Tag Archive for 'profit'

Wall Portraits – Why That 8×10 Is Stealing Your Career:

PinExt Wall Portraits   Why That 8x10 Is Stealing Your Career:

by Gavin Seim: Updated 04/2012:

Have you ever admired classical art hanging in a museum? Maybe Sargent, Bierstadt, Rembrandt? It’s from the painters that we inherited this profession and every photographer should take time to look closer at what they did. You owe it to yourself and your clients to start placing appropriate sized pieces on walls. Photographers have missed much of the furniture quality appeal of their craft. Part of the problem is that they think of themselves as photographers. As camera operators.

We are in a saturated industry that’s in a rut of low grade commodities. But it’s time to change that. Hemingway was not a typist, he was an author. Those that have the skill to make quality wall portraits are not camera operators. They are artisans. Anyone can take pictures, but being a master of photographics is no easier than being a master painter. The mindset we have effects the product we produce. I Am Not a Photographer (see article).

Now it’s not only the fault of digital or too many people with cameras. We’ve trained ourselves and our clients to think small. It’s something that goes back to the early days of the wet plates and small contact prints that we’ve never quite escaped. People walk through our doors thinking in 8×10’s, 5×7’s and wallets. And we encourage them. It’s helping make photography a cheap commodity and it’s time to start changing all that.

Why should an 11×14 hang on the wall? It probably shouldn’t. Chances are the wall is much larger than that. But we’ve fallen into a rut of thinking small is all people want and need. Some tell me that “people won’t want these in my area”. But I’ll be blunt.. If people aren’t buying wall art, it’s because you don’t know how to make and or sell said wall portraits. I live in small town America and have discovered for myself that people love personalized wall art. You simply need to show them the quality and value of a beautiful appropriately sized piece. But first you have to understand the value yourself. Lets look.

120x72 Albert Bierstadt Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains 600x353 Wall Portraits   Why That 8x10 Is Stealing Your Career:

120×72 – Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Albert Bierstadt, 1866. Birstadt is one of my favorite Husdon River School pictorialist’s. Amazing work at stunning sizes. Click this one for a large version. It’s amazing.

When you walk into a furniture store are they afraid to show you the larger dining set that fits your room? Do they act like it’s a stupid to buy the Italian leather instead of the cheap import? No. The only reason clients are asking for 8×10’s is because we’ve trained them to. Try showing them a thirty inch framed canvas of their beautiful family and see how they respond. If we do it well, we’re moving towards fine furnishings.

It’s been about 5 years since I first attended Wall Portrait Conference to really learn about all this. I know it can work, because nearly every client I have purchases at least a 24 inch heirloom quality print for their wall (I charge around $600 for those). That’s my smallest wall portrait size. I’ve sold up to 70 inch pieces using these same principles. Not because I’m a hard sell, but because I’m making and showing quality pieces that myself and my clients can really be proud to show.

But rather than simply making my own case, allow history to help. Below are some classical works, listed with their original sizes. We think of these as classics now, but when made, they were often commissions meant to hang on someones wall just like our photographs. Take a few moments to really look at them, then I’ll be back. And if you want to and get inspired in print form, check out some books like Sargent’s Portraits Of The 1890’s, Frederick Church, or J.W. Waterhouse. Or for the lover of pictorials like myself, here’s a stunning book on the Hudson River School era of painting.

46x34 Rembrandt Portrait of Nicolaes Ruts 442x600 Wall Portraits   Why That 8x10 Is Stealing Your Career:

46×34, Portrait of Nicolaes Ruts. Rembrandt, 1631. It seems that even 300+ years ago, a wall portrait was a thing of note. Look at the quality of this work. Click for a larger version. Even the catch lights look perfect.

Waterhouse gather ye rosebud 39x32 Wall Portraits   Why That 8x10 Is Stealing Your Career:

38″x32″ – Gather Rosebuds While Ye May by Waterhouse 1909

Cole Thomas The Voyage of Life Manhood 52x80 600x394 Wall Portraits   Why That 8x10 Is Stealing Your Career:

80″x52″ The Voyage Of Life, Manhood by Thomas Cole, 1842

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Six Tips to Build Your Photography Business:

PinExt Six Tips to Build Your Photography Business:

building photography business Six Tips to Build Your Photography Business:by Gavin Seim (Updated 01/10) — With winter on and economic downturn in many parts of the world, you may find yourself looking at the numbers in horror. OK maybe I’m going too far, but many photographers are concerned about the amount of work on their schedule. I’m a blessed man. And while things are moving along, I too am looking at ways to put more on the calender.

Now I’m not the worlds chief authority on marketing. What I do know is that amazing service is a never fail approach. Beyond that there’s is no instant solution, but hard work pays off and these tips will get you thinking. I’m going to assume you already have great service (you do right?), then keep it short with six tips that can help you get noticed in this competitive market. I also found another cool article by Sean Clayton about getting your phone to ring that you might want to check out.

  • #1. Give Some Classy Freebies:
    Sometimes the best way to make profit is by giving something away. You don’t have to devalue your work by shouting FREE prints to the world.  Try sending  gifts to past clients for anniversaries or graduations. They don’t need to be photos. In fact something else might make a HUGE impression. Chocolates, a gift card for dinner. Maybe coffee or a bottle of wine. They may have loved your photos, but clients need a reminder to talk about you. I know it sounds expensive, but it will WOW past clients and usually pays. There’s various ways to give gifts and perks. Just be creative and see what matches your style.
  • #2. Send Images to Venue’s:
    Sending out promo images from a venue is a great way to make yourself memorable and build venue relationships.  A pile of 8×10’s for their book or some web files for their site is fine, but lately I’ve been taking it to the next level by giving notable things like larger canvas images and albums. Venues nearly always need great images to show off to potential customers and what can be better than them showing off yours. Make sure you put your name on them in a classy fashion and send some business cards along. The venue will appreciate the images, and you can get free advertising, which is always the best kind.

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Pro Photography Roundtable Podcast #10 ~ Pet’s, Pew’s & Nature

PinExt Pro Photography Roundtable Podcast #10 ~ Pets, Pews & Nature

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itunesbadge Pro Photography Roundtable Podcast #10 ~ Pets, Pews & Nature
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Todays Panel:
Gavin Seim ~ Seim Studios

Dennis Zerwas ~ DZ Photography

Paul Walker ~ Paws Pet Photography
Erik Guggenheim ~ CopperBreaks.com

Scott & Adina Hayne ~ Hayne Photography

Notable Time Indexes:
3:55 News & General Talk
52:33 Scott & Adina on selling Weddings & Portraits
1:04:06 Paul on Pet Photography
1:14:25 Erik on the Nature business

did windoes just boot Pro Photography Roundtable Podcast #10 ~ Pets, Pews & Nature

Listeners can Save with these codes:
15% from OnOne software with promo code PRPHTPC
15% on Seim Effects with promo code FALL

Roundtable 10 Forum Discussion:

Links:
Kodak Launches Ektar 100. Yep real film

5D MK2 is here

Pet Photography NOW: by Paul Walker

On This Earth: Photographs from East Africa Pro Photography Roundtable Podcast #10 ~ Pets, Pews & Nature: Nick Brandt

Orphan Works act may be dead

Freebies on the Seim Effects Facebook fan page.

Some articles of note…
90 seconds to better photography
Managing LR catalogs and images for Pro’s

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Picks of the week:
Adina:
Shoot Cue Studio Software

Scott: Brinkmann Maxfire Dual Xenon Spotlight Pro Photography Roundtable Podcast #10 ~ Pets, Pews & Nature

Paul: Our Peaceable Kingdom: The Photographs of John Drysdale Pro Photography Roundtable Podcast #10 ~ Pets, Pews & Nature

Eric: Molar Bean Bags

Dennis: Moon Phase for iPhoneLed Headbeam Lamp Pro Photography Roundtable Podcast #10 ~ Pets, Pews & Nature

Gavin: Good Printable Disks: Taiyo Yuden Water Shield Printable CD Pro Photography Roundtable Podcast #10 ~ Pets, Pews & Nature & DVD Pro Photography Roundtable Podcast #10 ~ Pets, Pews & Nature –  Overnight Prints for postcards and bussiness cards.