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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 19 Nov 2014 (Wednesday) 23:02
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Do people still buy prints? (of non-personal photos)

 
Mark-B
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Nov 22, 2014 14:18 |  #16

trale wrote in post #17282731 (external link)
I am looking to services like smugmug, zenfolio, fotomoto to automate this process. But all of these are not cheap (to me anyway, I'm just an amateur photo-enthusiast).

These services really aren't that expensive for what they offer. A website, unlimited backup of your image files, file delivery/download, and print sales. All for approximately $150/year (plus a % of the sale). You can recover that from the sale of one or two 16x20 prints. If you aren't selling two prints per year to earn $150, then you don't need the site.

I can set up a website to sell digital prints using WordPress themes and plugins at a very low over-head cost (and without requiring dedicated photo services like ones mentioned), but fulfilling physical prints is a whole different ball game.

Now it just becomes a question of what your time is worth.

So beyond friends and acquaintances that like my work (they have a personal connection), I'm wondering just what the market is like for people to buy prints from random photographers on the internet.

People still buy prints. Whether or not they buy them from you depends on if you can get them to your site in the first place. If you don't have steps in place to get people there, then you probably won't have any sales. I have found that some sales are spur of the moment, so "buy now" will get you a few sales that you may have missed out on with an "email me" method.


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trale
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Nov 22, 2014 15:29 |  #17

Picture North Carolina wrote in post #17286809 (external link)
Sorry. A POD is a "Print on demand" site. Fine Art America is currently probably the best bang for the buck. It's only $30 per year there, and if you get the $30 paid account you also get what they call the ARtist Website which is basically a stand-alone web presence of your work. They handle all payment, printing, and shipping for you. You collect a monthly PayPal deposit. You set your own profit margin. Click the Fine Art Photography in my sig. For $30 it ain't a bad looking site.


Thanks for clarifying. You and digirebelva both mentioned Fine Art America, and $30/yr is definitely worth a look. Much better than the $150+/yr I'd be paying for the other sites I mentioned.

http://fineartamerica.​com/membershipplans.ht​ml (external link)

In fact, I may just start on their Free plan, and put up 25 of my best photos and see how they do out there.

So I guess what I'd do is to construct my main custom-built website and have it be for showcase purposes (all I'd be paying is $4/mo for hosting, and a 1-time fee for a WordPress theme), and direct anyone interested in prints to my Fine Art America site.

Can you explain a bit more about "You set your own profit margin."? How does that work?

Say you sell a print for $100. How much of that actually goes to you?




  
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digirebelva
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Nov 22, 2014 15:59 as a reply to  @ trale's post |  #18

On fine art, you decide how much profit you want to make for each size. So if you put $100 for a 8x12, your profit will be $100. Understand fine art will charge the customer a fee for printing, shipping etc. That is in addition to your profit, so keep that in mind when pricing.


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Tony_Stark
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Nov 22, 2014 16:05 |  #19

I've tried offering prints for sale, have had very dismal results. This being just selling images for general public, not owners or clients directly. Not worth my time to do so.


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Hogloff
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Nov 22, 2014 16:30 |  #20
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Tony_Stark wrote in post #17287407 (external link)
I've tried offering prints for sale, have had very dismal results. This being just selling images for general public, not owners or clients directly. Not worth my time to do so.

What did you do to promote or market your prints. Promotion and marketing is much more important to the success of selling than is the content or quality of the print.

How does your perspective buyer even know you exist?




  
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digirebelva
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Nov 22, 2014 19:07 |  #21

Hogloff wrote in post #17287434 (external link)
.pPromotion and marketing is much more important to the success of selling than is the content or quality of the print.

Yep, far to many folks simply put their stuff online and expect folks to come beating down the doors to buy their images, and then complain when they don't sell anything. If potential buyers can't find you or don't even know your images are for sale, you won't sell much of anything.


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trale
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Nov 22, 2014 19:16 |  #22

digirebelva wrote in post #17287679 (external link)
Yep, far to many folks simply put their stuff online and expect folks to come beating down the doors to buy their images, and then complain when they don't sell anything. If potential buyers can't find you or don't even know your images are for sale, you won't sell much of anything.


Thanks for all your input into this thread. I'm really starting to get a clearer idea on how to approach this entire project.

I'm well aware I probably won't sell a single print by just hoping that someone would stumble onto my site and see something they like (even after using SEO strategies). That is why I want to keep my overhead costs as low as possible. My first objective is to simply have a functional site on the web that I can point a friend/acquaintance to if they are interested in making a purchase.

After a while, then I might delve into the whole marketing aspect of site to the general public.




  
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Hogloff
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Nov 22, 2014 19:24 |  #23
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trale wrote in post #17287697 (external link)
After a while, then I might delve into the whole marketing aspect of site to the general public.

I suggest you pick a specific market, understand what this segment wants in a way of prints and figure out how to get your prints in front of them. It's much easier and much more effective if you target a very specific market. Trying to sell to the "general public" would best be left to the Walmarts of the world.

Find a very specific niche that has disposable income and cater to them with high valued prints. You'll never get anywhere selling to the general public as you compete against the $25 prints available at Walmart and Ikea.




  
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Tony_Stark
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Nov 22, 2014 20:42 |  #24

Hogloff wrote in post #17287434 (external link)
What did you do to promote or market your prints. Promotion and marketing is much more important to the success of selling than is the content or quality of the print.

How does your perspective buyer even know you exist?

Mainly to follwers on my social media profiles. Best and most direct way. Even used Facebook ads.


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digirebelva
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Nov 22, 2014 21:56 |  #25

Tony_Stark wrote in post #17287844 (external link)
Mainly to follwers on my social media profiles. Best and most direct way. Even used Facebook ads.

Obviously, they are not your target audience, do you know who is your target audience is, or should be..?

Before I put my images online, I did a couple of art fairs to see if they had actual value to folks looking for art, and more importantly, those willing to spend money on art.


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Nov 22, 2014 23:03 |  #26

digirebelva wrote in post #17287952 (external link)
Obviously, they are not your target audience, do you know who is your target audience is, or should be..?

Before I put my images online, I did a couple of art fairs to see if they had actual value to folks looking for art, and more importantly, those willing to spend money on art.

People would rather a photoshoot than buy a single print, and those who do want photoshoots usually want prints afterwards.


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trale
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Nov 23, 2014 22:20 |  #27

Hogloff wrote in post #17287713 (external link)
I suggest you pick a specific market, understand what this segment wants in a way of prints and figure out how to get your prints in front of them. It's much easier and much more effective if you target a very specific market. Trying to sell to the "general public" would best be left to the Walmarts of the world.

Find a very specific niche that has disposable income and cater to them with high valued prints. You'll never get anywhere selling to the general public as you compete against the $25 prints available at Walmart and Ikea.

Understood. Getting my work to be bought from an audience outside my circle of friends of acquaintances is going to require another level dedication into photography, or rather, turning a hobby into a business. This is one step I might not want to take, at least not just yet.

But if I ever go that route, I'll definitely go with your suggestion. It sounds like it entails a lot of networking, groundwork, and luck.




  
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moose10101
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Nov 24, 2014 08:49 |  #28

trale wrote in post #17289631 (external link)
Understood. Getting my work to be bought from an audience outside my circle of friends of acquaintances is going to require another level dedication into photography, or rather, turning a hobby into a business. This is one step I might not want to take, at least not just yet.

But if I ever go that route, I'll definitely go with your suggestion. It sounds like it entails a lot of networking, groundwork, and luck.

I was at an opening reception for an exhibition yesterday, and had a nice conversation with the curator about how to get my work seen and purchased. She's also an artist, from a family of artists, and has a lot of experience with the business side of things. Her message: assuming your work is good, the key to success is "shameless self-promotion". On the web, in person, whatever way you can think of to get to the people who actually spend money on art.




  
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Do people still buy prints? (of non-personal photos)
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