Episode 19 Show Notes: Opening Your Own Gallery ft. Jim Robellard

Peggy Farren 2017-01-14

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Here are the show notes for episode 19 of The Understand Photography Show:

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Show Notes for Episode 19: Opening Your Own Gallery ft. Jim Robellard

"Youv'e got to make a time committment to do it over a fairly long period of time, because consistency is important." - Jim Robellard

"REALLY REALLY learn your camera, get comfortable with it, and know all the little ins and outs." - Jim Robellard

Jim Robellard, in talking about his artist wife, Judy Chinski: "I'm the UAA: Unpaid Artist Assistant."

The Brush and Lens Gallery: Cuba Faces and Places exhibit
This Sunday, January 15 from 11am to 5pm ET.
3899 Mannix Drive, Suite 420
Naples, FL 34114

Episode 1 Show Notes from September 9: Bird Photography ft. Arthur Morris

Before opening your own gallery, start out competing with photography clubs. Then, start printing your work; the comparison of viewing a photo on the web versus printing shows huge differences. You'll learn what you do and don't like and adjust from there. Then you need to master framing and matting your photos. At that point, you can start showing your work at libraries, art shows, and galleries.

The progression of art shows:
- Local farmer's markets
- Art associations
- Juried shows

It is important to find a niche!

Some things you need to buy for an outdoor art show include a tent, sidewalls for the tent, bins for the "small stuff", and a Square to charge credit cards. It is relatively inexpensive. You should definitely buy a used tent! You also need a vehicle big enough to transport everything. There are services you can hire to put up your booth. Beware of damage, and buy gear to protect your art; think about how best to frame it.

In February, Carolyn Edlund and I are hosting a hands-on workshop: Sell Your Photography as Art!
Be sure to check out Episode 10 Show Notes from November 11: Selling Your Art ft. Carolyn Edlund.

Learn to tell the story of the photograph. An important part of the sales process is telling the story about where you took the photograph or the painting, the story behind it, the emotion behind it, etc.

A co-op gallery involves several people to 20-30 people sharing a gallery space. The benefit of this is sharing expenses (including lease cost, remodeling/decorating, and staffing gallery).

Before you sign a lease for your gallery, be sure to look at all the terms: whether you need to be open for business hours year-round, if you must have late business hours, etc.

Jim also mentioned flex [industrial] space: a smaller space with a large overhead door, and typically a walled-off space for office.

A few things you need to open your gallery:
- Become a business
- Figure out the accounting, sales tax
- Get a business license, registration
- LED lights
- A nice floor

How to get people to come to your gallery:
- Build your audience: social media, mailing lists, newsletters, etc.
- Sharing the backstory for you and your photographs/art
- Hosting special events

For someone trying to put together a portfolio, Jim stresses the importance of having confidence in your work and having your own style.

Jim's advice for pricing, whether or not you have a body of work: Look at the marketplace. What are competitors selling for? You''ll start out at the bottom end of that range because you're not known. Don't price too low! Take your costs into consideration: the gallery, frame, mat, print, etc. Ignore your cost of time creating the art. Then, you can learn where you can economize and get your prices more in line with the competition. Original art sold as one-of-a-kind is more expensive; photography prices are not one-of-a-kind and therefore are more competitive and not as high as a painting.

Jim and his wife buy their frames from www.pictureframes.com and www.framedestination.com. If you don't want to crop the image to predefined dimensions, if you want to crop the image however you think the photo would look best, you either have to get custom stretcher bars (for a canvas) or custom mat (for a frame).

Three levels of art consumers:
- Someone buying small pieces
- Someone decorating their home (specific size, color, emotion, etc)
- Art collector

The things that typically pay for your booth and some other costs are comprised of cards, calendars, little things; $20 products that wouldn't cover dinner necessarily but will cover your art show costs.

For big, expensive sales, you can give something little to the buyer as a freebie, like notecard size photos/prints.

How to determine what art to sell:
- Style
- Impactful pieces
- Follow design rules
- Presentation (framing, matting)

Contact Jim Robellard:

Check out Joey Waves' website before next week's show!

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With over 17 years as a full-time professional photographer, Peggy offers photography training through her training center, “Understand Photography”.

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