How do I make $$$ from my pics

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Nikon Fan, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. Nikon Fan

    Nikon Fan TPF Noob!

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    I have been thinking lately about the best ways to make money from the pictures I take. I have a load of photos of people from other countries, and other just random shots. On my website I have a way to be able to set up paypal and could sell the photos through my site, but didn't know how much money I could actually make doing this, especially b/c it's a free website :confused: I've considered the ideas of stock photography as well, but don't really know too much about it. Do those of you that sell your prints through your websites make money? Maybe that's a bit personal so if you don't want to answer that's cool :)

    Really my question is what's the best way to go about selling my work. Put it online on my site and hope for something good...get a cafe press store and make products and sell there, sell them on a stock photography website...any other suggestions????

    Thanks in advance for any help and recommendations :)
     
  2. mygrain

    mygrain Friend to nose goblins everywhere

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    Get a portfolio together of your best and hit the local art galleries, frame shops, and arts and crafts/antique shops. Don't be afraid to ask for consignment space. You'd be surprised how many frame shops need art to put the their frames. Get in good with those guys and after a while you just drop off the work and they write you a check then and there. Also independent cafe's, coffee shops and resturants will let folks hang art shows in them...photographs are always a hit with these guys... gotta be seen to be sold. Also something to think about are arts and crafts festivals. You can make a killing at those. I also go to little league sports and take photos and hand out business cards and tell them to contact me if they want prints. I works sometimes.

    The best way to sell art is exposure. get your work out there so websites are not a bad idea...and link to everybody you can think of and ask for a link from their sites too. Good luck.
     
  3. Nikon Fan

    Nikon Fan TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice Robbie :) The bummer about my town though is that it's small, but we do have an art gallery so maybe I can start there, but as far as arts and crafts stores go...we're fresh out :( Maybe I will try do hunt down some local arts and crafts festivals though...that sounds like a pretty good idea :) Thanks for the info!!!
     
  4. mygrain

    mygrain Friend to nose goblins everywhere

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    My pleasure!! Heck don't count on your town...take a trip to the closest larger city and with portfolio inhand , pay a visit to the art galleries there. but the festivals do get a lot of folks interested in your work and they will be looking for you the next year and they usually bring friends too!!!!
     
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  5. Nikon Fan

    Nikon Fan TPF Noob!

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    Sounds great. One more question though...what about pricing??? Say at an art show, what would an unframed 8X10 go for...or a framed one? What about 4x6??? Wouldn't want to be too cheap...or too expensive either :)
     
  6. Mumfandc

    Mumfandc TPF Noob!

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    Talk about going to the city...I'm a Fine Arts student in New York City, and I've been in a couple student group shows in an art gallery both on campus, and outside galleries. I've also submitted some photographic works. The only work I've ever sold so far was a lithographic print...and what I earned from it didn't even last me a weeks worth of meals:)

    From what I've learned...it's pretty "successful" for a (lesser known) gallery to even sell ONE or TWO pieces per show...then you have the BIG name galleries like Larry Gagosian, Matthew Marks, Pace Wildenstein, Barbara Gladstone, and Tony Shafrazi representing your world famous master contemporary photographers, and draw ALL the attention. Furthermore, these gallery owners will usually only consider representing artists through connections and VERY close ties with trusted associates.

    Show openings usually occur on Thursday evenings, and therefore many of my professors choose to hold their solo show openings on Saturdays in order to draw in a bigger crowd. It's a great experience some of these openings...in fact, I went to one of my professor's shows and Joel Shapiro and Chuck Close were attendees.

    My intro-photography professor a while ago told us about the HUGE influx of artists/photographers/musicians/writers etc. coming into NYC from all over the world, compared to the 1980's when the NYC art scene was so "small"...now it's just scattered all over the place (esp. now the young artists emerging in Brooklyn).

    Take Japan for example...many artists (like the great successes Mariko Mori, Takashi Murakami, and Yoshi'tomo Nara) came from Tokyo to NYC, because gallery shows in Tokyo were often way, WAY too expensive to stage, while already KNOWING money will be lost rather than earned (one reason is Tokyo art galleries are very wide spread apart, not densely concentrated, one after another like in Manhattan...the latter giving more opportunity for art collectors to "gallery-hop").

    Sorry I drifted off...but in response, IMO, if you want to make a living off your photographs, I think more can be earned off stock photography definately...try it out.

    If not, then come to the city, lol. You never know. That last professor I mentioned was lucky. His story goes, when he first moved to NYC from Michigan, he got an apartment in Union Square. It just so happened to be that he shared his apartment building with legendary photographer Imogen Cunningham. He later sold some of his work to a young man who also lived in the building. His (much older) wife was the head of the Givenchy USA branch and she later bought the rest of his work.
     
  7. Nikon Fan

    Nikon Fan TPF Noob!

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    Thought of something else...has anyone ever tried putting a framed pic on ebay and selling it??? Wonder how well it would work???
     
  8. Picksure

    Picksure TPF Noob!

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    eromallagadnama, I have had the same idea. Check out my last post on my "manipulation" thread in the critique area. As for what I was told for pictures $25.00 for a 8x12 unframed and i saw framed photos for up to $165.00. Keep in mind the frame work will prolly cost $100.00 or so.

    I also assume, if your framed photos do not sell, you would end up with some nice birthday and Christmas gifts. ;)

    As for the little league idea (great idea mygrain), I put together 15 shots like this one of my son, for his ball team. The team covered my cost of printing and bought frames. (about $100.00 for the complete package)
    [​IMG]


    For these shots I donated my time(as a form of advertising). I have seen unframed photos like mine go for $35.00 to $40.00.
    Now that my photo and PS skills have improved, I cant wait for ball season. :mrgreen:
     
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  9. Nikon Fan

    Nikon Fan TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the pricing tips Picksure!!! I like the sports ideas as well. I've always wanted to go to a high school event, get good pictures and then sell them, but never had the courage to ask the school about doing it. Maybe I will start with the local YMCA though, I bet it would go over great there!!! Thanks again guys for all the help...I'm on the lookout for local arts and crafts shows and festivals now :)
     
  10. themonko

    themonko TPF Noob!

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    Got a quick question to ask that maybe someone can answer....

    When attending a festival, it seems like you need a handfull different prints and then of each, need different sizes, framed and unframed, etc. As a beginner, what would be suggested going into an art show/festival? how many prints? how many of each and of what sizes?

    Also, how do you get restistered with one of these festivals? I am sure I can find information on this, but any pointers would be great!

    Thanks!

    PS. The ebay idea is great since you don't acutally need to print or frame the photos till you see a bid...
     
  11. mygrain

    mygrain Friend to nose goblins everywhere

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    First of all...all of the work outside of you getting your art together can be HALFED if you have a friend to split the booth with. It will make things so much easier to go get food and run to the restroom or to take a break and look at your compitetion. The trick to success is to find a partner who does different artwork. I sell paintings and fine art prints and my partner sells polariod transfers on all sorts of glass items and papers. Very simliar but still very unique.

    Finding the festivals can be done looking around on the web... google your area with arts festival thrown in and you will find something im sure and how to contact them as well. Note- it's best to get to them early because they fill up FAST!!

    Yes you are going to need a large amount of work. I usually have a multitude of different prints, greeting cards, and paintings framed and unframed...the initial investment sucks too because you have to get so much together...not only will you need your art but you will need a space to sell it in and yes it can cost alot to get a space in the festivals. that also means walls and a table or two to exhibit your work, the hardware to hang your work, the vehicle to move it all around in, change to give back to patrons who buy your work. Not to mention being prepared for the weather. AND BUSINESS CARDS!!! folks who buy stuff have friends who like the same stuff so they will pass your info on to them...AND with all of this ready to go still can't guarentee you sales. It's a pain but you can make your money back with quite a bit of profit if things go your way. Plus the added bonus of all of those people seeing work work makes it worth the investment anyway. Do the same fest for several years and you will have folks looking for your booth specifically.

    Hope this helps themonko. Good luck.
     
  12. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    I would recommend finding a friendly framing shop who do quality frames. Go in with a selection of your best work enlarged, test the water and get them framed up if they are responsive. The shop will often be happy to hang your prints as examples free of charge and arrange to sell something identical for you. It's worked several times for me and it was even the framing shop's advice.
     

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