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Thread: Marketing Platinum Portraits in 11x14 , Is this posible and then How?

  1. #1

    Marketing Platinum Portraits in 11x14 , Is this posible and then How?

    I want to market Platinum portraits made with an 11x14 ULF as a family heirloom post Covid19. This is a unique service and product. How is this best approached? I am particularly interested in hearing from Photographers who actually did market PT PD prints. What was the critical price point? How was this service and product received by the public? How is this best marketed as a special niche ?

    I am a bit of an idealist and have decided to embark on this project. With the guidance of Photographers experienced in Marketing ULF portraits and PTPD portraits I hope ot have some success.

    Thank You

  2. #2

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    Re: Marketing Platinum Portraits in 11x14 , Is this posible and then How?

    You might contact Bob Carnie's gallery.
    http://www.bobcarnieprintmakingandgallery.ca/

  3. #3

    Re: Marketing Platinum Portraits in 11x14 , Is this posible and then How?

    Quote Originally Posted by cowanw View Post
    You might contact Bob Carnie's gallery.
    http://www.bobcarnieprintmakingandgallery.ca/
    That did not help. He is not focused on the person or family wanting a portrait. He provides darkroom services and a tiny gallery. That is not the model I am seeking to emulate.

  4. #4

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    Re: Marketing Platinum Portraits in 11x14 , Is this posible and then How?

    Have you marketed LF silver portraits? If so, you know how to market Pt/Pd? If not, I suggest you begin with these. You should become known for making beautiful portraits before introducing Pt/Pd. Portraits are portraits regardless of process. If you aren't good with one process, nothing makes you better with another more expensive one.

  5. #5

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    Re: Marketing Platinum Portraits in 11x14 , Is this posible and then How?

    A few thoughts from someone who started out in the portrait business in 1979 (and who changed course after two years);

    I'd start by studying the top studio portraitists out there. (I don't know who they might be any more, perhaps look at the PPA website.)

    1) to learn their approach to the craft itself- you'll need to really like people to succeed. Lighting, posing, etc. are rather simple but a good portraitist will establish a rapport with their subject and make them feel comfortable during the sitting.

    2) to learn their marketing approach as well. There's a lot of competition in the portrait market, always has been.

    3) have your technique all figured out first. Practice on family, friends, neighbors, in order to build a portfolio. You'll want a good one in order to sell to strangers.

    Best of luck!

  6. #6

    Re: Marketing Platinum Portraits in 11x14 , Is this posible and then How?

    I recently purchased some DVDs and books from Tim Kelly. I have studied his work since the 80s. He is at the top of his game

    https://tkelly3.photobiz.com/

    He has gone digital but still shoots with an old studio 8x10 and his Gowlandflex
    Flikr Photos Here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/18134483@N04/

    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
    ― Mark Twain

  7. #7

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    Re: Marketing Platinum Portraits in 11x14 , Is this posible and then How?

    Tillman Crane has been selling Platinum prints for years, but not portraits, so might not be much help, but https://www.tillmancrane.com/platinum-prints/

    If it is going to be portraits, then your chief marketing challenge is to be a fine art portraitist, rather then whether you are selling silver, digital or PT prints. I don't see how the print medium matters as much as establishing yourself as a fine art portraitist. Focus on people who do that first...

  8. #8
    multi format
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    Re: Marketing Platinum Portraits in 11x14 , Is this posible and then How?

    Quote Originally Posted by Torontoamateur View Post
    I want to market Platinum portraits made with an 11x14 ULF as a family heirloom post Covid19. This is a unique service and product. How is this best approached? I am particularly interested in hearing from Photographers who actually did market PT PD prints. What was the critical price point? How was this service and product received by the public? How is this best marketed as a special niche ?

    I am a bit of an idealist and have decided to embark on this project. With the guidance of Photographers experienced in Marketing ULF portraits and PTPD portraits I hope ot have some success.

    Thank You
    hi torontoamateur
    its not an easy racket to get into. You might start by figuring out your costs / print ( film, chemistry &c ) and then multiply by a factor of 3 ( 1/overhead 1/ cost 1/ profit ) and see where you are; THEN figure out how long it takes for a sitting, and how long it takes to make a finished print and come up with an hourly wage and add it up; then factor in the cost of matting and framing.
    You might also book a sitting at a portrait mill and see how much the competition is charging for the mass-appeal machine print portrait (around here they were 10$ an 8x10 and 11x14 isn't much more ) .. 11x14 contact print on 16x20 paper or 20x24 paper will be very nice.
    If you have anyone local to you within 100 miles who does LF portrait work you might consider apprenticing with them to learn the ropes before going out on your own.

    I wish you the best of luck with your venture!
    John
    Last edited by jnantz; 31-Oct-2021 at 13:16.

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    Re: Marketing Platinum Portraits in 11x14 , Is this posible and then How?

    Quote Originally Posted by djdister View Post
    Tillman Crane has been selling Platinum prints for years, but not portraits, so might not be much help, but https://www.tillmancrane.com/platinum-prints/

    If it is going to be portraits, then your chief marketing challenge is to be a fine art portraitist, rather then whether you are selling silver, digital or PT prints. I don't see how the print medium matters as much as establishing yourself as a fine art portraitist. Focus on people who do that first...
    This is the right advice. Seconded.

  10. #10
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    Re: Marketing Platinum Portraits in 11x14 , Is this posible and then How?

    Quote Originally Posted by Torontoamateur View Post
    I want to market Platinum portraits made with an 11x14 ULF as a family heirloom post Covid19.
    Identify your market. What kind of person or family wants this? Does the average person know what PT/PD is? Or how about ULF and contact prints? If not, why would they want to purchase said item and how do you market to them? Local art fairs, galleries? Finally, what are these people willing to pay for this item, and does it work within your time/budget to charge such a price?

    I've done tintype portraits with a friend at art festivals. The price for this was probably much less than you'd want for the above suggested print, but was still a tough sell, even in the wealthiest area of GA (which to be fair has a low socioeconomic base to begin with). My personal opinion is that unless you are already an established and well-known portraitist, it's unlikely you'd get many bites. I would suggest at the very least making a number of example portraits/prints, and then finding art festivals or galleries who may be interested and have the market to attract the affluent families you are targeting. Huge uphill battle for this.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Portfolio
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

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