Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Photo sales

I've been doing a lot of research and thinking (and a little action) into the best way to try and sell some if my photos.  While I've done some event photography and shot some weddings, my real passion creating amazing landscape, nature and still life prints... so I figure I should follow it.  This article is basically some rambling and thinking out loud, hopefully it will give you some ideas about directions to go in photography or maybe you can leave some comments giving me some direction.  Anyway here it goes...
Buy my art

Right now I have many of my 'art' photos for sale on Redbubble, I also have them displayed on my web site with links to my bubblesite where appropriate.  I also use my web site to sell photos from events I've shot, so I could use this option to sell my art photos as well.  I really like Redbubble because I don't have to do anything when someone orders a photo.  I don't like Redbubble because the base price is high, the don't offer 'normal' prints and they only have a few products I really like.

There's also a printer in Brisbane called Brilliant prints who do excellent affordable canvas prints and have recently started doing block mounted photos prints which look great and are even more affordable (I have to two photos below block mounted on my wall).  But the don't do framing, cards, calendars or 'normal' prints.  I've often wondered about giving up on redbubble and just using these guys and maybe supplement it with another standard photo printer but it would be a lot of work to set-up (print sizes and cost on web site) and I'd have to do 'stuff' whenever an order came through.  I'm still pondering this option if I could find a (singular) good printer and framer to work with.

Another option is that I've just joined Imagekind who do 'normal' prints, framing and canvas printing in a Redbubble type set-up with lots of size, paper type, mat and frame options.  But they are US based and I don't want to have to point to both redbubble and these guys from my web site. Just to make things interesting I've got a Zazzle account that is somewhere inbetween Imagekind and CafePress (I also have an account with these guys but the 'free' account isn't much use to me) which I'm using to create posters, postcards and different calendar formats.

The other thing I've found is that people are more likely to buy a print or calendar if it is physically there in front of them, particularly for less-computer-savvy generations.  This is hard, because it means you need to have up front $$ to buy the products and you need somewhere to display them.  It is even more important if you are going to sell postcards, these are normally bough from a store, somewhere near when the photo would have been taken.  So this involves doing more research into printers that have products you want at good prices which also involves buying in bulk to save $$ but first requiring you to spend more $$.

This means I now have images strewn all over the internet, three sales sites (four if you include my attempts with cafepress), one flickr site, facebook site, my web site, I have a blog (two actually), a twitter account, myspace account, a printer in Brisbane and are pondering getting calendars, prints, cards and/or postcards physically into various stores/galleries/cafe's.  Which all adds up to one big mess.

So I hope you weren't expecting me to come to a conclusion about the best way to do photo sales coz I'm going to leave it there for now and keep thinking and working to, well, see what works.  Let me know if you have any comments, thoughts or ideas.  If you are in the same place as me, GOODLUCK!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Night vision, photography and dung beetles.

Ever wondered what dung beetles have to do with photography, night vision and road safety?  Check out this article for nature inspired pixle binning, HDR and image processing being used to try and help drivers see in the dark.

Dung beetles' secret superpower: ultimate night sight