Dave Looks Forward to a Life of Groveling

Posted on Mar 21, 2012 in The Photography

Oh: you’ll see the $4.95 beneath each large image in the store: www.BeckermanPhoto.com And maybe you can think of it as an investment. Buy very low… sell very high.

* * *

Almost a million G Plussers, and for the life of me, after studying when the best time to post is, after tailoring the the downloads to the mass of G Plussers – this time the orders for download files trickles in. TRICKLES IN!  Why?  How can you post something that goes out to a million people who have almost universally enjoyed, commented, +1′d, shared, and given you approbation like you can believe – and yet not go to see how they could get the print file for $4.95?  I have a feeling that this isn’t the sort of thing to post.  But I’ve been nothing except honest in the blog – and I’ll stick to that motto.

Is it because I screwed up the magical pricepoint of 3.95 by making it 4.95? Why doesn’t it get shared and go viral.

I’m not doing this for fun. Rent is due – and the IRS will be on my tail soon. I’ve worked as hard as I could at this business for 13 years and the only really sure-fire (at least so far) discount is when the price on prints that I make are slashed.

It’s more than disconcerting – it’s downright frightening. At this rate, my next job (if I’m lucky) will be more web design in WordPress if anyone still wants an ancient guy (approaching 61). Yesterday I was always the youngest kid in every class. Now I’m the oldest.

Just a warning – if I can’t get this download thing to take off; my next hope is the slashing costs on prints; and then when all else is lost I’ll have to beg and grovel with friends and family. Begging and groveling to get past this time. In about a year and a half I get Social Security and that will take care of my rent. I can trim down services and make enough through the site to take care of the other costs and live pretty well – though frugally at that point.

Two sales at once will seem desperate and if you are desperate it means that you are failing, and if you are failing it means that your work isn’t very good. That’s the train of thought. But it’s so wrong. Most great artists failed. Unfortunately, so did a lot of very bad artists :)

So stayed tuned – I may have to grovel with you soon. And I’m not very good at it. I have never thrown myself at anyone’s feet. Do people do that anymore in the west. I’ve seen it often in Indian films – Kipling stories etc. Please Sahib, just a rupee.

My only excuse, and this can go pretty far (if you think about it) is: I was born this way. I’ve struggled with the creative and responsible sides of my soul for as long as I can remember. And it hasn’t ended.

Well – I know everyone has their own needs – their own kids – their own emergencies to look after – but keep an eye out – I can only see this ending in the short term with serious cyber- and personal-groveling.

Oh: you’ll see the $4.95 beneath each large image in the store: www.BeckermanPhoto.com And maybe you can think of it as an investment. Buy very low… sell very high.


  1. Michael Roche
    March 22, 2012

    Dave,it could as you say be because of several reasons!!

    1]maybe people who frequent the “web” just don’t print large prints to hang on a wall?
    2]maybe the product is not suitable for the target audience i.e. too high class more suited to galleries?
    3]maybe you’ve devalued the product/art by selling at such a low price ?
    4]maybe you should take advantage of more free time [less printing & packaging] and get out and produce more photography ?
    5]maybe I don’t know zilch and you should ignore my advice ?

    Hope you work it out as I value you presence on the web and love you’r pictures, I’ve got “Poet’s Walk in Winter” on my wall which I paid the outrageous price of $25 for , just kidding I was glad to get it for such a good price it’s one of my favourites of all time.

    Regards Michael.

  2. Lester
    March 22, 2012

    I have a couple of Beckermans hanging on my bedroom walls and just purchased a color set of downloads. I don’t understand why, with so many avid followers, you don’t have more sales. Is it possible that in order to break into the stratosphere of high art, you have to produce more outrageous images?

    Yesterday, I was watching the news and they interviewed a photographer about her work currently display in a Long Island gallery. I couldn’t believe what I saw. Her photos were huge close up photos of dust. Yes, dust! And instead of beautifully detailed microscopic photos, they were so out of focus that all you could see were amorphous blurs. She was probably charging thousands of dollars for these blown-up, blurry pictures of dust.

    The Megamillions lottery is up to 290 million dollars and I promise you Dave that if I win, I am going to buy a big shore house and fill the walls with Beckermans. Until then, the only thing I can offer you is commiseration and a few meager purchases. Oh, and I also have a bedroom floor full of plenty of dust.

  3. Dave Beckerman
    March 22, 2012

    Yes. This month, really the last year, have been a wake-up call. The digital sale goes very well. But I can see that the ability to convert G+ circlers into purchasers is like looking for needles in haystacks, even at these prices.

    What the answer is – nobody really knows. It won’t be this way forever, since I checked my social security and see that in 19 months I’ll be getting more than enough to pay the rent, and that will be all I ever needed. The business (such as it is) combined with Social Security will essentially put me on easy street. (It’s lucky that I made a lot of money when I worked, as that is averaged in to these last years of being an artist).

    There are several former students who are downloading just about everything in the store and asking for other images they remember from the blog. This download sale business plus S.S. is alone more than enough. Prints (if I do them any more) are gravy.

    It’s a terrible sad feeling to write about this stuff in public – things you should be ashamed of. Who – after all – writes about being broke? But it’s the result of what I consider to be a brave and noble decade. I will continue to write about it in the blog although I realize it may actually drive away even more readers. And there is a great history of going broke among artists and writers.

    Read up on Mark Twain. Yes, he was once the best selling, and perhaps wealthiest writer in the world. And yes, he went bankrupt. Not once. But several times. It wasn’t until a wealthy wall street guy decided to manage his affairs that he was able to come up for air.

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