Selling a print or two of our art isn’t a “business”, it’s how we hobbyists hobby.
It’s a completely different ball game than offering a service and selling portraits and event photography without a clue. There’s no taking advantage of people. No one but ourselves is personally invested in our wild life or still life photos etc, and there’s absolutely no obligation to buy unless they love it. This is why it is so very difficult to sell art, and it’s rare to be successful at it other than being able to help fund our hobby.
Should you print and finish your images and turn them into photographs? Yes, if you currently not doing that you are missing out on half (if not more) of the process. Wether people buy them or not, its a must to do for ourselves. If we dont invest in our work how can we expect others to? Photographs are not digital files on a computer. Is it expensive to make photographs? Yes. Is it ok if family and friends help fund the finishing process by buying your fished work? Yes. Will you be taking advantage of people by doing this, or stunting/hindering your learning process? Will you be labeled a fauxtog by doing this? Absolutely not! Quite the opposite.
With that said don’t go all out and get gung ho, and spend tons of money finishing a load of photographs to sell at an art show booth or go and buy an expensive website. I don’t want you to go in debt or spend hours on marketing and all that jazz, with the hopes of selling to millions, thousands, hundreds, or even just 10 in the next few years. Take it slowly. If Mom likes a photo and wants to hang it in her home to help support your photography, let her. Like I said printing and finishing is a process, and learning how to properly finish your work is important and can get costly. We need all the help we can get.
I’d start out just fulfilling people’s requests as they are made. This helps you get a feel for the types of work people are interested in. Believe me, just because a photo is one of our favorites, it doesn’t mean everyone else will think so too. Check out successful photographers that sell their art. Find out what makes their work marketable, take tips from them on how they do it.
Bubble burster: it costs me aprox$40 to finish (as in mounted or framed and ready to hang) a small 8×12 photograph. I charge $50 for the product plus shipping if it can’t be delivered in person. Needless to say, Im not getting rich even though I have a somewhat steady trickle of sales. People only buy if they LOVE it, and it’s difficult to make people love something that doesn’t have their precious child in it. Your work has to be good, it has to be different, it has to be something that they can’t do themselves, it has to speak to them, it has to be quality, it has to be an image that people other than Mom can appreciate to make a sell and continue to makes sells. So take it slow, and don’t do this with any expectations at all. Do it for yourself and your photography. Do it for your learning process. If you have people saying “I want a print!” Goodness! Take them up on it, quit saying “no”.