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Author Topic: Anybody here running a gallery featuring there own work?  (Read 8029 times)
delaphotography
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« on: January 30, 2014, 12:56:11 PM »
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I opened a small gallery in Key West, FL exclusively featuring my own work for sale. We have been open since July 2013.  It's been quite an ride with lots of ups and downs. Tons of my time is being sucked up get things dialed in, not to much time is being spent taking pics! The work is primarily focused around seascapes and landscapes of Florida & Caribbean. We are selling primarily to the transient tourist market. Key West is a hub for of activity for quite a few artist and the reason we decided to open up something down there.

Anybody here running a gallery featuring there own work? I'm look to connect and share information with others taking this approach in sell their work. I'm open to offline discussion if that helps.

My current website is: www.delaphotography.com (a new one is in the works!). You can also find us on Facebook under De La Gallery.
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bill t.
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2014, 01:35:21 PM »
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Hire an employee to free up some shooting time!  Make sure he's not an ambitious young photographer.  Hire somebody who likes retail and shopkeeping as much as you like photography, and who is not searching for something "more."  Those people exist, and they're worth their weight in gold.  You should do very well with those images.
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Sharon Van Lieu
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2014, 07:06:41 PM »
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Hi, I love your work. I think Bill is right - your photographs should do very well. Gorgeous. I don't have a gallery but know of a young man who has started several in Hawaii. Here is his facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/afeinphoto

Best wishes for your great success.

Sharon
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delaphotography
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2014, 10:49:30 AM »
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Hire an employee to free up some shooting time!  Make sure he's not an ambitious young photographer.  Hire somebody who likes retail and shopkeeping as much as you like photography, and who is not searching for something "more."  Those people exist, and they're worth their weight in gold.  You should do very well with those images.

Thanks Bill T...I do have someone working do the sales at the gallery. And you are right, you need to find the right person.
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delaphotography
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2014, 10:52:42 AM »
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Hi, I love your work. I think Bill is right - your photographs should do very well. Gorgeous. I don't have a gallery but know of a young man who has started several in Hawaii. Here is his facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/afeinphoto

Best wishes for your great success.

Sharon

Thanks Sharon! The images are selling but we are still trying to dial in our formula to get the best returns. I checked out afienphoto on Facebook...wow that guy looks like he really has his act together! Thanks for that lead. I will try and reach out to him. 
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leeonmaui
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« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2014, 12:52:31 PM »
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Aloha,

I have had a cart at a very exclusive shopping center in Hawaii for three years, and just signed the lease for a full space....


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bretedge
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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2014, 03:31:32 PM »
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We're entering our third year with The Edge Gallery in Moab, Utah.  There have been ups and downs but overall it's been a really positive experience for us.  It's a lot of work and a lot of stress but so far it's all been worth it.
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markdauber
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2014, 01:33:43 PM »
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I opened a gallery of my work here in Montgomery Alabama in July 2010.  www.daubergallery.com.
I am totally dependent on walk up traffic, mostly from nearby restaurants which cater to visitors and convention traffic in downtown Montgomery.  I have not really made much money, but the ancillary business (assignments for interior design firms, etc.) have made it worthwhile.  I have mostly been selling my own gallery wrapped canvases.  Several years ago Michael R. posted a video of himself visiting with Andrew Collett who was willing to talk to me about the fundamentals of his operation.

I agree with the comments on this post, and am looking to try some art shows soon.  The gallery is retail and retail is tedious for me, but it give incredible insight into what people are looking for and how they (often very surprisingly) respond to my work.  I am studying Briot's ebook on selling fine art photography very carefully now.  I find that his insights are pretty accurate, and I'm not sure I would have understood a lot of what he has to say before my own experience.  Contact me if you would like to talk...I'd love to have more contacts to share insights with.
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Mark Dauber
markdauber@yahoo.com
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 02:14:56 PM by markdauber » Logged
Justan
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2014, 03:45:51 PM »
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If exhibiting at art and other festivals counts as running your own gallery then i’m in this august group. Just completed a 9 day run at the local home show, where the promoters say about 60 thousand people attended.

Prior to this show I finished reading a 200 page book by J. Jason Horejs named “How to Sell Art”

This is a very good to excellent book and worth a read or two by anyone who promotes their own art work. It is geared to gallery sales but also applies widely to festival sales. I also have some threads down the page which are about short articles by Mr. Horejs. The articles and especially the foot notes to the articles are very worth the time to read.

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bill t.
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2014, 09:26:48 PM »
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Not really a gallery owner either, but I am so closely associated with one that most people think I own it.  And I do shows just like Justan, which is at least as much work as running a gallery but with the advantage that it is easier to talk your spouse into participating.

I frequently collaborate with the gallery in putting my pieces on display at "Parade of Homes" events in and around my city.  Stuffing a dozen pieces each into several homes in one day needs collaboration, trust me.  The "Parades" are showcases of newly completed houses organized by the builders.  The events last typically 3 days, Fri through Sun.  Price tags and contact info on the art, lots of cards, etc.  Personally talk to each "tender" at the homes to make sure they can give people your contact info and even a bit of backstory.  Visit the homes at least once per day because people will steal the tags.

The return on effort is extraordinary.   Radio and billboard advertising can't even come close.  Over the following month I typically rack up at least 10 sales per home, and the gallery sees foot traffic increases in the several hundreds.  And almost magically, most of the sales are to people who do not normally visit galleries, but who do own large blank spaces above the their sofas and who are willing to spend money on their homes.  Bottom line: reach outside the front door as much as possible.  Your gallery can't move, but you can cast your net far and wide.
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Justan
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2014, 10:45:24 AM »
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^Thanks for the tip. I looked into offering works at a street of dreams but the organizations that did that around here disappeared in about 2008. I did get an inquiry from a home builder asking if I would be interested in showing my works at their high end open house events.

On the broader topic, I agree that it is better to take the art work to the market than to wait for it to show up at your door. That’s why I exhibit at the biggest events in the area. More people see my works in one day during one of these events than would typically come by even the biggest gallery in a year or more.
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jjj
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2014, 10:54:45 AM »
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I frequently collaborate with the gallery in putting my pieces on display at "Parade of Homes" events in and around my city.  Stuffing a dozen pieces each into several homes in one day needs collaboration, trust me.  The "Parades" are showcases of newly completed houses organized by the builders.  The events last typically 3 days, Fri through Sun.  Price tags and contact info on the art, lots of cards, etc.  Personally talk to each "tender" at the homes to make sure they can give people your contact info and even a bit of backstory.  Visit the homes at least once per day because people will steal the tags.
Is this what you are talking about?
Are tags, price tags, info...?
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jjj
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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2014, 11:04:06 AM »
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Open Up Sheffield is an art safari that takes place here every year. Bought some nice stuff that way and also at the Parisien equivalent Les Portes Ouvertes which is located behind my friend's house in Gambetta/Belleville.
Great way to see a variety of artwork/meet interesting folk and have a nosey around some fascinating studios/houses.  Grin
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jjj
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« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2014, 11:08:03 AM »
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I opened a small gallery in Key West, FL exclusively featuring my own work for sale.
Nice looking gallery and some stunning photos.
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bill t.
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« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2014, 09:54:02 PM »
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Is this what you are talking about?
Are tags, price tags, info...?

Yup, that's it!  Already stocking up for the April show.

The price tags say:

Name of Piece
Artist Name
Price  Size
Photograph on Canvas
Blah Blah Gallery
001 Elm Street between Ash and Juniper
Phone Number

They're printed on heavy, off-white cardstock 3 inches wide by 4 inches high, then taped to the back of the frame with the top 1" out of sight and secruely taped.  Photoshop is all you need.

You need to give the tenders a supply of those tags, temporarily taped on a piece of foamcore or Gator.  People will steal them right off the frame, completely failing to see the nearby postcards.  That's actually a good sign.  I sometimes show up at the busiest sites ostensibly to effuse some of my (local only) semi-fame onto the scene, but actually to replace tags as needed.

Do NOT put that doughy, tag-holding, paint-removing sticky stuff on the walls!  Just don't!  And use pin hangers for the installation, being careful not to pound the nail absolutely all the way in to the point where it dents the wall.  One needs to maintain a small footprint in terms of wall damage, if one wants to be invited back.



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kaelaria
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« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2014, 02:08:59 AM »
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Beautiful shots I'll be sure and stop in next time I'm down!  Luckily you don't have all that much competition down there, pretty much just Lik and that's apples and oranges.  You have some sweet galleries - I stayed at the same hotel one of your seascapes was shot at, we saw the same thing lol - you edited the hell outta that, even took off the yellow paint lol!

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jjj
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« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2014, 11:14:53 AM »
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Yup, that's it!  Already stocking up for the April show.
Interesting, we don't have anything like that here in UK that I know of.
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bill t.
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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2014, 01:26:02 PM »
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Interesting, we don't have anything like that here in UK that I know of.

You may be not looking in the right places.  The beauty of the open-house home thing is that I was completely unaware of them as well.

The local periodical publications, galleries, and fairs that my customers and I look at are concerned with art and art.  It's the same old crew, over and over again, and most of them are out of wall space.

The publications used to promote open-houses are concerned with real estate and home buying.  The people who look at those things don't ordinarily hang out in the art market.  One taps into a whole new market for which art is a new and appealing appealing novelty that intersects with their home centric interests.  1000 home improvement mavens will buy as much art as 20,000 art mavens.

To be more specific, the images I sell at those events are exclusively of local scenes photographed and presented in grandiose style.  They validate the huge emotional and financial commitment a home buyer must make to a particular location.  There's some psychology in play there, and it's the second part of the sales equation, right after simply finding an appropriate venue to reach such persons.

As we've seen in other posts on this thread, it's local subjects that sell best.  Adding personal validation to that makes a powerful sales potion.

I should start a workshop and charge people for this kind of information.
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jjj
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« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2014, 02:20:14 PM »
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You may be not looking in the right places.  The beauty of the open-house home thing is that I was completely unaware of them as well.
The housing market here is quite different to the US and very different again to Europe. Plus, there's not so much new build projects as space is far more limited here. We recently spend two years looking for a new house and saw no sign of anything like in this part of the UK - one of the biggest cities. Most sales are from already inhabited homes where many people don't even tidy up before showing off their  property and even less dress the house for the buyer. We did both and sold the house very quickly during a flat market - though I convinced my other half to keep it so we could rent it out. So we turned buyers away in the end.

Quote
To be more specific, the images I sell at those events are exclusively of local scenes photographed and presented in grandiose style.  They validate the huge emotional and financial commitment a home buyer must make to a particular location.  There's some psychology in play there, and it's the second part of the sales equation, right after simply finding an appropriate venue to reach such persons.
Adding local art to that sort of property is indeed a smart move.
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delaphotography
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« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2014, 12:09:06 PM »
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Aloha,

I have had a cart at a very exclusive shopping center in Hawaii for three years, and just signed the lease for a full space....




Lee I would love to see you new space and what you are offering for sale. I have discovered that if it's on the wall, that what will sell. Rarely to images sell at different sizes that are not displayed. Any insight on your end to your experience? We had a few collectors go home and want to up-size but it hasn't happen often.

What are you doing for marketing? I find that this is the most difficult part of the business, getting people in the door and knowing who you are.
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