In a previous post I began talking about creating series of photos, especially if you sell your work. And for all of you who attended my "Shooting & Selling" classes, this is what I was emphasizing way back then -- that it's often easier to sell a series of decent photos depicting the life cycle of a monarch butterfly, say, than to sell one exquisite shot of a monarch butterfly.
It's wonderful when one brilliant photo can tell a story, isn't it? It's what we dream of. But how often does that happen? Probably not as often as we wish. So here's where creating a series (whether intentionally or not) can really work for you. As an example:
Until last month we lived on the Oregon coast, and one of my delights was to wander around the fishing boats photographing colorful buoys and piles of nets. We were there 13 years, and I never tired of it. The result is that I have a lot of photos of buoys and nets. I didn't think of creating a series of shots; I was just shooting what I loved.
I uploaded a fair number to Fine Art America, not knowing if there was anyone as weird as I who would appreciate these pictures. But yes (hooray), I've sold a lot.
Whenever FAA sells one of my photos, I get an email announcement on my cellphone letting me know. And no matter how many pictures I sell, I love hearing that little "ding" and seeing that another sale just came through.
A week or so ago I heard my cellphone ding. And then ding again. And again. And again. Seven quick dings in a row. I figured something was wrong. Checked to see. Nope, something was very right. Seven announcements in a row from Fine Art America letting me know that someone in New York had just purchased the pictures you see here.
Now how cool is that? If I had just uploaded one buoy shot to FAA, or one shot of fishing nets, maybe I would have made a sale. But because I had a lot to choose from, a series of shots, someone was encouraged to purchase more than just one.
Bottom line? If you're marketing your work, yes, go for the one brilliant shot that tells a story, but as you're doing that, be sure you create a lot of photos that, when seen together, tell another kind of story, or might look great scattered about a restaurant, or as a gallery in someone's living room. Follow your creative dream, but be smart about the marketing end as well.
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