After reading the Legacy thread by John K in the Lounge, it rekindled some thoughts I posed to some other photographers weeks ago. I would be interested in hearing what everyone here might have to say. The main question is: why donít photographers just sell their images as one off? Like an original painting, drawing, flute, guitar, motorcycle, etc.
Obviously, many photographers make a living or supplement their income through their photographs. For the purposes of this question, letís leave money out of the equation.
I realize it costs time, money, materials, etc. to make photographs, but IF the intention of the photographer is to make art and enjoy the process, the main goal usually isnít to derive income.
I think far too often, if someone becomes Ďseriousí about a particular hobby or activity, they believe they must make funds for their efforts. So if you are really in it to enjoy the ride and the results, why not just make a print at the size you think fits it best and with the best presentation for that particular image then move on to the next one? Give it away, sell it or hang it on your wall.
The best answer Iíve heard is to share your work with others and I completely agree with that. I think making a handful to share with other people sounds reasonable, but introducing the whole marketing dynamic of limited editions and pricing structures seems to dilute the initial intention.
Dare I say, it might actually make for more honest interpretations of your given subject in photography. Without the external pressures to create popular, sellable pieces, the results might be more personal. This leads into the whole legacy thing and after a photographer passes. If they are more personal, they might be more treasured by those who knew the photographer.