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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Getting Started
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01/23/2009 12:04:01 AM · #1
Hi Folks,
I'm trying to start a side business in selling fine art prints both online as well as offline in galleries and local coffee shops.

My portfolio is located at //ashepp.smugmug.com and I plan on customizing the domain shortly.

My thinking has been to take a multi pronged strategy to try and sell prints and I could really use any advice or feedback.

My main topic is local street photography around Seattle and I'm thinking my the audience is likely to be tourists and residents who are looking for a somewhat quirky but memorable view of Seattle. I'm a Brit who's lived here for 12 years and as a foreigner in a strange land I think it brings a different perspective to my work.

For Online my thoughts are:

1) Pair down the portfolio to only the best
2) Buy Google Ad Keywords for 'seattle photography, pike place photography, etc'
3) Promote to friends and family
4) Create an online book with blurb

For Offline my thoughts are:
1) Show blurb book to galleries, coffee shops
2) Try and get into a gallery where tourists tend to congregate, e.g. Pike Place
3) Approach local coffee shops to hang art

I know this isn't an exact science but is there any obvious stuff I'm missing or might want to consider?
Is my portfolio site up to snuff? Would you make any additional changes or additions?

Appreciate any and all advice

Message edited by author 2009-01-23 00:13:53.
01/23/2009 04:41:47 AM · #2
One thing I wanted to say about your site. I didn't like the navigation of your photography. On the homepage I didn't know I had to click through to see your galleries. Here is my Smugmug site.

You seem to want to do about what I am doing now. The way I paid for my pro account was shooting the local High School football and golf and handing out business cards to parents. I am currently starting to make some art prints and mat and frame them to see if local resteraunts/pubs might hang them. I like your blurb book idea. Mine was to make prints in a portfolio and let businesses look at them to decide what they might want to hang. Then I could mat and frame only the ones they want.

I know the foreiner thing and it can be a fresh look at things. I am an American living in Germany.

Good Luck.
01/23/2009 05:04:37 AM · #3
Having seen in person what sells at Pike Place, how much do you honestly expect to make? Have you looked to see how long the waitlist is for a table? Can you afford the overhead? I've known a few street photographers, and the common thread is that they have to hustle. It's not that easy pulling even, let alone making a profit, and they're a lot more "mainstream" than "quirky". If you're serious about this, then look immediately beyond friends and family because that's no way for a business to survive, and make sure you do your homework thoroughly. Print sales are damn hard.
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