Monday, October 19, 2009

He said, "cute don't sell."

That's a direct quote from my next door neighbor at The Chastain Park Arts Festival this past weekend. He was referring to my posters that were hanging in my tent just waiting for someone to take them home. Darryl, a master photographer (, was partly correct. I sold one poster of Midtown Atlanta a few weeks ago at Garden Hills, and at Chastain I sold two. I don't know if the two I sold at Chastain would be considered posters because I removed the names from the bottom of the images. So, I wonder what makes a poster, a poster? If a poster has to have the name of the image on it, then I suppose I actually didn't sell two posters at Chastain, I sold two framed images. But, I have to admit, they were cute.

Here's one of the "posters" that I sold.
Here's the cute version.

Every time I do an arts festival, I learn something. This was my 10th show, but I think you need to have 20 or 30 under your belt before you can be considered serious. This is a business for most of the artists participating; they don't play. For example, it was a miserable day on Saturday. It was cold, cloudy, and windy. I was wait-listed (long story) and that meant that I had to show up early Saturday morning to see if anyone had dropped out, thus creating a vacant space. I really, really wanted to renege, but since we packed the car Friday night, and the promoter was kind enough to include me as one of the TWO who were wait-listed, I had to proceed. So when I uttered a teensy complaint about my discomfort, Darryl just laughed and shook his head. Again, this is his business. These people do shows almost every weekend. It's not a hobby to's their bread and butter.

I can't begin to express how fortunate I was to have a master photographer "next door." He gave me tips on bags, framing, sizing, displaying, selling and future shows. We had several debates, one of which involved pricing. There should be a class on the psychology of pricing. Maybe there already is, I would love to take it. Another debate involved morning shoots. He loves to get up at 4:30 and watch the sun rise where he's shooting. I, on the other hand, hate to get up before the sun. There's something just not natural about that. I'd rather get the shots during the day and at sunset. The final issue we disagreed on was information about the image. He thinks it's okay to provide the shopper with the location, the camera settings, etc. I think that info should remain with the photographer. Most photographers whom I have spoken with are really quite vague with the details. Although I try my best not to tell everything, sometimes it just slips out. Fortunately most of the time I really can't remember the details. Let's see, was that shot at Pawley's Island or Cherry Grove? Sometimes all of the beaches look alike.

So Darryl's leaving in a few weeks for a two month trip to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. I can't wait to see what images he returns with. If you have time, go to his website and look at the images. He hand tints most of his work. Amazing.

By the way, I will gladly send anyone (in the USA) a mini poster (4X6 framed), at no charge, if you just leave a comment on my blog. I'll place lots more posters to choose from in the right hand column. I think I'm going out of the poster business and stick with framed images. Maybe I'll put them on Etsy or maybe I'll take them to a show at the beach. Bet they'll sell there...or not. Stay tuned.