I was recently in discussion with an online gallery to handle some of my images. They were interested in my grasses and maybe another portfolio. Then they took a look at my web page. It wasn’t organized around portfolios and had too many images which they considered unsellable.

I have no argument. My web page needs upgrading. A lot of people are now presenting their work in terms of portfolios or projects instead of locations and subject matter like my site is. On top of that, it would help if I had a beautiful description of my intent for each portfolio.

I’m okay with all that. If you want to sell your art, you have to present it to possible buyers in a way they can be open to it. And, if portfolios and descriptions help, I’ll do it.

To me, portfolios and descriptions are all about marketing. I don’t shoot in terms of portfolios. Portfolios take shape as I find myself gravitating towards a particular kind of subject matter. What bothers me is, what about all the images I want to make that aren’t so easily categorized? Do I not make them because I can’t sell them? If art were a business to me, I’d say the answer is yes. But to me, making photographs is not a business—it’s a love affair.

So, this past week I was at a sublime retreat in the Sierras. The Sierras have their own beauty that is so different from the Rockies. I wandered around with my camera, got quiet, and looked at everything. There were some beautiful grasses, some interesting rock faces and the little creek run-offs were captivating. And I gave into my lust and took photos. Now I wonder if any of these photos will fit into my “portolios.” Since I don’t spend a lot of time in the Sierras anymore, will I ever be able to put these images into portfolios? Am I wasting my time making unsellable images?

The photo above of a Russian Olive tree is one of my favorites. Russian Olive is an invasive tree here in Boulder and I have no other images that will work with it in a portfolio, But have an idea. Along with the Grasses, Leaves and other portfolios on my new website, I will also have a portfolio called Unsellable.

~ by danbaumbach on May 31, 2018.

2 Responses to “Unsellable”

  1. Good advice. My site is a bunch of straightforward categories and doesn’t engender a huge response. I think I’ll follow your lead.
    We also have Russian Olives here in Amherst and they are invasive indeed. But we get a lot of migrating birds chowing down on them in the autumn. Your image and comment has encouraged me to try for some berry shots.

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