This weekend I had a conversation with another photographer who popped through the gallery. We must have talked 45 minutes, and the topic seemed to revolve around 1 key theme. Getting your photos out there, getting recognized, and making money off of the images.
Well, I have my own personal thoughts on the topic. And since I’m in the business of creating and selling images, and helping others to recreate their own works, I guess I have some level of expertise.
Everybody’s getting their images out there. And there are so many amazing photographers that there’s a sea of great images. Setting yourself apart is not the easiest task. Frankly, the bulk of my income since starting my business does not come from the sale of my own images. In my case, print reproduction for painters and other photographers is what feeds me. My image sales account for a smaller percentage than reproduction work.
Does that mean I shouldn’t focus on my photography? Not at all. See, here’s my secret……….
I enjoy taking images of the places I visit. And I enjoy getting outdoors and wandering into locations that most folks will never see. With or without the camera I would absolutely still visit ghost towns, the Vermillion Cliffs, the Grand Canyon, and even my back yard, the Granite Dells. Heck, when I arrived here in Prescott I explored almost every inch of the Dells, and the camera was left behind in the Airstream.
So, when I’m out taking pictures I’m normally having fun. If someone buys an image or not, I’m still glad I went to a location and saw it for myself. And I’m glad that I made a record of my time there. When a customer is interested in an image I tell them all about the location, and what a fun time it was. If they don’t buy, well, they don’t buy. But nearly 100% of the time they leave wanting to visit that place too. My image inspired them to investigate places they didn’t know about previously. That’s pretty powerful, don’t you think?
And my trips, even the bad ones, are more fun than sitting at a desk.
While you’re pondering how to get your work out there and noticed, think about one more thing. Ask yourself if you’re enjoying what you do. I’ll tell you, if you enjoy it that will show through in your final images. And you might just inspire someone else to follow your foot prints through the dunes!