BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Tammy J. Bradley
 

Opinions wanted...


I am interested in starting to sell some of my best photos matted and maybe framed. I would appreciate any and all opinions on my work that I already have in my gallery. Do you think there are people out there who would want any of my work hanging on their walls??

Also... if anyone has any advice about getting started or what to charge, etc., that would be very helpful.

Thanks.

Tammy


To love this question, log in above
5/29/2006 6:22:27 PM

 
Paul Tobeck
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/19/2005
  Check to see if you have any art fairs in your area. Visit a few of them and see if any photographers show their work, and what they are getting for framed prints. It all depends on the locale. I can do a show here in my hometown and only get $25 for a matted 8x10. If I go to a Chicago suburb show, I can get $100+ for the same print. Of course the entry fee to the bigger shows is a lot higher (upwards of $300). All you need is a display tent ($88 at Wal-Mart), a way to hang your your pictures, and lots of patience in dealing with the public! Do a google search on "selling at art fairs" and you'll find tons of info.
You can also try showing your work in a local gallery. Approach the gallery owner with a small portfolio of your best work and see what happens. Be aware though that some gallery owners keep as much as 50% of the sale price, so keep that in mind when pricing your prints.


To love this comment, log in above
5/30/2006 5:08:04 AM

 
Tammy J. Bradley   Thanks for your advice, Paul... I will check into it. Do you have any comments of any kind about any of my photos? Do I have much potential or do I still need a lot of practice?? Your comments are greatly appreciated. Thanks again.


To love this comment, log in above
5/30/2006 12:58:24 PM

 
Paul Tobeck
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/19/2005
  You've definitely have potential. Below, I've listed the images I think would do well, and a couple of suggestions.

Nice, as is...
Simple Beauty
Both Lighthouse images
North Falls (really nice shot)
Tina's Rose
Pretty in Pink
Misty Rays

A couple of suggested tweaks...

Rays of Sunlight - The horizon needs to be straightened slightly.

Bleeding Hearts - This is a nice shot of the flowers, but the background is a bit distracting. The yellow ground cover and rocks are drawing the viewers eye away from the bleeding hearts.
There's a couple of things you try. First, I would blur the background a little more with a gaussian blur filter. Then I would desaturate the background a touch to put more emphasis on the main subject. Lastly, you could crop this as a panoramic. Take a couple of inches off both the top and bottom to eliminate more background. Panoramas are kinda "in vogue" and it is the perfect candidate for that kind of cropping.


To love this comment, log in above
5/30/2006 4:22:26 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Hey, Tammy, you take really nice pictures and have a great eye. I think the main problem you have right now is your camera. 3MP can't really make high quality prints at 11" x 14" and the small DOF your camera offers makes a lot of shots that would be grate just good. A good low priced option would be for the Fuji S5200, but you'd probably want (at least some time) to get an SLR.

I think you're pictures are really nice now, but you could probably also benefit from a class or two, maybe a little reading (if you haven't done so already).

Now, I think you have many images people would like to have on their wall, especially your bridge picture, your falls picture, and your river picture. But they are good instead of great (due mainly to your camera), so they may only go for maybe around $50-$75 apiece (for 8.5x11 framed prints).

I suggest getting prints from Costco (low priced and high quality) and have Aaron Brothers frame them. You could also sell your prints through an excellent web site, ifp3.com. With ifp3, you have total protection of your pictures and they allow for other people to securely buy photos from you, and you can send them out yourself (but I think PayPal helps with that).

I hope this helps!


To love this comment, log in above
5/30/2006 5:47:27 PM

 
Paul Tobeck
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/19/2005
  Unless Aaron Brothers is dirt cheap (under $20), don't waste your money having someone else frame your prints. They're great if it's for yourself or as a gift, but the extra your paying them comes right off your bottom line. The last print I had custom framed cost me nearly $80. Go to Michaels or Hobby Lobby and get your frames on sale, nice ones are usually found in the $8-10 range. Then pick up pre-cut mats in a nice complimentary color, for around $5. $15 and ten minutes of your time = framed print.
Do this for your first couple of shows, then if it goes well, you can look into buying a mat cutter and save even more (which is what I do).


To love this comment, log in above
5/30/2006 7:09:25 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  I thank you for that information, Paul. I'm just starting myself and haven't actually had prints framed yet. Do Michaels and Hobby Lobby also offer properly sized mats?


To love this comment, log in above
5/30/2006 7:24:18 PM

 
Paul Tobeck
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/19/2005
  Both offer single and double pre-cut mats in 5x7, 8x10 and 11x14. Dick Blick art supplies is another good source if you want to buy mats in quantity (the more you buy, the cheaper they get) and they have a good variety of colors. They also sell alot of art fair supplies like print stands, etc. Light Impressions puts out a great framing and print storage catalog that I highly reccommend.


To love this comment, log in above
5/30/2006 7:39:52 PM

 
Sam Britt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/11/2006
  Thanks for all the information, Paul. Thanks Tammy, for asking the question.I belong to a local Photo Guild and my matted framed monthly theme projects are piling up.

Sam


To love this comment, log in above
5/30/2006 8:34:23 PM

 
Tammy J. Bradley   Thanks Ariel...

I actually just upgraded to a 5MP Canon PowerShot A530 Digital Camera. I haven't made any enlargements yet (except a 5x7 of the family dog because it looked so good) but I have high hopes. I have quite a few of my photos taken with my Kodak 3MP camera in 8x10 matted to 11x14 on my walls and they look pretty good, but I never got anything bigger, because I really didn't think they would turn out too good, which is why I got this new camera. I gave the 3MP to my husband.

Also... I already have an SLR camera (film) but I also just bought a new one because the new one has an auto-bracketing feature that my other one doesn't have. I am hoping I can sell my first one... if not, I will have a backup. "Backyard Beauty" and "Solitude" were both taken with my Pentax ZX30 film camera. They don't look very good in my gallery because of the scanner that was used.

And... THANK YOU TO PAUL TOO... I really appreciate all your advice and opinions.

Tammy


To love this comment, log in above
5/31/2006 8:57:22 AM

 
Tammy J. Bradley   Here's another question...

Does anyone have any framing suggestions... as far as the type of frame??

I have quite a few of my photos hanging on my own walls and I have them all framed in very inexpensive frames that I got at Michaels. They are basically black plastic frames with front loading... just snap the glass out, put the picture in, and snap the glass back in. I like these frames because they, to me anyway, have kind of a gallery-look to them... if you know what I mean. Also, they are very easy to find and very affordable... not to mention the fact that I don't have a bunch of different frames on my walls. Does anyone else use this type of frame and is it suitable for selling, or would I be better off framing in something more expensive like solid wood... or what???

Tammy


To love this comment, log in above
5/31/2006 12:22:32 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Well, the color of the frame should bring out the colors of the picture. However, someone told me that he found that dark brown wood frames made his pictures sell the best. Best idea would be to use a frame that makes the photo look good. If the plastic frames look good, why wouldn't you use it?
P.S. Matting for the photo also makes the photos look much nicer.


To love this comment, log in above
5/31/2006 12:34:04 PM

 
Tammy J. Bradley   Yeah... I don't like them unmatted... it just makes them look too much like just a snapshot... ya know?! All of my work that I have hanging on my walls are matted in off-white and framed in the black frames. I think the pictures stand out pretty good that way. Actually... two of my photos, Backyard Beauty and Solitude (the first two that I got enlarged) are matted in a color that compliments the picture. I did Backyard Beauty in a burgandy color and Solitude in a dark green... they look pretty good too, but it is not always easy to find a color that goes with the picture so I figured that the off-white that I am using will work for anything... so that's what I decided to use. Oh yeah... actually, Angus (the family canine) is matted in black because he is a black dog and the photo is black and white... looks very good, but not actually hung on the wall yet... LOL... :)


To love this comment, log in above
5/31/2006 1:02:18 PM

 
Paul Tobeck
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/19/2005
  For B&W images, I prefer a white matte with a black frame. I usually buy inexpensive wood frames, sand them and paint them a semi-gloss black. For color prints, I try to find a subtle, complimentary color in the mattes I choose. Make sure your matte color doesn't overpower the image!
For frames, stick with a neutral off-white/cream color or a natural wood finish so that the framing will be compatible with most home decors.


To love this comment, log in above
5/31/2006 8:12:27 PM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  I sold a couple... I went to Michaels ( a bug art store near me) and got a few really good looking frames ( the more expensive the better) that were 50% off 9they always have a few great deals there) and mounted some of my fav shots in them ( on mats of course!) I then gave them to my sister who ownes a "Curves for Women" to display and she did, I sold the 8x10's for $40.00 each and 5x7's for $30.00 now I need to save for a few more frames.. I used a few classic black wood frames and some Barnwood style frames with off white matts.. I also stuck a business card in the corner of each one.
Craig-


To love this comment, log in above
6/1/2006 10:42:38 AM

 
Kathy Radford
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/2/2006
kathyradford.com
  I too buy my frames at Michaels when they are on sale. Great deal. 1/2 off. I don't know how true it is, but I've heard that galleries only want white matting on their exhibits. I have a real thing about matching mats to the individual photo. Matting and framing are a real art in themselves. I spend hours picking out mat colors. They can make or break a photo. I exhibited my sunrise photo in a white mat with a black narrow metal frame, only because I was in a hurry and only had white mats on hand. I did sell the photo but the next one I printed out I put in a black mat with a white thin double mat. It was incredible how it made the photo pop. It made if feel more like it was when I shot the photo. Everything around me was dark when I took the shot. As I said before it can make or break the picture.

I just sat at an Art Exhibit that I was in yesterday and walked around with the other monitor discussing matting. There was one really nice watercolor painting but had a very dark mat that really took away from the painting. So really pay a lot of attention to the matting it really does make a difference. Kathy in NH


To love this comment, log in above
6/4/2006 2:01:17 AM

 
Bob Farley
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/25/2006
robertfarleyimages.com
  I agree that you have some good photos and that a camera upgrade was needed. I think the lighthouses and the airplane would sell. Michaels - great during the sales. Mats - if I am gonna use any color I usually double mat with white bieng the dominant color. The largest display I did - I used all black frames. It was at a bookstore. Check with the big chains like Borders and Barnes and Nobles as both here show local art.


To love this comment, log in above
6/12/2006 9:05:12 PM

 
Carolyn L. Fox
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2006
  I use a lot of frames from Michaels too, but found out that some of them don't allow enough room for matt board, which is important for larger prints. I ordered some pre-cut matts on-line awhile back, but can't find the info on where I ordered them. They were great, because they're two-piece. You just adhere the print to the back and then the front is the matt. They look great. If anyone is familiar with this company, please let me know. If I find the info, I'll pass that along to all of you, as well.


To love this comment, log in above
7/1/2009 6:25:30 AM

 
Log in to respond or ask your own question.