would be stock photography sites which I presume (but don't know) India has access to.  And we all know what they pay (no printing service is offered, its a download and for the most part, royalty free).

The only other business model I'm aware of that is currently in place is web hosting services like Smug Mug or Zenfolio - they offer a web service and back-end fulfillment but they print in the USA and if you are a Canadian (like me) and want to benefit from their printing service, the artwork has to be shipped - which is about 3000 miles and then its stuck in customs - possibly for weeks.

Neither business model above provides what the OP wants ( a platform that will allow upload images internationally but only fulfill /print and sell in one market - India)  - and I think there's a reason for that.

Don't disagree.  I was only addressing the web component.  That said, multiple currencies aren't an issue if you use a payment solution like PayPal.  They do all the conversion for you and it can be pretty easily integrated into a website.  The tax component is a bit more tricky.  Generally only residents of a jurisdiction have to pay sales tax.  So Indian residents would pay any Indian sales tax on orders but residents of other countries may not.  Some may have to pay import duties or taxes but the shipping company will handle customs brokerage.  That's sales tax, not income tax.  I don't know how SmugMug and Zenfolio et al do it for non-U.S. photographers but there may be a form or two to fill out.  I wrote an article for a U.S. magazine a few months ago and I had to fill out an IRS form that said I was not a U.S. citizen or resident and therefore the magazine didn't have to collect and remit any tax.  I'm responsible for declaring the income on my Canadian tax return.
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Sareesh Sudhakaran
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« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2013, 09:49:35 AM »
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Hello,
I am from Kochi, India, with large format digital and screen process graphics printing experience currently in the work out of an Art Gallery; a calibrated, ICC profile environment to reproduce exact color and resolution on quality papers and canvas with Epson large format printing facility. Many fine art painters and art-photographers are joined as associates, welcoming the venture as another  opportunity to sell art in recession-hit times. Marketing is planned through Exhibitions in all major cities in India and through a portal.

Sunny, there are people already doing what you are planning to do, and it is tough for them. Quality papers and material is expensive to import. Epson printers cost almost double here. Luckily, Epson has a strong market in the advertising sector but these are limited to the major cities (Kochi is a good place - sarees and gold need good images). The people who opened fine-art printing shops live off advertising.

There are brilliant artists in Kerala, and you shouldn't have any problem finding talented people if your facility is top-class.

Exhibitions - now that is another matter. The fees for major exhibition centers are not high, but if you want to recover your investment then you must target the most expensive of them. E.g., in Mumbai, Rs. 50,000 is considered a fair price for an A3-A2 sized painting. I see many photographers exhibiting work for only 10-20K because photography doesn't sell as well. The exceptions are Pablo Bartholomew (whose works have sold for a few lakhs) and Raghu Rai.

By the time printing and mounting costs are recovered (mounting and framing quality is pathetic here), there is very little to show for the effort. The waiting list for good exhibition centers goes into months (some even years). You also include traveling and living in your plans. Ouch. Many artists (not photographers but painters, sculptors, etc.) travel overseas through government initiatives. Photography is not patronized by the government of India.

All in all, you can make money, but not by fine-art photography alone. So don't think it's a viable business venture, it is not.

Quote
Though not in organised manner, fine art is moving but photo prints as an art medium is yet to be accepted in developing countries. Once accepted, it will be a huge market.

True, once accepted. What is your business going to do till then?

Quote
In India, as in the case of all developing countries, price must be lower, to enable art to move in numbers. Also India is vast with huge population, middle-income group is growing fast; a piece of art on wall is a trend, of course if affordable.

It is difficult to create market and sell art or photographs direct to India at current prices from USA or UK etc. To lower prices, printing must be done in India, availing Indian low prices.

Don't kid yourself. Walk around your neighborhood and count the number of paintings or photographs. In India, photographs are either of gods, religious figures or dead people. Or MGR or Rajnikanth. There are people who buy and appreciate fine art photography, but try finding them. I have been to large art shows where fine-art was paintings of Buddha, Ganesh, or some other religious setting or message. That, and pretty girls in transparent sarees. Walk into any 'art gallery' and that's exactly what you'll see.

It is not cheaper to print in India when you consider many of the hidden expenses. However, mounting and framing is definitely cheaper here. On the flip side, prices are also lower here and market will take years to mature. The margins are not enough to sustain a business model for fine art. If the printing house can branch out into weddings, advertising, etc., then the printing house will thrive. The photographer will go back to his day job, or shoot weddings.

Online selling? There are already vendors selling copied posters and art on ebay.in and other sites. Good for printers and agents, bad for artists.

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I am looking for association of photographers to utilise it as chance to sell in developing countries.

There are thousands of photographers doing this already. Like I said, I don't know a single photographer who earns a living from fine art photography in India. Anyway, you can find many photographers from the JJmehta forum and the Bangalore photography club. There are many photo enthusiasts in Kochi and Trivandrum too.

Quote

THE HURDLE, I am facing is lack of a system, a business model/ a contractual term by which printer-marketer and photographer cooperate and coexist with trust to reap mutual benefit.
Is there any such contractual terms, a legally binding arrangement existing, which ensure artists/photographers right on his work is safe, same time he can entrust his work to printing-marketing agency ?

You are asking something that is better discussed with an Indian lawyer specializing in IPR and corporate law. There is a system and a law in place. Whether these laws are enforced or not, you be the judge.

Quote
I am looking for any preposition to make it possible: a win-win situation for both parties.
Opinions, suggestions are most welcome...


The question you should have asked them is: How many copies have they shipped to India in their careers?

Opinion: Fine art photographers always lose. You are talking about opening a print shop and agency on the back of selling a pipe dream to photographers. No wonder you earned their wrath.

If you want some of the members on this forum to sell their work in India, you'll have to add the cost of shipping, insurance and taxes to the equation (and your profits). At that price, it will not sell.

Photos of gods will. I know a girl who shot in 4x5 film of goddesses (actors in lavish settings with nice production design). Somebody must be praying to those fine-art photographs now - whether it was sold or not.
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« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2013, 11:13:15 AM »
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Don't disagree.  I was only addressing the web component.  That said, multiple currencies aren't an issue if you use a payment solution like PayPal.  They do all the conversion for you and it can be pretty easily integrated into a website.  The tax component is a bit more tricky.  Generally only residents of a jurisdiction have to pay sales tax.  So Indian residents would pay any Indian sales tax on orders but residents of other countries may not.  Some may have to pay import duties or taxes but the shipping company will handle customs brokerage.  That's sales tax, not income tax.  I don't know how SmugMug and Zenfolio et al do it for non-U.S. photographers but there may be a form or two to fill out.  I wrote an article for a U.S. magazine a few months ago and I had to fill out an IRS form that said I was not a U.S. citizen or resident and therefore the magazine didn't have to collect and remit any tax.  I'm responsible for declaring the income on my Canadian tax return.


I think you might be right that all that goes away if you are selling in India only because your purchaser is an Indian citizen.

On Smug Mug - they don't PAY YOU for your art - they take a 15% commission of any fulfillment YOU ask them to do with their own (preferred) fulfillment partners which last time I checked were in California.  They will ship to Canada - but the cost and time doesn't make it worth doing for business purposes.  Smug Mug is a common platform available to all small business owners  (economy of scale) anywhere in the world and all are paying a yearly fee for the rights of the platform (kind of like a store front) and then the host lets the business person flog their own stuff to their own customers wherever they want.  If you sell nothing - you pay nothing in fulfillment, but you still pay an annual fee to use the service which at the highest level is $300 USD a year.  

They divide their offerings between fulfillment and web hosting to (i presume) appeal to a wider market.

Not 100% sure on Zen - its something I've been recently exploring because I"m researching web hosters for my own needs but to my knowledge similar idea.

Anyway I think we should open a new thread on North America fulfillment options and sales because I find your comments intriguing but don't want to hi-jack the Op's thread - although I hope giving the OP this information will help in education of NA market choices because I feel he/she is perhaps not aware and since the initial plan was "world" - it I think is still germane.

However, I see the last poster is from India and seems to be very well informed and I think he's answered a  lot of the OPs questions and my own curiosity.  I was loathe to say it (didn't want to offend anyone) - but I always thought "Goddess" type paintings would be big in India and wonder if my dog can pass as one (I don't have any Gods or Goddesses as friends at present to photograph)
 Grin
« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 11:17:27 AM by Bullfrog » Logged
Sunny Alan
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« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2013, 12:07:39 AM »
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Gentlemen,
First of all am sorry, if my certain lines upset you and caused annoyance.
And I remove one of my own post as self-punishment.

At times it happens, may be not intentionally, but the pressure of the movement push you into it... And you know what you did, after getting the responses...

Actually I over-expected from Lula, with instant remedial advises from the most respected Forum on technical photography, in that as framah said I dint consider the time frame, as such I dont blame any of those natural, slightly hot responses. They are natural, well, at times we buy it....

I am happy, of late got many practical advices, those hard realities, few good omens too: This was what I expected...

But I didnt plan this without considering failure possibilities, but they are just hurdles only, to be bypassed,  jumped over.
At this times of world recession, there is no easy business, and doing business itself is tackling obstructions...

To be frank, my approach of this repro business is slightly unconventional, a mixed bag of orthodox practices and some newly devised ways to achieve the needed sales.

My theme is "Art affordable" (to the masses). (It sounds a high-talk, though...)
Art selling is now in two extremes, (I found): Either the orthodox way of museum quality, auctioning, curators and collectors: or cheapest paper prints of no longevity. I mean mass marketing front, no private selling by artists or photographers, which except to a few top notched, not much sales. At least 75% in art world are unsung heroes, living on other means.

What about a mixed bag of it: I am setting up a unit to produce top line quality, as well as selected saleable works from less known, unsung heroes: it fit both sides. They want their art published by someone, I need a selected mixture of great art of all sort from talented artists/photographers, at reasonable terms: and the masses want good art suiting their pockets.

There are masses who looks to have a decent art at their walls, of quality, lasting but affordable. **There is very little options available for this section of people, now.**

Quality? I will use Hahnemühle as well as best of Chinese canvas, depends on affordability: nothing is forbidden. 
And I plan to bring to life many folk art forms like Kathakali, Thanjore, traditional art forms of many.

Who said God is not sale-able?  He is hot selling world over, never ask royalty, license or contract... Smiley

And if you want top-notch, museum quality? Available, on Hahnemühle or Breathing color, not on Chinese stuff. Crooked ones are everywhere Slobodan Blagojevic, honest ones too...

Last week I went an exhibition at my nearby fine art gallery, an exhibition of paintings by school children: Some stunning pieces of oil and water-color painting. Nothing much is sold, except few by sympathizers.

I am sure those child-artists will dump their art, study IT and will work for their living...
But reaching their art to masses at affordable prices may keep few of them pursuing art for a living. I see a business plan here, unconventional may be.

And I am no boasting a 'savior of unsung heroes', but I see a possibility here, a win-win situation.

I am thinking slightly differently, request your insights, which is valuable for me.

(sorry for the long post)
 
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