Hi all- just checking in after a few months away. (I am still watching my weight, have not gained it back). I have been concentrating on my photography and have been approved to sell my cards and framed prints at an outdoor table at the market square across the street from my condo. I am selling my 4x6 prints on beautiful card stock, with matching envelopes in plastic sleeves, plus larger 8x10 and 8x12 photos, maybe a couple 5x7s, in black wood frames with white mats. I had some canvas tote bags printed with one of my photos, if customers wish to buy one or use it to take a framed photo home.
A lot of time, effort, money and frustration up front to get this organized, as I guess is normal for any small business or artistic endeavor where someone is trying to start up, sell their work. I have wasted too much money on digital printing that was too dark, colour off, at various photography stores and on-line. My computer color settings are in RGB printing mode and still there are differences between what I see on my computer and the finished print. I finally found a good place but then they changed their printing machine and the colour/contrast in the last batch was off, some photos not sellable. Then there is the disagreement with staff that do not see anything majorly wrong with the photos. But I know what they SHOULD look like in order to feel good about what I am selling. Now I am trying another place. Not so easy for me to go all over the city looking for the right print quality, but I an confident it is out there.
I do have over 100 photo cards in their plastic sleeves ready to go plus a number of framed photos. I am concentrating on flower and garden shots taken in my city park, city views from my condo roof, photos taken at Toronto Islands and a few street scenes. Hopefully tourists and locals will like the city views and the pretty flowers. My friends and family think they are beautiful, definitely sellable, and I am excited that I have produced something original and artistic.
When I was thinking about my retirement, dragging myself to my office job in the morning, passing by the market tables, I could see myself there selling something, but had no idea what. I knew I wanted to take more painting classes and I bought my first digital camera.
Upon retirement I ordered a batch of 500 business cards printed up with my name, my photo of pink tulips, and the words "painting and photography". So this was my direction, my vision, my focus, plus I had to have a reason to give out all those business cards!
I started taking photos in my area, in the park, eventually had a photo show at a bookstore gallery last year, sold several, and I am still out taking new photos every week. I have been taking landscape painting classes and am slowly improving. But my photography is what I am happiest at and most confident about, and many of my photos are starting to look like paintings anyway.
Now to find a date when it is not extremely hot and humid out and book my table for that day. I am aiming for next Saturday if it does not rain. There are usually spaces left. I do not want to have a 6 month rental agreement, be out there every Saturday or week day for the season. I will pick either a Saturday in the north market square under canvas tent and trees, or a weekday on the south side of the street in front of historic St Lawrence Market where the tourist buses stop and it is shady til 3pm.
The regulars say business is not that good these days at the tables but I am not expecting to make a lot of money anyway, happy enough to get back the money I spent so far. Less hassle and more fun than a gallery show too, although I might do that again. If I do sell more than expected, enough for me to keep printing more photos, making more cards, buying more frames, do I want to keep doing this? Time will tell. Something to keep me busy, feel pride in what I have produced, and chance to chat with other vendors and potential customers who stop by my table. Better than being inside alone, eating something I shouldn't, or sitting at the computer all day.
I am not participating on Sparks right now, maybe I will be back entering my food again later on this year, and will check in from time to time. Wishing everyone a great summer with pleasant temperatures and sunny weather.
Keep up with your healthy eating and exercise programs!
YOU CAN DO IT!! HUGS!