View Full Version : Does Anyone Sell Their Pictures?

03-31-2021, 12:17 PM
Now that I am retired I have been mulling over the idea of selling my prints at Craft shows and Fairs, etc. I have thousands of images and it seems a waste that few people ever get to see them. Anyone else do this? It would be nice to chat with people who have ventured into this before me. (Of course, I am not talking about professional photographers who make their living selling their work.) If you too are an amateur and have a way of selling some of your prints, please contact me. Cheers.

04-01-2021, 07:50 AM
I dabbled in it, talking to coffee shops, restaurants, etc, getting my photos hung for sale. There was really no big money in it. There was a couple New Orleans prints that I sold several copies. I did have mine hanging in a gift/antique shop, that did pretty well for me. The biggest thing is the initial cost of printing/framing several prints. My first show, I spent a few hundred dollars and didn't sell a single image. I ended up doing mine on canvas, to keep the cost of framing down. I used CGProPrints.com. They have a great product at a great price. I can print a 20"x30" canvas wrap (44cmx 66cm) for about $40, and sell for $150-$200 a print. One thing about selling to the public, its more about the subject matter than quality of the image. I probably made a couple thousand dollars over the course of three or four years.

Here were my three biggest sellers. Funny thing is, they were all taken the same morning, only an hour apart:

https://live.staticflickr.com/8618/16682185186_9addad8053_5k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/rq9ysw)pirates alley (https://flic.kr/p/rq9ysw) by Chris Campbell (https://www.flickr.com/photos/theantiquetiger/), on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/8641/16717032325_2f3ace0941_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/rteaig)foggy st louis (https://flic.kr/p/rteaig) by Chris Campbell (https://www.flickr.com/photos/theantiquetiger/), on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/8663/16520712899_b424d98216_4k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/raSYnz)foggy1 (https://flic.kr/p/raSYnz) by Chris Campbell (https://www.flickr.com/photos/theantiquetiger/), on Flickr

04-01-2021, 09:35 AM
Thank you for the feedback and sharing your experience. Great pictures and I really love the first one.

Years ago, not so much recently, I recall seeing vendors at flea markets, craft shows, and fairs selling their prints. Each photo would be in an inexpensive cardboard frame and inserted into a plastic sleeve. This obviously was to protect the print from being damaged while buyers were sorting through them. I wouldn't expect to get rich (LOL) but it would be something fun to do (When this Covid thing diminishes) and it might even stroke my ego a bit to see people paying some money for my images. Just curious if anyone still does this or if everything is done online these days.

04-12-2021, 10:36 PM
For me you have posed an interesting question which I have been actually trying to answer for a few years. I believe many photographers who shoot consistently and become skilled at using their cameras (including myself), reach a point of wondering how to monetize all the work and effort they have put into what has been a hobby up to now. I also believe that as soon as a photographer crosses that line in an effort to make money, they have become professional. But as an extension of a hobby, if you wind up not enjoying what you are doing, you should probably rethink it. it's important to know your limits.
As far as I have been able to figure out so far, there are two ways to monetize the hobby. The most common one is to sell prints, which is what you seem to be investigating. As theantiquetiger points out above, this is no small task. It requires a great deal of thought into how to best print and present the images, as well as marketing skills (which AT happens to have, if you look at his past posts in this forum). Like you, I have tried to market landscape photos at pre-Christmas craft fairs. I've put some effort and money into discovering how best to print and present photos, and what the local Calgary market might be like and what opportunities it offers. There are really no limits to creative ways to package prints, from making cards to offering large framed prints on the internet. In my mind, it's a matter of how much effort you are willing to put in, and to some extent how much money you are willing to risk. I have been trying to learn marketing skills, sometimes using people's experiences shared in this forum and elsewhere as models.
The other side of professional photography is image capture, using photography skills to capture photos of a variety of potential models, from weddings to babies to beautiful models and including, these days, videography. This is a much different business than selling prints, although some photographers are able to combine both businesses. I have been dabbling in studio photography for the past 3 years, although lately the pandemic has hampered my efforts. Nonetheless I do enjoy the learning and the people I have worked with. Again, a studio photographer is required to have skills beyond using the camera, including post-processing skills, marketing and advertising.
In summery, much of the work in both the printing side and the shooting side has less to do with actual photography and working of the cameras, computers and printers, and more to do with marketing skills and people skills. Anyway, I wish you luck if you decide to proceed, and I certainly hope to hear about your adventures here in the forum. I remember your initial post in the forum asking for information about framing and cardboard mats, so perhaps you have gone ahead with your dream.

04-24-2021, 10:46 AM
mbrager thank you for your insightful comments. My interest in photography took off when I got a job taking children's pictures in their homes. This was in the sixties and we used a box camera on a tripod and put a black cloth over our head while we focused. LOL. We would go door to door asking if there were any children in the house, can you imagine doing that today? Then, because of my interest in photography people would ask me to shoot their weddings. I enjoyed it but I was scared of screwing up. You can't redo a wedding. I wasn't a professional and only had one 35mm SLR. I do remember a couple of weddings had no place to shoot the "after the ceremony" photos, like a park or even a decent background in the hall. I gave that up fairly quickly. So I have stuck pretty much with shooting for my own pleasure and not for friends or for money.

I am also a writer having published many articles for free, including some op-ed columns in our local newspaper. I am quite proud that I was paid as a regular columnist in a senior's magazine for a couple of years. Also I have written two complete novels which as yet are not published. being somewhat biased, I think they are good, but I'll never know because it's near impossible just to get a publisher to read them. So, for me, this is the issue with my photos as well as my writing. It's not so much about making money as simply sharing my creations with others. Why build a beautiful house if no one is going to live in it? To have others, specially strangers, view your work, to see it, to read it, to be willing to purchase it validates ones creative talents.

By the way I did follow up with Photo-mat. They don't sell paper/cardboard frames. Thanks for the suggestion.