Hi. Don't see where to post this so please move it if necessary.
How does one differentiate their work from the pack of good photographers to present landscape photography that sells? My photos are good but they don't jump out from many other good photographers.
The only prints I am selling at this point are HDR's . . what I call a Caricature Series of a local tourist town. They are selling at $300-400/mo. I only did these to raise money to buy the D800e. No one is buying the beautiful landscapes which are my real passion. What makes a landscape photo that sells? Thanks, Gary
#1. "RE: D800e : Landscape Photography that sells" In response to Reply # 0
Gary, I don't have a clue to answer you. I have a friend who has a method to sell images online via download. I don't know the technical details of that route. I have made a few good landscapes that got into pretty decent museum shows, one the state Art Museum in NC, but I think the only way to really break into money is to get a rep with the "Fine Art" community, no easy feat. Most folks don't collect photographs that cost much so you either get to be famous or go the volume route online.
dagoldst Little Rock, US Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2012
Sat 22-Dec-12 03:58 PM
#2. "RE: D800e : Landscape Photography that sells" In response to Reply # 0
>How does one differentiate their work from the pack of good photographers to present landscape photography that sells?
It's really difficult to do these days - there are so many good photographers and so much good equipment. From purely a technical perspective, you have to produce stunning images, not just good images.
From a representation point of view, getting a gallery to represent your work means it has to be really good. Believe me, they get hit up with artists of all sorts every single day, reject 99% of the queries, but are always looking for superb work.
Just a perspective,
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof " - Carl Sagan
OldCodger Sawbridgeworth Hertfordshire, UK Registered since 15th Oct 2011
Sun 23-Dec-12 09:22 AM
#3. "RE: D800e : Landscape Photography that sells" In response to Reply # 2
There might be a clue in what you wrote, the beautiful landscapes are your passion, but are they the passion of enough of those who might only want to buy a 'picture' for a blank wall? You are selling some clearly more commercial work, should you run two strands? Continue to do what you enjoy and what really satisfies you, but do it mainly for your own enjoyment while still creating the commercial work that, as you say sells more easily. Perhaps you need to identify your market segment and really target it with what it wants. You are clearly more than half way there having a proven track record of selling, though perhaps not yet in the volumes you would like? With economic times being hard romantic, distracting images will sell to a market segment, if you can reach it, but is the work to get there worth the reward? A final thought, if you go ahead with the two strands idea, you might like to use a slightly different ID for the 'fine art style' sales to avoid being pigeon holed as that 'something else' picture maker. (As an indication of what I mean about commercial rather than art products. I played Santa at a Christmas fair, pictures were taken of the children with Santa and sold in volume, right product, right place (my face was covered, probably a good thing!) Depressing though it is I doubt that art pictures would have sold at all.) Richard
ericbowles Atlanta, US Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Sun 23-Dec-12 11:35 AM
#4. "RE: D800e : Landscape Photography that sells" In response to Reply # 0
<What makes a landscape photo that sells?>
Seriously - there are lots of good landscapes. Great light, great composition, interesting subject, appropriate post processing. You truly need something exceptional that makes a landscape something rare rather than an every day scene.
I also think it's better to shoot landscapes around your target market. There are thousands of photographers shooting the Grand Canyon in unique weather with great light. I can't sell Grand Canyon images in Atlanta - I have to sell images from the Georgia coast, the Smokies, a local barn, or the skyline.
Given that you have good landscapes, it's all about marketing. Pick the markets where you want to sell your images. Getting your images in the right venue for sales and to the right audience. And it takes lots of effort since 99% of the people that see your images don't buy.
#7. "RE: D800e : Landscape Photography that sells" In response to Reply # 5
what sells to the masses is a great scene which has generally been taken many times before, more or less the same way, i.e. cliche, and consequently without much originality, but which, as Eric said, has been marketed well - my brother is a painter who, several world famous artists i know have said, should be world famous, but he doesn't know how/want to market himself and so goes mostly unrecognized...if you're interested in finding an outlet for self-expression that varies from the mainstream schlock (like the perfect sunset or wave crashing), then you've got to be a really good marketer or find an angel who'll subsidize your work, otherwise, you probably won't sell much...it's no accident that most great artists are only recognized post-mortem when someone 'discovers' and markets their work.... www.broadwallphotography.com
#8. "RE: D800e : Landscape Photography that sells" In response to Reply # 0
My question is this - does it really matter? I disagree with the other folks here... Because art is entirely subjective, if you project confidence about your work and present yourself as a professional landscape photographer to those who don't know any better (99% of us out there), we will think your stuff is great.
Ask a local news station or newspaper to do a story about your "life's work". Get yourself a nice store front using a service like Shopify, and sell prints online. Have a few friends shoot a video interview of you, your technique, etc., and post it to your sight. Give yourself the credibility that others haven't. I guarantee that your sales will go through the roof.
You see, financial success has little to do with whether you're a really great artist or photographer and more to do with convincing those who know nothing that you are. The latter is usually the easier of the two.
Clint S Chula Vista, US Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2011
Thu 27-Dec-12 06:03 AM
#10. "RE: D800e : Landscape Photography that sells" In response to Reply # 0
Colorado is a mixed market. There are so many transplanted people there and then the very large tourist industry that opens many doors for photography of more than just Colorado.
Take a trip down to Denver and go to John Fielder's and the Denver Photo Art Gallery. John Fielder is one of the few I know of that specializes in Colorado landscapes and has for decades. At the Denver Photo Art Gallery you will see something very different.
Call ahead see if you can take John Fielder to lunch and tell him what you are trying to learn or figure out.
ericbowles Atlanta, US Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Thu 27-Dec-12 01:30 PM
#11. "RE: D800e : Landscape Photography that sells" In response to Reply # 0
We've talked a little about marketing and markets, but do you want to talk about fine art landscape images?
What I see selling are truly compelling images that are well executed. That means very well executed images that are truly striking. A great landscape image is not available every day. Commercially successful images can be simply well executed images with good compositions. But the WOW images are those that convey a feeling of a location and have an extra spark of emotion.
The extra spark in a landscape image is often weather related. It could be a shaft of light hitting just the right place, blooming flowers with drops of rain, or water creating a reflection. Light is also a source of a special spark. Think about Ansel Adams Moonrise image - the light was in the right place for just a few minutes. My favorite Smokies image is by Bill Lea - and features wonderful sidelighting of the first rays of sun filtering through the trees and lighting the fog in Cades Cove. These images are only possible at a certain time of year and a certain time of day and without one of the elements, they are good but not great.
Great photographers feel they are lucky to have 2-3 really successful images in a year. From a commercial perspective, you'd starve unless you had a portfolio developed over many years. But it's a portfolio of truly great landscape images without the clutter of average images that truly makes a mark and sells as great landscapes. And of course - marketing is still required.
#12. "RE: D800e : Landscape Photography that sells" In response to Reply # 11 Thu 27-Dec-12 06:11 PM by esantos
Good points Eric. You can have all the photographic and post processing skills in the world but if you simply are not out in the field spending a lot of time waiting for the light (or chasing it for that matter) you will rarely get those once-in-a-lifetime images. And even then if you do not market yourself appropriately and have adequate business acumen it will be very hard to become a successful landscape artist. And by success I mean make enough money to support yourself and possibly a family. What I see as trending is less and less sales of prints and more sales as digital imagery, and sorry to say, spending time teaching rather than doing. That's not necessarily bad, but people should know this and understand that most successful photographers have to supplement print/image sales with instruction and workshops in order to make a living.
If you want a sober and realistic testament to this whole issue take a look at Bob Krist's blog story at Singh-Ray. A world renowned still photographer for decades and even he has had to branch out into a whole new medium - video storytelling. A great article with a lot of food for thought. I used to follow his own blog for insightful reportage but he has even discontinued his blogging activities. All this is just signs of the times, I think.