Oh, I know that canvases sell well. I just don't like the look of them, so I don't want to offer something I'm not fond of aesthetically.
As it happens, I've just sent off a quote for someone who was in on the weekend and wants a 24x36 and three 16x24's. The snow plow and the army truck images. She wants to get them framed herself in Calgary, which is how many of my sales go. Unframed prints. But this may perhaps be changing now that I have a gallery space with more framed pieces hanging. This has been the case since December anyway; more framed pieces selling than prints.
Thanks for showing me your porfolio... some really nice stuff in there. I especially like the night pictures with the city lights, mountains and stars.
I completely understand where you are coming from with regards to having to like what you sell. But I think that you have to learn to seperate the photography/art from the business. I had to do this and it has paid off. In my local area, cityscape pictures were going for $40 in the store... this is a 9"x36" print on luster. I was shocked to see this, because this was retail, so my wholesale price had to be much lower. Can you imagine selling a picture that size for $20??? So in the end, I had to give in if I wanted to compete. I joke around now that I no longer am a photographer selling art, but rather a printer selling ink and paper, it just happens to be my image on it. The thing is that I am in a tourist town and many of these go out the door, so instead of them not buying anything if its priced too high, I am happy when the store phones up and order 10 more prints. It keeps my printer well lubricated and puts some money in pocket.
Sure I wonder if I am killing sales of more expensive sizes, but the bigger canvases of that same image still go. In the end, you wanna give a customer choice and capture both types of customers, rich and poor. The rich ones might go for the 6 foot canvas, the poor ones might only ever consider the cheap paper print. But I think the idea is to extract as much money from each image as possible. At least this is how I am doing it now and it is somewhat working.
I also go the canvas route because customers love a finished piece that is ready to hang. If they just buy a print I think many are shocked to find out what it costs to frame it. With canvas, your markup for materials is huge compared to what your markup can be for framed pieces, which I think you are seeing. If a framed piece sells for $600, I think you'd be lucky to have the materials come in at less than $200... where as with canvas, your margins would be much better.
Since you have the space now, I say try a bit of canvas. I know you say you don't like it and I can understand that, but if someone comes in and buys it, isn't this better?? The good think also is that its easy to sell them rolled canvas and they can just have it stretched at home, which for them will be much cheaper than framing a piece and you are keeping way more money. Look at it like this. If they have $600 to spend, but can't carry a framed piece home, you are stuck selling them paper for $100 and someone else gets all that money. If you sell them a framed piece, you have still invested well over $200 in the materials. If you sell them stretched canvas, your materials are way less than $100, and if its rolled, you saved the time stretching and can also charge more for the rolled canvas since their cost to stretch it will be much less than their cost to frame a paper print. The way I think about it is what does it cost to put that art on the wall and how much of that total value can be in my pocket versus someone else's pocket.