Fourteen Commandments for Fine Art Photography Marketing

The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be.
David Ogilvy

Introduction
Marketing is a challenge for most photographers. This is because it has very little to do with creating art. Many artists abhor marketing their work. Most have never studied marketing. I know. I was one of those artists. When I started selling my work I believed that marketing was putting a price tag on my work. No, cross that, because at first I did not even use price tags! Just deciding what price to charge for my work was was I considered to be marketing.

My early attempts at selling my work were rather disappointing to say the least. The lack of sales forced me to change my mind. I realized I had to study marketing or die trying to make a living as an artist. I did, and to make a long story short I became financially successful selling my work, making a six figure income only two years after taking the decision to embrace marketing.

In 2011 I published a book titled Marketing Fine Art Photography in which I detail how to market your fine art photography successfully and profitably. I wrote this book to save you from having to go through the tribulations I went through early in my career. The goal was to save you from having to attend the school of hard knocks, an institution whose door is better left unopened.

About this essay
The goal of this essay is not to repeat what I say in my book. The book is over 300 pages long and has 23 chapters so doing so would not be doable in a web essay anyways. Instead, the goal of this essay is to introduce you to some of the fundamental concepts of marketing. I selected 14 that I consider to be the most important. There are more, but those are a good start. The goal is also to get you interested in reading my book. The money you will spend buying it will be a minor expense compared to how much more money you will make if you do what I say in the book. Does this sound like a sales pitch?  You bet it does!  I am asking for the sale and if you wonder why you need to go directly to paragraph number 7.

About the 14 commandments below
Each of the 14 paragraphs below consist of a title followed by a short statement, usually one or two sentences long. The reason for these brief statements is to keep this essay interesting and to the point. If the information I am presenting here is not for you, then reading these will not have taken much of your time. If, on the other hand, you like the materials presented here and want to learn more about each of the 14 aspects of marketing listed below, then you need to purchase and read my book. Each of these points, and much more, are addressed in detail in my book, together with examples, photographs and more.

1 – Sell quality, not quantity
Art is a luxury, not a commodity. Luxury items are sold on the basis of quality, not on the basis of quantity.

2 – Don’t sell on the basis of price, sell on the basis of uniqueness
To achieve this you will need to work hard at developing a personal style that is unique to you.

3 – Don’t be faceless: show yourself
At shows, be present in your booth. On the web, show a shoulder-up portrait of yourself on your website, on your artist statement, on your Facebook page and everywhere else you have a presence and sell your work.

4 – Increase your prices regularly
Everything increases in price and therefore so do your expenses. If you don’t increase your prices you eventually reduce your income.

5 – Don’t be passive:  take charge of your business
Enforce your policies and don’t try to be all things to all people.

6 – Think like a business owner
Think like a business owner, not like an employee. Business owners are responsible risk takers.

7 – Ask for the Sale
Don’t let potential customers walk away without trying to close the sale. The least often asked question in sales is ‘do you want to purchase this product or service?’ Make it your most often asked question!

8 – Know your audience
You are not selling to a faceless crowd, you are selling to people who like you and your work. Learn who they are and know why they like what you do.

9 – Sell emotion
Sell emotions, not gear and technique. People purchase photographs for emotional reasons, not logical reasons. Print size, camera used, printer, ink paper, etc. do not sell photographs. Beauty, emotional impact, meaningfulness and other emotional reasons do.

10 – Never stop marketing
Market when business is great and market when business is poor!

11 – Believe in Yourself
Believe that you can. Whether you believe you can do it, or whether you believe you cannot do it, you are correct!

12 – Show what you want to sell
You sell what you show. Therefore show what you want to sell. You can’t show all the photographs you have taken, so you will need to make a selection!

13 – Offer packages
Packages always outsell a la carte. This means that a package price for 3 or more photographs, for example, will sell better than 3 single photographs. You can offer packages of photographs in any quantity from 2 to 10 or more.

14 – Attend my Marketing and Business success seminar
You can’t re-invent the wheel.  Well, let me restate that: you can try to reinvent the wheel, but what’s the point?  It has already been invented and it is best to use the one that’s already there.  Can you improve on it?  Sure, but you must have one first!

The ‘wheel’ in this instance are the techniques used to sell fine art photography successfully.  These are techniques I use (I am successful in case you don’t know me).  Not the techniques unsuccessful photographers use.

There a lot more unsuccessful fine art photographers than successful fine art photographers.  A lot more!

How do you know who is successful and who isn’t?  Look at prices and regularity of sales.  I sell fine art photographs at high prices and I do so on a constant basis, meaning I have regular, high-priced sales.

Why is that the key to success?  Because in fine art you make more money by charging more for your artwork.  You don’t make more money by charging low prices and making up the loss on volume.  That’s what unsuccessful photographers believe and try to do.  It does not work because there is no volume.

Selling art is a low volume business!  What happens if you lower your prices is you make less money, that’s all.  And because prices define how good you are (meaning people decide how good you are based on your prices), you lose most of the interested buyers.  They want quality and you don’t have it in their eyes.  Even though your work may be great, your prices say that it is not good.

So how do you ask high prices, get people to pay them, and get people tobuy from you regularly?  Not easy heh?  You may have tried so you know how hard it is.  The answer fits in 3 words: attend my seminar.  I’ll teach you how.  Here is the link to the description and registration information:

http://www.beautiful-landscape.com/Workshop-Marketing.html

I even have a special offer to entice you to attend. Just keep in mind that by attending you are doing yourself a favor by giving yourself the keys to success. Of course I appreciate your business, but I will continue to do great whether you attend or not.  What matters is your well-being, not mine.  Do yourself a favor, make yourself a gift, and join me in learning how to outdo all the unsuccessful photographers out there.

15 – Buy my book

If you can’t make it to the seminar buy my book Marketing Fine Art Photography  because it expands on the concepts presented here. It is totally outdated compared to the seminar, and it won’t give you the techniques that work today, but it is a best seller and it will teach you the basics of success in selling art.  To be truly competitive in today’s economic environment you will need to attend the Seminar, but if you can’t attend for whatever reason this is a start:

Marketing Fine Art Photography by Alain Briot
eBook link
Physical book link

About Alain Briot
I create fine art photographs, teach workshops and offer DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. I am the author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style and Marketing Fine Art Photography. All 3 books are available as printed books on Amazon.com and as eBooks on my website at this link: http://beautiful-landscape.com/Ebooks-Books-1-2-3.html

You can find more information about my work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to my Free Monthly Newsletter on my website. To subscribe simply go to http://www.beautiful-landscape.com and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page. You will receive 40 free essays in eBook format immediately after subscribing.

I welcome your comments on this essay as well as on my other essays. You can reach me directly by emailing me at alain@beautiful-landscape.com.

Alain Briot
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
Get 40 Free eBooks when you sign up for my newsletter on my site

Creativity Top 12

Creativity Top 12
How to stand out from the crowd 

Introduction
Standing out among the ever-increasing number of photographers is becoming more and more difficult.  Gear and software are getting better and better.  Prices for photography hardware, software are consumables are getting more and more affordable.  Technical training is readily available. Information about locations that were once challenging to find is now just a google click away.

When everyone is photographing the same locations, knowing how to get to these locations is no longer an advantage.  When everyone has access to the same tools, and when these tools are both excellent and affordable, having these tools no longer gives us an advantage.  Mastering chemical photography involved owning gear that was expensive and  learning a process that was challenging. The large amount of time and money required to do this gave chemical photographers a significant advantage. Not so with digital.  While still expensive, digital photography gear is much more affordable than film-based gear.  Training, while still carrying a cost, is also much more affordable.  In addition, the number of teaching venues has literally exploded.

All this means that the advantage inherent in finding locations, owning equipment and knowing how to use it is no longer significant enough to create a noticeable difference between photographers.  As a result the gap between photographers is shriking and  it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out among the crowd. Furthermore, the number of photographers and the quality of their photographs is not only increasing, it is literally exploding.

However, being different is still possible.  The question is, how do you do it?  How do you stand out?  The answer is two folds.  First, you have to reconsider what are your true advantages.  It may be your personal experience, your background, your upbringing, a specific aspect of your training that nobody else has, a focus on art and technique rather than on technique alone, your connections, a unique expertise in a non-photographic field.  It may also be simply your attitude.

Second, in order to stand out in the environment that I just described you have to do things that the other photographers are not doing.  You have to create photographs that are different from everyone else.  Not because you used different gear and software, but because you used a different approach to creativity.

Creativity is the foundation that will enable you to create photographs that are different.  In turn, and over time, creativity will allow you to develop a photographic style that will be uniquely yours.  The development of a personal style and the demonstration of a personal vision are the ultimate goals.  By achieving these goals you will set yourself apart from the competition in a final manner.

These are long term goals and I address them during my workshops and in my Mastery Workshops on DVD tutorials.  In this essay my goal is to teach you how to become more creative.  Because creativity is a vast subject, I decided to narrow it down by writing a ‘Creativity Top 12’, a list of what I consider to be  the 12 most important aspects of creativity.  Here it is:

1 – Be interesting
Creativity is necessary to generate the interest of our audience and customers.  We will not generate their interest if we are not creative because people have become blasé about old ideas.  There are so many photographers out there that unless our work stands out as being interesting, different and unique we will not get much attention.

2 – Think differently
Being creative is about creating new things out of old things.  Taking old ideas that have proven to be effective in the past and re-inventing them by presenting them under a new appearance is the key to doing this successfully.

3 – Bring in the new
Creativity is an input-output, import-export business.  You can’t lock yourself in a room and expect to be creative all by yourself.  You have to be in contact with other artists and with other ways of doing things in order to foster creativity.  Think of this as a ‘creative think tank’ . The ‘water’ in the tank is the new ideas you bring in.  These new ideas that you bring in push out and replace the ‘old water’ that was previously in the tank.  By doing this regularly you have a constant flow of new ‘water,’ of new ideas.

4 – Get help
Learn from people who have solved problems similar to the ones you face.  Do not reinvent the wheel.  Instead, learn to use the wheel (metaphorically speaking) by studying with people who know how this is done.  The problem at hand here is how to create photographs that are different from everyone else.

5 – Set yourself free
You can’t be creative with your hands tied behind your back, metaphorically speaking.  To unleash your creativity you must cut yourself some slack.  To do so you need to decide what you are willing to do and not do in your work. Don’t be overly conservative.  Instead, push the boundaries and decide to do things you have not tried before or have hesitated doing until now.

6 – Ignore criticism
Creativity is fostered by self confidence.  You can’t be creative while being concerned with potential criticism at the same time.  In order to bring your creative ideas to life, you have to ignore criticism during the creative phase.  Their will be time to consider criticism later on, if and when it comes your way.

Sand Waterfall, Antelope Canyon, Arizona

7 – Get what you need
You need specific resources to give birth to your ideas.  These include classes, tutorials, tools and supplies.

8 – Engage your audience
You can’t be successful in a vacuum.  While your ideas don’t need to be interesting to everyone, they need to be interesting to your specific audience.  Engage in a dialogue with your audience.  Social media, blogging, live presentations, shows and personal conversations work well for this.

9 – Think simple
Simple ideas are easier to implement than complicated ideas.  Doing ‘simple’ is more difficult than doing ‘complicated.’  This is why most people do things complicated way. Learning to simplify takes time, but in the end it will save you massive amounts of time.  Saving time is the goal because we can’t make more time.  Therefore we need to learn how to use our time in the most efficient manner possible.

10 – Try it
Trying creative ideas is the key to success.  This is because there is other effective way of finding out which ideas will work and which ideas will not work. Only by trying new ideas will we find out which ideas work and which ideas do not work.

11 – Do it
Creativity means creating something, not just thinking of creating something!  This means that eventually you have to step up to the plate and get things done.  Create photographs, make prints, show your work to other people, write essays explaining why and how you do what you do and more.

12 – Defy authority
There’s ‘gurus’ out there that have been around and have achieved more than you have.  Just keep in mind that when they started these ‘gurus’ were in the same position you are in.  They were intimidated by  their own, older, ‘gurus.’  They hesitated to do things that had not been proven yet.  However, they succeeded because they did not let those ‘gurus’ intimidate them.  They defied authority and decided to do things their way. Do the same.

About Alain Briot
Alain Briot creates fine art photographs, teaches workshops and offers DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. Alain is the author of Mastering Landscape Photography. Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style and Marketing Fine Art Photography. All 3 books are available on as printed books Amazon.com and as eBooks on Alain’s website at this link: http://beautiful-landscape.com/Ebooks-Books-1-2-3.html

You can find more information about Alain’s work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to Alain’s Free Monthly Newsletter on his website at http://www.beautiful-landscape.com To subscribe simply go to http://www.beautiful-landscape.com and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page. You will receive information on downloading the table of contents, plus over 40 free essays by Alain, immediately after subscribing. Alain welcomes your comments on this essay as well as on his other essays available. You can reach Alain directly by emailing him at alain@beautiful-landscape.com.

Alain Briot
February 2013

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Fifteen Remarks on Fine Art Photography Composition

Fifteen Remarks on Fine Art Photography Composition

by
Alain Briot

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
Albert Einstein

Moonset at Sunrize, Zabriskie Point, Death Valley, California

Introduction
What are the most important aspects of composing a Fine Art Photograph?  The answer to this question certainly varies from photographer to photographer because each of us places more importance on some aspects than on others.  What follows is what I personally consider to be the most important aspects of Composition.

This list is excerpted from a longer list that I use for teaching during my workshops and seminars.  The decision to create a shorter list, with only 15 items instead of 37, stemmed from the desire to focus on the essential aspects of composing a fine art photograph regardless of the  subject we are studyphotograph or the specific project we are working on. The resulting list is free from a particular teaching emphasis and represents what I look for in a Fine Art Photograph.

1 – Composition is the strongest way of seeing
This is Edward Weston’s definition of composition
It is still my favorite definition of composition

2 – Composition is not just the placement of objects in the frame
Composition also involves using color, contrast and light
Composition includes post processing in the raw converter and in Photoshop

3 – The goal of composition is to express your vision and your emotional response to the scene
The goal of Fine Art Composition is not to create a documentary representation of the scene
Nor is it to create a photograph that is only technically perfect
The goal is to create an image that is superior, both expressively and technically
An image that demonstrate both mastery of vision and technical virtuosity

4 – What the camera captures is objective.  What the artist’s sees and feels are subjective
Take stock of your emotional response to the scene in front of you
Record those emotions in writing or in audio
Use light, color, contrast, composition and cropping to reproduce these emotions visually
Work on this both in the field and in the studio

5 – Think first about light
A photograph is only as good as the light you use
The subject is less important than the light that illuminates this subject
The best subject in bad light does not make for a good photograph

6 – Use foreground-background relationships
Find a great foreground and place it in front of a great background
Make sure your foreground is large enough to play an important role in the composition

7 – Contrast opposites elements
Human beings think and see in terms of opposites
Therefore this is something everyone can relate to

Examples of opposite elements include:

– Static / moving
– Young / old
– Large / small
– Organic / man made

Cottonwood Trees in Fall Colors, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

8 – Composing a fine art photograph is not about redoing what someone else has done before
If tempted to redo an image you have seen, just buy the postcard, the book or the poster
You cannot be someone else, therefore you cannot take the same photographs as someone else
You will waste time trying to do so
Instead, start to create your own images right away

9 – Being inspired and redoing someone else’s work are two different things
You can certainly be inspired by the work of other photographers
We have all been inspired by the work of other artists and photographers
This is an inherent aspect of the artistic process

10 – No amount of technology can make up for a lack of inspiration
Cameras and other gears are technical
Inspiration is artistic
The two exist on different planes
Achieving a Personal style in Fine Art means working as an artist not just as a technician

11 – People, not cameras, compose photographs
Certainly, a camera is a necessity
However, your camera cannot compose a photograph anymore than your car can drive itself
You are the one who composes your photographs, not your camera

12 – “Correct” is whatever works when the goal is to create fine art
There is no such thing as “the right thing” in art
“What is Art ?” is a question to which there are many answers
We therefore have to answer this question for ourselves
We are also bound to disagree with others because fine art is a polarized activity.

13 – Straight fine art prints are a myth
All fine art prints are a modification of the image recorded by the camera.
The composition of the image you started in the field is continued in the studio.
This is done through image optimization because colors, contrast, borders, image format, etc. are all part of composition.

14 – The “right” color balance is the strongest way of seeing color
There is no such thing as the “right” color balance in Fine Art
This is because color is one of the ways you express your emotional response to the scene
For this reason, the “right” color balance for a specific image will differ from one  photographer to the next

15 – The finest compositions are those you never saw until you created them
Recreating a composition you saw before is easy
Creating a brand new composition, one you have never seen before, is difficult
This is because doing so requires transforming the natural chaos into an organized image
It involves creating order out of chaos, as Elliott Porter said.

 

About Alain Briot
Alain Briot creates fine art photographs, teaches workshops and offers DVD tutorials on composition, raw conversion, optimization, printing, marketing photographs and more. Alain is also the author of Mastering Landscape Photography and Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style. All 3 books are available from Alain’s website as well as from Amazon and other bookstores.

You can find more information about Alain’s work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to Alain’s Free Monthly Newsletter on his website at http://www.beautiful-landscape.com. You will receive over 40 essays in PDF format, including chapters from Alain’s books, when you subscribe. You can also email your comments or questions to Alain at alain@beautiful-landscape.com

Alain Briot
Vistancia, Arizona
2013

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Alain Briot Personal Style Master Class Updates

Alain Briot Personal Style Master Class Updates
Belwo are the most recent updates made available for the Personal Style Master Class.  These updates are available in the Master Class Updates area on my site.  The link to the updates area was emailed to you when you placed your order.

If you do not have the Personal Style Master Class Workshop on DVD, a detailed description plus a free 20 pages eBook, plus pricing and ordering information are available at this link:  http://beautiful-landscape.com/Articles-DVD-Master-Class-SPO.html

Update #1 – I believe we have entered a new time for art.

Update #2 – Will there be a ‘Part 2’ to the Personal Style Master Class?
This update is in response to questions from Master Class owners about the fact that ‘Part 1’ is present in the title.

Update #3 – Is mastering HDR, texture layering and Instagram enough to create a style?

Update #4 – How long does it take to complete the Personal Style Master Class?

Update #5-  Which photography subjects does the Personal Style Master Class applies to?

If you do not have the Personal Style Master Class Workshop on DVD, a detailed description together with pricing and ordering information are available at this link:
http://beautiful-landscape.com/Articles-DVD-Master-Class-SPO.html 

Alain Briot
Vistancia, Arizona
January 2013
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com

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2012 Year-End Summary

2012 Year-End Summary

Introduction
This is a summary of my 2012 photographic activities.  This summary is organized by categories.  I have not offered a year-end summary before so this is something new to me.  I decided to do so this year because I believe it is interesting to take a look back at the most significant ‘happenings’ of 2012.

Print sales
2012 marked an increase in number of print sales over 2011.  Both individual prints and Portfolios went through several price increases in 2012, as we do each year, guaranteeing a continued increase in investment value to collectors of my work.

We decided to increase portfolio prices by $1000 each time a copy is sold.  This caused portfolios to reach their highest price point so far.

Investment value
Our regular price increases mean that all prints, Folios and Portfolios purchases increase in value regularly.  If you purchased a print, a Folio or a Portfolio from us the value of your investment has already increased. If you plan to purchase prints, Folios or Portfolios in the future the value of your investment will increase as well because our prices will continue to increase regularly.

You can see my print prices at this link.

Folios and Portfolios update
Folios and Portfolios are released in Limited Editions of 50 copies only. As of January 2013 only 3 copies of the Navajoland Portfolio remain available. The White Sands Folio sold out and is no longer available.

Folios and Portfolios are available in the Print of the month collection at this link.

Publishing
In 2012 I published the 5th Mastery Workshop on DVD: The Personal Style Master Class workshop on DVD.  This is an important release because this tutorial is completely different than the other 4 mastery DVDs.  It is also part 1 of a 2 part series, with part 2 scheduled for release this year, in 2013.  You can see the Mastery Workshop on DVD series at this link.

I published over 20 essays in 2012 on my website and blog as well as on Luminous-Landscape.com where Michael Reichmann publishes Briot’s View, my monthly column, on Naturephotographers.net where I am a Contributing Writer, on NatureScapes.net where I am  a Contributing Editor and on other websites.  These publications are in addition to the more than 75 essays written for the Personal Style Master Class Workshop on DVD series.

Consulting
2012 saw a significant increase in demand for my consulting program. So much so that I had to limit how many students I accept in this program to maintain the personalized attention and high standards I set for this program.  Details of my consulting program are available at this link for studio consulting and at this link for phone consulting.

Workshops
All our workshops sold out including the 9th Annual Fine Art Summit which was held in Zion this year. As an aside the first 3 workshops for 2013 are already sold out.  We have not cancelled a single workshop since we started our workshop program 10 years ago.  A full listing of our 2013 workshop program is available at this link.

Teaching Focus
The focus of our 2012 workshop program was Personal Style.  This focus complemented the new Personal Style Master Class Workshop on DVD and was very popular with our students, many of them working and developing a personal style.

The focus of our 2013 workshop program is Vision.  This new focus builds onto our 2012 focus, Personal Style, while expanding into a wider field of creative exploration.  More information will be available as the year goes on during our workshops, starting with the White Sands Workshop this March.  Stay tuned !

Student Achievements
We saw a noticeable increase in image quality from our students’ work.  Composition is where we saw the most increase.  Print quality is still one of the most challenging aspects of fine art photography.

A record number of students completed personal photography projects in 2012.  These include folios, portfolios, eBooks and self published books.  A number of these projects were completed in the context of my consulting program.  Many were started during our workshops and seminars.

Students in Business
A record number of students started selling their work in 2012.  At a recent show in Scottsdale, Arizona 3 of my students were selling their work at the same show.  Besides Arizona, our students are also selling their work in many states and countries.

This is no doubt due to the popularity of my book Marketing Fine Art Photography.  Each time I check the book listing on Amazon.com, it is in the top 10 books on Professional Photography.  Sales of the eBook version, which is available only on my website, also rank high.  It is also due to the support I provide through my Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD, my 1 on 1 consulting program and my Advanced Marketing Seminar which took place in Spring 2012.  This seminar was organized at our Country Club, Blackstone, in Peoria, Arizona and it was a wonderful event.

About Alain Briot
Alain Briot creates fine art photographs, teaches workshops and offers DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. Alain is the author of Mastering Landscape Photography. Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style and Marketing Fine Art Photography. All 3 books are available on as printed books Amazon.com and as eBooks on Alain’s website at this link: http://beautiful-landscape.com/Ebooks-Books-1-2-3.html

You can find more information about Alain’s work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to Alain’s Free Monthly Newsletter on his website at http://www.beautiful-landscape.com To subscribe simply go to http://www.beautiful-landscape.com and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page. You will receive information on downloading the table of contents, plus over 40 free essays by Alain, immediately after subscribing. Alain welcomes your comments on this essay as well as on his other essays available. You can reach Alain directly by emailing him at alain@beautiful-landscape.com.

Alain Briot
Vistancia, Arizona
January 2013


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Workshop Openings Update

Here are our current workshop openings:

 

1 – Our fall 2012 Workshops are sold out except for the Death Valley Workshop: 
http://beautiful-landscape.com/Workshop-Death-Valley-Fall-12.html

2 – Our 2013 workshops are filling out quickly. Here is the link to all of them: 
http://beautiful-landscape.com/Workshop-home.html

Email alain@beautiful-landscape.com with any questions or to register. Pricing and detailed information are available at the links above.

Best regards,

Alain
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com

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Grand Canyon Bright Angel Trail Poster by Alain Briot

Bright Angel Trail poster,
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

20″ x 39″
$35 only  – Free Shipping

I received your print today and just want to say: WOW! Yes, it is breathtaking.
I get some ooohs and ahhs from some of the work I print
but your print was awesome.
Keep up the good work. Thanks for running the special to entice some of us to sample what is possible with
current technology, skill, and a strong dedication to excellence. From the matting to the packaging it was a first class job.
Carl Fountain, Lakewood, California

The Photograph
The photograph on this poster shows the entire length of the Bright Angel Trail, from the South Rim to the North Rim. The photograph shows the trail starting near the El Tovar hotel, then going down through the Bright Angel Trail Switchbacks to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd resthouses and finally reaching the RedWall formation. Once past the Redwall the trail takes you to Indian Garden, where a campground and Ranger residences are located. From Indian Garden you can take a dead-end trail to Plateau Point, a breathtaking overlook over 1000 feet above the Colorado River and the Inner Gorge of the Grand Canyon. Or, you can continue your journey down Bright Angel Creek to the Colorado River which you will cross on the Suspension Bridge. From there it is a short hike to Phantom Ranch where you can spend one or several nights, either at the Ranch or at the campground. From there you can hike back to the South rim the way you came or via the Kaibab Trail. You can also hike all the way to the North Rim by hiking the North Kaibab Trail to Roaring Springs and then to the North Rim.

The Poster
This poster showcases this unique photograph showing the entire length of the trail from the South Rim to the North Rim. The poster faithfully reproduces the colors of the original fine art print. The size of the poster is 20×39. The lettering is particularly attractive and stretches the whole length of the poster.

Order this beautiful poster now for only $35 including shipping anywhere in the world!
a) Order with PayPal by clicking on the Paypal button above

b) Call toll free at 800-949-7983 or 928-252-2466 and place your order directly on our toll free hotline using any credit card.

c) Use the pdf order form. Click here to download your pdf emailable order form, fill in your shipping and credit card information and email it back 24 hrs a day. You can also return your order form by mail if you like.

Shipping
Shipping costs for this poster are included in the price. US orders are shipped via US Priority Mail insured and trackable. International and overseas orders are shipped via US Airmail insured. Your package is normally shipped the day after we receive your order.

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Each package is professionally packed and insured for its full value by us. We guarantee that you will receive your poster in perfect condition. If you receive your poster damaged simply contact us and then return the damaged photograph to us. We will ship you a new piece right away upon receipt of your returned poster at no extra cost.

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All purchases are covered by my unique 100% Take one year to decide money back guarantee. If you are not satisfied with your purchase for any reason just return it (in original condition) for a refund or credit. Take one year to decide.

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a) email your order form. Click here to download your pdf emailable order form, fill in your shipping and credit card information and email it back 24 hrs a day. You can also return your order form by mail if you like.

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Copyright © Alain Briot 2012

Alain Briot
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com

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2012 Photography Curriculum:

2012 Alain Briot Photography Workshops Curriculum

Developing a personal style is a process that starts with taking ownership of your artistic license. It continues with making specific aesthetic choices, very much like the technical choices you made when you purchased your camera equipment, software and other gear.

The process of developing a personal style culminates in claiming a personal position of power as artist and creating the art you want for the audience of your choice.  Being in control of your work, enjoying photography, and creating images you are proud of is the goal of this process.

In 2012 we are teaching this curriculum in our workshops in addition to teaching the  foundations of photography, including light, composition and technical mastery.

This curriculum is taught through presentations, factual print evaluations conducted individually, group discussions, classroom lectures and field photography work.

The goal of the workshop program is to help students discover their personal strengths and weaknesses. Once this is achieved, an individual plan of study is created to allow students to remediate weaknesses and capitalize on their strengths.

Our workshop program is listed on this page:
http://beautiful-landscape.com/Workshop-home.html

Alain Briot

Artistic License

Artistic License

Artistic License

by Alain Briot

 Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items
(often with symbolic significance)
in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses,
emotions and intellect.
Wikipedia

1 – Introduction
A few years ago I wrote and essay titled Just say Yes.  The purpose of this essay was to provide an answer to a question myself and other fine art photographers are asked repeatedly: do you manipulate your work?  In this essay I proposed that rather than argue endlessly and often fruitlessly about why we ‘manipulate’, we could simply answer ‘yes.’  Doing so answered the question and made the point that manipulation was an essential aspect of our work.

The purpose of the present essay is not to go back over this subject since I covered it extensively already.  Instead, my purpose is to cover something that I did not address in my previous essay and that is the reasons why we manipulate.  The point that I want to make is that we do not manipulate just because we feel like it.  Rather, we manipulate because manipulation is how we express our artistic license.  In other words, manipulation is a fundamental aspect of art.  In fact, we could say that manipulation is art, or conversely, that art is manipulation.

This concept is present in the word art itself.  Art is the prefix of words such as artifice or artificial.  These words point to the transformation created by the artist when going from reality to art.  Art is not real.   Art is an artifice, an invention, the product of the imagination and the creativity of the artist.  In short, expecting art to faithfully duplicate reality is a misconception, a misunderstanding of the very purpose of art.

The expression ‘artistic license’ says it all.  Artists are granted a license to manipulate reality.  This license consists of a large amount of freedom they can use to express themselves, to demonstrate their vision and share their emotions. However, one has to know how to use this artistic license. What is it exactly?  How do you use it?   How far can you go with it?

The Watchman, Zion National Park

 This photograph is a collage of three horizontal images taken with a super wide angle lens.  I could not have created this image with a single capture.  After stitching, I distorted the image to enlarge the foreground rock and also to increase the height of the Watchman, the mountain peak at the center top of the image, and make it more dominant and impressive.  I often say that if the National Park Service wanted to use my images in their brochures or displays they would first have to agree that my images would not show what people can see by themselves in the park.

2 – Different purposes
Photography has many purposes and this is at the root of the confusion some people experience in regards to the purpose of fine art photography.  Photography can be used to to create a visual record of documents and objects, it can be used as evidence in forensic investigations and in scientific research, it can be used in commercial photography to record weddings, to create portraits, to photograph products, architecture or fashion, to create art, and for a variety of other uses.

For example photographs used in forensic investigations, police work, court proceedings or scientific research are held to the highest standard of truth and accuracy in their depiction of the subject.  These photographs are documentary in nature and have no use for artistic license because their purpose is to record objects, events and locations in a factual manner.  To have value these photographs must be devoid of any kind of artistic interpretation and manipulation.  When creating these photographs the goal is to create a visual record in which the role of the photographer is limited to pressing the shutter.  In fact, in some instance the photographer is bypassed altogether and a machine is used to take the photograph.  This is the case in scientific recording when microscopes or other imaging devices are used.

Commercial photography such as product, fashion and architectural photographs are not held to the same rigid standards as forensic and scientific photography.  However, commercial photographs must still represent the subject faithfully.  Because these photographs are often used in advertising, it is essential that the audience recognizes the subject depicted in the images.  If the colors, shapes and other significant attributes of the subject are altered beyond recognition, the advertising will be ineffective because potential buyers will not be able to identify the product.  Therefore, while a certain artistic input is called for, there is a limit as to what the photographer can do.  Usually, this means using lighting, composition and location as variables to express a personal style.  Beyond that, things like changing colors or altering the shape of the products dramatically are simply out of the question.

Wedding and portrait photography do call for a certain amount of artistic license. In fact, clients select a specific wedding or portrait photographer largely because of his personal style.  This personal style, which is the implementation of artistic license in the work of a specific photographer, is what makes a photographer stand out among other photographer.  It is an important aspect of salability and therefore of commercial success. However, this personal style can only go so far.  Here too, just like with product, fashion and architectural photography, the subject, the people photographed, must be recognizable.  The bride’s gown has to be white (or whatever color it is in reality), the wedding participants have to be recognizable, and the people who sat for their portrait have to be shown in such a way that they are pleasing to look at.  In other words, clients must be shown in a positive way. They must look good!  Artistic license has its place in this type of photography, but it faces severe limitations.  Go beyond these limitations after being hired and you will not be paid.  Go regularly beyond these limitations and no one will hire you.

Many of the conflicts and difficulties that photographers experience come from not having clearly defined the purpose of their work. For example, if you want to submit your work to travel magazines, creating images that faithfully represent reality is important.  Travel magazine readers want to see images that realistically depict the places they plan to visit. They are not interested in artistic interpretations.  On the other hand, if you create realistic images it will be challenging to develop a personal style because artistic interpretation is one of the most significant ways of making your work unique.  Some artists do succeed in ‘straddling the fence’ by finding a way to be faithful to reality while using a certain amount of artistic license.  However, while this approach is satisfying to some for others it falls short of allowing them to use artistic license to its full potential.


Knotted Stream, Death Valley National Park

The knot-like appearance of this stream on the Death Valley Playa is what caused me to take this photograph.  However, back in my studio I realized that there were other streams that interfered with the visual knot-like effect.  I therefore decided to clone and heal these unwanted streams until I was left with the image I saw in my mind’s eye when I took the photograph.  While this image no longer shows what was really there, I consider it to be believable in the sense that it shows something that could exist.  Plus, it is certainly far more visually captivating that what was actually there. The problem with reality is that it is often far too real.  I use artistic license to make reality less real and more dream like.

3 – No contract
These different purposes, and the limitations they come with, contrast sharply with the purpose and ‘limitations’ of fine art photography. I say ‘limitations’ because in fine art photography there are none.  In fact, one of the purposes of fine art photography, which is similar to that of other fine arts, is to remove limitations so that the artist is free to create whatever he or she wishes to create.

This is possible because of the absence of a contract between the artist and his clients.  I am asked frequently if I consider the selling potential of a photograph in the field, at the time of capture. I don’t because I don’t need to.  Unlike a wedding, portrait, product, fashion or other commercial photographer, I do not work under the umbrella of a contract that calls for the creation of specific photographs.

While a product, wedding, portrait, fashion etc. photographer enters into a contract with a client prior to taking the photograph and must create photographs that meet his client’s desires, a fine art photographer creates images and looks for clients afterwards.  The two processes, when it comes to selling, are inverted.  While a product, wedding, etc. photographer is paid because he fulfilled his client’s request, a fine art photographer is paid because he expressed something unique that interested buyers relate to emotionally.

4 – Expression, not documentation

There are also significant differences in regards to the goals of fine art photography.  While the goal of most types of photography is to document reality, with or without creative license, the goal of fine art photography is to provide an outlet for the creative expression of the artist.

As a fine artist I have little interest in documenting reality as it is around me.  I see reality everyday and the last thing I want to do is to create reality-like images to hang on my walls.  If I want reality all I need to do is look out of the window.  Therefore, when I create art my goal is to create something other than reality.  My goal is to express myself without much concern for whether or not what I am depicting in my photographs is real or not real.  In fact, when asked about this aspect of my work, I tell customers that if it turns out that the photograph they are purchasing from me is 100% real they will get their money back.  I use this tongue in cheek remark to remind clients that this is art and that art is about the artist’s view of the world, not about reality.  Reality is there for the taking.  My clients can capture it just as well as I can.  But at the same time, I find reality boring.  There is simply nothing unique or original about it.  What is original is interpreting reality and creating expressive images that depict a personal view of the world. Only by doing so can I make the best use of artistic license.

Side-Lit Trees at Sunrise, Canyon de Chelly National Monument

This image of Canyon de Chelly is a collage of two horizontal photographs taken with a short telephoto lens.  After stitching I realized that the arrangement of trees that constitute the main interest of the image was not pleasing to me.  Some trees were located too close to each other, and one tree touched the right edge of the image.  I therefore decided to clone, remove and relocate the offending trees until I created an arrangement that I found to be visually satisfying.

5 – No right and wrong
In art there is no right and wrong.  Art is up to the artist, his emotions and his inspiration. To be ‘right’ a work of art only needs to meet the artist’s taste and expectations.  Furthermore, if art is ‘wrong’ if somehow the piece does not ‘work’ there is no penalty.  At worse, the audience will dislike it. In all likeness, some will dislike it while others will like it.  This is because art is a matter of personal taste and opinion and in art opinions are always polarized. People tend to like or dislike a work of art.  They don’t see shades of grey. Instead, they take black and white positions. This is because art is emotional, both on the the artist’s side and on the audience’s side.

Unlike a machine, art does not have to “work” the way a bridge, a car, or some other engineered device has to work.  If a bridge is not designed properly it may collapse or suffer some other form of structural failure.  In art, failure is of an aesthetic nature,  not of a practical nature. Failure in art is in the eye of the beholder.  If art fails, nobody gets hurt.This is why scientists, engineers and others who practice a technical profession before turning their attention to art often find creating art challenging.  Their training taught them that to be successful in their profession they need to create things that work, things that are properly engineered, things that have been tested and that are known to stand up to the task for which they were engineered.  Fine art is artistic sensibility combined with technical precision. While they excel at technical precision, they find including artistic sensibility in their work a challenge.

Tires, to take but one example, are designed to reach a specific speed, carry a specific weight, and withstand a specific amount of heat and lateral forces among other constraints.  Tires are designed with specific cars in mind and different tires are used on different types of cars.  For example, the construction of a tire designed for a Ford Econoline passenger van is radically different than the construction of a tire designed for a Bugatti Veyron.

Mounting the van tires on the Veyron is asking for trouble.  Most likely they would not fit.  However, if we can somehow make them fit, before the Veryon reaches its maximum speed the tires will explode or come off the rim, creating an engineering disaster.  On the other hand, if the proper tires are used on the Veryon, no such thing will happen.  This is because Michelin, the manufacturer of the Veyron tires, has engineered tires specifically for that car.  The tires have been designed to withstand the specific forces, heat, weight and speed created by the Veyron.  They have been tested to specifications that exceed the actual forces imposed by the car at maximum speed.  Unless a catastrophic failure caused by an external element (debris on the road for example) occurs, the tires will perform the job they were designed to perform to perfection.  In fact, they will be performing under their maximum abilities because they have been over-engineered and can withstand forces higher than what the car can impose on them.

There are no such concerns in art.  If art fails no one gets hurt. Tire failure on a Bugatti Veyron traveling at maximum speed will result in total destruction of the vehicle and possibly death of the driver.  Artistic failure with a work of art will only result in negative reviews or with a displeased audience, if that much. In fact, if you are not well known, it is likely that no one will notice.  Because what constitutes good art is a matter of personal taste, what may be an artistic failure to some may be an artistic success to others.  In art, unlike in tires, bridges, or other types of engineering, no one gets physically hurt. Only egos maybe bruised, and even then not always and if so not necessarily for a long time.  Art is the domain of freedom.  Art is where one can take risks without exposing themselves to physical harm.

6 – Your art is about you
Art is about yourself, not about others.  What you do in your art is controlled by you, not by outside forces.  Art is not subject to rules and regulations the way other professions are.

For this reason it is important that you create work that pleases you.  As long as you create art to please others, what you are trying to do is impress these other people. The minute you create art with the goal of pleasing yourself, you start to work towards impressing yourself.  At that time your goal becomes to express what you feel, who you are and how you perceive the world.  You no longer care if someone will be impressed or will like what you are doing.  This is when you begin to use creative license to its full potential.

Mauve Playa, Death Valley National Park

In this image, an horizontal collage of two images, I purposefully tuned the color palette towards a collection of mauve tones.  The original colors clashed with each other and were visually underwhelming.  Shifting colors towards a mauve palette, together with some warping and stretching of the foreground elements, allowed me to create an image that is visually coherent in terms of both colors and shapes.

7 – Answers
Art is a question to which there are many answers. You are the one who decides what the correct answers are. No one else has the right, or the authority, to find those answers for you. The test of art is not whether your work is right or wrong.  The test of art is whether your work is unique to you or not and whether it expresses the emotions you want to share with your audience.

To find accurate answers you need to decide what you consider to be acceptable and inacceptable in your work. By doing this will you will define a space where you are free to create what you want.

However, this space will have boundaries. Those boundaries are set by what you decide you will and will not do. All artists have to do that.  By deciding to do cubism, Picasso decided to not do Realism.  By deciding to do Minimalism, Jasper Johns decided not to do Hyper Realism.  There is no way out of this process.  If you do not set boundaries, you will be doing ‘whatever’ and ‘whatever’ will not lead to the creation of a body of work unique to you.  Instead, ‘whatever’ will lead to ‘whatever’.

Following this process will, gradually, lead to the development of a personal style.  This will happen through the development of an artistic space defined by your personal taste and preferences, by what you decide to show and not show in your work, and by what you want to focus on or ignore. This artistic space is where you are free to express what you want.

8 – Content and meaning

Artistic license extends to the content of your work. Your vision, what you decide to show to your audience, is entirely up to you.  Regardless of what you do there will be people who, based on what you show in your work, will consider your work to qualify or not qualify as being fine art.   The point to keep in mind is that the content and the meaning of your work are part of artistic license and as such are fully under your control.

When considering content as one of the aspects of artistic license it is important to know that there are ‘fashion trends’ in art. For example a number of high end galleries and museums tend to favor a postmodern, socially critical and relatively negative content.  This is, for example, in opposition to my work which is focused on exploring natural beauty, positive in its message and not containing postmodern references. I could easily have taken a more ‘fashion oriented’ approach and decided to create images of nature that focus on ugliness and negativity and that contain postmodern references.  In fact, if you look at contemporary French art and culture, doing so would be expected of me since I am originally from France and have extensive knowledge of postmodernism having read just about every author who published on this subject while I worked on my PhD.  The fact I chose not to go in this direction is a personal decision rather than a cultural shortcoming.

What this implies is that here too you will encounter people who like and dislike what you do.  Continuing with my personal approach to landscape photography, while some consider ‘beauty’ to be a qualifier for fine art, others consider it a disqualifier.  The same holds true for postmodernist content as well as for political, negative, positive, social commentary and any other content.  Ruling out specific content has an adverse effect on artistic license.  If we ruled out ‘beauty’ as a qualifier for fine art, we would by the same token rule out Impressionism as a valid art movement.  What a shame that would be.  Beauty is an essential component of art, even though a number of people today consider it to be a disqualifier.

Clearly what content the artist decides to feature needs to be based on the artist’s inspiration, personal taste, philosophy, message, vision and so on.  There will, and there are, massive differences between artists in this regard.  These differences are one of the main attractions of art.  More importantly, the choices you make in this regard are fully part of your artistic license.

Using meaning as a qualifier for fine art is even more superficial than using content.  What is meaningful to some is meaningless to others.  For example, some  find Cubism totally devoid of meaning while others consider Cubism to be one of the most important movements of the 20th century and consider Cezanne, whose painting Maisons a l’Estaque (1908) is at the origin of the term Cubism, to be one of most important artists of the 20th century.

9 – Defending
There are times when artistic license needs to be defended.   Just saying yes only works when people ask you if you manipulate.  If the questions is more precise, if it points to a specific aspect of your work, a more detailed answer is necessary.

For example, I have been asked what is my position in regards to the fact that realistic photographs of nature have played an important role in nature conservation efforts, for example in helping create National Parks and pass legislature protecting natural areas from development.

My answer to this specific question is what started me doing landscape photography was not the desire to raise awareness about the importance to protect nature. Instead, it was the desire to create art that expressed my vision of natural beauty. There are plenty of photographers out there who are doing a fantastic job of bringing awareness to nature conservation and I let them take on that responsibility. Personally, my goal is to express myself and provide my audience with images that convey a vision of nature not available elsewhere.

In that regard I may be distancing myself from the main direction taken by landscape photography and getting closer to non-photographic art medium such as painting. This is a personal decision based on the fact that not all art has to be representational. In fact, most art is not representational.

I have also been asked why should people care about images that do not show something real? My answer is they care for the same reasons people care about art movements that do not represent reality. Surrealism, Cubism, Fauvism, etc. are popular movements even though they are not about representing reality. To some extent, Impressionism, a movement in which nature is one of the main subject, is not about representing reality but rather about presenting an impression of reality. Photography certainly had a large following of practitioners who made it a point to represent reality faithfully, but then again when that reality is presented in black and white, or with a contrast ratio much higher than what we see with our eyes, or with extensive darkroom or digital adjustments, even though no removal of objects or distortion of the image were performed, one can question how real that reality is. In fact, Susan Sontag in On Photography makes the point that photography is by nature surrealist, not realistic, and she is talking mainly about straight photography.

The number of questions you can possibly be asked being endless, providing an extensive list is futile.  The whole idea is that at times you will have to defend yourself by describing your personal goals.  Who cares if I am not following the conservation movement, or if some people lose interest in my work because it is not ‘real’. What matters is that I am doing what I love, that I create work that is unique and that collectors purchase my work and enable me to make a living doing what I love.

10 – Stylistic Variety
Finally there is the issue of stylistic variety in one’s work.  In the days of film, having a variety of styles was challenging because changing photographic styles involved changing camera equipment, film processing, printing and other variables.   For this reason most photographers adopted a style and used it all their life. A few had a couple of styles, usually one for commercial work and one for fine art work, and that was it.

Digital capture and processing removed most of these hurdles.  Digital processing allows us to process the same photograph with a variety of styles.  The question no longer is how do I create a different style, the question is how many styles do I want.  Photographers who explore digital possibilities are more likely to have issues with offering too much diversity than too little.

The fact that stylistic variety is no longer a challenge makes it possible for photographers to create different bodies of work each with different approaches.  For example, last year in addition to landscape images such as the ones used as examples in this essay, I created a series of car photographs, a series of layered images, and a series of reportage style images.  Each of these series used a different approach.  The car photographs were processed entirely in Lightroom using global and local tinting, gradients and vignettes.  The layered images were processed in Photoshop and made use of multiple colored texture layers giving them a grunge look.  The reportage photographs were processed in Lightroom and had hardly any processing done to them besides color balance and density adjustments.  These series were done in addition to my landscape work, which remains my primary activity, and received only minor advertising on my site. The goal of these series was to change my mind by doing something new and different.  However, taken as a whole, these different series make it challenging to decide what my approach is because each series is treated differently.  For this reason it is best to say that creating different series of images, each with its own unique treatment, is another aspect of artistic license.  One doesn’t need to use the same style all the time.

11  – Conclusion
When you purchased your camera and decided to use it for the purpose of creating art you gave yourself license to do what you like and to have fun with it.  In other words, you gave yourself artistic license to do what you like.  Unless you are under contract and have to please a client, use your artistic license to have fun with your work.  This is your money, your time and your efforts and if you are not doing what you like something is not going right.  Remember that in art you can never please everyone, so let others think what they may.  There will always people who will praise what you do as long as your work expresses what you feel and is unique to you.

About Alain Briot
Alain Briot creates fine art photographs, teaches workshops and offers DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. Alain is the author of Mastering Landscape Photography. Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style and Marketing Fine Art Photography.  All 3 books are available in eBook format on Alain’s website at this link: http://beautiful-landscape.com/Ebooks-Books-1-2-3.html

You can find more information about Alain’s work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to Alain’s Free Monthly Newsletter on his website at http://www.beautiful-landscape.com To subscribe simply go to http://www.beautiful-landscape.com and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page.  You will receive information on downloading the table of contents, plus over 40 free essays by Alain, immediately after subscribing.

Alain welcomes your comments on this essay as well as on his other essays available. You can reach Alain directly by emailing him at alain@beautiful-landscape.com.

Alain Briot,
Vistancia, Arizona
January 2012

Can you sell my work ?

Can you sell my work ?

I regularly receive emails from photographers asking me if I can sell their photographs.  Typically these emails read like this: “I have a fantastic photograph of  (insert location here), I know it’s worth a fortune (millions usually), I just need help selling it.’  Some offer to ‘take me in’ as a partner for a share of the profits (no thanks), others just want the email of the ‘magic person’ who is going to make them rich (there’s no such person).

Sorry folks, but none of this will work.  You don’t make money in photography because you believe, rightly or wrongly, that you have a ‘million dollar’ photograph.  You make money in photography because you have learned how to market and sell your work yourself.

Don’t forget this:
A bad photograph well marketed will always outsell a good photograph poorly marketed. Alain Briot

This means that it doesn’t matter if you have a ‘million dollar’ photograph if you don’t know how to market it.  Someone else, with a $100 photograph but with photography marketing knowledge, will outdo you financially.  Of course, the goal is to have a great photo and fantastic marketing knowledge. However, to get started what you need first is marketing knowledge.

Many photographers who start selling their work are trying to find someone who is willing to sell their photos and make them wealthy.  I know everything about that because I was one of these photographers.  I looked everywhere for such a person but did not find it. It was during this fruitless search that I understood I had to  learn how to sell my work myself.

I realized that finding a person willing to make me rich was simply not going to happen. I had to do that myself.  I succeeded because I learned how to control my destiny.  Instead of asking others to make me rich, I went out and made myself rich.  14 years ago I had nothing.  Now I have more than I ever dreamed.  The photograph at the top of this essay paid for my first house cash.  I made every sale by myself after learning how to market and sell my work.

I studied at the school of hard knocks.  I did not take marketing classes and I did not study for an MBA.  My experience is practical, not theoretical.  It comes from the trenches, not from books.  Learning that way wasn’t fun.  I decided to write about and teach marketing to offer you a better way to get this knowledge.  By sharing my knowledge with you I can teach you how to do what I do. It starts by taking the decision to control your own destiny instead of looking for someone (or something, such as luck or the lottery) to make it happen for you.

My no-nonsense approach to teaching marketing is  based on my personal experience, not on books or college classes.  I teach you how to do what I do.  I have no secrets because I believe that there are opportunities for all of us out there.

Whichever way you do this, either with me or someone else, you are going to have to learn marketing.  There’s no way around it. There’s no silver bullet and you won’t get rich overnight.  Things moved fast for me, but it still took me 4 years of constant work to be successful.

Anyone that tells you otherwise is either lying or delusional.  Why?  Because if it was that easy, if there was a silver bullet and if we could become millionaires overnight, we would all be doing it!  Everyone would be ‘rolling in the dough’ living in big houses, retiring at 40 and driving Bentleys!  It’s far from being that way because being successful is uncomon. It’s also a lot of work.  Only those who learn how to do this and who are willing to work as hard as it takes succeed.  I had to do it that way. All those that are successful in this business have to.

I just announced my new Advanced Marketing Seminar.  This is the perfect place to learn how to do this and to make your dreams happen:
http://beautiful-landscape.com/Workshop-home.html

If you are not ready for the Advanced seminar, start by reading my introductory book on marketing:
http://beautiful-landscape.com/Ebooks-Books-1-2-3.html

Either way you will be moving forward towards your dream.  Just keep in mind that you are the one who will make it happen.

 Alain Briot