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Photography Question 
Katrina McMeans
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2005
 

Coffee Shop Photography Display


Hello friends!
I have the opportunity to exhibit and sell some of my work at a local coffee shop, and I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas about how to best arrange things? Does it look better to have each individual photo definitely distinct and apart from the others? Does it look better to frame them similarly and group them by threes... in differing sizes? I don't have anything to go on so far because mine will be the only photos at this place, at least as of right now. Any ideas would be welcome - thanks!


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10/11/2007 1:40:10 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  hey katrina,
ah,you and your sis.
how do you like your work to look?
present it as you see it.i would stay away from all wallet size?
as many say here,you critique,you judge,you select..
as many of us do we sell ourselves short,lack of confidence.
kinda defines who and what we are I guess.followers not leaders,and yet that question as to how to turn the corner?spose I ain't much help.
a true heart delivers prosperity and the heart rejoices.ok,the wallet suffers,but sleep comes easy.
ya gonna exhibit your work to make money or to show your work/explain your side or view?
hope you get some real advice,sam


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10/12/2007 8:54:22 PM

 
John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  I'd pick a common frame and matte color for all images. I tend to use black metal frames and white mattes that I hand-cut myself (after you cut and frame a dozen mattes, a $100 matte cutter pays for itself). That way, my art work stands on its own. I've always found that the fanciest framing and matting surrounds the most mundane images, and conversely, a white matte and black or silver frame serve best to make the print the focus of attention. I always hand-write my image title just below the bottom left corner of the image on the matte, and sign my name just below the bottom right corner of the image on the matte, using a very sharp pencil.
In regards to grouping: I'd use my best judgment and arrange my images so that they looked good. If you have a theme - e.g., flowers, animals, airplanes - you may want to put them all together. Otherwise, place the images where they will catch the eye and where they look good.
I'd also print up a 3"x5" card for each image, with the image title, some information about the camera and printing process, some information about the subject itself, price, and your name and contact information (email, Web site).
Have you thought about pricing? By the time I make an 8x10 print, buy the frame and the matte board, cut the matte, and mount the print, I've gotten about 10 minutes of labor and about $15 (frame with glass, raw matte board, printer paper and materials) of materials... and I'd want to at least double my money. So I'd charge $30 for an 8x10 print with matte in an 11x14 frame. If you start doing a lot of this, you can cut your costs by buying the frames online at a considerable discount. I'd pretty much stick with 8x10s in 11x14 frames or 11x14s in 16x20 frames (and charge $40 for the 11x14s). You really can't frame a 5x7 (in an 8x10 frame) for much less in materials, and who'd buy a 5x7 for $25 when they can see the same image in 8x10 for $30? Of course, you might want to display a few 5x7s at $25 to see if they'll sell, and also to "push" people into buying the larger sizes as a "bargain."
Good luck!


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10/13/2007 10:36:25 PM

 
Katrina McMeans
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2005
  Thanks a lot, Sam and John! That was really helpful information, John... and I really appreciate it! :)


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10/14/2007 9:16:45 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  my many thanks to john..although I sit here and think john needs to be an instructor,paid by bp,as some are,being in the field ain't so bad.
I will not forget all who helped me,yeah I still suffer from distemper,ok some senility.ok,and other disfunctions.
good luck.


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10/14/2007 7:29:50 PM

 
Katrina McMeans
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2005
  Sam, I love reading whatever you write... it always makes me chuckle. And bad temper? Nah, just sarcacsm. :p I love it.


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10/14/2007 7:54:25 PM

 
Ronald H. Musser
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2006
  good advice all. my suggestion would to stay with one size 11x14 in a 16x20 black frame with white matting, a consistant size makes for easier display. When determining price be sure to include shooting time, and the cost of supplies. I would suggest that you have unframed matted 8x10s in a display if possible for sale. I think that most of us tend to underprice our work. Once you have determined how much each item cost you to produce decide on the amount of profit that you need from each sale. For example let's say that we want a 40% profit by dividing 40 into 100 we get a cost factor of 2.5. If the total cost of producing the 11x14s matted and frame is $25.00 and multlply that amount by 2.5 our selling price would be $62.50 and our matted 8x10 at $15.00 would be $37.50 . Good luck Katrina Ron


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10/16/2007 8:05:16 AM

 
John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  Ron, good example except I think you have the math backwards, e.g., if I want 40% margins (profit), then my cost should be 60% of my price. In your example, of a $25 cost, then a 40% margin would mean I would want to be charging $42 ($41.67). I like keystone margins, e.g., 50% margins, so I'd sell that $25 print for $50.

As a general rule, a successful retail business has 40% margins and turns the value of their inventory 3 times a year. That means if you have a dozen pictures on the wall, you would hope to sell 36 pictures at that location in a year. In other words, you'd put $250 into photos initially, and recoup $900 over a year. Doesn't seem like a lot... but get a half-dozen coffee shops with that sales rate and you'll be doing pretty good. Up the margin to 50% and you'll make more without affecting sales.

Now, I believe that with artwork the selling price, as long as it is reasonable, has little effect on the customer's decision to buy or not, so that's why I'd double my money... at least.


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10/16/2007 4:43:52 PM

 
Katrina McMeans
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2005
  Thanks, Ron and John (they rhyme, awesome!) for your input and suggestions as well. You all have been such a help. :)


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10/16/2007 5:29:12 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  could we possibly just..forget the goosebumps?
quite the help from members,less help from instructors.yes understood..i'm thinking they saw the sincerity of your post,and offered great expertise.and no compensation except a thank you.
what a concept?hmmm.


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10/16/2007 8:15:16 PM

 
Katrina McMeans
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2005
  You're confusing me, Sam.


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10/17/2007 9:04:44 AM

 
John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  So... tell us your game plan, and take a photo of your display!


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10/19/2007 5:43:51 PM

 
Katrina McMeans
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2005
  Well, the owner of the coffee shop requested that they be unframed, so I am taking in 11 11x14 prints that have been matted with white mats. The pictures are printing now, so it'll be a little while before I have everything set up in there, but I'll post a pic as soon as I'm done. Thanks again!


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10/19/2007 9:32:31 PM

 
Ronald H. Musser
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2006
  Sounds fantastic Katrina, let us know as soon as they are up. and besure to include a photograph. I hope that you have great success and sale out. Ron


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10/19/2007 9:39:41 PM

 
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