As I’ve been making changes to how I work, I’ve started to realise that photographers are their own worst enemies. Are Photographers making it hard to exhibit as they look around at other photos in galleries?
As you know, I am looking at exhibiting my work more and part of that is that is talking to galleries. If you want to exhibit you have to know the state of the art world.
The news isn’t good.
Photography is very hard to sell
This is something that most of us already know, I think. Many photographers have tried to sell images online and realised that it is a very hard thing to do. People just don’t buy photos, and those that do sell some are often basically giving them away.
One thing you hear from gallery owners all the time is that photography is hard to sell and part of the reason is that people walk into galleries and say ‘I could take that’. How do you get past that attitude?
Though, having said that, I know a lot of people who walk into galleries with abstract paintings and say exactly the same thing. However, it doesn’t stop galleries from showing paintings.
Have you ever done that? I would be surprised if you hadn’t. I know I have. It was part of the reason why I got seriously into photography many years ago. I had a photographer take photos of my children and he missed the mark of what I wanted by a long shot. I watched and thought, I could do this. It was an unreasonable thing to think now, as I look back. He had a studio, lights, the whole set up. I was naive. Perhaps ignorant.
We are all going to silently say it to ourselves, but if you ever go to a gallery and think you could do the same images, don’t say it out loud. In fact, we all have to stop thinking like that. Look at the work and learn from it. Decide if you like it. What are the merits?
We need to change the way photography is viewed and valued.
I don’t know how it is in other countries, but here in Australia one of the problems I see is that most of the exhibitions are of people. I was reading an article recently that said if you want to sell your photos, don’t put people in them. Makes you wonder why galleries keep doing it then. Why are the majority of their exhibitions ones of people?
Perhaps this is because they want them to fail. I really don’t know. I did send emails to four galleries last week asking them and have heard nothing back. One was even a dedicated photography gallery, apparently. It is hard to get answers really.
I wish I knew. With so many people trying to do photography now it is a hard one to crack. Hard to work out what will sell and what won’t. How do you stop people from saying ‘I could take that’?
You often hear how other photographers are selling images, and making money. One told me he had sold thousands of dollars worth of images, but I can’t seem to find anyone who wants to buy mine. In the last two or three years, I’ve sold one. That was to a friend. It is time to work out this puzzle. I love puzzles, so will see where this goes.