On Selling Photos (Mostly)

Posted on Dec 16, 2010 in The Photography

1. It’s the people who ask the most questions, that almost never buy.

Is it possible to get this print in a slightly larger size?

2. If you put NO I DON’T DO FRAMING in header everywhere, you will get phone calls and email asking whether you do framing.

3. Nobody (except maybe one person) wants pictures that have a human face in it unless that face is famous or someone they know.

4. No matter how many images you offer of Central Park, someone always asks whether you have a picture of X which you don’t.

5. The actual customers of these photographs are fantastic people.  They write thank you notes, and even call just to say thank you for the photograph and how much so-and-so liked it.  You can go through 10 years in the corporate world without ever being genuinely thanked for something you did.

6. As soon as you say that a picture is out-of-stock because it’s sold out (limited edition) you will get requests for it.  Do you have anymore?

7. The best customers come from Texas.  I don’t know why.  I can’t explain it.  But I sell more to Texas residents than any other state; and the same Texas residents continue to buy, year after year.

I only have one more print to do and get out by Christmas, and I decided to pay off bills rather than buy any new equipment; going on the assumption that the economy is here to stay for a while.  Maybe for a long while.  People are showing up in soup kitchens wearing suits. That’s a bad omen.

Thanks to every one of you – just for keeping my spirits up – making fun of me – and giving me a sense of everyone that’s out there.  Now I’ve decided to publish all of my blog entries on WikiPhotoBlogs … just kidding.


  1. D. Brent Miller
    December 16, 2010

    Dave, THANK YOU for being so open and informative about the fine art business. YOU are the inspiration. Happy Holidays. -Brent

  2. dave
    December 16, 2010

    Thanks Brent. The open part – well – I’ve got to give my father some credit for that. Anyone that’s ever met him is amazed at how honest and unafraid he is to talk about anything, including the process of getting old (he’s 85 now). The other side of my family is more secretive. I think that I’ve told the story of how when I started the blog my sister said, Why would you write all this stuff about yourself? Who would be interested in reading what your life is about?

    Of course, all these years later – it’s clear to her – and I’m somewhat behind the curve in terms of what people are willing, or eager to post for the world.

    But yes – I hope you and everyone else has a happy holiday.

  3. Michael
    December 16, 2010

    And this is a Merry Christmas from England, where you have a loyal following, who have come to love New York through your photos. And your life. Thanks a lot, and all best. Michael

  4. Phill
    December 16, 2010

    You must have the patience of a saint Dave. I know just the questions I receive selling something on eBay can drive me nuts.

    Yes and a Merry Christmas from a wet and unseasonably cool Australia

  5. dave
    December 16, 2010

    Phill – I actually do have a lot of patience and determination. But I have to say – that I couldn’t deal with the questions on eBay. In general – 90% of my sales take place without a single question. And I mean even large orders of $1000 or more.

    But I have had email discussions over one single print that went on for a grand total of 40 back and forths. Someday, these should be published because they are hilarious in retrospect.

  6. Stephen Beay
    December 17, 2010


    Long may you take photos, blog and

    Yours is a wonderful blog that people
    can read secure in the knowledge that
    it won’t debar them from a career in
    the armed services, or government.

    If the CIA reads it they can only
    learn more about what it means to be

    Every good wish for the season.


    P.S. Do you have a panoramimic picture
    of Paris from your travels there? I
    would like it printed on Kodak
    Bromesco and framed in a similar style
    to that of D’ Vinci’s La Gioconda, as
    it was when my father saw it in the
    Musée du Louvre in 1933.

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