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Printing to sell at markets

Discussion in 'Photography Chat Forum' started by Nick Taffs, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Nick Taffs

    Nick Taffs Member

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    I shoot primarily landscape photos and some wildlife. I am now looking to start selling at local markets and am looking for some feedback on what some of you do.

    When it comes to sizing the prints, I have been bouncing back and forth on maintaining the standard camera 2:3 ratio with 8x12 prints or resizing my photos to fit the usual frame sizes one could buy at a department store such as 8x10.

    The next question is paper choices. Oh man this one is hard. I prefer a fine art matte cotton rag, but with smaller prints wrapped in cellophane selling at a booth, would I be best to go with a more mainstream lustre print?

    I'd love to hear what everyone else is doing out there. Thanks!
     
  2. MikeB

    MikeB Always on Premium Member

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    If you're not selling the photo already matted and framed then printing the photos to standard sizes for frames (not paper) is the right approach. I would suggest selling the photos with mats as it makes it much easier for the buyer.

    Focusing on paper size for printing will limit how and what you print. For example, I can find no 11" x 14" paper though that is one of the most popular frame sizes available.

    For photos having a horizontal format, I tend to use 3:2 (w:h) and 16:9 aspect ratios. For photos having a vertical format I found sticking with a 11:14 aspect ratio works well unless it is an unusual subject then I will provide the mat and frame. The problem is that while these aspect ratios work well, frame sizes don't necessarily follow suit, especially as prints get larger.

    Why provide the mat and frame? The photo is a piece of art and the mat and frame completes the presentation. The size and type of frame as well as color and type of mat can make or break the image. Making those choices and producing the final product also allows you to cater to specific markets such as collectors, hotels and public spaces, and interior decorators.

    I prefer to shoot landscapes and architecture. I prefer to print with as large of a dynamic range as possible using the largest color gamut that I can, so I use glossy or luster Hahnemühle papers. I tend to only use matte smooth for some B&W.
     
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  3. Nick Taffs

    Nick Taffs Member

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    Thank you for your response Mike. You echoed exactly where my mindset was already. Out of curiosity from my experience the average person does not


    Thank you for your response Mike. You have echoed exactly the mindset I already had. Out of curiosity, do you find it hard to sell matted and framed pieces? In my experience, I find the average person does not appreciate the real costs of printing, matting and framing a piece and is not willing to justify the cost. It seems to be the rare demographic that understands and appreciates the cost and the piece as art. Unfortunately that rare person does not come around enough for me to go through the hassle.
     
  4. DonS

    DonS Stuck in Toronto Moderator

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    I think this may be that they assume you get the matting and frame at a much cheaper cost than they could because you are selling photos and probably buy in bulk. They do not know that you are pretty much paying what they would be even if you can get a discount.
     
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  5. MikeB

    MikeB Always on Premium Member

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    First of all, today only the rare demographic is interested in buying photos. With everyone having a camera and swamped by the number of their masterpieces or crappy photo files filling up their storage, buying something printed is a foreign concept. So turn your attention to those rare demographics.

    For selling matted or framed photos, it all depends on how you market, display and sell your work. Many have success on websites where a middleman prints the image and sends it to the buyer. You get very little return and may have little or no control over the quality of the end product. Others sell their products directly from a booth where the customer typically buys what you have displayed, framed - or from a selection of matted photos they sort through.

    I want complete control over the end result so the former is out and I'm too old to muck around with setting up booths and chasing art fairs. I display my photos at art shows, competitions and local art galleries. Here the buyer gets the deliverable as I want it delivered. The hassle is keeping the artwork on display and in different locations.
     

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