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Thread: Up Off The Mat...Again?

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    622

    Re: Up Off The Mat...Again?

    John Layton, Very much appreciate you sharing your experience. Laying out what we are or aren't doing I think can be very helpful. And its helpful to me to be reminded what others are going through. I'm not sure where I'm trying to walk to, but I'm definitly feeling down on the mat meself, and have a lot in waves these past 6 months.
    ~nicholas
    lifeofstawa
    stawastawa at gmail

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Posts
    30

    Re: Up Off The Mat...Again?

    I really sympathize with the difficulty of starting to print, when there's no deadline. For me, printing is the most mentally challenging part, because it's where you try to execute something and say, "That's it, that's the best expression of what I intended." It's truly daunting.

    Do you care about the waterfall negative, or is it just filling a slot for something reasonably appealing that someone might buy?

    Do you have email info for some of your "patrons"? Print buyers, workshop participants, etc.? Could you offer them a group of new work, or a themed set of prints?

    Have you considered applying for a forgivable PPP loan? They exist to address this loss of income, and are available to sole proprietors.

    Is there a sort of print or photo you've wanted to make, that could be done in this time?

    I do a lot of HABS/HAER (Historical American Buildings Survey / Historic American Engineering Record) work, and I'm using some time now to get set up for doing it in 5x7, rather than 4x5 (the work is delivered as contact prints). Not a commercial advantage, but more satisfying scale for myself for the prints.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Posts
    1,247

    Re: Up Off The Mat...Again?

    I don't support myself with MY work. My wife however is an artist, she's had shows canceled, she still has sales. It's kind of a catch 22. She's trying to be ready for her exhibition, so she's reluctant to sell certain pieces as she's planning these to be part of her exhibition.

    This virus stinks! I count myself as very fortunate that I don't have to be amongst the "crowd" I've been careful.

    Hopefully by autumn, we will all be back in the saddle.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    435

    Re: Up Off The Mat...Again?

    ive been wanting to do my back log of printing this year but found so many other projects that kept me very busy.

    you dont realize how anti social you are till there's a pandemic n nothing in your life has changed.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Bundaberg, Australia
    Posts
    157

    Re: Up Off The Mat...Again?

    My last good sales were $2000 in one week...that was 12 years ago

    I used to sell directly off my web site but was building a motorhome at the time and didn't have the time for anything else so I disabled the sales feature and only got around to reinstating it last year when I did a full site makeover.

    The cynic in me thinks print sales are a thing of the past, but I hope I'm wrong.

    As for self promotion, I do almost nothing. I have a business page on Farcebook but that's useless. I refuse to get involved in other social media, in fact I closed down ALL accounts accept FB and YT just a week or so back. I don't even know if I want to promote, but I am getting pretty active on YT so maybe that's the place to do it. In a previous life I had my own small gallery and ran workshops, that combo worked well but I had to shut it all down when we sold up and hit the road 20 years ago. I've dropped anchor now so could do the same again, but I don't want to get tied down to a shop and I doubt there's enough interest in workshops around here. I did start a photography club 2 years ago but have shut that down as well, very few people were that interested in photography, it was just coffee club really.

    So I don't know what to do, truth is although a few extra $ would be nice I don't need the money so that disincentiveses (?) me a lot. I think I'll spend more time writing tutorials etc for the web site and generally putting time into the site, making YT videos, and taking more photos, plus revisiting old ones that had bad scans.

    I might also start a "Photo of the week" post on FB that links to the photo's web page.
    Rob Gray Nature Photographer Extraordinaire
    www.robgray.com

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Bundaberg, Australia
    Posts
    157

    Re: Up Off The Mat...Again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Ron View Post
    ...you dont realize how anti social you are till there's a pandemic n nothing in your life has changed.
    It's made absolutely no difference to us We normally seclude ourselves in the bush and just continued doing that.
    Rob Gray Nature Photographer Extraordinaire
    www.robgray.com

  7. #17
    jp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    5,430

    Re: Up Off The Mat...Again?

    Photography is very important to me and I have sometimes done it for side money in the past.... I had a gallery for a while too.

    I'm mostly in the IT industry and 2020 was a very big year for that, with people needing new infrastructure for working at home, adapting their businesses, etc... So I have ceased all photography promotion and simply gone shooting as a way to find some balance in life and fresh air. If covid manners preclude photography networking and I go for a camera hike with myself or family, that's fine.

    I'd suggest photography businesspeople who sell prints try to buddy up with some realtors and trades people; the people making initial contacts with the new home owners and people to your area. In the non-urban areas, houses have sold like crazy with people moving from expensive urban areas to less expensive and more free rural/suburban areas because of covid they can {telework, retire, change jobs}. They need decoration and if you do landscapes, they are moving to the area in part due to to it's beauty.

    In terms of social media, I follow a few professionals... Some get results based on the large amount of effort (content, networking, cross promotion, etc..) and it's genuinely interesting. Some seem like narcistists polishing the some lame crap and documenting the process on instagram.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Posts
    862

    Re: Up Off The Mat...Again?

    Several questions: For those who do sell a lot of prints, what sells the best? Landscapes? Still life? Black-and-white? Are you selling traditional silver darkroom prints? Do buyers of photography place a premium on “hand-made” darkroom prints over digitally made prints? Or perhaps buyers don’t really care if a print was made in a darkroom or spit out of a printer.

  9. #19
    Corran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    North GA Mountains
    Posts
    8,019

    Re: Up Off The Mat...Again?

    I sell mostly silver prints. Marketing the handmade nature of these prints is key, and the pricing reflects that. I have seen digital photographers selling 13x19 prints, matted to 18x24, for $25, which is simply insanity IMO, even if you are selling hundreds of prints - at my best calculation, with cheap matting materials, inkjet print mass-produced and a poly bag to bring to a festival, one can't be making more than $5 a pop at that.

    My 13x19 or thereabout prints start at $200 and I think that's too cheap. I mostly do landscapes but I do sell the occasional architecture image. I wouldn't say I sell "a lot" of prints but when I have a good festival, I can sell a decent amount. In my view it's better to sell 3-4 $200 prints than dozens of $25 prints that I'm making almost nothing on.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Portfolio
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  10. #20
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Vancouver Washington
    Posts
    3,780

    Re: Up Off The Mat...Again?

    2020 was a strange year for me too. Sales wise I think I may have sold one or two prints, always 8x10's. I did stay active with several projects. Built a book binding studio/ art/ photography space, worked on a still life project ( it continues in 2021) had a segment shot about me by the Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB). The director said they are editing it now so it may air in a month or two, I'm building another Ebony style 8x10 camera and this one may be for sale? I'm not in it for the money and never have been I just need to see my work in print for it to be done. I'm printing some images for a photographer in Boston who may want to take up carbon printing, I've taught a couple of online carbon classes that went very well I thought. Looking forward to teaching carbon with Vaughn in Yosemite in October. Had my first book accepted into the Yosemite Renaissance 36 ( now they have a virtual opening) and the good thing is is that the show will be at the Yosemite museum in October when the workshop is being taught so I can actually see all of the work along with the workshop students and finally I have a solo show at LightBox Photographic in Astoria Oregon which opens on March 13th and runs for three months. My second 15x52 inch panoramic book "A Banquet of Light" will be on display along with framed 8x20 prints on the walls and an additional 14 8x10 prints of new work hung in the gallery as well. Even with all of this, I find it hard to get motivated. I really need to finish the 8x10 camera as it will be the best build yet, then I can start the other three I plan to build. I stay busy but still find it hard because of this pandemic. I went out and shot with a friend a month or so ago and I brought out the 14x17 and I have some negatives I really need to see in print. To prepare 14x17 carbon tissue takes time and I'm trying to get motivated to do that as well. Sorry if it seems like I do a lot but it has been that way for as long as I can remember and it is getting worse!

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