Wanting to know more about how photographers sell their own work I have been reading “How Photographs are Sold” (Briot, 2014[i]). In this Briot gives examples from his own career as a fine art landscape photographer of his process, and what has/hasn’t worked for him regarding selling and marketing his work, as well as from other fine art photographers. From what I have read so far, I can see there are various methods of selling one’s own work, and what works for one photographer may not work for another due to factors such has target audience, location, product being offered etc. For many establishing the right method for them (for example via a gallery, or a private studio, online, or through a photo agency) seems have been a process of trial and error. This has given me some ideas for options to explore/investigate, and possibly try out. It has also given me some more ideas for how and what to include in my project. Briot states in his book, “people purchase photographs for emotional reasons” (pg26). They don’t buy a photo because of the camera it was taken on they buy it because they respond to it emotionally. In this same way I want viewers to respond to my project because of what it makes them feel, what it says to them, not because of how it was produced. I want and need to find ways for my photos, both subject matter and in editing, to elicit an emotional response in the viewer.
After last week’s exercise in taking a photo a day, and noticing how important time outdoors is to me, and how the time outdoors makes me feel, I went out the other day to try to capture that feeling in an image. This is one of the images I took that day.
It was at sunset in some woods near my home. My husband and I and hiked up this hill to see if we could get a good view of the sunset, and hoping that that clouds would clear a bit so we could see the sun. We were so lucky, as we got right to the top the clouds parted slightly and we were treated to this glorious sunset, with the fields below us bathed in orange light. In the foreground is my husband, resting on the roots of a tree and soaking in the view.
For me this image does capture that feeling of being outside in nature, with no cars or other people and just enjoying a moment of peaceful quiet contemplation. It would be interesting to see if someone who wasn’t there that day gets the same feeling from it, and I’m going to try to take a contrast image as well to see how that affects the message or interpretations of the image.
Copyright law and surrounding ethics seems to be such a contentious area in photography. Looking at the case of Prince v Cariou[ii] was interesting as whilst the law appeared to be on the side of Prince, and found him free of any claim of copyright infringement bought by Cariou, I personally feel that what Prince did was ethically wrong. And to be honest I don’t really understand how the law was on his side but then perhaps I need to know more about law to work that out.
I strongly feel that using someone else’s work without their prior permission is ethically and morally wrong – especially when not even acknowledging that the original work was by someone else. The works were altered, or appropriated to create something slightly different, but the basis was still someone else’s work.
It may all be a part of the photography world today, but I believe that people, amateurs and professionals alike, should be able to share photographs or art without the fear that it is going to be hijacked and appropriated by someone else – without permission.
[i] BRIOT, Alain. 2014. How Photographs Are Sold. California: Rocky Nook
- Last accessed 08Oct2017