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The Journey

May 6, 2011

I’ve been a part-time photographer for a few years now and have enjoyed all the opportunities I have had over the years. Recently I’ve had lots of requests from clients and friends who are interested in purchasing some of my fine art photographs so I’ve been working diligently to make prints and other photo products, like canvas and gallery wraps available on my website.

Easier said than done.

Here have been a few of the struggles I have personally faced in the process. Maybe other photographers can relate to these or maybe I’ll just look like the rookie that I am by sharing this. But I’m all about being open and honest. I never claim to be great at what I do…I just love what I do. I’ve made plenty of blunders along the way, but I think I’ve learned and have grown because of them. So here are a few problems I’ve been dealing with through this updating process….

1. What printing lab to go with? Who has the best rates, the best customer service, the best products, etc. I’ve searched endlessly on forums and have researched and compared so many companies and although I think I’ve finally settled on one I can’t help but wonder “Is there one out there I’m missing? Could there be a better company I’m not aware of?” The company I formerly used was OK, but they didn’t offer all of the things I was looking for. I think I’ve found a better fit.

2. How/Where to sell my artwork online? What’s the most user-friendly way to sell my prints? How can I streamline my website so that everything is cohesive and is not only easy to order but looks professional as far as presentation? What’s the most cost-effective and convenient way to go about doing this? I have been able to come up with the best solution here but it was just another step that took a lot of thought and comparison before making a final decision.

3. What to charge? This has probably been the most challenging for me. I don’t want to cheat myself by pricing products too low, but I definitely don’t want to turn people off because they see a number larger than they’re willing to pay. Finding middle ground is hard. I’ve been comparing what other photographers charge and I have to say…some are just outrageous! I will definitely be on the affordable side of things. In fact, I will probably be cheating myself a little bit, but I’m OK with that. I am certainly not in it for the money. If I make money, great, if not…I’m still doing what I love.

4. Learning how to manage this new aspect of my business. I had a system for photographing clients before our move overseas. But this change adds a whole new element where I have had to learn new skills from scratch. I haven’t taken a class, I haven’t had anyone help me or show me how to make sure everything runs smoothly. I’m literally learning as I go. And while I’ve had some stumbles, and much frustration along the way I haven’t let it discourage me. I will admit that I am proud of how far I’ve come already considering I’ve had no formal training. I don’t typically give myself credit for a lot of things, but I know how hard I’ve been working on this and I can feel satisfaction just in knowing I gave it my best.

I do hope that my work is well-received too though! 🙂

I still have a few kinks to work out before I go live with the new website but I’m getting close! I’ll definitely announce when it’s live! Thank you for your continued support. It truly means the world to me!

If there are any photographers out there who would like to share some of their advice or experience with this rookie, please leave a comment or shoot me an email. I’d love to swap stories and help build each other up!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2011 8:09 pm

    We use Millers for our prints. I know some people who use WHCC (White House Custom Color) and are very happy with them. MPix Pro has also become quite popular. They are a child company of Millers, so I’m sure the quality is equally as good.

    We love Millers. They have great quality, a super-quick turn-around time, and are very cost-competitive.

    Email me if you have more questions or want any more details. Hope you guys are doing fantastic in Switzerland. Give Jared my love. 🙂

    • behindalensphotos permalink*
      May 16, 2011 8:56 pm

      Thanks Brandon! I actually did look into Miller’s because I heard lots of good reviews but unfortunately they don’t accept accounts from outside the United States. So I ended up going with WHCC for that reason. They have excellent quality and quick turn-around for comparable prices. I love their drop ship option too. I appreciate how you are always open to “talk shop” Oh and our offer still stands…come visit us any time! 🙂

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