Glass 5% full OR Don't give up the day job

I know talk about money is really crass (hey we’re all in this for the art alone afterall hehe) but I thought you might find the following amusing and/or of some interest.

First the good news – I’ve just realised that over the last 10 months I’ve made my first (he says optimistically) thousand dollars from photography – yay!!

Now the bad news – I figure I’ve outlayed in excess of $20K on photography equipment and related expenses in the last 2 years – booo!

So that means I’ve made back 5% of what I’ve outlayed – so glass 5% full! And if I can just STOP buying stuff then, at this rate I figure I’ll break even by about 2028 – yeehah!

Unfortunately I don’t seem to be able to stop buying stuff – I got so excited about making my first grand that I’ve gone gear shopping again – sigh – $850 down the tube. So I guess that actually means the glass is really 0.75% full and that I’ll break even in 2158. Ah well if you can’t pass on debt to your kids what’s the point in having them I say!

Anyway – what I thought you might be interested in is the breakdown of sources of income – it really surprised me:

1. Sales and commissions arising from hanging pictures in my office at work – $610
2. Sales from local gallery/giftshop – $240
3. Sales and licencing from RedBubble – $218
4. Sales from 4 group art gallery exhibitions – $132

In short – exhibiting at work accounted for about 60% of the income and in my local area (where most of my shots are taken) another 25%. In other words if people have some sort of connection to you or the place you take pictures of, plus they can physically see your work, you are more likely to sell it. The exception to the latter for me seemed to be Gallery exhibitions where, in each case, not only my pictures failed to sell but almost every other photographer also failed to sell. Given the cost of gallery exhibiting I’ve come to the conclusion it’s a dead loss for landscape photography.
I also have to say although sales from RB have been a relatively small proportion of tthe total – most of the total sales I got involved me showing my RB site to prospective purchasers and I’d have to say that not only being able to show my photos but also the range of formats people can get them in, actually helped secure most of the sales of the framed prints I sold.

One more thing – most of the sales I’ve made have been of prints that I printed and framed myself. I’ve not found it to be more cost-effective to do it myself (the cost of DiY printing and framing and getting framed prints from RB is very similar, in fact really quite a lot cheaper from RB when you consider the labour – DiY framing is an absolute bugger I find). But what I’ve found is people really prefer a titled and signed print in the frame by the photographer over one that isn’t from RB. Maybe RB could create a new category of individually signed and titled mattes for prints at a higher price than unsigned to cover the cost of sending mattes to photographers for signing and then having them sent back – pretty cumbersome though.

Love to hear about other people’s experiences if you would care to share.



Journal Comments

  • Geraldine Lefoe
  • Geoff  Coleman - Landscapes
  • Robert Goulet
  • Geoff  Coleman - Landscapes
  • Marguerite Foxon
  • Geoff  Coleman - Landscapes
  • Mel Brackstone
  • Geoff  Coleman - Landscapes
  • Dawne Olson
  • Jared Revell
  • Rosemaree
  • Geoff  Coleman - Landscapes
  • Mel Brackstone
  • Geoff  Coleman - Landscapes
  • DawsonImages
  • Geoff  Coleman - Landscapes
  • Michael  Bermingham