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Can I earn any sort of living just from landscape photography?

LeighRebecca 13 267 10 England
22 Oct 2008 7:34PM
I haven't had chance to look on here for a while and I've no time to read and comment properly just now. I'm in the midst of trying to establish myself as a new business, and trying to get a small grant to help towards setup costs. I have my first work up in a local gallery, and have had my first sales, which is a great feeling! There is just so much to do at the moment, and it is taking up all my time and thinking for now! I'll catch up with myself soon and comment again when I can. I do appreciate the interest, and will catch up asap!!
NEWMANP 13 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2008 8:02PM
for what its worth Leigh, you dont need any tuition, ive been snapping seriously for 30 yrs and yours is one of the sites i have been back to for inspiration on more than one occasion and i know Chris Charleworth thinks the same, some of your seascapes are among the best on here.
That said, some of my friends take similar shots and moody landscapes etc and having spent loads setting up websites etc have sold very few prints whilst i keep churning them out at a modest cost each. The reason is that most landscape photography will not sit well in a room framed unless it is a very simple almost minimal composition with a colour pallete that will match the decor, truth is that many of the simple flower crops or patterns in the landscape which would attract 2 or 3 clicks on here would look better in a frame than a sophisticated piece of photography.
"Wharmby" on here is a friend of mine and outsells me 6 to 1 by taking nice shots of local castles and buildings,
Make friends with local gift shops, framing shops, cafes with spare wall space etc and you will find that leaving a few framed shots behind will soon turn to sales,
as for making a living from it, i wouldnt like to try, but i wish you all the sucess in the world,
Xiaoli 12 661 14 South Africa
23 Oct 2008 10:05AM

Quote:Quote: Was looking the patterns in the soapy water in the frying pan yesterday and thinking 'hmm interesting photo?'Like this you mean?

LeighRebecca 13 267 10 England
27 Oct 2008 10:22AM
I've just had another look through the most recent comments on here, and there is yet more really pertinent advice. Jon, I can only agree that self belief and even those who indulge in blatant self publicising are most likely to get somewhere in a difficult market like this. I hope I have the former, and that as it grows, that will be enough!
Mark (Walrus) I totally agree not to go too cheap. Maybe that is part of having and projecting self-belief. If you value your product/service highly, then others are more likely to. But it is actually a difficult thing to do in practice, expecially in a credit crunch, and in a part of the country that is not especially 'wealthy'.

I have decided to do limited edition prints of 150, as already people have been asking for that. Now there are just endless decisions about where to put work, how much to invest in the first place, how to advertise, what to charge, whether to use solid oak frames, which website to go with (I am still a little concerned that photium is not as google friendly as some), whether to do my own printing up to A3 (I think an A2 printer is too expensive and there will be less of them needed), whether greetings cards/calendars are worth producing etc etc etc! I feel like I haven't made many real decisions yet, but I've most certainly explored them all thoroughly - especially bearing in mind all the advice I've already received on this thread.
I am now waiting to see if I get a small grant from a local gov initiative, then I can actually move ahead on all the things which are my next steps.
mikeweeks 16 978 3 England
27 Oct 2008 11:04AM

you might find this useful certificate of authenticity and fine art selling guide.
Having set up a website for a photographer in a simlar position to yourself and monitored traffic and customers it is most likely that customers will go to your website after seeing your details elsewhere such as at a gallery or whereever you decide to display rather that searching on the web so SEO is not as critical as you may think where as self promotion is far more important.
There is a simple method to work out whether the larger sized or any printer will pay and at what point. Work out how much it will cost to get your prints printed elsewhere. Using the prices at for an A2 print on Somerset Enhanced for a quantity of 10 prints (the same) gives a unit price of about 16.90 including postage etc.
20 sheets of A2 Somerset Enhanced including delivery = 84.60.
So your own paper costs 4.23 per sheet which gives a saving of 12.67 per sheet.
You can get an Epson Pro 3800 for 810 if you have a trade in.
Divide 810 by 12.67 and you find that within 64 sheets it should pay for itself but this is not the whole story as there is no ink factored in and no test paper or wastage but in the main 100 prints should start to show savings.
This is not speculate to accumulate but rather invest to profit. You of course may find much cheaper printing especially if you can get a deal locally but if you already have interest and with your images that looks extremely likely then by the time you have printed the first 10 of 10 different images you are at cost neutral which is a relatively small portfolio.
It is calculations like the above that will seriously help when going to business advice to show why you need the items that you do.
LeighRebecca 13 267 10 England
16 Nov 2008 4:27PM
Hi to all those who have been so tremendously helpful throughout this thread. I just wanted to let any who are interested hear a little about how I have been getting on recently.
I now have work in two galleries locally, and an exhibition in Whitby tourist info coming in December. There is another gallery or two that I am planning to put work in, and that just includes the first few I have approached. There does not seem to be any trouble getting work into galleries, but it's pretty expensive investing in prints, mounts and especially frames.
I have made sales in a number of places, including six prints in the business centre, when I took a few prints in to show for a grant application I made (I got 1000 towards essential equipment costs Smile)!
I am pretty confident now that many of my images are saleable, but pricing is difficult, because some galleries take more commission than others. And I can imagine sales grinding to a halt after Christmas.
I have only tried to market A4 and A3 prints so far. I haven't tried to print up to A2 from my 400d yet (though one is in the printers now), but my name is on the list for a 5d mark2 asap!!
I decided to make my prints limited editions of 150 per size.
I have set up a website through photium - leighrebecca dot com - and have made one sale through it - a friend of a friend.
I have been getting my mounts from cotswold mounts and solid oak 30mm frames from eframes, which are very nice quality. The frames need a very light sand, then oiling, and they look lovely then. It is by far the cheapest place I could find for oak frames.
I have decided a new camera is more important for now than a bigger printer, as my local printer produces good quality larger prints.
I have not even started to try to promote my work further than a couple of local galleries yet, but I'm quite pleased, as I have taken this time to decide on pricing and frame style etc.
I don't know whether I will actually be able to make a second income for our family from this, but it does feel like the start of something substantial, and I do not currently feel I have time to look into portrait work as well.
If anyone gets the chance to look at my website, I'd appreciate any feedback (I made it very quickly earlier this week, as I'd put work in a gallery with my website name on, and didn't yet have the name or the website!) It is a work in progress as yet. I'll also put a link to it on my pf page and the website forum thread.

Phil, I found your comment very useful. I hope you are not too correct really! But the images I have sold so far are quite mixed, probably more local pretty villages/landmarks than dramatic seascapes, but certainly mixed . I guess variety is the answer there, while keeping one's own style.

Thanks again to everyone for their encouragement and advice. I'm sure I wouldn't be getting on so well without it.
brian1208 17 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
16 Nov 2008 7:14PM
Thanks for the update Leigh, its always good to hear how people's plans develop. Sounds like you are off to a solid start.

We're deep in the Pre-Christmas round of craft markets and exhibitions now and it does seem that the market is a little depressed down this way (Christchurch, Dorset) but I am getting repeat business from customers who got prints from me 2 - 3 year ago and commissions are also coming from people with new houses - so there is demand out there still.

I am finding that keeping in touch with past customers is a low cost and effective way of maintaining sales, especially when they bring their friends along and persuade them to buy work!

(Its great to hear from them where they are displaying past work and how much they still enjoy it - good for the ego if not the wallet! Smile )

Have a great Christmas season and much success in the future,

LeighRebecca 13 267 10 England
16 Nov 2008 7:30PM
Thanks for that Brian, and all the best to you. Hopefully I'll be much better set up for next Christmas. I can see how past customers would be very good ambassadors/ongoing customers. Good point.
Kris_Dutson 18 8.2k 1 England
16 Nov 2008 10:30PM
And don't get hung up on Giclee; it's just a fancy name for an inkjet print - from the French 'to spurt'.....Wink
LeighRebecca 13 267 10 England
16 Nov 2008 10:50PM
Okie dokie Kris. Smile
Little_D 12 110 United Kingdom
17 Nov 2008 4:01PM
Loved your work by the way, very inspiring
LeighRebecca 13 267 10 England
17 Nov 2008 8:12PM
Thankyou Lily.
NEWMANP 13 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
17 Nov 2008 10:33PM
had a look at your new website today, very nice presentation and easy to read and follow.
LeighRebecca 13 267 10 England
18 Nov 2008 10:48AM
Thanks for looking and commenting, Phil.

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