Marketing and selling our form of art

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by nickb98c, May 6, 2010.

  1. nickb98c

    nickb98c TPF Noob!

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    Probably one of the more common questions asked on here, so bear with me. My question is what are some of your success stories for selling your work and marketing your art.

    Here is my situation:

    I am a senior in high school, and an amateur photographer.
    I have recently been trying photography as an experimental business pursuit. I am not sure if I want to make this a life long profession, but as for right now, something to keep me busy during college and my summers. Plus Ill get a taste of whether or not I want to continue photography as a career.

    I have had a good friend of mine who has been mentoring me in marketing, and using social media as a tool for marketing. She is a huge technology buff, and has a business in social media. She has been helping me get started in the right direction by coaching me, and has really helped me get publicity with her connections in our local business world.

    With my friend's help I have gotten several shoots with a local caterer who wanted a prints for her website. I have done work with senior portraits too. I have also planned an event shoot for a local baseball team and field.

    And thanks to my friend, she has coached me in setting up a twitter, blog, linkedIN account, designing a logo, and currently purchasing a domain name for my site.

    Now here comes my question. What other ways have you experimented with marketing your photos. Art shows and competitions? Flea markets and local art events? Web site based sales? I would like to get into this without diving head first. So any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Now before you say it all depends on how good your photos are, and weather there is a market out there willing to buy my work, I have thought through these. But I am thinking that with the requests I have had to take photos, I must be doing something right.

    Most importantly I love taking photos. I am not after this to get rich. Nothing is better then that feeling of capturing a moment of time through your veiwfinder. I just thought, why not get my feet wet with this and try something new. Maybe help support my addiction so I dont go bankrupt too soon. ;)

    So what do you think?
    Thanks to anyone willing to read my long thread and take time to post.

    look me up on twitter @NB_Images
    Or check me out on facebook.
    http://www.facebook.com/nickalob?v=wall&story_fbid=398520053936#!/pages/NB-Images/122183354462114?ref=ts

    Thanks!
    Nick
     
  2. Ryan L

    Ryan L TPF Noob!

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    Well lets still critique, Your exposure is off im most of the shots. Lighting needs work, you are losing detail in your shots. On the positive side, I do like some of the compositions that you have.

    Just because you can market yourself, doesn't mean that your work is ready to go on the market.
     
  3. kelli_anne

    kelli_anne TPF Noob!

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    +1 for Ryan.

    Lighting is a big thing, it is what makes or breaks a photograph. To get into photography and make money, it takes money. I am assuming that you are looking to do photography durning college to pay for your bills. You will have to put out a lot of money out front for photography. I would give a lot of thought into marketing yourself and getting into photography as a profession while in college. Its a lot of money, and as a college student myself, I know that most students dont have the money to buy a lot of the equipment required for doing this professionally. It is also very time consuming. I would check out the business forums and read through them to get a feel. There is a lot on marketing, and how long it takes to make money off of photography. This is just my 2 cents. Good Lucky with whatever you decide!
     
  4. nickb98c

    nickb98c TPF Noob!

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    I totally agree! I have much to learn, and far from an "excellent photographer" But as I am learning I want to be heading in the right direction. Facebook makes the photos grainy, but yes the focus is off. And the portraits were my first ever attempt at self portraits. I did have a helper who has never used my camera, and I edited with adobe to my best ability. But thanks for the critique. And more would be appreciated. I am always open to learning.
     
  5. nickb98c

    nickb98c TPF Noob!

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    I forgot to mention that I dont plan to let this become a full time job to cover my cost of college or major expenses. If I could just help supply the actually hobby it self I would be very pleased.
     
  6. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Good luck.
    Sounds like so many others who put the cart before the horse.
     
  7. nickb98c

    nickb98c TPF Noob!

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    Gosh, I wasn't expecting this much negative feedback. Maybe I need to step back and rethink.
     
  8. web designer

    web designer TPF Noob!

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    no you don't - keep going forward. if you let negative comments stop you in your "tracks" you'll never get anywhere. just take the constructive ones and keep improving.

    you seem to have a good eye for composition,which is hard to learn, and the rest is technique, which is easy to pick up.

    bottom line is, as you've said, people are approaching you for work already
     
  9. nickb98c

    nickb98c TPF Noob!

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    Oh I wasnt giving up. I've learner doing that gets you no where. I just meant maybe I should try a new approach. Thanks for the positive feedback.
     
  10. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes, try a new approach, and instead of being mentored on social media marketing...find a photography mentor. :er: Better your skills FIRST, then market the **** out of them.

    How would you market yourself? As an amatuer? Will you disclose your skill level with this marketing? If you don't you are posing as a professional.


    It looks like you do have a knack for this, but not ready for "marketing".
    Thus my comment, cart before the horse.

    Skills > Logos, Websites, Watermarks...


    If you don't want to get negative feedback, make sure you say so in your first post.
     
  11. shmne

    shmne No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I do have to agree with Bitter on this one, maybe a bit harshly put but completely spot on.

    If you want to market yourself one day, something I advise is to get a style. When people see my pictures they know they are mine because I mentally make sure to keep them in the same realm. Generally speaking I take darker images, simple yet natural posing, and work with mostly ambient light with some off camera flash to enhance. The final style choice I make is the post processing I do to every photo, I try to keep it simple yet effective, and I also try to plan ahead to incorporate some kind of compositing.

    The emotion can change drastically, yet still abide to my style. This is something key because the only two major things setting you aside from every other photographer is your personality and your photos.

    Just curious, is that the logo on your fb page?
     
  12. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    I tend to look at this a bit differently. If people are ready to buy, you are ready to sell. I don't like it but it is none of my business and, tbh, if the quality is not there you won't go very far.

    Personally I wouldn't sell anything that I am not 100% satisfied meets a high technical standard. I wouldn't even put any of the photos that don't meet that standard on a public website because I don't want to be seen as a photographer who doesn't know what he is doing. But that is just me...

    And looking through websites of pro photographers, I often shake my head in disbelief at what I see but, hey, I'm not those people's customer so, what do I care?

    As far as marketing is concerned, it really depends on the area of photography you are trying to work in.
     

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