Tips for Selling your own Photographs
It's an exciting time when you decide that your photos are good enough to share in public. Better still, you hope your audience will like your images so much they will purchase them to hang on the walls in their home.
Sharing your work is a brave move, whether it be to sell over social media, exhibit on a wall in a local cafe or gallery or taking it to a local market. I understand the excitement and nervousness when you exhibit your photos in public for the first time.
Years ago as I started my journey with photography, I was invited to exhibit in a popular cellar door in Coonawarra. The whole dilemma of what to show, how to present it and what price to put on my work was real. I decided to create a small collection of images that portrayed the local area: Vines, gum trees, natural water courses and the old railway siding. I presented them as large, print to canvas pieces that were printed and framed in a professional photo lab. At the suggestion of the graphic artist, each image had a colour band through it to add a unique effect. The canvases were large, between one and two metres in height. I was satisfied this was my best work and I would be rewarded if others simply enjoyed viewing the collection.
A Canadian visitor to the local area purchased my entire exhibition. Her connection with the work was strong as she had loved her travel experiences in this wine region. We packaged the seven large canvas prints and shipped them to Canada. This was the start of my journey and from this experience I learned the fundamentals of selling photography.
Here's my tips in a nutshell.
- Look for and take opportunities - Your first opportunity is just the beginning.
- Understand your audience and what may connect them to your images. Consider the event where you are showcasing your work, the venue, the type of people who will be there. What are their interests, types of homes they have their beliefs and ideas. Do your market research so you hit the mark with your subject and presentation.
- Dare to be different and have a unique story to share. Showcase the images you love and that you have passion for.
- Present photos in ways that surprise or are different. Don’t showcase too many at first, but have a limited selection that you can print over and over again.
- Only showcase your best work. In terms of composition, colour, clarity and image quality, ask a friend or mentor for advise to help you select your final images.
- If you are selling bricks and mortar or over the internet, showcase your images in ways that others may imagine them on their walls.
- Present your work as professionally as you can afford. Be prepared to spend money and have a budget in mind. It’s unreasonable to expect a buyer to want to hang a mismatched, second hand frame on their wall. Your photography needs to be resolved in a quality frame as you are not only selling your photos - you are presenting a piece of wall art to someone for their home. This is also true if you are entering a photo in a competition. Ensure your presentation and framing helps your image look great.
Decide on a theme, keep your images uniform and present them in quality frames.
- Value your work and your effort and price to make a small profit. Add up your costs, your time and effort and creativity. Don't undersell yourself just to get a sale and boost your ego. Always add up your real overheads and costs first and THEN price your work for sale.
- Be persistent, patient, personal and productive. It's easy to start your selling idea but more difficult to keep going when things don't sell. Change your theme, your colours and try new approaches. Network with others and continue to market your work by sharing your story with strong images. Selling requires consistent hard work so be prepared to dedicate a certain amount of time each week to your cause.
- Make it easy for people to purchase. Easy to order, couriered, print only or framed. Have back up stock on hand for those images you sell.
- Market your photography the same way marketing is done for anything to be sold. Get your brand, your story, your style, business cards, logos, and be prepared to put in an effort. Make a plan, set some goals and achieve them, step by step.
Plan your exhibition and do a mock up - use quality, same size framing that sets your work off. These frames are the small print and frame packages on our web site. Keep it simple but consistent. Let others imagine your work on their walls.
To support you further in your selling journey, Coastal Framing and Design have developed a print and frame package site. This is a wholesale site where the prices are designed for you to add your cost to make a profit. We offer dropshipping to your address or directly to your clients anywhere in Australia.
Start small, start strong and NEVER GIVE UP. It takes time to build a profile. More importantly to achieve success, create more and create often and don’t compare yourself to others. Have fun and believe in yourself.
Dip. Freelance Photography.