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Zuiko
30th May 2011, 04:07 AM
Photography is one of those curious applications which is a day job for some people but a hobby to others. I say curious because most careers do not have amateur participation. For instance, you donít come across many hobbyist bankers, surveyors, lawyers or doctors. Itís unusual to hear a man say to his wife on his day off, ďJust popping in to town, Dear, for a couple of hourís road sweeping,Ē although thatís the sort of thing Mr Cameron would like to encourage under his Big Society initiative.

I guess that many amateurs who become reasonably proficient dream of ďturning pro,Ē surely the Holy Grail of their hobby. For many of course the dream remains just that, and with good reason. In reality who wants the hassle of keeping your own accounts, advertising, marketing, promoting, worrying about cash flow, dealing with difficult clients and, worst of all, photographing what someone else wants rather than what you want?

Nevertheless, itís tempting to try to make a bit of extra income without making photography a full time profession. After all, itís a welcome bonus if it only pays for a bit of new gear once in a while. Iím no different and since taking early retirement 18 months ago for health reasons I could certainly use some extra income to supplement my pension. I currently receive benefit payments for my ill health but am conscious that the type of benefit I receive is due to be limited to one year w.e.f. next April under new rules set by the Government, and in the meantime the DWP are trying their best to stop it anyway despite me winning a tribunal hearing in February.

But I digress; the real issue is not why but how. How do you suddenly start making money from your hobby? I have in fact done that for many years through magazine submissions, essentially to photographic and outdoor publications, but timescales are long with payments mediocre and irregular. In my view this market is becoming harder because more amateurs are getting much better results with digital than they did with film and many magazines have taken advantage of this by reducing payments or rewarding contributors with memory cards, camera bags etc. instead of cash. Some even offer only the incentive of seeing your work in print, cheeky devils! In short itís a lot of work for little reward, especially if you are writing an article as well as supplying pictures, and unpredictable.

Stock photography and libraries have been discussed in a recent thread but this market, too, has been devalued by the digital revolution and a lot of work is required taking, editing, key wording and submitting images with no guarantee of success. Indeed, to have any chance you need to upload thousands, rather than hundreds, of pictures and payments can be very modest.

Weddings have never appealed to me, theyíre just not my thing. Iíve done three in my time, for friends and family and all turned out OK. The main thing was that on each occasion the happy couple were pleased with the pictures but I was conscious that they were proficient rather than special and creative and in recent years the bar has been raised quite high in wedding photography. Nevertheless, I did toy with the idea of offering a ďbudgetĒ service for couples with limited funds who otherwise would not be able to afford an official photographer. I even considered going on a course to learn the basics of wedding photography more thoroughly.

However, the big drawback from my point of view is the unpredictability of my Parkinsonís disease. Some days Iím a bit slow and clumsy but otherwise not too bad as long as I rest when I need to. Other days I can barely function and this is exacerbated if I am under any stress or pressure Ė and of course you donít get any of that with weddings, do you?

For the same reason I eventually discounted running landscape workshops, I just cannot take the risk of having a bad day when responsible for leading a group of clients. In many ways my options are curtailed for the same reasons that I had to give up my job and have difficulty in finding alternative employment with which I could cope.

There may be one more option that is worth exploring, however. Iím currently researching the feasibility of selling prints and cards at fetes, craft fairs and exhibitions. Iíve bit the bullet and booked stalls for two fetes in July to test the water and during the next month Iíve got to be rather busy preparing for them. At least I now seem to have overcome my card printing problems and during the last few days have printed about 100 cards. I aim to have a large stock covering a wide range of subjects for these events, plus a reasonable stock of mounted prints and a few, larger, framed pictures. It might all fall flat, of course, as Iíve no way of knowing if my work will sell in sufficient quantities to make the activity worthwhile.

I have now got a definite date for my exhibition at a local gallery next year; it starts on the 5th February and will run for three weeks. As well as approximately 40 framed pictures hung, I intend to have a number of mounted prints displayed in a browser, plus racks of cards for sale. The same gallery has also invited me to display a couple of pictures in a general exhibition in July.

Whatever happens at the fetes and exhibitions, success or failure, Iíll share it on this forum; it may be useful to someone thinking of trying the same sort of thing. Does anyone already have experience in this area and have any tips to share? And, of course, if anyone has a good idea for another enterprise, Iím sure weíd all love to hear.

Chevvyf1
30th May 2011, 05:59 AM
Photography is one of those curious applications which is a day job for some people but a hobby to others. I say curious because most careers do not have amateur participation. For instance, you don’t come across many hobbyist bankers, surveyors, lawyers or doctors. It’s unusual to hear a man say to his wife on his day off, “Just popping in to town, Dear, for a couple of hour’s road sweeping,” although that’s the sort of thing Mr Cameron would like to encourage under his Big Society initiative.

I feel you mean "earn a little extra, out of hours" ? Those Careers you mention, are their "hobby" ! Drs specialise and become Consultants and then "do extra hours Private Client work"; Bankers/Investment "do evening & weekend Money Clinics" then turn Pro with their own Co as do Lawyers, who then start their own firm!

I guess that many amateurs who become reasonably proficient dream of “turning pro,” surely the Holy Grail of their hobby. For many of course the dream remains just that, and with good reason. In reality who wants the hassle of keeping your own accounts, advertising, marketing, promoting, worrying about cash flow, dealing with difficult clients and, worst of all, photographing what someone else wants rather than what you want?

You really MUST keep records - if the Inland Revenue & Customs tap on your door, they can issue a demand "assuming for 10 years and more" !!!and you hAVE no defence against paying it, as you have NOT kept accounts. RIGHT NOW they are chasing the SMALLEST OF PAYMENTS DUE TO THEM ! because 10,000 times that £sum is millions !

Nevertheless, it’s tempting to try to make a bit of extra income without making photography a full time profession. After all, it’s a welcome bonus if it only pays for a bit of new gear once in a while. I’m no different and since taking early retirement 18 months ago for health reasons I could certainly use some extra income to supplement my pension. I currently receive benefit payments for my ill health but am conscious that the type of benefit I receive is due to be limited to one year w.e.f. next April under new rules set by the Government, and in the meantime the DWP are trying their best to stop it anyway despite me winning a tribunal hearing in February.

This may mean "they" are watching you too, for "extra undeclared income" !
But I digress; the real issue is not why but how. How do you suddenly start making money from your hobby? I have in fact done that for many years through magazine submissions, essentially to photographic and outdoor publications, but timescales are long with payments mediocre and irregular. In my view this market is becoming harder because more amateurs are getting much better results with digital than they did with film and many magazines have taken advantage of this by reducing payments or rewarding contributors with memory cards, camera bags etc. instead of cash. Some even offer only the incentive of seeing your work in print, cheeky devils! In short it’s a lot of work for little reward, especially if you are writing an article as well as supplying pictures, and unpredictable.

THIS is how professional TOGs, earn their income ! BUT Sydicate articles (I have an agent in the US). The Ethos of Publishing is all about "Do it once, and sell it may times !

Stock photography and libraries have been discussed in a recent thread but this market, too, has been devalued by the digital revolution and a lot of work is required taking, editing, key wording and submitting images with no guarantee of success. Indeed, to have any chance you need to upload thousands, rather than hundreds, of pictures and payments can be very modest.

Now this is hard work - Marketing ! - but unless you are prepared to TARGET YOUR SALES YOURSELF, you have to stand in the market place with the other HOPEFULS! In Business its known as the Rifle one shot (carefully aimed) or the Shotgun (Spray Many per shot, hope to catch one) :D

Weddings have never appealed to me, they’re just not my thing. I’ve done three in my time, for friends and family and all turned out OK. The main thing was that on each occasion the happy couple were pleased with the pictures but I was conscious that they were proficient rather than special and creative and in recent years the bar has been raised quite high in wedding photography. Nevertheless, I did toy with the idea of offering a “budget” service for couples with limited funds who otherwise would not be able to afford an official photographer. I even considered going on a course to learn the basics of wedding photography more thoroughly.

There is a thread about Turning Pro Weddings here, and this is concisely covered there!

However, the big drawback from my point of view is the unpredictability of my Parkinson’s disease. Some days I’m a bit slow and clumsy but otherwise not too bad as long as I rest when I need to. Other days I can barely function and this is exacerbated if I am under any stress or pressure – and of course you don’t get any of that with weddings, do you?
:mad:

For the same reason I eventually discounted running landscape workshops, I just cannot take the risk of having a bad day when responsible for leading a group of clients. In many ways my options are curtailed for the same reasons that I had to give up my job and have difficulty in finding alternative employment with which I could cope.

:( My other half, has critical, long term health probs, Asbestosis (Less than half of each lung now) due to a job in a School in the 1960's :mad: now lots of pain, can hard walk & breathe for any distance. So he has to "manage" on his income! :eek: BUT he does work for me some days, reading stories; teaching painting: woodwork; arts & crafts and spending days "playing" on the beach etc., on good days - to the children we look after here ! on "good days" !

There may be one more option that is worth exploring, however. I’m currently researching the feasibility of selling prints and cards at fetes, craft fairs and exhibitions. I’ve bit the bullet and booked stalls for two fetes in July to test the water and during the next month I’ve got to be rather busy preparing for them. At least I now seem to have overcome my card printing problems and during the last few days have printed about 100 cards. I aim to have a large stock covering a wide range of subjects for these events, plus a reasonable stock of mounted prints and a few, larger, framed pictures. It might all fall flat, of course, as I’ve no way of knowing if my work will sell in sufficient quantities to make the activity worthwhile.

OK! Now your cooking on GAZ !!! HM Rev & Customs, gets lists of "peeps who buy space" ads in *Horse & Hound; *Car Sales/Auto Trader & *local paper; eBay; *Home Services (cleaners; decorators; gardeners; Electrical & Plumbing repairs etc.,). eBay HAVE TO REPORT TO THE In REV&Cus User ID's with over £ sales per year !

NOW the critical thing here is "HM Rev & Cus" are not in a hurry! Infact, if they let "you/JoPublic" go on trading for a few years - they are on a CERTAINTY - you will have no accounts and no defence ! THEY slap you a Bill, assessed and for as long as they "feel" they can prove you HAVE TRADED since! They add INTEREST ! (if you have substantial assets, they even let you go longer (they and anyone, can lodge an "interest" at Land Registry to make sure you dont re mortgage! or a wife/partner slaps a Equity Protect on your home!) :eek: THEN they get a report of this impending act! Um ! How Do I know ? Well I used to be a systems architect ! 'nuff said! * with many ads, the mobile and landline tel nos are the Unique Identifier !

I have now got a definite date for my exhibition at a local gallery next year; it starts on the 5th February and will run for three weeks. As well as approximately 40 framed pictures hung, I intend to have a number of mounted prints displayed in a browser, plus racks of cards for sale. The same gallery has also invited me to display a couple of pictures in a general exhibition in July.

Whatever happens at the fetes and exhibitions, success or failure, I’ll share it on this forum; it may be useful to someone thinking of trying the same sort of thing. Does anyone already have experience in this area and have any tips to share? And, of course, if anyone has a good idea for another enterprise, I’m sure we’d all love to hear.

John, sad and painful as it is, Keep Accounts please :rolleyes:

I am sure your cards & photos will sell really well ! (have you sticky back labels ? for on the back of prints & cards with your phone no & email address for re-orders? and sign and year prints, they "like" the original touch!) Fetes bring out the Peeps who love the Countryside & Wildlife - and lots of them have Children and Pets want a Portrait or two done as well ! :D*chr

David Morison
30th May 2011, 06:26 AM
I had serious thoughts about this when I retired six years ago (at 60) but eventually, with all those things in mind that Chevvyf1 has mentioned, I decided that the only option was to keep photography as a hobby. I had recent experience of a hobby turning into a job and in essence I was RETIRING!. My all consuming hobby had once been rock climbing but eventually I was persuaded to become an instructor and that's where it started to go downhill, I no longer climb!
I now exhibit at wild art days and produce postcards and, soon, Christmas cards for our parish church and as I organise the annual fete I will have a stall selling local scenes and wildlife on cards for charity, only taking out the cost of production (accounts kept). This means I am able to share my interests with others without any serious commitments, which I had plenty of in my working life and no longer wish for.

David

Chevvyf1
30th May 2011, 07:44 AM
David, your so right "Turning a Hobby into a Cash Cow" can so sour the "Hobby" !

However, 20 years ago I had received £5,000 for photos that year - I *invested it and thats worth £72,000 now. (*as an FSAVC as part of my Self Employed income!) But I am a long term view+saving person & keep accounts (I started out in writing computer systems for accountants and solicitors Client Accounting :( ) But photography for me, is always a hobby ! ALL MINE ! ok I share a bit, cards and pictures and do a bit of 'work' with peeps :rolleyes: but I have to love it !

My brother loved metal work and cars as a kid ... - he recently ... 5 years ... was asked to make huge cages for a private collection of BIG Birds {Eagles etc.,} and the family had never seen him so excited ! ... (his £7m Ferrari Birdcage or Mario Andretti's GP winning cars are ... *zzz so dull and ... boring :mad:) THEN followed making a 1/10th scale Stuka for a Hannibal film and a 3 storey metal reception desk for a Geneva HQ of a drug company ! Now its back to "other peeps rust heaps" for him *zzz

BUT some of us have to make serious income from it !

theMusicMan
30th May 2011, 08:00 AM
Hi John

What a wonderful, enlightening post, thanks for taking the time and trouble of putting such a text together John, it makes for a smashing read (as do all of your article type posts).

A few thoughts if I may...

I think your offering cards/prints at fetes model will work, though I am not sure how much of a financial return there is in that business specific model. However, there are some possible spin-off areas. If, say, you were also to offer a 'commissioned print' model - where people who may want specific shots taken etc could book your services. You never know, you could attract all sorts of business - use the opportunity of a stall/area at a fete to promote what you do to everyone there. Use novel means of attracting attention... maybe come up with a 'family portrait discount' offer - just for those at the fete. Try to utilise the power of a digital camera and software i.e. show weird and whacky backgrounds in kids portraits - and have the kit there and then to provide it.

I also think there is a solution to your dilemma of not wanting to book a landscape workshop in case your condition causes you to have to cancel; or postpone. Firstly, your landscape photography is excellent and I am sure there is a demand for such a course. Now... the easy way to mitigate this is to work with a partner/friend, who, in the event of your health not being up to what you would wish on the day of the course, could stand in for you. Sure, you may not make as much in terms of final amount as you would have to cover someone else's costs... but the event would still go ahead, and in the event of poor health I am sure your participants would understand and would appreciate being presented with the option of postponing or continuing with someone else running the workshop.

There you go, just a few thoughts from me.

RogerMac
30th May 2011, 09:12 AM
A long while ago I had my first VAT inspection and the VAT lady obviously thought that I was cheating and turned me over, fortunately I was squeakily clean and she left empty handed, however she obviously marked my record as "honest" and since then all my inspections have been very gently affairs, which takes up much less time and provides less agro than the first sort.

She did however leave me with the abiding conviction that I was not clever enough to win if I did try to cheat, so I have decided to stay honest.

Roger

Chevvyf1
30th May 2011, 10:18 AM
A long while ago I had my first VAT inspection and the VAT lady obviously thought that I was cheating and turned me over, fortunately I was squeakily clean and she left empty handed, however she obviously marked my record as "honest" and since then all my inspections have been very gently affairs, which takes up much less time and provides less agro than the first sort.

She did however leave me with the abiding conviction that I was not clever enough to win if I did try to cheat, so I have decided to stay honest.

Roger

Roger, I find, its Just so much easier! Imagine remembering all the "lies/cheats" no notes! :eek: and there are so many Tax Efficiencies that are legal and lovely ! like FSAVC's ... ISA's etc'; ... BUT I do know of a few who's VAT Inspection in their OWN business, suddenly became their Personal Tax Investigation and the costs, were a rare fortune in Accountants and Solicitors Fees - the latter knowing from your home address and Accounts how much you "can afford" :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: to keep out of jail - and it ain't free :eek:

charty
30th May 2011, 10:29 AM
Photography is one of those curious applications which is a day job for some people but a hobby to others. I say curious because most careers do not have amateur participation. For instance, you donít come across many hobbyist bankers, surveyors, lawyers or doctors. Itís unusual to hear a man say to his wife on his day off, ďJust popping in to town, Dear, for a couple of hourís road sweeping,Ē although thatís the sort of thing Mr Cameron would like to encourage under his Big Society initiative.

I guess that many amateurs who become reasonably proficient dream of ďturning pro,Ē surely the Holy Grail of their hobby. For many of course the dream remains just that, and with good reason. In reality who wants the hassle of keeping your own accounts, advertising, marketing, promoting, worrying about cash flow, dealing with difficult clients and, worst of all, photographing what someone else wants rather than what you want?

Nevertheless, itís tempting to try to make a bit of extra income without making photography a full time profession. After all, itís a welcome bonus if it only pays for a bit of new gear once in a while. Iím no different and since taking early retirement 18 months ago for health reasons I could certainly use some extra income to supplement my pension. I currently receive benefit payments for my ill health but am conscious that the type of benefit I receive is due to be limited to one year w.e.f. next April under new rules set by the Government, and in the meantime the DWP are trying their best to stop it anyway despite me winning a tribunal hearing in February.

But I digress; the real issue is not why but how. How do you suddenly start making money from your hobby? I have in fact done that for many years through magazine submissions, essentially to photographic and outdoor publications, but timescales are long with payments mediocre and irregular. In my view this market is becoming harder because more amateurs are getting much better results with digital than they did with film and many magazines have taken advantage of this by reducing payments or rewarding contributors with memory cards, camera bags etc. instead of cash. Some even offer only the incentive of seeing your work in print, cheeky devils! In short itís a lot of work for little reward, especially if you are writing an article as well as supplying pictures, and unpredictable.

Stock photography and libraries have been discussed in a recent thread but this market, too, has been devalued by the digital revolution and a lot of work is required taking, editing, key wording and submitting images with no guarantee of success. Indeed, to have any chance you need to upload thousands, rather than hundreds, of pictures and payments can be very modest.

Weddings have never appealed to me, theyíre just not my thing. Iíve done three in my time, for friends and family and all turned out OK. The main thing was that on each occasion the happy couple were pleased with the pictures but I was conscious that they were proficient rather than special and creative and in recent years the bar has been raised quite high in wedding photography. Nevertheless, I did toy with the idea of offering a ďbudgetĒ service for couples with limited funds who otherwise would not be able to afford an official photographer. I even considered going on a course to learn the basics of wedding photography more thoroughly.

However, the big drawback from my point of view is the unpredictability of my Parkinsonís disease. Some days Iím a bit slow and clumsy but otherwise not too bad as long as I rest when I need to. Other days I can barely function and this is exacerbated if I am under any stress or pressure Ė and of course you donít get any of that with weddings, do you?

For the same reason I eventually discounted running landscape workshops, I just cannot take the risk of having a bad day when responsible for leading a group of clients. In many ways my options are curtailed for the same reasons that I had to give up my job and have difficulty in finding alternative employment with which I could cope.

There may be one more option that is worth exploring, however. Iím currently researching the feasibility of selling prints and cards at fetes, craft fairs and exhibitions. Iíve bit the bullet and booked stalls for two fetes in July to test the water and during the next month Iíve got to be rather busy preparing for them. At least I now seem to have overcome my card printing problems and during the last few days have printed about 100 cards. I aim to have a large stock covering a wide range of subjects for these events, plus a reasonable stock of mounted prints and a few, larger, framed pictures. It might all fall flat, of course, as Iíve no way of knowing if my work will sell in sufficient quantities to make the activity worthwhile.

I have now got a definite date for my exhibition at a local gallery next year; it starts on the 5th February and will run for three weeks. As well as approximately 40 framed pictures hung, I intend to have a number of mounted prints displayed in a browser, plus racks of cards for sale. The same gallery has also invited me to display a couple of pictures in a general exhibition in July.

Whatever happens at the fetes and exhibitions, success or failure, Iíll share it on this forum; it may be useful to someone thinking of trying the same sort of thing. Does anyone already have experience in this area and have any tips to share? And, of course, if anyone has a good idea for another enterprise, Iím sure weíd all love to hear.

Thanks John for giving me the inspiration to carry on! I too had to retire early following a Brain Haemorrage and turned to photography, I'm still a novice but improving and am keen to make some money from my hobby! I'm in the process of creating a website and am doing a diploma in photography - just to keep my mind active!
Thanks again for spurring me on and to others for their posts/ideas too!*chr
Caroline

Zuiko
30th May 2011, 11:25 AM
John, sad and painful as it is, Keep Accounts please :rolleyes:

I am sure your cards & photos will sell really well ! (have you sticky back labels ? for on the back of prints & cards with your phone no & email address for re-orders? and sign and year prints, they "like" the original touch!) Fetes bring out the Peeps who love the Countryside & Wildlife - and lots of them have Children and Pets want a Portrait or two done as well ! :D*chr

Hi Chevvy,

Sorry to hear of your hubby's health, it's a reminder that there is always someone worse off than me and I count my blessings.

I didn't mean to imply that accounts only need to be kept by full time professionals! What I meant is that accounts for a full time business with high turnover and extra complications like rented premises, VAT threshold etc. are by nature much more complicated than a simple part time operation and are just one of numerous hassles of being self-employed. Keeping accounts for my new venture is much more straightforward and, at present, the expenditure (card stock, envelopes, cellophane bags, new printer, ink, table, card racks, print browser, gazebo, stall fees, etc) far outweighs income which, at present, is zero! I look forward to entering some figures, however modest, in the income column!

I also need to contact the DWP to check it comes under the definition of permitted work, but they can hardly object as it is they who seem so certain I should be attempting a return to work! Last year I had my benefit withdrawn but continued to receive it pending appeal to an independent tribunal in February, which I won. Following this I was informed by the DWP that I had been placed in the ďwork relatedĒ group of claimants and I assumed that meant I would get some sort of support identifying what type of work might be suitable, perhaps even with some kind of work experience.

Last week I received another assessment form to complete with a note that I will be required to attend another medical assessment to determine whether I qualify to continue receiving payments. How they can think that a progressive, degenerative disease may have improved since the tribunal is beyond me, and I know from the last ďassessmentĒ that it is a thinly disguised ploy to reject claims and meet targets.

So as well as declaring my new venture I want answers to what they intend to do in practical terms to support me in trying to find suitable employment. I would much prefer to find a part-time job with which I could cope and keep my photography purely as a hobby. If the photography takes off I donít expect to retain the profit myself, I fully accept that it should be used to offset benefits, or help replace them when they are eventually withdrawn Ė if not this year, then next.

Chevvyf1
30th May 2011, 11:39 AM
Phew ! John I am SO GLAD to hear this ! *chr*chr*chr

Yes I utterly agree, a "full blown business" accounting is a real pain, esp. VAT !

It is rather disconcerting to hear of your own health related problems ! My other half has the same trouble! and his X-ray/ lung photos can "show" the decay growing ! YET, I see peeps in our village who claim all sorts and play tennis, take a taxi here & there ... I must stop now or I shall really RANT ... :cool:

Some of these Govt. Peeps do not realise NO ONE EMPLOYS those with such health probs :rolleyes: even p/t

Caroline I have posted somewhere here about bulk card price reductions etc., and how I use the "FREE photo prints postcard size" for cards ... etc., all in the positive *yes oh! and the LETS too !

Zuiko
30th May 2011, 11:42 AM
Hi John

What a wonderful, enlightening post, thanks for taking the time and trouble of putting such a text together John, it makes for a smashing read (as do all of your article type posts).

A few thoughts if I may...

I think your offering cards/prints at fetes model will work, though I am not sure how much of a financial return there is in that business specific model. However, there are some possible spin-off areas. If, say, you were also to offer a 'commissioned print' model - where people who may want specific shots taken etc could book your services. You never know, you could attract all sorts of business - use the opportunity of a stall/area at a fete to promote what you do to everyone there. Use novel means of attracting attention... maybe come up with a 'family portrait discount' offer - just for those at the fete. Try to utilise the power of a digital camera and software i.e. show weird and whacky backgrounds in kids portraits - and have the kit there and then to provide it.

Regarding the card stalls, I do intend to use them to market other services. For instance I have a few decent pet portraits which should make nice cards and I can use them to promote commissioned pet portrait shoots.

I also think there is a solution to your dilemma of not wanting to book a landscape workshop in case your condition causes you to have to cancel; or postpone. Firstly, your landscape photography is excellent and I am sure there is a demand for such a course. Now... the easy way to mitigate this is to work with a partner/friend, who, in the event of your health not being up to what you would wish on the day of the course, could stand in for you. Sure, you may not make as much in terms of final amount as you would have to cover someone else's costs... but the event would still go ahead, and in the event of poor health I am sure your participants would understand and would appreciate being presented with the option of postponing or continuing with someone else running the workshop.

There you go, just a few thoughts from me.

Hi John, and thanks for your kind words.

Last year I was indeed poised to enter a partnership providing landscape courses, my proposed partner approached me but he became ill himself and had to withdraw. I did contemplate going it alone and even went on a workshop run along the lines I envisaged to see how it worked and get some advice from the proprietors. On reflection, I felt it wasn't for me and I'm very wary of committing myself to something that could sour my hobby in the way that David mentions becoming an instructor ruined his enjoyment of rock climbing. At times during the depression associated with my illness photography has been my one escape, one of the few things that have kept me going, and that has far more value than any financial considerations.

sponner
30th May 2011, 11:48 AM
Hope it pans out for you Zuiko.

I am intersted in the cards venture, I've been toying with similar ideas recently.

It seems you are printing them yourself, I would have thought it cheaper to have them professionally printed?

I have read somewhere that if you order "flyers" on the right card and size they are, to all intents and purposes identical to postacrds but don't attract VAT

Zuiko
30th May 2011, 12:12 PM
Hi Spooner, I have researched but have yet to find a printed card provider (for short runs of each image) at a commercially viable price. I would be most interested if someone could point me in the right direction as it would save a lot of work!

Here are my costings for self printed cards:-


A6 GREETINGS CARDS Ė COSTS & PRICES


THE PAPER GIRL Ė Gloss Finish
48 A6 cards & envelopes 6.99
48 C6 bags 1.48
Ink (comp @12p per print) 5.76

Total 14.23 Cost each .30p

Price (Single) 1.25 Profit .95p
(6 Pack) 6.00 Profit 4.20 (.70p per card)



A5 GREETINGS CARDS Ė COSTS AND PRICES


THE PAPER GIRL Ė Luxury Gloss 260g
44 A5 cards & envelopes 20.75
44 C5 bags 3.08
Ink (comp) @ 24p per print 10.56

Total 34.39 cost each .78 p

Price (single) 1.75 Profit .97p
(6 pack) 9.00 Profit 4.32 (72p per card)


As you can see margins are tight and do rely upon using compatible inks rather than Canon own brand, but I have tested these and they seem fine for this application. I hope I have set competitive prices for my products as they will need to sell well to produce a worthwhile return. I have researched prices locally and have pitched mine at the lower end of the scale.

Chevvyf1
30th May 2011, 02:11 PM
John are you printing straight on to the ACTUAL cards then ?

I buy 3 fold cards - with an aperture - and set the photo in place.

I have details of Printers - down in Devon/Cornwall - who print small runs for Artists (friends who are Artists live and paint down there ... its THE PLACE) and I have used theirs ! will dig out details ...

Zuiko
30th May 2011, 02:34 PM
John are you printing straight on to the ACTUAL cards then ?

I buy 3 fold cards - with an aperture - and set the photo in place.

I have details of Printers - down in Devon/Cornwall - who print small runs for Artists (friends who are Artists live and paint down there ... its THE PLACE) and I have used theirs ! will dig out details ...

Hi Chevvy,

Yes, I'm printing on the actual cards. I'm using pre-scored A5 240gm photocard which easily and neatly folds to make an A6 card once printed. On the back of the folded card I'm printing the title plus my contact details and indicating the message (if any) printed within. At the moment I'm leaving the message blank but if there is demand I can print "Happy Birthday" or whatever. I've just ordered a stock of pre-scored 260gm A4 card, which folds to make an A5 greetings card.

Do your aperturecards work out cheaper? My big concern would be do I have the dexterity and finger control to set the photo in place neatly, squarely and quickly.

Thanks,

John

FlemmingS
30th May 2011, 05:12 PM
Hi John I am sorry to hear about your health problems. I am convinced that having a creative interest like photography is good for ones physical and mental health.
I am afraid that it is very difficult to make money as a part time photographer, no matter how gifted one is.
I hope you'll succeed in this and enjoy many active years shooting photos
By the way having seen a preview of your book: Have you considered making a book aimed at newbie DSLR owners ? Learning how to take control of your advanced camera'
I am learning two young friends to use their newly acquired Nikon 3100 and they would love a wellwriten richly illustrated guide for beginners.

Zuiko
30th May 2011, 07:30 PM
Hi John I am sorry to hear about your health problems. I am convinced that having a creative interest like photography is good for ones physical and mental health.
I am afraid that it is very difficult to make money as a part time photographer, no matter how gifted one is.
I hope you'll succeed in this and enjoy many active years shooting photos
By the way having seen a preview of your book: Have you considered making a book aimed at newbie DSLR owners ? Learning how to take control of your advanced camera'
I am learning two young friends to use their newly acquired Nikon 3100 and they would love a wellwriten richly illustrated guide for beginners.

Thanks, FlemmingS, I'm starting to appreciate that there are many much worse off than me. The worst of it is probably the frustration of reduced functionality and the worry of how I could possibly perform a job to an employer's satisfaction.

I echo your sentiments about the feasibility of making money from part time photography, but feel I have nothing to lose (apart from the investment of a couple of hundred pounds) in giving it a go. If I cannot find a way of making a little money (from photography or other means) to replace the benefits that I will at some point definitely lose I'll probably economise by giving up photography, in fact giving up full stop, and just sit in a chair all day. There's a cheerful thought! :D

Regarding my book, so far I've sold a grand total of three (apart from those I've bought myself), which isn't even enough to trigger a payment from Blurb, but I never expected it to be a money making exercise because the pricing is all wrong. What it does do is act as a showcase for my work. Writing a general "how to" book is difficult because there are already plenty of those and I'd have to produce something really special to get a publisher interested. The economics of Blurb just don't work on a commercial scale.

Good luck teaching those two youngsters to use their new camera, I know from teaching my daughter that it can be very rewarding. :)

Chevvyf1
31st May 2011, 05:06 AM
I'll probably economise by giving up photography, in fact giving up full stop, and just sit in a chair all day. There's a cheerful thought! :D

:)

Please DO NOT :(:mad:

Your book is SO INSPIRING ! *chr it makes me think more about Landscapes I wuld like to do and I am sure helped my recent holiday shots to be better ( ... than they would have been!)

Ulfric M Douglas
31st May 2011, 06:45 AM
This cannot be stressed enough ;
... Other days I can barely function and this is exacerbated if I am under any stress or pressure .
When everything steady it can be fine, when things go wrong in life, people getting ill, minor disasters : the parkinsons can really hit hard.
I'm talking about my Dad who's had this for years now. One thing that makes a world of difference is the exact medication ... but it changes. The absolute best stuff he had just couldn't be continued since it seemed to have caused a leg infection. Wierd stuff. Unpredictable.

Phill D
31st May 2011, 07:27 AM
John
Prompted by Chevvy's post above I took a look at your web site and book. Well only van say I was blown away by the images there absolutely fantastic. As Chevvy said please don't give up. Why don't you make anything from the book? That seems to be a real shame as it looks really good from the preview link. I've a birthday coming up in a few months and may drop a few hints here at home that I'd like one. Can you get some discounted copies of the book yourself to sell and increase your profit?

snaarman
31st May 2011, 07:53 AM
That is a very nice book, full of excellent pictures, and a better looking product than my efforts with Photobox.

Making it sell, well that's another problem. Last year I offered several photobooks of Hannington to the locals by posting a card on the village green noticeboard, and emailing some locals.

Total sales ? Zero...

If I were serious, I would stick my neck out, spend the money and get a small pile printed, hire a table at a local craft fair in November or December and sell the books in person to the passing traffic. Advantages: They can pic the actual book up, they can talk to the photographer.

Risks: Despite this, no one buys them, and you are very much out of pocket. Still, that's the family's Christmas presents sorted :)

Pete

Chevvyf1
31st May 2011, 09:22 AM
John
Prompted by Chevvy's post above I took a look at your web site and book. Well only van say I was blown away by the images there absolutely fantastic. As Chevvy said please don't give up. Why don't you make anything from the book? That seems to be a real shame as it looks really good from the preview link. I've a birthday coming up in a few months and may drop a few hints here at home that I'd like one. Can you get some discounted copies of the book yourself to sell and increase your profit?

Phil I do not believe you would be disappointed - I so wanted "to read" the texts accompanying the pictures and to "OWN" a copy of such INSPIRING SHOTS & TEXTS! It is a little more than a coffee table book, we (DH too) browse through, I find it good to "fix" my eyes from JPs photos and that helps me "see" around me differently !

ps I sell single cards AND packs of 5 which is price of 3+a FREE ONE, human nature loves something for nothing :D and the more cards I sell at an "event" the cheaper the cost per card !

Zuiko
31st May 2011, 09:38 AM
Please DO NOT :(:mad:

Your book is SO INSPIRING ! *chr it makes me think more about Landscapes I wuld like to do and I am sure helped my recent holiday shots to be better ( ... than they would have been!)

Well, let's hope it doesn't come to that! I must admit when I typed that I was on a bit of a downer, not helped by having what my wife describes as a "bad hand day." Despite the medication keeping my depression fairly well controlled I still have bad days, often coinciding with the Parkinson's bad hand days. Thanks for your encouragement, Chevvy. :)

sponner
31st May 2011, 10:12 AM
Zuiko having spent 10 minutes browsing your website..........wow!

Stunning uplifting pictures

shirley
31st May 2011, 04:39 PM
I can confirm that the book is great, I bought it a while back and certainly haven't regretted it. John is skilled not only in his photography but also in the words he uses to inspire and motivate.

John, you know I would be first in the queue if you ever decided to give the landscape workshops a go...and I wouldn't mind in the slightest if had had to be postponed. I really do wish you all the best with your card venture, I am sure your pictures will be very saleable. Your honesty regarding your condition and the effect it has on you is refreshing, I hope that on the tough days the best wishes of all your friends here help a little.

All the best

Chevvyf1
31st May 2011, 05:05 PM
I can confirm that the book is great, I bought it a while back and certainly haven't regretted it. John is skilled not only in his photography but also in the words he uses to inspire and motivate.

John, you know I would be first in the queue if you ever decided to give the landscape workshops a go...and I wouldn't mind in the slightest if had had to be postponed. I really do wish you all the best with your card venture, I am sure your pictures will be very saleable. Your honesty regarding your condition and the effect it has on you is refreshing, I hope that on the tough days the best wishes of all your friends here help a little.
All the best

Hear ! Hear !

sponner
31st May 2011, 11:35 PM
zuiko,
I've been thinking about this although I'm nowhere near teh stage where I have sufficient quality to justify the investment.

I did pop into a local printers today (I know the guy anyway) and had a casual discussion about greeting cards.

He reckons that he would do 500 cards with envelopes (a5 card scored and folded to make a finished a6 product) witt full colour printing on 300 gsm card for £100 i.e. 20p each.

What made it attractive was that he wouldn't charge extra for using 5 different files i.e 5 designs x 100 each.

As I say it was a casual theoretical discussion but an option I would explore as and when I have something good enough to sell!

Zuiko
31st May 2011, 11:37 PM
This cannot be stressed enough ;

When everything steady it can be fine, when things go wrong in life, people getting ill, minor disasters : the parkinsons can really hit hard.
I'm talking about my Dad who's had this for years now. One thing that makes a world of difference is the exact medication ... but it changes. The absolute best stuff he had just couldn't be continued since it seemed to have caused a leg infection. Wierd stuff. Unpredictable.

The medication is certainly wierd and unpedictable. When first diagnosed I was initially put on Ropinerole and for the first 2 years it worked really well, with no side effects. Then I started suffering all sorts of symptoms which led to the diagnosis that I had Angina and also resulted in a week of tests in hospital because it was suspected I may have Multiple System Atrophy, which basically means the automatic functions of your body start to fail eventually resulting in death. Thankfully it turned out that I had neither of these two illnesses, I had just suddenly developed severe side effects to the medication.

I'm now on Sinemet Plus, which works better some days than others. Also, most days it has no side effects but sometimes it makes me feel nauseous and faint. Wierd and unpredictable is exactly right! *yes

Zuiko
1st June 2011, 12:43 AM
John
Prompted by Chevvy's post above I took a look at your web site and book. Well only van say I was blown away by the images there absolutely fantastic. As Chevvy said please don't give up. Why don't you make anything from the book? That seems to be a real shame as it looks really good from the preview link. I've a birthday coming up in a few months and may drop a few hints here at home that I'd like one. Can you get some discounted copies of the book yourself to sell and increase your profit?

The economics don't make it commercially viable.

The Blurb cost for the hardback version of my book is £27.54 to which I've added a £3.00 profit margin, making the price £30.54

If I took the plunge to sell the books myself I could get a 10% discount on the Blurb price if I bought 10 or more copies, plus a postage charge of £4.99 for every 3 books.

So if I ordered, say, 12 books it would cost me £317.39, or £26.45 each. If I continued to add a margin of £3.00 to each book I would make a profit of £36 if I sold every book. Two books unsold would leave me with a loss. Realistically I might have to lower the margin to make it more attractive but even a 50p profit would make the price of the book £26.95 and if I sold all 12 would make a total profit of £6.00!

I'm naturally pleased to have received so much positive feedback and encouraging comments about my book, but you can buy wonderful books by top landscapers such as Joe Cornish, Charlie Waite and David Noton from Amazon for half the minimum price that I would need to charge....I rest my case! :)

Zuiko
1st June 2011, 12:58 AM
That is a very nice book, full of excellent pictures, and a better looking product than my efforts with Photobox.

Making it sell, well that's another problem. Last year I offered several photobooks of Hannington to the locals by posting a card on the village green noticeboard, and emailing some locals.

Total sales ? Zero...

If I were serious, I would stick my neck out, spend the money and get a small pile printed, hire a table at a local craft fair in November or December and sell the books in person to the passing traffic. Advantages: They can pic the actual book up, they can talk to the photographer.

Risks: Despite this, no one buys them, and you are very much out of pocket. Still, that's the family's Christmas presents sorted :)

Pete

That sums it up nicely, Pete, although I'm surprised that your very personal and unique book of the village didn't sell to the locals.

Photobooks like these are great for personal records of your work, for presents to the family (my Mum is thrilled with her copy and continuously bores everyone who can't run fast enough with it) but are a bit more expensive than most people are willing to pay to make them commercially viable.

Zuiko
1st June 2011, 02:31 AM
I can confirm that the book is great, I bought it a while back and certainly haven't regretted it. John is skilled not only in his photography but also in the words he uses to inspire and motivate.

John, you know I would be first in the queue if you ever decided to give the landscape workshops a go...and I wouldn't mind in the slightest if had had to be postponed. I really do wish you all the best with your card venture, I am sure your pictures will be very saleable. Your honesty regarding your condition and the effect it has on you is refreshing, I hope that on the tough days the best wishes of all your friends here help a little.

All the best

Thanks Shirley, this forum or, more accurately, the people who frequent this forum, have been a great uplifting influence to me and help very much.

You're very kind and would, I know, make allowances if I ran a workshop, but would a stranger who had planned for the day, got up early and driven maybe 50 miles only to find it postponed feel the same? Also, regardless of my photographic ability, do I have the talent to teach or coach? You do, because it's your job, your passion and what you are trained to do but it's not my field of expertise. Being a good performer doesn't automatically translate into being a good teacher, be it in business, sport or crafts. Based on his ability as a footballer, nobody would have expected Alex Ferguson to be a great coach but he is, it's an entirely different talent.

I've given it a lot of thought and I'd have to be convinced it really was the right thing to do before I started taking people's money. I do sometimes question the true value of my work. Pretty landscapes yes, mainly well composed, often shot in wonderful light and usually the result of careful planning and patience. But is that enough? Do I rely too much on a tried and tested formula at the expense of creativity, originality and true vision? The recent RPS advisory day reminded me of just how high standards are these days and a few of my favourite pictures were not quite up to it or were too similar to others on my proposed panel. That's a key question; is there enough variety in my work, or too often is it essentially the same photograph repeated with different subjects?

Sometimes it's good to step back and reconsider where you are, to be challenged by others and challenge yourself. Maybe I am a bit stale. I certainly find it much harder to motivate myself for the early, pre-dawn starts that I used to relish, sometimes day after day. But then, did I perhaps rely too much on the impact of dawn light? It might be time to re-assess my approach to landscape photography and what I want to achieve. Ultimately that might make me a better photographer, or at least a more versatile one, and enabe me to adapt my photography to the future changes that are bound to become necessary as my physical abilities deteriorate, which they surely will.

With regard to making a bit of money from photography, at the moment the card and print venture seems worth exploring. It may or may not work out, time will tell. If it doesn't then I'll look for another niche that may offer an opportunity. That may or may not involve workshops, depending on how I feel at the time and how much I consider I may have to offer. A possible opportunity that may come from increasing disability myself, if I can successfully adapt and cope with it, might be to help similarly disabled people realize their potential for photography, be it a new or existing hobby. Experiencing the problems for myself will no doubt give me a better understanding of how to overcome them or how to adapt. The future is uncertain but it's not without possibilities.

Meanwhile, discussing my plans and sharing my success or failure in this section of the forum will hopefully prove useful to those contemplating a similar venture themselves and, who knows, someone else may be encouraged to share an idea that eventually turns out to be lucrative for us all! :)

Zuiko
1st June 2011, 02:41 AM
zuiko,
I've been thinking about this although I'm nowhere near teh stage where I have sufficient quality to justify the investment.

I did pop into a local printers today (I know the guy anyway) and had a casual discussion about greeting cards.

He reckons that he would do 500 cards with envelopes (a5 card scored and folded to make a finished a6 product) witt full colour printing on 300 gsm card for £100 i.e. 20p each.

What made it attractive was that he wouldn't charge extra for using 5 different files i.e 5 designs x 100 each.

As I say it was a casual theoretical discussion but an option I would explore as and when I have something good enough to sell!

That seems a very good price indeed, particularly for 5 different designs!

I suppose initially the problem is knowing which designs will sell. The way I am set up I can print just a few each of many designs to start with, until I see which ones sell. Then would be a great time to get cards printed in bulk. It would open up the possibility of supplying cards on sale or return to local outlets, as well as selling at craft fairs.

Thanks for this idea. Does he do mail order? :)

Phill D
1st June 2011, 05:38 AM
John I see what you mean on the book economics, it's obvious but not suprising I suppose that its Blurb who are making the main profit. I'm still going to ask for one for my birthday though. Can you post the dates of your fetes on here then maybe your visitor numbers would be boosted by forum members. You could do signed copies of the book as well.

sponner
1st June 2011, 06:14 AM
Thanks for this idea. Does he do mail order?

He's not set up for it as such but is only a two minute walk from teh post office. Sure he would at cost.

shirley
1st June 2011, 06:43 AM
This look interesting. No idea what they charge but might be worth enquiring.
http://www.cornflower.co.uk/For-Artists.aspx

Zuiko
1st June 2011, 06:58 AM
This look interesting. No idea what they charge but might be worth enquiring.
http://www.cornflower.co.uk/For-Artists.aspx

Their products look interesting but I can't see any pricing information. :confused:

shirley
1st June 2011, 07:04 AM
Their products look interesting but I can't see any pricing information. :confused:

No I couldn't either, I think you have to contact them. The part that I thought looked interesting is the bit where they sell your cards for you and send you % of the cost. I have sent them an email regarding their artists website. Seems like there is nothing to lose but it would depend on terms etc.

Zuiko
1st June 2011, 07:30 AM
No I couldn't either, I think you have to contact them. The part that I thought looked interesting is the bit where they sell your cards for you and send you % of the cost. I have sent them an email regarding their artists website. Seems like there is nothing to lose but it would depend on terms etc.

Sounds a bit like Fine Art America or Red Bubble where customers can buy your work direct from their site. Great principle, until you realize how many other "hopefulls" also have their work on the site - the maths are not encouraging! I have some work on FAA and do get lots of nice comments, but only one sale so far.......and I think you know all about that. :D

Chevvyf1
1st June 2011, 07:35 AM
... but sometimes it makes me feel nauseous and faint. Wierd and unpredictable is exactly right! *yes

Nick has this, and now his Dr prescribed a pill to be taken every morning on waking, and he 'touch wood' has never felt this ! I shall find out name and pm you.

Zuiko
1st June 2011, 07:44 AM
Nick has this, and now his Dr prescribed a pill to be taken every morning on waking, and he 'touch wood' has never felt this ! I shall find out name and pm you.

That's very interesting, Chevvy, thank you. :)

shirley
1st June 2011, 07:53 AM
Out of interest John is it very expensive to have a table at the craft/summer fairs?

Chevvyf1
1st June 2011, 07:56 AM
Sounds a bit like Fine Art America or Red Bubble where customers can buy your work direct from their site. Great principle, until you realize how many other "hopefulls" also have their work on the site - the maths are not encouraging! I have some work on FAA and do get lots of nice comments, but only one sale so far.......and I think you know all about that. :D

In Marketing terms, this is putting yourself with all your competitors and sitting back, waiting for the money to roll in ... maybe it will not roll in much, if at all! I find there is fun in being out and about in YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY, one thing/sale leads to another ... Peeps locally pop by and choose some cards, often! as we are home a lot, we dont mind! Groups like the Wi; lace Makers; Quilters; Gardners all want nice photos of thier "pride & joy" and they have family and pets too*chr the possibilities are endless, but it all starts somewhere, small.

DO not price your work too cheap - Costs x 400% is a guide. With the right cards and apertures, Peeps will be buying wall art to pop into a frame, no border price/purchase!

Chevvyf1
1st June 2011, 08:05 AM
John its Omeprazole 10mg capsules - usually prescribed for indigestion/ulcers - but prescribed to DH as "he is on so many painkillers, many of which cause neusea".

Zuiko
1st June 2011, 08:18 AM
John its Omeprazole 10mg capsules - usually prescribed for indigestion/ulcers - but prescribed to DH as "he is on so many painkillers, many of which cause neusea".

Thanks Chevvy, I'll ask my doctor about these. :)

Zuiko
1st June 2011, 08:23 AM
Out of interest John is it very expensive to have a table at the craft/summer fairs?

I've booked two so far, for our local school fete it's £10 and for the RSPCA fun day it's £20. I did enquire about a much larger, two day event but the fee was £120 (for two days) - far too much at this stage, I'd need to be very sure about projected sales and they would need to include some larger print sales. Maybe next year! :rolleyes:

francois
1st June 2011, 09:06 AM
I went to the blurb page listing your book but for some reason the preview doesn't work. I've tried with Internet Explorer and Opera. Perhaps it is a temporary fault so I'll try again later.

shirley
1st June 2011, 09:10 AM
I went to the blurb page listing your book but for some reason the preview doesn't work. I've tried with Internet Explorer and Opera. Perhaps it is a temporary fault so I'll try again later.

It's working for me.

francois
1st June 2011, 09:26 AM
Tried again with both IE and Opera and no joy. However, Firefox did the trick and I was able to preview the book.

Great stuff!

Zuiko
1st June 2011, 01:06 PM
Tried again with both IE and Opera and no joy. However, Firefox did the trick and I was able to preview the book.

Great stuff!

I've just checked with IE and it's working for me. Thanks for the kind comments, Francois, both here and on my Blurb page. Just checked the comments and didn't realize how many I had there!

For me, this thread has provided an unexpected bonus in promoting my book; views have been less than 20 for the last few weeks but stand at over 40 so far this week!

Doesn't alter the fact that generally it's too expensive to be a commercial success. I have tried to interest a couple of mainstream publishers, so far without success. Maybe I should try a few more, although (self doubt creeping in again) I do wonder if it's sufficiently different from the glut of books on the subject that are already available from far greater, and better known, photographers.

Pjphoto59
2nd June 2011, 06:38 AM
John,

I have been following this thread with much interest, as I have often wondered about selling prints at craft fairs and making cards. For me it always seemed too much like hard work and suffered the disadvantage that I have very few pictures that I think would suit that market. Hence my retirement hobby is stock photography where (as someone quoted recently) the pictures are "prose" not "poetry".

I have just had a look through your book on Blurb and now I see that you have plenty of "poetry" to offer.

I do hope your venture with print sales and cards goes well, and I can see that you have images far better than most that one sees in that market.

All the best....

Chevvyf1
2nd June 2011, 08:11 AM
Peter J you do yourself a diservice ! THIS ONE of YOURs would be a sure seller - cute and great big eyes !

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/6261108.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/3230)

Zuiko
2nd June 2011, 10:57 AM
Peter J you do yourself a diservice ! THIS ONE of YOURs would be a sure seller - cute and great big eyes !

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/6261108.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/3230)

Chevvy's right, this one has "buy me" written all over it. :)

Zuiko
2nd June 2011, 11:19 AM
John,

I have been following this thread with much interest, as I have often wondered about selling prints at craft fairs and making cards. For me it always seemed too much like hard work and suffered the disadvantage that I have very few pictures that I think would suit that market. Hence my retirement hobby is stock photography where (as someone quoted recently) the pictures are "prose" not "poetry".

I have just had a look through your book on Blurb and now I see that you have plenty of "poetry" to offer.

I do hope your venture with print sales and cards goes well, and I can see that you have images far better than most that one sees in that market.

All the best....

Peter, like many forms of part time photography I think it will be hard work (for me it already is, and I've hardly started) with little reward. If it works my earnings per hour will be ridiculously low, but hopefully it might provide a crucial bit of extra income once the benefits have ceased. Most important, it should help with my self respect and sometimes low self esteem, and give me a renewed sense of purpose. In many ways I would rather find some part time paid employment I could do which would accomodate my particular disabilities but realistically I don't think that is likely to happen.

This is not a business model suitable for many people, although as Chevvy has showed it can be more successful for those with enough business accumen and marketing talent. However, if nothing else it will be an interesting experiment. Earlier this morning another delivery of blank cards and priner ink arrived, so later I will be busy again and that alone at the moment is good for me! :)

Chevvyf1
2nd June 2011, 11:40 AM
John I was going to turn a stable into a "Studio" they are 12ft x 12ft, rubber floor and fibreboard lined at the bottom half all around (my horses had a bit of luxury, but it also kept the bedding costs down and the injuries from getting 'cast' and vets bills down). To fibre board the top half is not expensive, and plasterboard the high roof and hang lights from the roof, means the studio is in effect larger - as no tripods for lights ! All surfaces would then be painted white ! ...The Tack room would be fitted with a Camping Porta Potti Chemical loo and a wash basin can be installed (water in stables:) ... BUT ... I cannot face everyone coming here, the phone calls, bookings, fail to arrives, and then lots of PEEPS, well, frankly grotty and their offspring ! ... so stables still full of motobikes :)

Zuiko
2nd June 2011, 11:48 AM
John I was going to turn a stable into a "Studio" they are 12ft x 12ft, rubber floor and fibreboard lined at the bottom half all around (my horses had a bit of luxury, but it also kept the bedding costs down and the injuries from getting 'cast' and vets bills down). To fibre board the top half is not expensive, and plasterboard the high roof and hang lights from the roof, means the studio is in effect larger - as no tripods for lights ! All surfaces would then be painted white ! ...The Tack room would be fitted with a Camping Porta Potti Chemical loo and a wash basin can be installed (water in stables:) ... BUT ... I cannot face everyone coming here, the phone calls, bookings, fail to arrives, and then lots of PEEPS, well, frankly grotty and their offspring ! ... so stables still full of motobikes :)

Yes, sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for! :D

ndl0071
2nd June 2011, 01:13 PM
An interesting thread John, I must admit that the whole card thing is one that I've toyed with in the past and continue to do so but time constraints mean that I've yet to spring into action.
The gallery where I have been displaying and selling prints is closing at the end of this week so I guess I'll need to revisit the whole 'making money' thing again.
It'll be interesting to see how your experiment works out, I'll be sure to keep a look out on the forum for progress reports.
I wish you all the best and every success with the new venture.

Chevvyf1
2nd June 2011, 03:50 PM
John I keep my "stock" in HIGH SIDED boxes - because if Peeps are looking through stock, they will inadvertantly apply pressure to the front cards, long ago thumbed thro - shallow shoe boxes mean the front cards are bent forwards AND UNSALEABLE STOCK !

My FAV shoe boxes are for CAT Boots ! they take A6 & A5 portrait or landscape cards :) shoe shops will happily keep a few boxes for you in a week:)

ALSO I PREFER to display a selection in a fan shape on the table top; and a few "empty" sample cards - I sell mostly "white linen because it feels QUALITY & NOT CHEAP =like my cards *yes" with walbums of all the Photos in Cards for them to thumb over (these do not get sticky/ruined as they are in little PVC sleeves - if there is a backdrop I can hang these up - one for portrait photos flowers; one for landscape photos of object; one for animals local wildlife; one for animals zoo etc .,

http://www.photobox.co.uk/shop/prints/walbum

Ian
2nd June 2011, 04:29 PM
Remind me about the exhibition early in the new year so I can give it a plug here and there - and I'd definitely like to come along and view :)

Ian

Pjphoto59
2nd June 2011, 06:41 PM
Chevvy's right, this one has "buy me" written all over it. :)

John, Chevvy,

Thanks for the kind comments! Just shows I can get the thing to focus sometimes.

When I started at Alamy, the requirements were for images to be uprezzed to 48MB (open) and a camera with a minimun of 6MB was specified. I simply ignored that requirement and this Lemur picture was taken with my E1 and 50-200 at full stretch.

I gave up using the E1 a couple of years ago when it suddenly started producing pictures that failed QC. The technical requirements were no different but I think that the QC inspectors have just got used to seeing pictures from higher resolution cameras.

No-one bought the Lemur yet - could happen tomorrow.

Some say zoo pictures don't sell, but I have sold two, one of a Barbary Ape and another of penguins walking with their keeper.

I will add some new pictures to my gallery

Zuiko
2nd June 2011, 08:06 PM
Remind me about the exhibition early in the new year so I can give it a plug here and there - and I'd definitely like to come along and view :)

Ian

Thanks, that's appreciated, Ian. You'll definitely get an invitation to the preview (which will be Sunday 5th February) and the exhibition will be on from 6th to 25th February, so plenty of time. :)

Zuiko
2nd June 2011, 08:19 PM
John I keep my "stock" in HIGH SIDED boxes - because if Peeps are looking through stock, they will inadvertantly apply pressure to the front cards, long ago thumbed thro - shallow shoe boxes mean the front cards are bent forwards AND UNSALEABLE STOCK !

My FAV shoe boxes are for CAT Boots ! they take A6 & A5 portrait or landscape cards :) shoe shops will happily keep a few boxes for you in a week:)

ALSO I PREFER to display a selection in a fan shape on the table top; and a few "empty" sample cards - I sell mostly "white linen because it feels QUALITY & NOT CHEAP =like my cards *yes" with walbums of all the Photos in Cards for them to thumb over (these do not get sticky/ruined as they are in little PVC sleeves - if there is a backdrop I can hang these up - one for portrait photos flowers; one for landscape photos of object; one for animals local wildlife; one for animals zoo etc .,

http://www.photobox.co.uk/shop/prints/walbum

Chevvy, I was thinking along similar lines, most the stock in boxes but with samples arranged on the table and also displayed in a three tier wire rack. A few larger size mounted and framed prints as examples, a browser full of mounted only prints and an album of 8x6 prints to serve as a catalogue for print orders. Plus, of course, a few of the "Light Fantastic" books on display for which I can take orders. :D

Chevvyf1
2nd June 2011, 08:33 PM
Chevvy, I was thinking along similar lines, most the stock in boxes but with samples arranged on the table and also displayed in a three tier wire rack. A few larger size mounted and framed prints as examples, a browser full of mounted only prints and an album of 8x6 prints to serve as a catalogue for print orders. Plus, of course, a few of the "Light Fantastic" books on display for which I can take orders. :D


My local printer has cards in "a tree" and all the front ones are damages/unsaleable!

I do not frame - frames are "too personal" and Peeps want a print price no frame !*chr

Zuiko
2nd June 2011, 08:33 PM
Here's some pics of the gallery where my exhibition will be held. I'll have exclusive use of the main room, plus I may be able to overspill a few into the upstairs landing gallery.

http://www.dunmowartgallery.co.uk/about/

Here's the outside of the building, which is the office of a solicitor who kindly accomodates the gallery in the rooms he does not use.

http://www.dunmowartgallery.co.uk/contact/

It costs me nothing to stage the exhibition, although I do pay commission on any sales and I am part of a pool of volunters who mind the gallery on a rota basis throughout the year.

Zuiko
2nd June 2011, 08:40 PM
I do not frame - frames are "too personal" and Peeps want a print price no frame !*chr

That's a good point, I was planning to display a few as examples, get a few sample mouldings and mounts from my framer and offer the option of print only, mounted print, or mounted and framed to order. Do you think it best not to offer the framed option?

timmypreston
2nd June 2011, 10:06 PM
You could make it pay as a hobby, but not as a living.

Motorsport! Riders/Drivers love nothing more than a picture of themselves riding or racing.

You could set up a laptop on the parcel shelf of your car with a simple slide show running of previous meetings you had attended and your mobile phone number on a piece of card next to it.

Motocross riders and racing drivers are worth a small fortune, £5 for a 6x4 print £12.50 A4 £17.00 A3 Mouse mats £7.50, Mugs a tenner!

You could take payment at the meeting, customer contact details and then only order what you had sold and post it on using the customers name and address as the delivery address at point of order.

For £30 you could concentrate on one rider for one race and supply 10 6x4 prints inclusive. Undoubtedly they would then order extras.

It could even be free to get an announcement over the tannoy saying that you were there taking pictures.

Local club run events would be best, they all know each ther extremely well and word of mouth spreads quickly!

You could set up a simple website, like this one, www.timmypreston.co.uk which you could get linked to all the local clubs, you could get some free business cards printed from vistaprint and give them to riders whilst wandering round the pits during the intervals.

You could also offer mugs, mouse mats etc etc as long as you stay in touch with your offers from the supplier (eg Snapfish) there is money to be made.

If i were looking to make money I would try event photography where you can sell items you don't have in stock but people can see what they will be getting straight away?

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5013/5524069878_965892c70b_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/33153464@N07/5524069878/)
SR4 (1) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/33153464@N07/5524069878/) by Tim J Preston (http://www.flickr.com/people/33153464@N07/), on Flickr

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2433/3795288725_ef59735162_z.jpg?zz=1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/33153464@N07/3795288725/)
Rooster! (2) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/33153464@N07/3795288725/) by Tim J Preston (http://www.flickr.com/people/33153464@N07/), on Flickr

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3480/3457213796_6c42cf0d62_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/33153464@N07/3457213796/)
P1010354 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/33153464@N07/3457213796/) by Tim J Preston (http://www.flickr.com/people/33153464@N07/), on Flickr

Crude but simple, no overheads, no stock, pre sales, cash in hand, not even handling the product. You have your target market the second you press the shutter release, give him a tap on the shoulder at the end of the race, Bobs your uncle!

Look out for the kids races
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2631/3836815007_cf12590962_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/33153464@N07/3836815007/)
P1010122 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/33153464@N07/3836815007/) by Tim J Preston (http://www.flickr.com/people/33153464@N07/), on Flickr
Which proud parent wouldn't want a picture of their kid!

How many riders?
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2799/4025284927_29f971f594_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/33153464@N07/4025284927/)
P1010046 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/33153464@N07/4025284927/) by Tim J Preston (http://www.flickr.com/people/33153464@N07/), on Flickr

Then there is 12-16 races a day, you do the maths! No one is relying on you, if you don't turn up one day its your loss not theirs.

I imagine if you did this you could buy a 70-300mm, an EC14, a monopod and a tripod after just a couple of meetings.

It is very seasonal, you have to be confident to approach people and you have to know what shots the riders like!

Thats what I would try:rolleyes: ;)

Tim

Zuiko
2nd June 2011, 10:32 PM
Thanks for that post, Tim, it's a useful and facinating example of yet another niche market that most of us just don't consider. I've been to the occasional event but never thought to approach the riders. Presumably a shot like this could pay?

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/e_group_01.jpg

Mind you, from the excellent samples you've posted and the many others on your site (well worth a look guys) I think I might need a little practice first! :)

timmypreston
2nd June 2011, 10:39 PM
That would sell definately, it is a niche market, thats why it works. I imagine.

Drivers are easy to approach as club events nearly always have open pits. Vehicles are distinctive as are riders helmets/overalls so they are easy to find.

The website could be a dummy really, it would only contain pics you had already sold so you would not have to monitor enquiries from it or protect the images, all extra hassle.

Zuiko
2nd June 2011, 11:07 PM
That would sell definately, it is a niche market, thats why it works. I imagine.

Drivers are easy to approach as club events nearly always have open pits. Vehicles are distinctive as are riders helmets/overalls so they are easy to find.

The website could be a dummy really, it would only contain pics you had already sold so you would not have to monitor enquiries from it or protect the images, all extra hassle.

Definitely food for thought here, Tim, thank you. :)

Chevvyf1
3rd June 2011, 05:13 AM
That's a good point, I was planning to display a few as examples, get a few sample mouldings and mounts from my framer and offer the option of print only, mounted print, or mounted and framed to order. Do you think it best not to offer the framed option?

John, Looking at the Gallery photos, I think you do need to do as you planned - it is what others exhibiting do ! and what your public expects? AND the CARD TREE is a proper one with high wire support so cards thumbed thro should not get bent !!!

I have NEVER exhibited in a gallery :( and that is a very different environment to a Fete stand !

I have/and do buy "prints" from car boot sales here in and around Winchester/Hampshire/Surrey ... for the Frames ! sometimes I pay 50p for A3 print frames. I have a few paints, black, gold, silver, pale pampas green, beige and cream - for the frames and MOUNTS ! which I recycle, I have difficulty throwing Art away, ... I insert a plain white or cream sheet and *thin foam, before my print - clean the glass well, so I leave the print as backing to mine :)

(*thin foam, as used under laminate flooring - keeps the picture "tight" in the frame/mount - I do not like sticking things down :( )

Chevvyf1
3rd June 2011, 05:25 AM
That would sell definately, it is a niche market, thats why it works. I imagine.

Drivers are easy to approach as club events nearly always have open pits. Vehicles are distinctive as are riders helmets/overalls so they are easy to find.

The website could be a dummy really, it would only contain pics you had already sold so you would not have to monitor enquiries from it or protect the images, all extra hassle.

Timmy your a 5 STAR at the Motorsports togging *chr FANTASTIC SHOTS EVERY ONE ! ... and absolutely right "its a numbers game to £'s PROFIT"

In the past I have done cars/racing back in the 1960's-80's hobby that paid some !; Equestrian, Eventing, Show Jumping, Dressage and Team Chasing - as they were my sports up until knackered knees in 2002. Now its for "me and my stock cards" !

I did have a website, and only loaded small exif jpegs 90% shots - I sometimes deliberately put a dark area to cover critical detail ! so that "save as" thiefs got only duffers! NOW no website, just freebie galleries and local business !

At the end of the day, its my hobby and yesterday I spent the best part of 3 hours in the garden, camera mounted on Benbo Tripod (1 leg in the raised flow bed shorter than the other two, down on the ground); holding the remote shutter in my hand - waiting for the Bumble Bees ! NOW if I was so busy with a tog business, I would not have the time to really enjoy - the birds and sky about me as I waited, relaxed! *yes:D

Zuiko
3rd June 2011, 09:00 AM
John, Looking at the Gallery photos, I think you do need to do as you planned - it is what others exhibiting do ! and what your public expects? AND the CARD TREE is a proper one with high wire support so cards thumbed thro should not get bent !!!

I have NEVER exhibited in a gallery :( and that is a very different environment to a Fete stand !

I have/and do buy "prints" from car boot sales here in and around Winchester/Hampshire/Surrey ... for the Frames ! sometimes I pay 50p for A3 print frames. I have a few paints, black, gold, silver, pale pampas green, beige and cream - for the frames and MOUNTS ! which I recycle, I have difficulty throwing Art away, ... I insert a plain white or cream sheet and *thin foam, before my print - clean the glass well, so I leave the print as backing to mine :)

(*thin foam, as used under laminate flooring - keeps the picture "tight" in the frame/mount - I do not like sticking things down :( )

Ah, the gallery is for a one-off exhibition in February and will be very different from the fete stall I'm proposing. For inside events it willl be whatever space they allow me, for outdoor events I'll have a 3sqm cream gazebo with panels on three sides, "banquet" style table, a table top 3 tier wire display rack and a free standing print browser. If I do display a few sample framed prints I'll need to add a few easels or some method of hanging from the framework of the gazebo.

It's pretty much early days with trial and error at the moment and it would simplify things if I didn't attempt to display framed prints.

ndl0071
3rd June 2011, 09:30 AM
John, Chevvyf1 raises a good point about frames, when I first started selling FA prints to keep costs low I used budget Neilson frames, the ones with plastic fronts instead of glass but these scratched very easily and customers didn't want them so I upgraded the frames to a nice polished metal frame with glass fronts at a medium price point but guess what? Customers then didn't want to pay for the extra quality:confused:
My experience and advice would be to just sell either mounted or unmounted prints and let the customer worry about framing, (frames seem to be such a personal thing) this approach has been quite successful (and cheaper) since learning the lesson.
Hope this helps.:)

Zuiko
3rd June 2011, 09:48 AM
John, Chevvyf1 raises a good point about frames, when I first started selling FA prints to keep costs low I used budget Neilson frames, the ones with plastic fronts instead of glass but these scratched very easily and customers didn't want them so I upgraded the frames to a nice polished metal frame with glass fronts at a medium price point but guess what? Customers then didn't want to pay for the extra quality:confused:
My experience and advice would be to just sell either mounted or unmounted prints and let the customer worry about framing, (frames seem to be such a personal thing) this approach has been quite successful (and cheaper) since learning the lesson.
Hope this helps.:)

Hi Neil, from what you and Chevvy have said I think I can forget about offering framed prints at the fetes and that will simplify things for me. Thanks. :)

Chevvyf1
3rd June 2011, 11:48 AM
Ah, the gallery is for a one-off exhibition in February and will be very different from the fete stall I'm proposing. For inside events it willl be whatever space they allow me, for outdoor events I'll have a 3sqm cream gazebo with panels on three sides, "banquet" style table, a table top 3 tier wire display rack and a free standing print browser. If I do display a few sample framed prints I'll need to add a few easels or some method of hanging from the framework of the gazebo.

It's pretty much early days with trial and error at the moment and it would simplify things if I didn't attempt to display framed prints.

Gazebo is GREAT ! you can hang a wire from corner to corner and hang prints from this and the walbums too ! :) great stuff ... as this draws more attention that a flat display on a tabletop (latter only seen by thos walking by close !)

Vista Print Banners are good and can hang from corner to corner at the back and/or sides of your gazebo ... or their window stickers - A3 size (you can always stick them on whiteboard to make a name display card for you stand !)

Seonnaidh
4th June 2011, 11:00 AM
I've been following this thread with great interest as I've personally found nearly all of it to be accurate and correct. Even when various posts have conflicting opinions.

Our experience has led us to believe that the most important thing to consider is your target clientele.
For instance at local Craft Fairs, Fetes, and Agricultural Shows we don't take large framed images, similarly we do not put many large framed prints in most 'galleries'. Why? Because our main buyers are visitors. If they have the disposable income to spend £450 + on a framed print they probably came by air and won't be able to get it back on the plane. (We do not ship framed prints. Ever.) If they came by car they probably have little room anyway. As for families that arrive by car, they definitely do not have room for a 32" x 27" framed print. To be fair most families do not have the disposable income especially nowadays to make a large impulse buy.
At these kind of outlets we market mounted prints up to 20 x 16 and greeetings cards. These sell well and occassionally we might sell a 20 x 16 framed print, say island wide about four a week.
Like Chevvy we use three fold aperture cards which we have made for us in a linen finish and print our images on Ilford Gallerie Pearl. Total cost of product including cellophane bag and envelope et al 60p (I will gladly show anyone at the Highland meet some samples) SRP £2.00 to £2.60 per card.
One of the things we have found is that once you start attending a few craft fairs and people see the quality of your work some surprising things happen.
(a) You get invited to others well before a general announcement is made.
(b) We are often approached to attend these events at reduced rates and on the understanding that no other photographers are attending as sellers.
Believe it or not organisers get asked if so and so will be attending because members of the public want to buy their product. Thats when you know you've got it right.

OK then onto the higher end of the market. We are very fortunate to be asked to display work at several Highland Art Fairs. Here is where the big money can be earned. Almost everyone who comes through the door is either there by invite or has seen the advertising, they are qualified buyers and are prepared to spend four five six hundred pounds on a single image, even more on original paintings. Last year our next door stall holder at a middle rate event sold £6k's worth of oil paintings.

On average we sell three or four large framed prints, about a dozen small framed prints 20 x 16 and our 60cm Square framed prints usually get into double figures. Reckon on selling anything from 15 - 60 mounted prints of various sizes. Greetings cards maybe a dozen, maybe.
Our experience with framing is keep it simple. Plain neutral coloured frames will always sell. Mounts, we use archival quality double mounts and wrap most mounted prints individually in cellophane with nicely presented and folded corners etc.

Using an Epson 4800 wide format printer and Ilford Gold Fibre Silk paper and a custom profile we cut down on waste. I'm ashamed and embarrassed to tell you how much profit we make on mounted prints ( no, I'm not really) but it is very lucrative. Bear in mind that we have to make our money during the 'season' as in the winter hardly anything at all sells.

So as you can see choose your events/ outlets wisely, study your market and aim squarely at what they want/can afford. Lastly don't get hurt feelings if the images that you love and are very proud of don't sell. Be prepared for the general public to like, admire and most importantly buy what you wouldn't.
Any further questions please feel free to ask.

Chevvyf1
4th June 2011, 05:09 PM
Seonnaidh its interesting how "your market" has developed ! and you are a Professional at Photography - I know - in Portrait & Weddings too !

I charge £2.25 per card or 3 for £5 - change is always an issue and I like counting up in £5 or £10's at then end of the day :) £COSTS x 400% is the rule of thumb ...

The only thing I would add to Seonnaidh is "DO SELL", be doing something related to your products if anything - reading a paper; looking bored puts Peeps off your stand ! and do not look like a Meercat on Sentry Duty waiting to pick Peeps off " and sell to them" ! Sitting behind a table at the back of your stand is what first timers do !

Hopefully you will be so busy with lookers and buyers the time will fly :)

Zuiko
5th June 2011, 12:27 AM
I've been following this thread with great interest as I've personally found nearly all of it to be accurate and correct. Even when various posts have conflicting opinions.

Our experience has led us to believe that the most important thing to consider is your target clientele.
For instance at local Craft Fairs, Fetes, and Agricultural Shows we don't take large framed images, similarly we do not put many large framed prints in most 'galleries'. Why? Because our main buyers are visitors. If they have the disposable income to spend £450 + on a framed print they probably came by air and won't be able to get it back on the plane. (We do not ship framed prints. Ever.) If they came by car they probably have little room anyway. As for families that arrive by car, they definitely do not have room for a 32" x 27" framed print. To be fair most families do not have the disposable income especially nowadays to make a large impulse buy.
At these kind of outlets we market mounted prints up to 20 x 16 and greeetings cards. These sell well and occassionally we might sell a 20 x 16 framed print, say island wide about four a week.
Like Chevvy we use three fold aperture cards which we have made for us in a linen finish and print our images on Ilford Gallerie Pearl. Total cost of product including cellophane bag and envelope et al 60p (I will gladly show anyone at the Highland meet some samples) SRP £2.00 to £2.60 per card.
One of the things we have found is that once you start attending a few craft fairs and people see the quality of your work some surprising things happen.
(a) You get invited to others well before a general announcement is made.
(b) We are often approached to attend these events at reduced rates and on the understanding that no other photographers are attending as sellers.
Believe it or not organisers get asked if so and so will be attending because members of the public want to buy their product. Thats when you know you've got it right.

OK then onto the higher end of the market. We are very fortunate to be asked to display work at several Highland Art Fairs. Here is where the big money can be earned. Almost everyone who comes through the door is either there by invite or has seen the advertising, they are qualified buyers and are prepared to spend four five six hundred pounds on a single image, even more on original paintings. Last year our next door stall holder at a middle rate event sold £6k's worth of oil paintings.

On average we sell three or four large framed prints, about a dozen small framed prints 20 x 16 and our 60cm Square framed prints usually get into double figures. Reckon on selling anything from 15 - 60 mounted prints of various sizes. Greetings cards maybe a dozen, maybe.
Our experience with framing is keep it simple. Plain neutral coloured frames will always sell. Mounts, we use archival quality double mounts and wrap most mounted prints individually in cellophane with nicely presented and folded corners etc.

Using an Epson 4800 wide format printer and Ilford Gold Fibre Silk paper and a custom profile we cut down on waste. I'm ashamed and embarrassed to tell you how much profit we make on mounted prints ( no, I'm not really) but it is very lucrative. Bear in mind that we have to make our money during the 'season' as in the winter hardly anything at all sells.

So as you can see choose your events/ outlets wisely, study your market and aim squarely at what they want/can afford. Lastly don't get hurt feelings if the images that you love and are very proud of don't sell. Be prepared for the general public to like, admire and most importantly buy what you wouldn't.
Any further questions please feel free to ask.

Jon, thanks for this, I can see the importance of knowing my market - which I don't at the moment! The first couple of events will very much be a case of "suck it and see." I'm thinking of having a market research questionaire on the stall which would give me an excuse for talking to potential customers and discovering their card/print buying habits and preferences.

You mention "neutral" coloured frames, is that natural wood?

Zuiko
5th June 2011, 12:48 AM
Seonnaidh its interesting how "your market" has developed ! and you are a Professional at Photography - I know - in Portrait & Weddings too !

I charge £2.25 per card or 3 for £5 - change is always an issue and I like counting up in £5 or £10's at then end of the day :) £COSTS x 400% is the rule of thumb ...

The only thing I would add to Seonnaidh is "DO SELL", be doing something related to your products if anything - reading a paper; looking bored puts Peeps off your stand ! and do not look like a Meercat on Sentry Duty waiting to pick Peeps off " and sell to them" ! Sitting behind a table at the back of your stand is what first timers do !

Hopefully you will be so busy with lookers and buyers the time will fly :)

Chevvy, that's a good point about looking busy, business related. Hopefully I will be able to engage people in conversation or maybe take a stock of printed cards to be folded and sealed in bags during quiet moments - something like that. Must admit I probably would have sat behind the table!

Chevvyf1
5th June 2011, 09:26 AM
Um! none of us "Purveyors of fine photographic Art" have mentioned any "modern Art" - thus Mouse Mats; Coffee/Tea mugs etc., you know "the stuff" Peeps order with their own photos on ... :D:rolleyes::rolleyes:

I did think about a few mouse mats ... but not got around to an order yet *zzz

Three K's of Sales & Marketing:

KYM = Know your Market
KYC = Know your Competition
KYP = Know your Product

For me 12 card sales would be a really bad profit day ! Most often in a 2 hour lunchtime table at a Conference break 3-45 cards ! ... um thats a point to state ... Local colleges, small ones of Agriculture and Hotels have 1 or 2 day conference for "Local Peeps relevant" so little if any overnight stays - but they like to put on "something for the Conf. Attendees to look at during lunch breaks, (if they dont do this offer to display and talk about Landscape; Portrait Photography and can I display/maybe offer a few cards/prints!:). Here the "offer of Entertainment in the STIX" is welcomed and stand space FREE ! These days everyone has a "camera" and does "photography" and they ask "how did you GET THAT SHOT"; what camera do you use? Settings? and its Relationship Marketing - after chatting and enjoying their time with you, they feel they outght to buy something/cards (thats if they did not at the beginning ...)

Then there are Open or Closed Questions ... how often are you browsing and the assistant says "can I help you?" and you reply ... NO thanks! Whereas if the assistant said "Hi with a smile" you would ? reciprocate ? thats the beginning of Relationship Marketing ! thus if two identical products, at identical prices, who do you buy from ? the one you "like" best/have a relationship with (s/he was nice/said hi/smiled acknowledged ME ! ) Peeps buy Peeps they buy from ! via MY SOLICITOR; MY ACCOUNTANT; MY GARDNER; wedding photographers "OUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER" :)

KOTLER on Marketing & Management ruled in the 80's and still does !:eek::D

Taz
8th August 2014, 05:40 PM
Your courage in the face of adversity is truly remarkable sir, you photography inspiring and your skill excellent.
I wonder if you could perhaps do some workshops for other disabled people, most disabled organisations and charities are always looking for things like that ? In this world it's about meeting the right people, I know this as I have run several of my own business in time.
Right now I am in a similar position to yourself, I have diabetes controlled by insulin, a massive heart attack when I was just 45, I also suffer other health problems the worst being fibromyalgia (one of the most evil syndrome to live with) I recently lost my wife after she decided she wanted a healthy husband and just recently was nearly killed by a hospital superbug (i did actually die for 6 mins) on HDU ward. I am also fighting for my benefits as i have been moved from DLA to PIP, so far it's taken 10 months and I still haven't got my award sorted, I also suffer from quite bad depression, all of these has seen my hobbies fall by the way side, fly fishing,D.I.Y,Clay shooting and other forms of shooting,heck I even sold all my camera gear at one point as I can't walk very far with being in a lot of pain, I rarely go out these days and I'm only 52 :eek:
to get to my point the medication (300 tablets a week plus morphine plus daily injections) has destroyed my once excellent memory, in the past B&W photography was a passion but the darkroom was my best friend, i used to frequent a local youth workshop where they had an excellent darkroom and photography gear to match, I could use the place whenever I wanted and just paid cost price for chemicals and paper etc. one day I was asked by the manager that as i spent so much time in their would I mind doing a workshop teaching the less fortunate, I agreed and after a while I started to get paid for my efforts. What hurts me the most now is I seem to have lost that artistic eye i had then, the one where you see a photograph where others don't if you get my meaning, I was happy to drive round looking for "that shot" we all look for. anyway with all my old hobbies gone and just my 2 children to keep me going (8yo and 13yo) we where looking for something and came across my old portfolio of B&W Pictures, my son was impressed so much he made me buy another camera with the money I got for selling my fishing gear and stuff, I would love to get out more and learn again as my skills are very rusty but often find my illness's stop me, especially the depression, how do you manage yours ? what are the factors that drive you, I wish I could learn from you as I really do love photography, I have seen just about every image on here and they all look better to me than my own and yours are stunning, I believe if the right person where to see them you would sell many more and as such I will be showing others (if you don't mind) that may well be able to help you sell more. Sorry if iv'e rambled on a bit, having a bad day today. good luck
Keith

Phill D
8th August 2014, 08:40 PM
Taz I'd love to see the pictures you took that persuaded your son to persuade you to get another camera. How about posting some? What camera did you get? From the images you posted previously I think you'll soon shake any rust off those grey cells. Don't be too hard on your own stuff, I also feel others post better images than I do but it's great to get feedback in whatever form that takes as this is a great learning environment. Hope your day improves and tomorrow is even better.

Taz
8th August 2014, 08:54 PM
they are negatives now and iv'e been looking to get a scanner to put them on film again but i will try for you,like i said the darkroom was my real love often spending 12 hours + in there, as for my more recent pics maybe i'm being to self critical i don't know or it could ust be the depression rearing it's ugly head but thanks anyway

Taz
8th August 2014, 08:55 PM
forgot to add in the old days i used pentax and olympus now I use an E620
THANKS

Taz
8th August 2014, 09:03 PM
I would love to hook up with someone close to me for a nice day out taking photo's ?

Zuiko
8th August 2014, 10:58 PM
Your courage in the face of adversity is truly remarkable sir, you photography inspiring and your skill excellent.
I wonder if you could perhaps do some workshops for other disabled people, most disabled organisations and charities are always looking for things like that ? In this world it's about meeting the right people, I know this as I have run several of my own business in time.
Right now I am in a similar position to yourself, I have diabetes controlled by insulin, a massive heart attack when I was just 45, I also suffer other health problems the worst being fibromyalgia (one of the most evil syndrome to live with) I recently lost my wife after she decided she wanted a healthy husband and just recently was nearly killed by a hospital superbug (i did actually die for 6 mins) on HDU ward. I am also fighting for my benefits as i have been moved from DLA to PIP, so far it's taken 10 months and I still haven't got my award sorted, I also suffer from quite bad depression, all of these has seen my hobbies fall by the way side, fly fishing,D.I.Y,Clay shooting and other forms of shooting,heck I even sold all my camera gear at one point as I can't walk very far with being in a lot of pain, I rarely go out these days and I'm only 52 :eek:
to get to my point the medication (300 tablets a week plus morphine plus daily injections) has destroyed my once excellent memory, in the past B&W photography was a passion but the darkroom was my best friend, i used to frequent a local youth workshop where they had an excellent darkroom and photography gear to match, I could use the place whenever I wanted and just paid cost price for chemicals and paper etc. one day I was asked by the manager that as i spent so much time in their would I mind doing a workshop teaching the less fortunate, I agreed and after a while I started to get paid for my efforts. What hurts me the most now is I seem to have lost that artistic eye i had then, the one where you see a photograph where others don't if you get my meaning, I was happy to drive round looking for "that shot" we all look for. anyway with all my old hobbies gone and just my 2 children to keep me going (8yo and 13yo) we where looking for something and came across my old portfolio of B&W Pictures, my son was impressed so much he made me buy another camera with the money I got for selling my fishing gear and stuff, I would love to get out more and learn again as my skills are very rusty but often find my illness's stop me, especially the depression, how do you manage yours ? what are the factors that drive you, I wish I could learn from you as I really do love photography, I have seen just about every image on here and they all look better to me than my own and yours are stunning, I believe if the right person where to see them you would sell many more and as such I will be showing others (if you don't mind) that may well be able to help you sell more. Sorry if iv'e rambled on a bit, having a bad day today. good luck
Keith

Hi Keith,

Itís amazing how things can change in three years and this has struck me as Iíve re-read the thread. At the time I had been medically retired a little under two years and was desperate to find either a part time job that I could do or some way to make a little money from my hobby. Iíve long since lost hope of achieving either, no longer receive the Employment Support Allowance (as expected) and have simply coped by economising. The result is that I have all the time in the world but donít do much with it!

The craft fairs idea was an interesting experience, with a few successful days but too many where I barely covered the cost of the pitch. Eventually I accepted that it wasnít working and pulled out. My book did rather well, in a gratifying sort of way rather than financially, with around 50 sales in printed copies and about another 50 in ebook format, when Blurb added that option. Interest has dried up now, but itís a project I can look back upon with satisfaction.

Photography is still important and enjoyable for me but in a casual, snapshot sort of way. I no longer have the inclination for serious landscape photography with planned shoots, dawn starts and multiple visits to a location until I get what I want. I like to seek out the unusual and quirky on gentle, impromptu walkabouts rather than pursue specific goals.

I really should continue with my half-finished Parkinsonís documentary and produce it as a book or something but for now I seem to have lost the motivation and the same goes for a book on Hatfield Forest that I started before grinding to a halt.

You make some very kind comments about my work but Iím not sure what I have left to offer. In retrospect my best pictures were all achieved by planning, persistence, dedication and single-minded determination rather than any great talent.

Iím glad to hear that you have come back to photography and I hope it continues to be therapeutic and enjoyable. Youíve certainly had a rougher deal in terms of ill health than I; though my condition is frustrating and limiting it is not life-threatening or painful and my marriage is still intact despite an enforced change in the nature of my relationship with my wife. I can especially sympathize with you for the fibromyalgia because my sister suffers from this and I know how nasty it is, particularly when you have other major health problems. With all that youíve had to endure, donít set your photographic expectations too high, at least for now. Concentrate on the enjoyment it brings you with no pressure and maybe your artistic eye and unique way of seeing will return in time.

Taz
9th August 2014, 03:12 AM
Thank you John
you certainly manage your depression better than me and I would love to know how you manage that, the frustration is something that sometimes brings me to tears, having re-built my last house from and empty shell I now struggle to change a plug ! I wish I could just find a way to force myself to get out more and take more pictures, then things might come back to me, it's a shame we don't live closer i would love to sit and chat with you and maybe have a day out taking some pictures with your guidance ? i have certainly received some small amount of inspiration from your story, I didn't write my post to get any sympathy, i didn't even get that from my x wife as my illness's are invisible to the casual looker and as such I suffer very much in silence. I just wan't to be able to show my kids that dad can still do something good and give them some pride in their father, not that they don't have any, the sheer fact i don't give in makes them proud of me, but to have something hung on the wall would impress them no end but more to the point it would give me back some of my pride of which I have very little these days despite living a quite wild and wonderful life before i was struck down by disability.:rolleyes: my kids are basically my life these days and my whole reason for living, but my oldest son wanted a camera last christmas and i got him a Nikon bridge camera for half price which takes some excellent photos so we could at least do 1 hobby together and he loves that. I must admit post processing i struggle with and i miss my darkroom lol , I also don't have the patience i used to have to spend time setting up shots and I feel having someone with me doing the same thing may well encourage me a bit more, i'm sure there must be other people close to me that would enjoy a day out together, i just need someone to approach me with an offer, i can drive but limit myself to shortish journeys of up to 50 miles maxso if anyone close to me that fancies a day out then pm me please.
again I wish you all the very best god can afford you John I really do, you are an amazing bloke to whome I look up to and admire a great deal, take care mate
Keith

Zuiko
9th August 2014, 09:47 AM
Thank you John
you certainly manage your depression better than me and I would love to know how you manage that, the frustration is something that sometimes brings me to tears, having re-built my last house from and empty shell I now struggle to change a plug ! I wish I could just find a way to force myself to get out more and take more pictures, then things might come back to me, it's a shame we don't live closer i would love to sit and chat with you and maybe have a day out taking some pictures with your guidance ? i have certainly received some small amount of inspiration from your story, I didn't write my post to get any sympathy, i didn't even get that from my x wife as my illness's are invisible to the casual looker and as such I suffer very much in silence. I just wan't to be able to show my kids that dad can still do something good and give them some pride in their father, not that they don't have any, the sheer fact i don't give in makes them proud of me, but to have something hung on the wall would impress them no end but more to the point it would give me back some of my pride of which I have very little these days despite living a quite wild and wonderful life before i was struck down by disability.:rolleyes: my kids are basically my life these days and my whole reason for living, but my oldest son wanted a camera last christmas and i got him a Nikon bridge camera for half price which takes some excellent photos so we could at least do 1 hobby together and he loves that. I must admit post processing i struggle with and i miss my darkroom lol , I also don't have the patience i used to have to spend time setting up shots and I feel having someone with me doing the same thing may well encourage me a bit more, i'm sure there must be other people close to me that would enjoy a day out together, i just need someone to approach me with an offer, i can drive but limit myself to shortish journeys of up to 50 miles maxso if anyone close to me that fancies a day out then pm me please.
again I wish you all the very best god can afford you John I really do, you are an amazing bloke to whome I look up to and admire a great deal, take care mate
Keith

I was lucky with my depression, I got expert help at a crucial time; without it I may not have been here today. Even so, it nearly overwhelmed and consumed me and itís been a long and difficult path to recovery. I donít think I ever had it as bad as some people, though, because somehow (to this day I donít know how) I managed, just, to continue functioning at a daily basic level. Going to work was like an actor going on stage; I played my part, said my lines then walked off at the end of the day back into my own private Hell. I think the terror of losing my job spurred me on; ironically I think it was this fear as much as the remorseless self-pity at what was happening to me that triggered the depression in the first place. And this forum helped, providing me with a valuable escape and distraction for several hours a day. I have little recollection of what my home life was like at the time and I must have been difficult to live with!

Now I seem to have it under control and I think that is largely because I have accepted my fate. By that I mean I no longer fret about finding a job or despair at the way my life has changed through shortage of money and physical limitations. In a way I recognise that my life (as I once knew it and want it to be) is over, but I also accept that there are others with far greater problems and that I must try to make the most of what I have left. That makes sense because my type of depression was diagnosed specifically as an adjustment disorder.

One thing that continues to frustrate me is a lack of motivation to do even the things that I am still able to do. I wondered if this was an effect of the anti-depressants and perhaps rather foolishly weaned myself off them earlier this year. As a result I have become more emotional Ė recent events in Gazza and the commemoration of the start of WW1 for example have brought me to tears, but otherwise there seems to be no other consequences, good or bad. However, over the same period I have managed to lose 20 pound in weight and that has helped me feel a little better about myself.

I suspect your depression is similar in type to mine, largely fuelled by frustration at not being able to function as you once did. I also relate to you not wanting sympathy, but a little understanding from others and recognition of your obstacles can go a long way. I think you are right to focus on your kids and thank goodness you have them to give you a purpose. Itís great that you are starting to share hobbies with them.

As you say, given what we have in common itís a shame we donít live closer. You would obviously benefit from the company of a like-minded photography enthusiast Ė are there any local camera clubs? Failing that, why not start a separate thread on this forum seeking local members to meet up with Ė there is a chance that some of them are not reading this thread because they donít have an interest in making money from photography!

Chevvyf1
9th August 2014, 12:26 PM
Taz and John, we all become more emotional in later life - spending time thinking about the past - what we COULD DO WHEN YOUNGER and cannot do now elders :( often this "depth" of emotions surfacing are due to "Thyroid malfunctions" ! (average age of these diagnosed is 55 years young!) ... of which I do know much ... many Thyroid malfunctions go un-noted ... as so many people "get on with it ... life that is" - pushing the emotional outbreaks into a cupboard and closing the "door" on them ! ...until again they resurface - maybe the Thyroid problem gets diagnosed - most often not (until a PM post life :( ) but at least the Relatives get to know "what was wrong with ?"

Talking, Cognitive Therapy is wonderful :) I can highly recommend it and sharing is halving problems, often !

I share "Pottery ; Photography ; Sewing ; Arts sketching/Drawing and Painting and LURVE IT ! ... making cards and selling all I can (to re invest in the next Projects for ME :) and living on "that nasty olde tight-rope" is so very much better !

Go to Taz and John :) and post some positive moves forward for each of you :)