It has been nearly a year to the day that I decided to turn a few images into a few prints and try to Del Boy my way into the world of retail.
Some of it has gone great, other times not so much but that's business I guess. But in all the peaks and pitfalls I think I have learned a little about this stuff so I decided to put together a foolproof guide to turning your photographs into products that sell; a roadmap riches beyond your wildest dreams if you will. **hyberbole alert**
Get over it by getting in it!
Firstly and most importantly you need to just do it. Whip off that metaphorical bathing suit and dive right in. You may feel exposed, a little cold on your collectibles but it will be worth it. So much time can be spent mulling over the who, what, where's and when's and before you know it the big idea has been eaten up by the tiny details. Of course knowing where the best place to buy your stuff is important but if you are like me and can get lost in the detail (I blame Photoshop), buying some stock gives a healthy "I'm in this" jolt to get you cruising to the next level. Having your work in your hand, a tangible piece of progress turns fleeting ideas to solid reality. It's the business equivalent of buying a plane ticket for your big adventure and from there it's so much easier.
Of course you still have to decide where to get your initial prints and because this will be one of the biggest barriers to making this whole thing happen I will give you a few solid options.
Some of the most popular print companies that always come up are metroimaging and Loxley Colour who I hear are fantastic but I settled on a little company called proamimaging.com. Apart from the fact they are the only lab to ever to win The Societies /SWPP 'Best Professional Lab' for 4 years running they are genuinely lovely people. They have a great system, really great prices and lightning fast process time which has helped me out massively. They also have a great forum covering any issues you can think of and failing that the folks there are always on hand to offer friendly advice. If you are a worrisome sort like me and have lots of questions this is a winner!
That's the who sorted, next up is the what size print to order and whether you want to mount them (I would say yes).
As more options doesn't necessarily equal more sales it's best to work with one size initially that's easy to frame. Make it easy for the buyer to say yes! Too many options leave too many opportunities to go away and "have a think about it". As most art purchases are based on impulse they require quick decisions, a fleeting moment of "why the hell not" so too much sensible thinking will lose that lovin' feeling. I mainly use 18x12 inch prints as they are large enough to have impact but easy to carry away and that's often a dealbreaker!
To make it even easier have them mounted and packaged ready too. I would try to offer a few options here for balance but there is really only one contender for me and that's Kadinsky Art . They do mount kits which have the mounts, backs and resealable bags which are everything you need to get selling. They are the best price I have found, top quality and do next day delivery almost as standard. They even have a video on how to mount them too (really worth a watch).
That's pretty much all you need to get going (don't forget acid free mounting tape) and even on a tight budget you can be ready for action with change from £100.
So step out unto the breach my friends, what's the worst that can happen? **bad metaphor alert**