Today it is rather easy to offer your photography for sale but are you ready to actually sell your work?
Selling Photography – These days it is so easy to set up an account with a POD such as Fine Art America or Pixels that I have to wonder if camera manufacturers will be begin trying to market cameras as a cash machine.
So many camera owners (notice I didn’t say photographers) seem to think all it takes to sell their photography is pointing their camera at something, uploading the images and voila! people will buy.
Most of them find it not so easy to sell their snapshots. Sure maybe once in a while they get lucky and someone buys one of their garden flower photos or their “Look! I saw a duck!” type images but I’d say the serious art buyer is looking for more depth than a camera operator. They want some proof that they are buying from a serious artist.
What’s missing from the typical amateur cameraman goes beyond quality. Professional quality is that base line standard as you are competing on a world market with professional photographers. Beyond basic quality standards, buyers are also looking for :
- A unique vision
- A body of work
Quality buyers see right through a facade of someone simply trying to cash in with their latest camera purchase. By looking at an artist’s work you can tell if this person is a weekend warrior who dusts off his camera a few times a year when off to the next national park or cruise trip vs. a working artist.
Art comes down to authenticity. Is the photography a result of an intended, well-thought out, pre-visualized idea? Or is it just a lucky shot? Is the photographer authentic, do they know their subjects, have they spent years learning about their subjects? Does their passion for the subject show through their images or are they simple recording their travels not really seeing the essence of what they are photographing?
Look at their body of work. Is it a bunch of random images toss together or do you see a reoccurring pattern of ideas and concepts? Do you see a unique vision or simply a collection of random snapshots?
Personally I can’t stand gallery shows that have a single image from a number of artists as it is not until you see a series of images from the same artist or photographer that you can understand their vision. The amateur photographs portfolio will be all over the place while in the profession or more serious artist, you’ll see a unique pattern as they display their vision of the world.
I think buyers pick up on this intuitively. They prize images from serious artists pursuing their own unique vision over the random snapshot.
Would be photography sellers would be advised to work on their own personal vision before attempting to sell their work. Develop a body of work with a distinctive style before expecting someone to pay for it.