It has been a while since I published my last blog posting. I have been busy reworking both my website, my booth and my social presence. Last year I began with a picture a day and did that right up through to about show season in the fall. This year I have been working on more ambitious goals in mind, and I thought I’d share them with you.
Re-Evaluation of Offerings
First thing I worked on during this past holiday season was reevaluating my fine art photography offerings. During this past fall art show season I talked with a lot of folks. And the one thing that I learned was that people still want the ability to purchase a matted print. When I started this past fall, I specifically didn’t sell prints as my experience in Virginia Beach was that matted prints were becoming passe. Once I had accepted and worked through the notion of offering some matted prints in my art booth, I then focused on a related concern – limited edition prints.
I have always offered limited edition prints. Not so much for the sake of rarity, but because I quickly get bored offering the same print show to show to show on my walls. So my idea has always been that offering limited edition prints meant that I could easily “retire” a print I had seen once to many times and replace it with another photograph.
But that meant that my booth offerings – and by extension, my online web presence – were limited to just those I considered to be among my best photographs. But folks visiting my booth noted that they wish there were more options among the prints I offered.
This meant that either I increase the number of limited edition prints – which would become a nightmare to manage – or rethink what I was offering.
So I went through my online print collections and made decisions! In some cases, hard decisions!
If I had sold a print of any photograph this fall, then it remained a limited edition print. I then went through what was left, and determined which prints I wanted to only offer as limited editions. These prints are among my best that I offer for sale. These are photographs that have the most work and show my photography skills the best. And these are the prints I will put on my walls in my booth at Art Shows.
These are my limited edition prints – what I call my Portfolio Collection. And I have worked to keep them under 20 photographs for my whole collection. These represent the best of my best.
The others are now open edition prints. And I am adding more open edition prints from among the collection of over 500 photographs that I taken over the years. These I will offer as matted prints for sale in my art booth as well as online.
This has meant looking at a two tier pricing plan, one for limited edition prints and one for open edition prints. This meant working to update my website to reflect the new two tiered options. My limited edition offerings I am calling my Portfolio Collection and have a price premium based on the fact that they are limited edition prints of 25 prints for each variation. These are also the only prints that I will offer larger sizes of metal prints, metal triptychs and canvas triptychs.
My remaining prints will be open edition prints, and will come a variety of sizes and I will not offer special variations such as triptychs or large metal prints. I will not “retire” these photographs but will just add photographs as time goes on (I am constantly going out and taking photographs, so I am continuously adding to my collections).
New Show Size
This also means that I will offer a matted print at art shows that I have not offered before. I am going to offer a print matted to 11″x14″ size. Limited edition matted prints I will sell for $45 dollars and open edition matted prints I will sell for $35 dollars. Many folks had asked for this size print as it represents a easy purchase for my art show customers without having a huge investment in my fine art photography. This matted print will complement the existing 11×14 metal prints and 16×20 canvas prints.
As I have been retooling my offerings and my pricing, I have also taken the time to refresh my website. Just some minor tweaks. I noticed that as I did various pages at various times, that I did not follow a standard style. So I have developed a style guide for my use so that as I add pages, they all will have the same look and feel. Gotta love consistency! I have also added sections for those who may want personal instruction on photography. We are all at various skill levels, and I am now offering both personalized instruction as well as personal workshops for those who would be interested in improving their photography skills.
I am still struggling with offering a daily photograph like I did for most of last year. My current thinking is that I might move this to Instagram and just focus on featuring a weekly photograph that I would add to my Fine Art Photography Collections on my website. This is still in the “thinking about it” phase.
More Instructional Videos this Year!
I have also decided that this year I would begin to focus on tutorials and more instructional videos. I know, someone else who offers instructional videos! But I find that most instructional videos today are too long and more like a course than just a quick video on how to do something. And I wanted to share my process for taking and making photographs from figuring out where to go to how to process my photographs. There is a lot to taking and making photographs that I think most of us photographers take for granted.
But I really wanted to do videos that would be small chunks, small tidbits that would demonstrate a quick technique, method or practice. Something that can quickly be consumed and put into practice. If it is more than 10-15 minutes, it is far too long. So stay tuned as I begin working on these new videos. I will most likely redo some older videos I have on my site, so they will be retired and replaced with newer updated material with focus and brevity as my guideposts!
Finally the End . . . and the Beginning . . .
To wrap up, this has been a few months of really figuring out what I am doing, why and how to do it. I will be working hard to bring more useful material to everyone, material that to me is important in the honing of my craft of photography, as well as sharing the results of my craft. I am looking forward to working to bring more beautiful photographs to you as well as talking about how I go about doing it. And I always look forward to your feedback and input. After all, this is not only for me, but it is really for you too!