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Photography Question 
David B. Spooner
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2007
 

membership upgrade


I am slowly but surely gearing up to sell some of my better outdoor images (matted for framing and photoboards) at arts and crafts shows. At this point I am getting ready to order business cards. I currently have a basic membership and while it has served it's purpose in establishing a working gallery, it is a bit cumbersome for people to access and view images for custom orders.
If I upgrade to a deluxe gallery which would establish a website I am wondering if the cost of the upgrade would be tax deductible?


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11/18/2011 6:31:57 AM

 
Monnie Ryan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/25/2008
  As long as you've officially established a business (i.e., you file/will file a business tax return) and are using the BP site primarily to sell your work, yes, the cost should be deductible. But I'll also issue the standard caution - I'm not an accountant or an attorney, either of whom could tell you for sure.


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11/19/2011 6:01:18 AM

 
Thom Schoeller
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/4/2006
  I can tell you the answer is a definitive yes, so long as you do fit the criteria Monnie listed. You will have 3 yrs from the IRS to begin to show a profit, so now is the time to get yor eggs in order so to speak and begin investing capitol into your endeavor.


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11/25/2011 6:29:02 PM

 
David B. Spooner
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2007
  Thomas, your website is amazing...did you start out with the deluxe or go right to the pro...I am not a professional photographer...(Respiratory Instructor who badly wants to retire!!) Having said that I have worked and studied very hard to become the best photographer I can be with what I have to work with. I specialize in outdoor images and truly love to shoot outside!! My goal is to establish a small business selling my best images matted for framing and I also have started using Walgreens processing for "photoboards"...any advice would be greatly appreciated


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12/2/2011 7:38:30 AM

 
Thom Schoeller
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/4/2006
  Thanks David. @ the website, before BP I had considered a few options..but after trying Smug (they suck) I came back to BP to expand to the Pro site. I had the basic back in '06, but very few digital img to share at the time. I no longer "sell" here, I now direct all sales to my http://www.thomas-schoeller.artistwebsites.com which displays how canvas wraps will look, framed prints etc..

I encourage you to continue to work towards your goal. Might want to invest in a "shrink wrap" machine to preserve the matted prints neat and tidy (also professional looking) In the past, I have used an online company called Redi Mats. I'll get back here with the link. Anyhoo, they have pre-cut matts available in an assortment of border widths, and of course to fit many size frames as well. They are a good bulk supplier at wholesale prices. MPIX comes highly touted as a great place to have quality prints made, same with Automated Photo technologies. I prefer Automated, aka "perfectposters.com" they now are using museaum grade archival giclee' print paper...


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12/2/2011 5:51:25 PM

 
David B. Spooner
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2007
  can't thank you enough....my next investment will be a camera upgrade, then probably upgrade to delux gallery while continuing to build my inventory..really grateful for vendor info...I've been buying my pre-cut mats from a vendor I found on ebay but he does not specialize in mats so his variety is very limited....thanks again Thomas..you are really appreciated


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12/3/2011 9:11:56 AM

 
Lynn R. Powers   David,

Check out Documounts. They will make the backboards and double maattes, or single, to any size that you need. You may want to make them bottom heavy if so let them know so they can make them for vertical or horizontal framing. Their supplies are unliimited but make sure that you get acid free backboards and mattes. Ask for their catelog also.


Lynn


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12/3/2011 12:15:43 PM

 
David B. Spooner
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2007
  Lynn!!!! Good to hear from ya!! thanks for the good vendor info...how's everything in the great NW??? We went to Murphy NC for Thanksgiving...had a great time with family and new friends and got lots of photos...missed the really pretty fall foliage by about a month....stay in touch my friend...


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12/3/2011 12:42:40 PM

 
David B. Spooner
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2007
  Thomas and Lynn..I'm sure by now you guys are ready to start billing me for consulting:)
Making progress in the business..got my EIN, state sales tax number and set up a businees account with a DBA registration in the two counties that I know for sure I'll be doing estivals in.
When I first conceived the idea of having a small business I was limiting my plans on just doing arts/crafts shows but am now considering doing some on line sales as well. Thomas you mentioned in a previous post that you initially used the BP Pro site. I am leaning heavily toward going that route in conjunction with a business pay pal acct. I would certainly appreciate any guidance either of can offer. My product line will consist of images 5x7, 8x10 and 11x14 along with 11x14 "photoboards" I will also offer wooden mini-easels to go along with the photoboards and the matted photos.
Lynn, with my seed money, a new canon DSLR and accessories will be one of my first purchases...the Nikons I looked at all felt clumsy, not so the canons
thanks again guys!


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1/14/2012 10:54:40 AM

 
Thom Schoeller
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/4/2006
  Sounds very promicing! On-line sales/website is crucial. Be sure to choose one that gets a BUNCH of hits "per member" each day. Before committing to BP, I would look into all the websites that offer a combination of both photography gallery and a sales button. Then do a google search on the websites to find out the traffic flow.

I use my BP site only for a homepage and viewing artwork,and send them over to my on-line shopping store to pick frames and matting. My personal opinion is the traffic rate is painfully slooooow here at BP. Thankfully I've worked hard enough for name recognition and get traffic from magazine publications and other venues. I would take another approach (website) if I were beginning over today.

Pay Pal is THE way to go :) :) Art shows will be a great way to hone your sales skills and find which prints are most popular. The "craft" shows.... I've found not to be a good mix with Fine Art Photography. If you try one, then an Art show you'll see what I mean. Craft show clientelle bring a few nickels to rub together, occasionally a few quarters (my cynical wit) while Art collectors a few C-notes and plastic.
~Best TS


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1/14/2012 2:48:12 PM

 
David B. Spooner
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2007
  Is there one or two in particular you might recomend?


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1/14/2012 5:05:56 PM

 
Thom Schoeller
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/4/2006
  Sure...I just don't feel it's appropriate to make mention of it publically on the forum. Feel free to contact me from my homepage, and will be happy to offer a few suggestions


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1/15/2012 7:11:57 AM

 
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