I want to take a quick moment and thank everyone who came out to the sold out event last night at Pictureline Inc. As always, it was a fantastic experience with a wonderful audience that was engaged and full of energy. If you didn’t make it out last night, you can check out my presentation above, thought it obviously won’t include my commentary throughout the presentation. As always, many thanks to all of my sponsors that help to do what I do! Thank you Arcteryx, Suunto, Mountain Khakis, Singh Ray Filters, Manfrotto School of Xcellence and Mark Miller Subaru!
What an awesome event last night at Pictureline (read: better than Disneyland for every photographer). I presented some of my favorite images from my 2010 SE Asia Photo Tour with M&M Photo Tours to a packed house. The audience participation was fantastic, M&M shared some useful travel tips and great travel imagery, and everyone left with their entry fee returned to them in the form of a Pictureline gift card. I’ve included several images from the event, as well as some of the imagery I wasn’t able to share. Click this link to check out more images from the event and some commentary from the attendees.
If you happen to be in the Salt Lake area, please mark your calendars for August 5. We’ll be having a neighborhood open house showcasing some of my latest prints and gifts. See below for details.
What: Join us! For a sneak preview of Adam Barker’s latest and greatest work to be showcased in numerous exhibits this summer. Fine art limited edition prints ranging in size from 12 x 18 to 24 x 36 will be on display and available for purchase and perusal. Adam will be available for questions and conversation all evening. Receive a free matted 5×7 print just for showing up!
When: Thursday, August 5, 2010, 6-9 pm
Where: 2641 Kenwood St. (1730 E.)
We hope to see you there!
Last weekend marked my second year exhibiting at the Park City Kimball Arts Festival. Great weather made for decent crowds and sales (despite a less than welcoming economy). As I did last year, I thought I would share a few thoughts on exhibiting at an arts festival. It can be a daunting undertaking for first timers, and always a learning process for seasoned veterans.
Many of these thoughts will likely be similar to last year, but it never hurts to refresh the memory!
1. Keep within your budget, but do whatever it takes to stand out from the rest of the booths. In my case, I chose to have lighting for my prints. When exhibiting your work, it is so crucial to display it professionally, and proper lighting makes all the difference in the world. Electricity isn’t provided at this arts fest, and therefore most artists simply don’t use lighting. Don’t take no for an answer! Find a way to make your booth stand out!
2. Print a million business cards. Literally. Arts festivals are not only a great sales opportunity, but a great marketing opportunity as well. Make a point of handing out business cards to anyone that seems even remotely interested in your work.
3. Be a people person. I see countless artists sitting in their chairs waiting for the “real buyers” to show up. Treat everyone as a “real buyer”, but more importantly, just be friendly! Competition at these shows is fierce. Your friendly disposition and connection with a customer may be the deciding factor in them purchasing something from you instead of the guy down the street.
4. Have your website everywhere. Find ways to promote your website all over your booth. In particular, I put my website on my business cards, workshop flyers, title/price cards for prints, small gift print labels, portfolio book, etc.
5. Have a special event to promote. If you teach workshops, have a promotional piece available–this is a great opportunity to reach out to people actively engaged in the arts. They might be interested, or they might have a friend/spouse/relative interested in participating.
6. Be willing to bend. Especially in these tough economic times, people are pressed for cash. Fine art is a luxury that most people don’t spend money on when times are tight. While I don’t prefer to discount my rates, I like a good deal just as much as the next guy. Be willing to barter within reason.
7. Have a wide variety of items and price points available. Sure it’s fun to display your work in a 30 x 40 print, but how likely is it that that piece will sell? Sometimes a little discretion is required in choosing pieces more likely to sell over our personal favorites as photographers and artists. Have a variety of smaller items available for those not interested in dropping hundreds/thousands of dollars.
8. Have an attention grabber! For a moment, forget what I said above and find a piece that will stop people in their tracks. Print it large and in charge and place it in a spot that people will see–this piece should be a magnet and give people a reason to step inside your booth and view the rest of your work on display.
9. Have fun! The more enjoyable you are, the more likely you are to sell your work and influence people for good.
I hope this gives you some helpful ideas in preparing for your next exhibit. Good luck!
I’m excited to once again have several of my images on display at Pictureline. Part of Gitzo month at Pictureline, I’ll be giving a presentation in partnership with Gitzo tripods as part of their 5 Star Summer Tour event. I’ll have details soon, but please come and join me on July 30 from 6-8 pm for a slideshow presentation and extensive discussion/Q&A on how to take your landscape and active/lifestyle photography to the next level through traditional and alternative photographic techniques. Look for another blog post soon with details, and stop by the store if you get a chance to check out the prints and meet the good people at Pictureline. They will make sure you’re taken care of!
I was extremely pleased to receive a call from the kind people at the Monte L. Bean Science Museum notifying me that all three of my photo contest entries had won awards. Below are the images I entered along with the awards taken. If you have a chance to check out the exhibit, make your way down for sure. Lots of nice photography on display!
I am pleased to be featured large and in charge down at Pictureline this month. If you’re a photographer, and you’re not familiar with Pictureline, make yourself familiar. Great staff, all the high-end gear you could ask for, and a super swank retail space. Many thanks to Jens and his crew down there for giving me an opportunity to show some of my work.
The Park City Arts Festival was a great success. Sales were good and I didn’t spend more than two minutes all weekend without someone in my booth. The amount of people that view your work at something like this really is unmatched in any other venue I’ve exhibited in to this point. I guess that’s kind of an obvious statement, being that this was my first arts festival. It is a great feeling to have droves of perfect strangers compliment you on something to which you are so committed and passionate about. It’s another level of satisfaction entirely to have someone enjoy your work enough to pay top dollar, and then hang it on their wall. The days are long, but the more people you engage, and the more connections you’re able to make with potential buyers, the quicker it goes. Preparing and setting up the booth was a huge undertaking and I have to thank my lovely wife for her tireless help.
For those interested in participating in a show of their own similar to this, I have comprised a list of tips below. I’m obviously not the most experienced at this sort of thing, but I learned a lot this time around, and fortunately didn’t learn too much “the hard way”.
The first show is a big investment. I bought everything for my booth except the pop-up tent (borrowed from a buddy) which probably would have been the cheapest part. Propanels, lighting, table, misc. materials, promotional postcards, matted prints, framed prints, print bins, etc. Lots of stuff, and lots of money. I spent a lot of money (for me anyway) preparing for this show and, fortunately, made nearly all of it back. I didn’t expect to make even that much from this show, and knew that this initial investment would be paid off from a) other shows in the future and b) all of the interaction I had with other potential buyers at the show. From the other artists I was speaking with, I seem to have had a very successful show. I’ll chalk it up to beginner’s luck and knock on wood.
I had around 25 framed prints on display, but had quite a few more at home to choose from if I wanted to swap anything out or something sold and I needed to fill the space. All of the images were printed at a pro lab I use (West Coast Imaging), and framed by a framer I have used numerous times who does great work. They all looked immaculate, which I think is very important if you want to sell. I was one of the only booths with lighting–which obviously makes a huge difference in how your prints are displayed. A couple things I would suggest if you are thinking about doing it:
1. Do it right. Spend the money to have a nice looking booth, great looking images (framed and just mounted/matted) and an overall professional appearance.
2. Choose your very best work, but choose what you think will sell. This is a tough one, but just because an image is your favorite as a photog and it’s a great image photographically, it doesn’t mean people will buy it. Common places that will be familiar to the local contingent, or iconic landscape locations seem to sell most often. From my experience, people need to have some sort of emotional connection to the place to ultimately spend a decent amount of cash and hang it on their wall.
3. Light your booth. Nuff said.
4. Interact with people. So many artists just sit in their chairs and won’t get up unless they think someone is a potential buyer. As far as I’m concerned, everyone that lays eyes on my work is a potential buyer, and should be treated as such. I handed out more business cards than I can count, and I imagine this will pay off in the coming months and weeks. It helps that I am a personable individual, and enjoy associating with people. If you’re not, force yourself to leave your comfort zone and engage everyone that lays eyes on your work.
5. Have a broad selection of smaller mounted/matted prints in plastic available for purchase. This is huge. Everyone browses these. I probably had about 100 prints divided in size between 5×7, 8×10 and 12×18 and it was nowhere near enough. Make sure they look professional, and put a label with your website and the price on the back of the plastic envelope.
6. All of the framed images I sold were either 16×24 or 20×30. Have a broad selection in sizes for sure, but these seemed to be the most popular sizes.
7. Don’t give away your work, but work with someone for multiple purchases. I made an $1,800 sale (3 framed pieces) in the last 15 minutes of the show partly because I offered a 10% discount for a multiple print purchase. I think they would have bought regardless, but I’m not sure they would have bought three.
Now get out there and live the dream!