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Author Topic: Do you sell more B&W prints?  (Read 11070 times)

Colorado David

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Do you sell more B&W prints?
« on: August 21, 2014, 11:10:02 pm »

My daughter tells me that if I want to sell more prints, I should process more black and whites.  She says these would sell better to young professionals who live in lofts remodeled from old downtown buildings.  Has anyone seen this trend?

JohnBrew

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Re: Do you sell more B&W prints?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2014, 07:37:49 am »

I sell about half and half.

Jim Pascoe

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Re: Do you sell more B&W prints?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2014, 09:47:23 am »

Hi David

Well of course it depends on what sort of photography you do and sell.  I'm a people photographer and sell about 50/50 - but then I have always been known for my monochrome work and my shoots are commissioned.  Looking at your website you appear to be a mix of landscape and natural history type photographer and trying to sell fine art prints.  I cannot see any examples of monochrome work on your site - so I infer that perhaps it is not a medium that appeals to you.  In which case it might not be that easy to switch over.

The problem is that often a picture in colour will not work well in monochrome - you really have to have an eye for what will and will not work.  Some photographers are better at one or the other and a few can excel at both - but they are different ways of seeing.  I may be preaching to the converted, but if you are not experienced at mono work I would definitely suggest getting guidance from a photographer who is, and who can advise you before you put mono pictures on your site.

Jim
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Colorado David

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Re: Do you sell more B&W prints?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2014, 10:14:50 am »

Thank you Jim.  Over the years I have shot a lot of industrial images that are proprietary or restricted by treaty and I'm not able to share them on a website.  Those mostly pay the bills.  My heart is really in landscape, nature/natural history, and wildlife.

BillK

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Re: Do you sell more B&W prints?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2014, 10:22:59 am »

I think Jim makes some good points. Some of us are better at black&White than others.
For me, Black&White are very poor sellers. Less than 5% of the images I display are Black&white
but they comprise a much smaller percentage of sales than that.

You might try a test with a few and see how it goes.

I also looked at your site and it is not clear to me if you use any other means of selling your work than the website.
I sell scenic landscapes and find web sales very difficult. People need to see a piece first hand, not on a computer monitor,
before buying it. Almost all of my web sales come from people that have seen my work at the art shows I do, and decide to buy it
later. If you are not doing it now, I would suggest you find a way to put your work someplace where people will see it in person.

For me, art shows have been far more successful than any other method I have tried.
Most other art show photographers I have met, agree that web sales are hardly worth bothering with.
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benchdog

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Re: Do you sell more B&W prints?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2014, 11:29:46 am »

It sounds like you have been successful marketing yourself in the industrial world. If you want to sell more fine art prints I would suggest to approach it in a similar way you approach your industrial work. It's always about marketing ourselves.

75% of my sales are B&W but this is what I am know for, most of my work is commissions and rest of my sales come from exhibits I am in. My website is useful only to the extent that it's an easy format to share my work with clients and has not generated many sales directly. Next year I take the plunge into art fairs.

I do believe a website is a necessary evil and can be a useful tool if it has the right tools built into it that work with your marketing strategy.

Good luck
Ed
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MoreOrLess

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Re: Do you sell more B&W prints?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2014, 03:02:58 pm »

I'd guess my sales are something like 60% colour to 40% B&W but I'd echo the point others have made that its ultimately quality that will sell, I found early on that I was selling probably 90% colour with B&W sales only increasing as I put a sustained effort into improving my work
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JayWPage

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Re: Do you sell more B&W prints?
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2014, 12:08:26 pm »

In a recent art show that I participated in, B&W comprised about 10% of the photography component but represented about 25% of the photo sales. I think there is an increasing appreciation of B&W photography for some, but it's still a hard sell to the general public.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2014, 06:30:24 pm by JayWPage »
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keith_cooper

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Re: Do you sell more B&W prints?
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2014, 10:12:17 am »

I wish...

Most of my larger sales are from my architectural work, and tend to be colour. Some clients are amenable to B&W 'versions', but my out and out B&W work (which I often like more) comes in quite a way behind the colour.

I'd note that I'm in the UK though and the market for prints seems quite different (less) from in the US (or a least in areas in the western half, that I've visited)

When my own wife wants a new print for the bedroom and asks what I've got in 'blue' I know the B&W market isn't great ;-)
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Deardorff

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Re: Do you sell more B&W prints?
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2014, 02:28:43 pm »

Are you talking real B&W, hand done images in a darkroom?

Part of the attraction for some buyers is the connection of the artist to the finished work. Digital 'assembly line' push a button and print does not have that. Some excellent digital work but 'inkjet' doesn't have the same feel as 'hand printed/hand coated/hand poured silver/Pt-Pd/Carbon' and other alt process images.

Excellent work is excellent work no matter how it is done but buyers and collectors may look at it differently.
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bretedge

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Re: Do you sell more B&W prints?
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2014, 10:31:27 pm »

We've been pleasantly surprised by the popularity of black and white prints at our Moab gallery.  They do well enough for us that I add a couple new monochrome prints each season.  I did an exhibit at Dead Horse Point this year titled "Moab in Monochrome" that was picked up by the Durango Arts Center.  Those prints (all on metal) have done exceptionally well for us, too.

I do think there is a market for them although I don't think it's the "young professionals living in lofts" - at least not in our experience.  Yes, we do sell a few to that crowd but I'd say that more of our black and white work is purchased by a more mature clientele. 

Jglaser757

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Re: Do you sell more B&W prints?
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2014, 02:26:13 am »

I think it important to learn how to convert images to black and white first. It is not just a process of desaturation or converting with one button.

I recommend a book be Vincent Versace called from OZ to kansas.
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Mike Sellers

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Re: Do you sell more B&W prints?
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2014, 09:54:38 am »

Bret,
Where did you get your metal prints made and what size were they?
Mike
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