selling Prints at local street fairs

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by roadiebob, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. roadiebob

    roadiebob Guest

    I am thinking of selling some of my own photos at street fairs, and
    farmers market
    type events. I have printed and hung some of my own photos for my own
    enjoyment and get a lot of compliments on these and many have advised
    that my
    fiance and I should sell them to the public. The photos are mostly from
    a Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D. My fiance has quite a bit of camera
    and I am working the learning curve pretty much every day. We are doing
    capture with Photo shop elements.
    The photos are mostly natural scenery types such as beach or
    mountain, a few
    cityscape photos also. I do not expect to sell any with identifiable
    people in them as
    I want to avoid the licensing issues that I have seen others discuss
    If anyone has any experience with this, these are the questions I
    1. How do you choose where to sell?
    2. How much does it cost to rent space at a typical event?
    3. What size prints sell best?
    4. Pricing?
    5. How many different prints do you bring for display?
    5. Do you provide frames and Mat's or just sell the print?
    6. Any recommendations for shops to do the prints or places to by the
    Mats and frames from?

    any general advice to get started with this would be helpful.

    thanks in advance

    roadiebob, Dec 18, 2006
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  2. I know a woman who specializes in nature and landscapes
    (and I knew someone who used to...), so I may be able to
    help with some answers.
    One sells at the local Farmers' Market, the other canvassed
    offices (doctors, school, bank, etc.).
    The Farmers' Market here was $300/season, as I recall, for
    a booth large enough for a table of trays on one side and wall
    displays on three sides (she also has portable gear for fairs
    and sells through a web page).
    Dunno - one sells all sizes, the other sold only large ones.
    Depends on if bare, properly matted and covered, or framed,
    and on demand. (BTW, in the '60's and '70's I had about 50
    museum and gallery shows - and *no* sales [it's different now],
    see for some samples).
    Can be hundreds, especially if the same image is offered in
    different sizes or states.
    Probably not the last, but the first two are OK (and you can
    offer an example of a framed print and prices for services if
    you want).
    Probably local to you - we have some fine service places in
    town, though Ithaca is small. You can also do these yourself.
    Make prints, and try it - though it may cost much more than
    you make at first...
    David Ruether, Dec 18, 2006
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  3. roadiebob

    Shawn Hirn Guest

    A lot of this depends on where in the world you live. Start by visiting
    local street fares, flea markets, farmer's markets, etc. and talk to the
    photographers who are doing what you have in mind. Most will be glad to
    answer your questions and give you advise.
    Shawn Hirn, Dec 19, 2006
  4. roadiebob

    JC Dill Guest

    I have tried this in my area, and found that most do NOT want to
    answer questions or give advice. It looks like the business is real
    cut-throat and that no one wants to share any tips with what they view
    as potential competition at the next event.

    JC Dill, Dec 19, 2006
  5. roadiebob

    Chip Gallo Guest

    I've done a couple of no-cost events, such as a church sponsored art
    fair. My rule at present is free or very low cost, and with the
    expectation of being with other artists (paintings, computer generated
    graphics art) rather than doing craft shows.
    Usually a table at an outdoor flea market is $10 and up around Harpers
    Ferry, WV where I live. Big art shows and craft fairs obviously cost
    more, and I'm hoping to get my sales volume up before I spend that kind
    of money on show space.
    I like 11"x16" which is an oddball size. I started entering the local
    county fair with this size and received a ribbon in every category I
    entered. So far I have sold over half a dozen prints at this size. My
    goal is to "sell up" to a 20"x30" print, so I keep that in mind when I
    plan the inventory to carry. Not everything looks at these sizes.
    $30 for the 11x16 unframed/unmatted. $129 for the 20x30.
    Around 20, which is a sale copy of each, plus the display. I use a 11x16
    flip book which holds 48 prints. I get bags and backing boards from ( and have my sale copies ready
    to go in a bag. When I sell a print, I reorder from White House Custom
    Colour ( and order 6 of the restock item to get the
    price per print down.
    Just the print right now.
    White House Custom Colour for prints.
    Since I live in a historic location, I try to have prints of local
    landmarks. Talk to people when you are out, find out what they are
    looking for and shoot that. Keep the price reasonable. Be knowledgeable
    about the photo content so you can tell a story. Folks will be more
    engaged if you tell a story. You are part of their experience ...
    Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

    Chip Gallo (work in progress)
    Chip Gallo, Dec 19, 2006
  6. roadiebob

    roadiebob Guest

    Thanks everyone for the advice. I live in southern California so there
    are many
    many events that we could do this at. One thought I had was to try to
    out the coming event and go there ahead of time and do some local
    shots. I
    guess the logic of it may be easier to sell things that have meaning
    the local audience. were heading up to Yosemite again this weekend
    to beef up the collection. Also I will be working on a web site for
    display. I will
    post that link when it is ready.

    thanks everyone. I very much apreciate all your input and also any more
    anyone wants to add.
    roadiebob, Dec 20, 2006
  7. Well, I for one wouldn't buy an inkjet print for anyone unless they offered
    if it fades or shifts color I will replace it free for life warranty. There
    is no way I would spend any amount of money to buy a print no matter how
    nice or lovely the image is if it was done with an inkjet. Either have them
    professional printed with something that is more durable and appropriate or
    offer the warranty I mentioned.

    Little Juice Coupe, Dec 20, 2006
  8. roadiebob

    JC Dill Guest

    Thanks for a bunch of GREAT tips. I loved this last one the most.

    JC Dill, Dec 20, 2006
  9. roadiebob

    Colin_D Guest

    There is no printing process more durable than an inkjet print on
    archival paper, printed with pigmented inks on a good inkjet printer.

    I think you are somewhat behind the times with your knowledge of print
    life. FYI, chemical, or 'wet' prints on the world's best paper - Fuji
    Crystal Archive - have a projected life of about 65 years in a protected
    environment. On display, much shorter.

    Inkjet prints with archival pigment inks from Epson, or the new pigment
    inks from Canon, have a projected life of greater than 100 years
    depending to some extent on the paper used.

    And, up until recently, chemical prints were doing well if they lasted
    20 years. I have on my wall a chemical 16 x 20 print of our extended
    family, professionally produced on Kodak Lustre paper. After just on 20
    years, it is reduced to little more than a pale cyan image, the yellow
    and magenta dyes have long gone. That print was texturized with a
    plastic coating which sealed the surface against contaminants and UV,
    despite which it has faded beyond reasonable viewing. It's still on the
    wall only because there's nothing to replace it.

    Colin D.
    Colin_D, Dec 21, 2006
  10. roadiebob

    roadiebob Guest

    I can buy that

    I don't plan to print these at home. I have not found that printing
    my own photos is economically advantageous. I have seen the
    more industrial printers with the inkwells outside of the printer
    advertised in shutterbug, but have not actually seen one in use
    or seen the product of one of those.
    There is a local shop here in Chino that does a really good
    job of printing for us and thats been fine when were just printing
    10 or so a year for our own home, but if I start selling and need 100
    a year or more, then I am going to look for something more economical
    for printing, thats why I was asking for references for print shops.
    One member did point me to a web site that he works with and
    I will probably give that a try unless anyone points me in a different
    roadiebob, Dec 21, 2006
  11. roadiebob

    Chip Gallo Guest

    My repro facility uses Kodak Endura paper. See:

    Chip Gallo
    Chip Gallo, Dec 21, 2006

  12. Been there, done that. It's a lot of work, and not
    worth the bother.

    Booths aren't free. Anywhere from $50 a day to
    $250 or more for a weekend. Double or triple that
    for the really "professional" events (outta my league.)

    You need to buy a canopy, display shelving, containers
    for everything, hand trucks to move it, etc. Enough
    sh!t to fill the back of a Subaru Outback, to capacity.

    I sold mostly matted 8x10s (in 11x14 mats) and 5x8"
    prints in 8x10" mats. Some framed prints as well,
    but not so many, because of course they're more
    expensive, more fragile, and bulkier.

    I did this for about four or five years. Strangely,
    my best sales were in the first few years -- but
    things went steadily downhill after 9/11.

    It was eating up precious weekends... and
    even in the best of them, I might come home
    with $800 or so in sales. Subtract the booth
    fees, driving expenses, meals, the hours to
    load/unload/set up/dismantle, and the
    cost of the prints themselves... and it just
    wasn't worth the trouble.

    Go to a few shows, talk to the folks in the
    booths. They're usually happy to share what
    they know. As a customer, you're no threat
    to them. And most of the time they're bored
    and just happy to chat. They won't reveal
    any state secrets, but you'll get the general
    idea of the thing.

    rafe b
    Raphael Bustin, Dec 23, 2006
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