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"types" Of Photography That Sell

Posted by: Sonja Quintero on 01/30/2013 - 11:03 AM

Hello all!

Was wondering if you photographers out there, thought there are particular types of photos that sell more than others here? The reason I'm asking is because I have another online shop and I'm trying to distinguish the two. I'm thinking what sells here as far as photography goes, is more realism. Maybe such as landscapes, nature, cityscapes, things like that. I was beginning to think maybe the difference between my two shop is my FAA photos could be more "natural" whereas my other shop would be more surreal, abstract or vintage.

Anyone have thoughts on this? And experience on creating various, distinctive looks for your photo shops?

 

Oldest Reply

Posted by: Mike Savad on 01/30/2013 - 11:21 AM

there are no types. i know you want to have an IN about what to sell, but there are no certain types. i've been looking for a pattern for a long time now and there isn't any. collectors buy for other people who are set out a given theme and the amount to spend. they will buy just the one theme. like a dozen yaks, chickens, ice cream, cookies, coke, etc. you just never know. there is no one type. i've sold many things here i never sold on other stores.

as far as distinctive look, i have that on my shots, you can usually tell it's of mine at a glance.

---Mike Savad

 

Posted by: JC Findley on 01/30/2013 - 11:50 AM

If you are referring to to an Etsy shop there is a HUGE division between what sells here and what sells there. (The way you described the style sounds like it is a match for Etsy BTW.)

I have a friend that sells like gangbusters on Etsy, yet has never sold a one here. I on the other hand sell well here but sold at a trickle on Etsy.

I think you have it about right in your initial post though, the vintage/surreal/abstract stuff does sell on here, just not like it does on the E venue.

 

Posted by: Chuck De La Rosa on 01/30/2013 - 11:55 AM

I think what sells is all over the board. I haven't sold a lot because I haven't heavily marketed yet, but what I have sold has no pattern what so ever. Watch the "Recently Sold" lists when you log in and you'll see what I mean.

 

Posted by: JC Findley on 01/30/2013 - 12:01 PM

Example....

This may well sell on here, but I would betcha big bucks it would sell WELL on Etsy and in higher numbers than here.


Photography Prints

 

Posted by: Lawrence Supino on 01/30/2013 - 12:39 PM

I’m just curious...(This is not an argumentative post ;)...

And for the sake of this post I'm talking about Etsy and Faa...but it can be used for numerous pod’s.


Many times on faa I've seen the "what sells here or there and why" posts...but...I've also seen many posts telling people not to count on a site to sell...one must market themselves.

If, for example, the above bike photo would sell better on Etsy than here...then wouldn't that mean that the majority of those sales most likely have nothing to do with marketing?

When one markets them self...aren't they marketing them self to Etsy buyers and Faa buyers?

and

I'm guessing that POD sites are not marketing to certain "types", but to all "types"...then how does a site become known for customers that will most likely buy the above bike image?

If the products themselves that are attracting customers through search engines…then the bike should sell well here too…no?

Is it the sites themselves that are attracting certain types of buyers…why?...because of the products?

 

Posted by: Ann Powell on 01/30/2013 - 12:49 PM

That is a very interesting question Lawrence! Makes me question marketing strategy, if you use something like twitter or google + do only buyers from a certain site look at tags like abstract, surreal etc?? I also have a few images on society6, which definitely has an emphasis on abstract and surrealism. It does seem overall that the more realistic images sell most frequently here, but many have that have a semi abstract, or impressionist style also sell.

 

Posted by: JC Findley on 01/30/2013 - 1:00 PM

Good questions Lawrence.

Here is my take on it. You do have to market on Etsy and it is VERY time consuming. The thing with Etsy marketing is trying to get featured on the front page or along with the "Etsy Finds" they send out to their followers. To get on the front page you have to be featured in treasuries. To be featured in a lot treasuries you have to make a lot of them. THEN, to get that treasury featured on the front page you need keywords that fit the color or style or subject that is being featured that month. In my time there, more often than not, it was images like the bike that made the front page. (The front page is big for sales there.) For whatever reason, Etsy itself seems to draw customers for a certain style. Vintage or edited to look vintage is a common seller there. If you look at the top sellers most of them have an "Etsy Style" to their images.

Here, you market to get sales in a different manner. Sean picks the front page so it is up to us to get found in the search OR send people to our sites.

 

Posted by: Lawrence Supino on 01/30/2013 - 5:47 PM

Thanks JC…

Ok…I guess if I knew what the workings of Etsy was all about I’d understand more…but it seems to be a place that would drive me nuts…with the “finds”, “followers”, “treasures” and “subject of the month keywords”…oy vey… lol

From what I do know about etsy…it’s a place where a lot of hand made crafts and stuff is sold…so that might be “one” reason why the vintage look sells better (more often) there?

If the “Etsy style” is vintage…what is Faa’s style? ;)

And

Since this is the only pod I participate in at the time…is the Etsy way of putting images on the front page the norm... or is what Sean does the way it mostly works out there in the pod world?

 

Posted by: JC Findley on 01/30/2013 - 5:52 PM

I actually have no idea about other PoD front pages as this is the only one I am familiar with.

I don't think there is a "style" that sells best on FAA and it seems to me there is room for everyone and every style. I think the difference is that most that sell well on Etsy HAVE a specific style and everything else kind of sits in the back unless you are really good at marketing.

 

Posted by: Roy Erickson on 01/30/2013 - 5:53 PM

I've never done Etsy - although I've been there. Here you are selling the image - FAA does the work. On ETSY - wouldn't you have to have the image printed and in hand to sell to the buyer? and do all the packing and shipping yourself?

 

Posted by: Lawrence Supino on 01/30/2013 - 5:58 PM

Thanks...yeah I think I'm gonna blame it all on the "craft" people ;)....

(which btw I need to go find a place to donate a bunch of craft stuff to (which were my mom's)

and I agree...many styles seem to be capable of selling here.

 

Posted by: JC Findley on 01/30/2013 - 6:01 PM

Yes, Roy, which in an mostly 8x10 market, can really cut into your $/hour rate since you do it all.

 

Posted by: Brian Wallace on 01/30/2013 - 6:35 PM

If you can, through logic and assumption, presume certain subject matter is identified more closely with a more densely populated area, for instance... The iconic marble steps associated with row homes in the city of Baltimore, MD., or Baltimore's Federal Hill, Inner Harbor, etc., then I believe the chances increase for selling those scenes to people living there due primarily by the increased population a city has. I suppose the tangible "right price" also factors in just as quality and composition do but most people want to buy something they identify with. If they're Sci-Fi buffs, they lean toward fantasy, science fiction, and space images. Movie buffs may lean toward celebrity portraits, and movie posters. Country people toward horses, cowboys, boots, etc. We may not always see the market group inside FAA but there are real communities that have interests in those kind of specific genre'.

When I began in FAA and finally sold my first four images, half of what I sold had to do with 3D stereo, yet on FAA I was the only member that had 3D stereo images uploaded. There is a 3D stereo community outside of FAA, it is world-wide and increasing daily.

I had one potential buyer email me that he liked a certain type of image I had available but he wanted it grayscale. I told him I could make any picture grayscale and offered to go back to the area he had in mind and take more images of what he liked in a higher resolution. He never responded back. It might have been my frankness in telling him upfront that the image was low resolution but that I was willing to re-shoot the image. It probably would not have been printed knowing now, how strict FAA's printing department is. Don't get me wrong, I like that they are dedicated to high quality and think this reputation will go a long way in the long run. I do have concern however that the printing department is deciding to cancel orders rather than the customer. Also, I never know if the customer is told a smaller size may view better, or possibly a similar better quality image of the same subject, etc.

My last email from the printing department just the other day said, "Congratulations on your recent order for South For The Winter!

Unfortunately, there is a problem with your image that will prevent us from making a high-quality print:

The image is very pixelated at the size ordered.

You need to reshoot the image using a high-resolution camera (12 megapixels) and tripod in outdoor lighting. Â Â Â Please note - camera phones, iphones, ipads, and similar devices are NOT suitable for producing high-quality prints. Â Â Â You need use a true digital camera with zoom and focus controls."


Maybe this is a new strategy they're incorporating to obtain the results they want. They used to just ask if you had a copy of the image in RAW format and to try and fix the pixelation and change out the image in FAA.

Although I could not see the pixelation problem they said was so prevalent, I used the original image which was shot with a 10 MP DSLR, reprocessed the image and they accepted it saying it was better and would be sent for printing.

Besides, I hope they don't REALLY expect me to reshoot an image of geese flying past the mast of a boat in the late misty evening or go out and buy a camera with two more megapixels than what I already have.

 

Posted by: Dan Carmichael on 01/31/2013 - 8:38 AM

One thing I have found useful is to simply look at the main page of a POD and see what is promoted. This assumes each POD knows what sells best on their own system, and if so, it would also follow that they would not promote what sells poorly, but rather they would promote styles that sell well.

If you look at the front pages of FAA and Red Bubble, for example, you will see a constant leaning toward edgy, surreal, abstract, vintage, etc. Rarely will you see what might be called a "sweeping, stunning" landscape, I.e., the stunning shot of Yosemite Falls, Arches NP, etc.

Again, of course, this is all based on the assumption the POD knows what moves best.

Etsy? As has been discussed in other threads here, is becoming less and less a place to sell art. Do the same thing there - look at the front page. If you see ANY 2- or 3-dimensional art AT ALL, it is a rare occasion. It's all crafts. Why? Again the assumption: they know what sells best on their own site.

 

Posted by: Shawn Dall on 01/31/2013 - 9:38 AM

its not so much about what you do, but more about who you are.

 

Posted by: Charles Kozierok on 01/31/2013 - 9:55 AM

Go to my profile. Look at my photos. Upload photos that look nothing like mine.

There, you're on the right track. :D

 

Posted by: Ginny Schmidt on 01/31/2013 - 9:56 AM

The artwork I have sold on POD sites has been photographs in the realism category - mostly scenic with trees and stuff but one of a white building lit up at night. The artwork I have sold on Etsy has been digitally created abstract work that I had printed on canvas and mounted myself onto stretcher bars. Not sure if that is coincidence or not, so I continue to post all kinds of work on every site I belong to. People will gravitate to what appeals to them.

 

Posted by: Sonja Quintero on 01/31/2013 - 10:27 AM

Thanks for the replies everyone! I was just curios to see what everyone's thoughts were on it. I do definitely think Etsy's best selling photos tend to be more "decorative" and "vintage" - i think those are the right words to describe them!

It's just that I photograph various types of subject matter and I want my online shops to be distinctive from one another. So, I think that's how I'm going to continue to approach it.

Good one, Charles! :)

 

Posted by: Dan Carmichael on 01/31/2013 - 10:55 AM

Thanks, Mike.

I have begun going thru all my titles one at a time and looking for those with dashes. So far, any I have found with dashes have not generated a page title with two dashes.

 

This discussion is closed.