Selling Prints, Support and Survival

 There are a handful of photographers that I speak to on a regular basis and our conversation usually steers towards selling prints, support and survival as photographers. None of us have regular jobs and all of us have tried to survive from our art but lately have found it more difficult if not impossible to do so. They vary in the stages of their careers with time ranging from 15 to to almost 50 years as a photographer. The consensus is that over the last three years we've seen a decline in print sales with much of the blame being put on a generation that doesn't understand photography as a form of art, mostly they all think they're photographers themselves because they own a smartphone and an instagram account. The blame being put more squarely on instagram itself where it's hard not to find an endless supply of people with "DM for print sales" in their bios. The photos rarely sell for more than $50 and are usually sold through a printing service. The result is damage to the support system that photographers whose prints have sold for hundreds or thousands of dollars. Real prints done by the photographer themselves whether inkjet or darkroom, signed and maybe editioned...not massed produced out of the photographers quality control in an Etsy or IKEA like fashion. The threat to photography and photographers ecosystem as an art forum continues its downward spiral.


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