Tips For Photographers On Selling Your Prints: From a Person Who Buys Prints (Premium)

What do you think of immediately when you say that you’re going to sell a print? Is it just a piece of paper and nothing more? If that’s what you’re doing, then you’re probably selling prints wrong or the person that you’re buying them from isn’t doing it right at all. Because it isn’t done as much, printing is sort of a lost art–or at least it’s starting to become one. The art of bringing your photos into real life though isn’t something that loses its impact. Every time you see a photo of your manifest itself onto a piece of paper or other medium, it should be magical if done right. And that magical experience should be shared with others. But to do that, you have to treat others with the same respect that you would want.If you’ve got that, then you’ll need to figure out what makes someone really want to buy a print.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Who would buy this work?
  • Do the people who would buy this work have the money to buy it?
  • Can you find a way to bring it up or down in pricing?
  • What are you going to do to sell this piece of work?
  • What are we looking at?
  • What would make someone want to buy this piece of work?
  • When should you sell this piece of work?
  • Where should you sell it?
  • Has anything in the news or culture happened recently that would make someone want this piece?
  • How are you going to sell this?
  • When you sell it, are you okay with doubling your price to consider the taxes that you’ll need to pay?

These are just a few questions to ask yourself to get started.

Emotional Connection

For everything that you have that is novelty, think about the emotional connections. For me, it’s vintage cameras, bass guitars, and books. I’ve got some artwork in my apartment and office, and part of why I’ve got it is because I like the work. Luckily, photographs are things that can have mass appeal to a whole slew of different people. So it essentially proceeds in the following manner:

  • You create a body of work
  • You define what that body of work is
  • You find places that you could sell the work
  • You figure out what type of people would want the piece based on characteristics about the photo.

Let’s create an example: if you’re in Yellowstone National Park, someone in that area may want to buy an image of a beautiful landscape, some wildlife, etc that you’ve shot. With that said, it needs to be damned good because those are images that everyone can make. Unless of course you have something that no one else has.

This is important in other industries too like wedding and event photography. Of course, that’s a different type of market and people are usually immediately emotionally attached to what’s happening. So print sales can be easier there on the spot.

Big Sizes

Generally speaking, no one really wants to buy a 4×5 print. Let’s think about the way that you see most of those images: they’re probably matted with a massive matte in a frame and are only really the center of the entire frame. Those are nice if they’re very classic images from popular photographers, but you and other photographers will need to try harder than that. I suggest starting at 8×10 but then there are larger sizes. Everyone wants a piece that takes over a lot of real estate on their wall.

And of course that brings us to our next piece.

Decorations for Apartments and Homes

While most photographers will probably print a glossy images, those are honestly the worst types of photos to put in an apartment or home. The reason for this is because they tend to reflect a whole lot of light. Matte paper on the other hand is a lot more adaptable to the variety of lighting situations that an apartment or home can offer. Think of it like a painting. How many paintings have you seen that reflect a lot of light? Probably not a whole lot. That’s why paintings are an easier sell even though they’re tougher to create.

So instead, you should go for matte prints.

Nice Framing

Lastly, let’s talk about framing–which is one of the biggest things that I was talking about at the start of this article but that may have gone over your head. Frames are incredibly important because most people don’t know how to frame big prints or prints at all. So if you really want it on someone’s wall, then you need a frame and hanging equipment attached. Wooden frames are really nice, and they’re often much nicer than those plastic frames that you find in a lot of stores.

Think handmade and artistic, not production line.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.