Selling Photography On Line

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by david_oliveras, Nov 2, 1998.

  1. I work with a Pentax 6X7 and have posted some of my work on my website http://www.stateofmaya.com

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    Has anyone had any positive experience selling their images on line? I'd like to hear any comments or suggestions on this and on improving my site. Thanks!

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    David Oliveras
    http://www.stateofmaya.com
    doliveras@stateofmaya.com
     
  2. James Danis' work is nice and his web site is very well organized, but
    how's he doing with it? Is he selling any significant volume?
     
  3. From James Danis:

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    Brian,
    Thanks for your compliments. I have been selling my work as
    fine art for the past 18 years as my primary source of income. I am
    very fortunate to have made some discoveries marketing wise that have
    served me well. But they have been won by experiment, extreme
    expense and by following my own instincts. Each photographer's or
    artist's work is a cumulative unique output and as such, has a unique
    market. The sales approach should have a style similar to one's
    personal style in photography or art. It is awsome to see how my
    customers resemble me in so many ways. For me, success has been an
    adventure into self realization.
     
  4. David Jenkins and I had a chat about James Danis. I had posted just
    the first paragraph of James' email to me, and forwarded its entirety
    to David. We had a conversation, and then I realized that everybody
    else was missing out. So here it is, with Dave's permision:

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    DJ:

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    In other words, I paid the price to find what works, and I'm not
    going to give it away!

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    BCM:

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    I think James is right that the exact figures aren't that important.
    What we need to do is just look at his web site and see how it's put
    together. "If you find a good idea, steal it." His web site accepts
    credit cards. According to Mason Resnick at B&W World, that software
    costs $50 or so. No big investment there. He says that your site
    has to stand out. So advertise it like a maniac. I sent an email to
    David Oliveras, and he says he makes his living from his art
    proceeds. So David is already in galleries and such, and he's
    looking for another outlet.

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    Honestly, what did we expect? I was hoping he'd pop over and state
    the obvious: Yes, the web works. Yes, advertise like crazy. Yes,
    lay it out well. Put the prices next to the photos. Accept all
    methods of monitary payment. Don't accept pigs and chickens as
    payment.

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    Like a cashier at the local supermarked told me, "Capitalize like
    crazy." His business had failed.

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    So let us observe the obvious, and imitate all the good habits! :)

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    DJ:

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    You're right, of course, but I'm still suspicious of selling on the
    net. What I really wanted to know is if he is selling enough on the
    net to make it worthwhile to put forth the effort, maintain the site,
    etc.

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    BCM:

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    From a car manufacturer: "Your mileage will vary."

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    If you don't put forth the effort, then you will never know. Many
    people have really liked my Dad's artwork, but he would never exhibit
    or sell any of it. He would do one or two paintings for people, but
    he would never allow himself to be successful.

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    Analyze the costs: Based on the prices a local provider charges,
    it's $50 a month for a commercial web page, and a bunch of
    megabytes. So that's $50 a month, $300 a year. Not bad rent. Then
    there's your costs of setting up the web page. How much will it cost
    you to have your photos scanned in? Can you get it done or do it for
    no money? Setting up a web page is just a bunch of typing if you
    bother to learn HTML, and the books for that aren't expensive. For
    payment, just say that you accept cash, checks, and money orders.
    That's a good start.

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    So: $50 a month, free listing on every search engine there is, you're
    on the net. All the profits go to you, instead of 50% to a gallery.

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    (Based on my weak understanding of US self-employment taxes, a
    gallery nets you 25% profits, because first 50% goes to the gallery,
    and of that profit the IRS takes 50% of it. So the web gets you 50%
    overall.)

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    Web maintenance: Its just some typing, and that's it. A web editor
    is great for the fancy stuff. You can get 95% of the way there with
    just a little effort.

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    Remember: It's not what your time costs, it's how you invest it.
    So: TV or learning HTML and setting up a web page. There you go.
     
  5. Like anything else that's worthwhile it does take an effort. I
    basically designed my site very simply and did it myself. It's
    certainly not perfect because I'm not a programmer, however, I have
    seen worse and it's an evolving process. I pay about $29 a month to
    the company that's "web hosting." I guess I spent $30.00 on a book
    re: creating web sites using Office 97 which is a program I knew and
    already had and finally I guess I spent about $70 scanning some
    photos. I plan to add more to it soon.

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    If nothing else my artwork has reached an audience that it never had
    before in such far away places as Luxemborg, Australia, Italy,
    Malaysia, and the Vatican. A free web counter provides me with some
    stats as to how well my marketing efforts are working.

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    Does this take time away from taking pictures? Not really. That
    always comes first. Now, however, when I surf the web I'm doing it
    with a goal in mind: that is trying to reach more potential buyers.
    Basically I'm still shopping around for a secure credit card
    transaction package, but that will come.

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    Ultimately with the web growing som much everyday, I'm sure it will
    pay off in the long run.

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    David Oliveras
    http://www.stateofmaya.com
     
  6. For a brief look at Professional Portfolios, the Agfa film web sight
    has an ongoing display of work
    WWW.agfaphoto.com/gallery/pf-index.html some very interesting
    work on display and a monthly competition.
     

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