Peggy Farren interviews fine art photographer Marty Hulsebos. Marty gives us tips and ideas about creating art, finding a niche, and getting noticed at an art show. Thanks for tuning into episode #81 of The Understand Photography Show!
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Understand Photography General Notes
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Interest in photography started spontaneously
Got the spark – then had to learn
Main interest is landscapes
Shot mostly color (film) in the beginning
Art shows requested his black & white images – “more artsy”
Made more unique by adding a warm tone
People like it
Tends to coordinate easier with decor
Regular B & W seems “cold”
“Art is from the heart. You FEEL it. First when you see the scene, and then again
when you compose it.”
Don’t shoot B & W from camera – convert it later in Lightroom
– camera B & W setting removes information that could be played with later in post processing
*LIGHTING* – low lighting has more drama, more contrast, more shadows and highlights
Direction – Shooting with the sun directly behind you creates flat lighting, no shadows, no drama
– Side lighting is great, shadows and highlights increase textures and interest
– Backlighting is challenging, but can be dramatic
– Customize your camera hood with your hand to help block direct sun for better contrast
– Can create wonderful effects: halos, through fog…
*Science Note* Dew point – the temperature when the air is saturated with water vapor. When humid air near the ground cools below its dew point, fog is formed. If the predicted temperature reaches the dew point there will be a high likelihood of morning fog. Some weather apps will give you temperatures and dew points. Using this information you may be able to predict whether the area you’re planning on photographing will have early morning fog.
Getting Started with Art Shows
Which shows are worth your time and effort?
– Juried shows, where you compete to get in, are higher quality
– Attend several different shows, see what kinds of things are there
- Resources to check out:
How do you get noticed at an Art show?
“You’re competing in an area where the market is saturated. You’ve got to find
something to set your work apart.”
Having something unique – a NICHE – helps you get in and pulls people to your art.
Unique use of lighting is a great way to set your photographs apart from others.
“The lighting and atmospheric conditions can make all the difference.”
Highly recommend starting small to see how it goes.
Single booths at small shows can range from $400 to $600
Big shows can cost up to $3200 for a double-booth.
Wall background color depends on the work you’re showcasing.
A richly colored wall may draw the eye away from your images.
What sizes to take with you
The local demographic may not sell larger pieces, but the larger pieces are what draw people in to your booth.
Have smaller pieces available for those looking to fill small spaces or those that are traveling. Taking a small piece home may encourage them to look to you for larger pieces later.
Marty takes some matted and framed, some matted and unframed, some metal – unframed but ready to hang in various sizes (8×12, 12×18)
How do you choose which images to take with you?
“I ask my wife.”
Think like an interior decorator. Know what colors are easier to decorate with.
“Feed your own passion. If it moves you, that’s the starting point to moving others.”
How do you determine prices?
It’s a balance between what the market will bear, what other people are charging, and what it cost you to make it.
There is a limit to how high you can set your price – but DON’T UNDERSELL!
Experiment with prices.
Raise your price from one year to the next. If people see that your work is ‘worth more’ than the previous year, it may encourage them to buy before the price goes up further.
Limited editions or numbered prints only create interest for a few people.
“The most important thing is that people like your art – that it hits their heart.”
Tips for selling more
Create a list of all the people who buy from you and send out a newsletter by email with new images and lists of events you will be attending.
List the shows you are attending on your website.
Never assume that your picture can’t be made better – especially with Photoshop or Lightroom – pictures that might be thrown out can be taken to a whole new level.