Sunday, January 15, 2012

bristol harbourside market

I had another enjoyable day at the harbourside market yesterday (beautiful weather, despite starting off at minus 2C!)… and I'm very grateful for lots of friends dropping by to say hello, including: Tracey, Richard, Maria, Liz, Lou, Paul, Hroth, Emily, Loz and Nick (but sorry I missed you!)… and probably a few other wonderful, lovely people who I’ve forgotten!
After some four months of Saturday markets, running up to Christmas, I’d decided to have a break until the summer (with perhaps one or two exceptions). However, before doing so, I made a commitment to myself to have a couple of “January Sales” sessions. I’d become aware of just how many old mounted photographs/drawings I’d accumulated (and not sold!) over recent years – and that it was probably time I got rid of them!
It transpired that I actually had 114 pieces of work (I counted them!) and so yesterday was the first of my two “studio clearance days” (complete with banner explaining this to the punters!). I decided to put a £5 pricetag on all of the photographs and £15 on the drawings/paintings. In the end, I sold a total of 35 pieces of work - 34 photos and one drawing (the latter, one of my favourites, reduced from £50 – actually, I’ve just realised that it’s the one at the bottom right hand side of my photograph)).
It’s given me much food for thought:
• It’s NOT worth trying to sell one-off original drawings/paintings for £15 (despite them not selling anyway!) – I feel it devalues their true worth (doesn’t that sound pretentious!!).
• However, it has made me think again about the pricing of my photographs. Although I always note that each of them are one of a series of 10, I only occasionally ever print more than two or three copies. Maybe I SHOULD consciously be prepared to produce a number of mounted prints and sell them “cheap” (on the basis that I would therefore sell more?)?
• I probably couldn’t sustain a cost as low as £5, but maybe £10 (ie. less than “normal” price of £15)?
• Was yesterday just a one-off? It’ll be interesting to see how next Saturday’s market goes (the last of my “January Sales”).
• Were people only buying on the basis that they felt they were getting a good deal?
• Were people only buying on the basis that it was a “Sale” and that they mustn’t miss a “bargain”?
Photo: our hall at home in preparation for the “Sale”.
PS: No less than SEVEN of my photographs ended up in the hands of ONE family! First of all I had a 15 year-old(?) coming up to me and saying how much she loved the photos… then her mother appears and tells me that her daughter is desperate to pursue photography as a career and wanted me to advise her what she should do to achieve this (clearly, I had to explain that I hadn’t a clue!)(but I WAS very encouraging). The daughter ended up buying four photographs and then, about 10 minutes later, her aunt returned with the girl’s mother and bought three more images!! Very sweet… and slightly embarrassing. In 20 years time, the girl will probably be giving interviews to respected journalists explaining her successful career in photography can all be put down to a conversation with an old bloke at a Bristol market stall…

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