At what point do you sell?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Saddlebreds4me, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. Saddlebreds4me

    Saddlebreds4me TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    I am new to photography and new to this site. My main interest is photographing horses either at shows or in the field playing. Right now, I am pretty happy practicing (I don't ever want to be a professional, meaning the source of my sole income) at my own barn with the horses and owner who are there.

    Several people in the barn have asked to purchase my photos - but I don't feel "good enough" to take money for them. Sure, there are shots where I get lucky (shooting horses means a lot of your life is controlled by ears - I like them up and looking forward) but that doesn't exclude other photos that might be worthy of purchase to be sure.

    I'm just not comfortable with charging - for those of you who are kind of like me - keeping it a hobby and something I enjoy - did you end up selling any of your photos and at what point?

    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. Alleh Lindquist

    Alleh Lindquist TPF Noob!

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    Sell some prints if people want them. Why wouldn't you? If people like them they have value. Maybe $20 for an 8x10. At some point you will start to feel confident enough to start shooting at more horse shows and selling even more prints. You could even start studying print making get your own printer and calibrating tools and make a little niche for yourself.
     
  3. Saddlebreds4me

    Saddlebreds4me TPF Noob!

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    Thanks very much for your reply!

    I know, people are telling me (within the barn anyway) that I should charge for the really good shots that are often sometimes better (shot, angle, light) than then in-ring photographer.

    I'm not sure why I feel like I don't deserve to be paid for my work. But I like your suggestion about not only the pricing on the photos but the print making as well.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would say set yourself up with a decent printing system - either get a good home printer or outsource and get an online or local lab to do your printing and get the calibration software. You might be able to calibrate yourself at home by trial and error, but if your going to print offsite then get a moniter calibrator so that you know what you send off is going to be what you get back.

    That is important even if your not selling :)

    As for selling well why not? If people want to buy your work then don't hold back - just make sure that they get a good look at a print of what they are getting and price fair but well -- ie don't charge peanuts for them, charge what the going rate is, since if you do end up selling more your won't be able to upp your prices just because you are selling more. You will lose your customers and have to start all over again with the new price structure.

    As amateurs its very easy to get hung up on the technical side of photography and see a lot of our work as not being good enough for sale, but if others see photos they like then don't hold back - it could help pay for that next lens ;)
     
  5. cherry30

    cherry30 TPF Noob!

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    Why not? If your shots are worth buying, then you should be proud of it.
     
  6. Saddlebreds4me

    Saddlebreds4me TPF Noob!

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    Thank you both Overread and Cherry30. It's funny because someone wanted an 8 X 10 of one of my photos and she was insistent on paying for it - I had no idea what to charge her. Alleh Lindquist who responded earlier suggested $20. I told this woman "$15 or $20 - so it sounds like I wasn't too far off the mark. She was more than happy to pay it (in the horse world the professionals get $50 minimum for an 8 X 10 so when I said $15-$20 she was very happy!)

    And about paying for the next lens? Yep - thought of that too...lol. Yesterday I bought a Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 lens for my Nikon. Yeah...charging doesn't sound so badly now! :)

    Thanks again everyone for your thoughts - this is all so new to me, I appreciate the input.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2008
  7. monkeykoder

    monkeykoder TPF Noob!

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    Damn I need to start finding some event like that to shoot. There are quite a few lenses I could use.
     
  8. Lyncca

    Lyncca TPF Noob!

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    If someone wants to buy it, then sell it! There is no pressure of being the hired photographer since the pictures have already been taken. If they like them great, if not, no big deal.

    I had a coworker insist on buying one of my pictures. I didn't think it was worthy, but in the end, I figure, she knew what she was getting and loved it, so why not :)
     
  9. Saddlebreds4me

    Saddlebreds4me TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone for the encouragement - monkeykoder, the prices (which I think are high for the most part) are really indicative of the hard work as it relates to timing in my area in the horse world - which is why for the last year I've been working on timing and basically nothing else.

    In order for a one of our photos to be considered top quality, it is necessary for the photographer to catch the horse at the top of his/her stride and the ears must be forward. Yup, timing is everything:

    Here is an example - I know everything else is pretty much "off" in the photo but again, I am just practicing catching those legs in the right spot. This horse happens to be particularly difficult because of the way he moves. We also like to have the rider sitting in the saddle in the shot vs. the up position in the post (like this one) it makes for a nicer shot.

    [​IMG]

    Up in the post - notice stride and ears

    [​IMG]

    Seated in the saddle - notice stride and ears

    It takes practice just observing the way the horse moves, no camera first - just understanding the cadence of the trot - if you can do that, you are half way there. Just a slight detour as to why the professionals charge as much as they do (and remember at a horse show, you have maybe 5 - 20 horses in the ring at once! and you've got to try to get a least one shot of every horse).

    Does that make sense?
     

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