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Thread: What Makes a sellable photograph?

  1. #21
    Light Guru's Avatar
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    Re: What Makes a sellable photograph?

    What makes a sellable photograph?

    The salesman!
    Zak Baker
    zakbaker.photo

    "Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."
    Ansel Adams

  2. #22
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: What Makes a sellable photograph?

    I read this with interest. I'm not much of a seller of photos. I don't take the time to make prints to sell much. What I have exhibited has not sold well; perhaps the wrong audience. I am reading each post here. I can sell marine electronics or office IT equipment much better than photos.

    So far I'm inclined to think. oversize photos, wild color saturation, and death of the photographer work well for selling photos. I'm not ready for those approaches.

  3. #23

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    Re: What Makes a sellable photograph?

    How many pretty young kids go to Hollywood to become stars? How many become stars? I think selling photographs has similar odds and an equal amount of providence. I decided long ago worrying about any of it would spoil my adventure.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  4. #24
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: What Makes a sellable photograph?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    I want a minimum of $250 to $500 just for the frame; a lot more for a big print. Any local frame shop would want way more. All that stuff is overhead. Just look
    at the price of a stack of Museum board. Drymounting takes time; mounting color prints is a lot more fussy. So I don't know how you do it, Jim. Any street fair
    around here would probably cost you a couple grand a day just for the booth space. But that is a lovely image you posted.
    A booth is $75 for two days, and upwards of 5000 people come through. It is certainly no great money maker, but isn't a drain like pro bono sports photography for the home town school. Last year driving to ball games added maybe 1000 miles on the car, but the girls basketball team was 4th in their class in the state. Kids like that deserve support. As for frames, other brands look close enough to Nielsen for folks around here. I use window glass; ugly but cheap. I've had dry mounted prints go bad after a decade or two, and hang prints on the mount board now. That's also ugly but cheap.

  5. #25

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    Re: What Makes a sellable photograph?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Galli View Post
    How many pretty young kids go to Hollywood to become stars? How many become stars? I think selling photographs has similar odds and an equal amount of providence. I decided long ago worrying about any of it would spoil my adventure.
    Yeah, skills don't matter either some times.

    I had a buddy who played the bass guitar. He was in the top local band and even played with national recording artists Head East and Missouri.

    I have a nephew who also played bass for one of the top bands here. He did the traveling scene, had a record contract fall through, etc.

    Both ended up being successful but in other fields.

  6. #26
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: What Makes a sellable photograph?

    I've never had a drymount failure, Jim, not in decades. But it's nice that you've found a realistic niche clientele. Some of the street fairs around here are quite
    interesting, and the photographic talent is in fact talent, though not much of it appeals to me personally, and mostly color inkjet work, small. Some of them are just there for the scene, I suspect. In fact, I know some that cumulatively lose money after the overhead of paying a printing lab, frame shop, etc. It was no different during the Gold Rush. Very few of the miners made a profit; a few did. Who really made money were the people selling them the picks n' shovels etc. Then they'd charge the miners up in the hills five dollars for a single egg for breakfast. That was a LOT of money back then.

  7. #27

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    Re: What Makes a sellable photograph?

    Hate to be the cynic...but I think that Light Guru nailed it!

  8. #28
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: What Makes a sellable photograph?

    I keep yelling I'm a Hobbyist and there are good reasons for that. You figure it out.

    I am so busy shooting unpaid work that I have little time for Art or her cousin, Not.

    About every 3 days I wake up with an idea and try to do it.

    Jim Jones and Drew come close to understanding.

    "Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
    sin eater

  9. #29
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: What Makes a sellable photograph?

    I went to great lengths to develop very high quality presentations back when a lot of materials labs or major framing houses now take for granted simply were not available. But I did this for a couple of reasons. One is that it was all for my own photographs. I wasn't trying to provide a volume commercial service for others. Secondly, I enjoy solving these kinds of problems. In some cases, I doubt I ever broke even; but when I did land a sale, I sure as heck didn't have to talk anyone
    into it. In the words of Hannibal Lecter, People covet what they see. The funny thing is that ordinary folks would simply pay the asking price, and then treat
    themselves to something nice. A billionaire was easy to spot because they always haggled.

  10. #30
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: What Makes a sellable photograph?

    It is good to be able to hang a photo on the wall and then wait a several months. If I still stop and look at it as I walk by occasionally, or if it catches my eye as I sit in the room, then I know I have made a "sellable print". I took and worked with the image! If I do not keep up interest in it over a long period of time, how can I expect someone who does not have that experience of creating it, to pay any attention to it on a wall?! (let alone buy it).

    But I moved into a new (but old) home in July, and the lights suck -- I have to be careful how I judge my prints...some are getting shorted of light!
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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