Sell prints

Even in this dig­i­tal age of vir­tual gal­leries and elec­tronic dis­plays, there’s still a mar­ket for tra­di­tional prints


Pro­duce phys­i­cal copies of your pho­to­graphs to sell as wall art

so­cial me­dia likes and on­line com­ments are nice, but noth­ing beats know­ing that some­one likes your work enough to have it on their wall. Sell­ing your prints can be done in many ways. Lo­cal art fairs and mar­kets can be a great way to get started. You’ll need to get a range of im­ages printed and framed, but it’s also worth hav­ing some smaller un­framed prints and even cards or cal­en­dars. This is so you have some cheaper op­tions for those who don’t have the cash or space for a large print.

You can also try ap­proach­ing lo­cal cof­fee shops, restau­rants or gift shops to see if you could sell im­ages by hang­ing them in their premises. This is nor­mally done on con­sign­ment, where you con­tinue to own them un­til they are sold. When they sell you will have to split the rev­enue with the re­tailer, which is nor­mally any­thing from 70:30 in your favour to 50:50. Be­fore you start, make sure that you draw up a con­tract de­tail­ing the re­tail price of the prints, the per­cent­age split, who is re­spon­si­ble for the prints while dis­played, as well as how long the prints will be dis­played. Lo­cal gal­leries are also an op­tion, although these can be dif­fi­cult to per­suade un­til you have some sales un­der your belt.

If you don’t want to go to the ex­pense of pre-print­ing and fram­ing your work, then there are sev­eral on­line op­tions where you can make a sale be­fore get­ting the print made. This can be from your ex­ist­ing web­site, or you can cre­ate one us­ing a host­ing com­pany such as Smug­mug (www.smug­, which has in­te­grated photo lab or­der­ing. There are also web­sites such as Fine Art Amer­ica (www.fin­eartamer­ and Red­bub­ble (­bub­ble. com), who of­fer a range of print prod­ucts that you can add your im­ages to. They then han­dle the or­der­ing and ful­fil­ment, which is one less worry.

When it comes to de­cid­ing what types of im­ages to sell, it will vary ac­cord­ing to the type of mar­ket and au­di­ence you are aim­ing at. For lo­cal art fairs, cafes and even smaller gal­leries, lo­cal scenes or land­marks are al­ways a great op­tion. These are most pop­u­lar with peo­ple who have an emo­tional at­tach­ment to the lo­ca­tion, so hav­ing a range of lo­cal

scenes will help you to ap­peal to as wide an au­di­ence as pos­si­ble. These shots need to be taken in great light, as oth­er­wise they won’t stand out, but this doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean that you need to shoot at sun­set or sun­rise.

In fact, moody, broody land­scapes are a much harder sell, as are snowy win­ter scenes. These may be favourites among pho­tog­ra­phers, but most peo­ple won’t want a re­minder of cold, rainy days hang­ing on their wall. The ex­cep­tion here is the fine art print mar­ket, where it’s pos­si­ble to make some sales of this type of im­age, and there’s also a mar­ket for moody black-and-white im­ages, but these are more niche mar­kets.

There’s also a mar­ket for more ab­stract im­ages, such as still life or de­tails, but un­less the im­age hap­pens to fit into the colour scheme or home decor of the buyer, they don’t have the wide-rang­ing ap­peal of land­scapes or wildlife im­ages.

Sell­ing prints isn’t just about enor­mous lav­ishly framed pho­tos, though, as not every­one is look­ing for a large piece of art for their wall. Smaller, un­framed prints are a cheaper op­tion, and can sell at art fairs and on­line, while there’s also de­mand for greet­ings cards and cal­en­dars.

Sell­ing prints isn’t just about enor­mous lav­ishly framed pho­tos, though, as not every­one is look­ing for a large piece of art for their wall

Ab­stract im­ages can be dif­fi­cult to sell, as they have to fit in with the cus­tomer’s decor and colour scheme

Lo­cal scenes or land­marks make ace op­tions for cus­tomers that have an emo­tional at­tach­ment to the area Try some smaller un­framed prints to sell to peo­ple that may not want costly prints

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