New Website

http://vitphoto.com/

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about next step for my photographic journey. I’ve gotten into the habit of visiting the same places and taking pictures of the same scenes because they are familiar and most likely to yield a stellar image. My work and my website has become a collection of bestsellers.

At the same time there have been a lot of trips with a lot of images that tell a story.

I haven’t updated my website for a long time. A very long time. The reason for that was not laziness but that the design of the website was based on featuring a limited number of best sellers and not necessarily around a story. Thus a lot of images were left out and most images were once in a while images lacking the context of a story.

Any time I want to publish new work I needed to either prune some work from an existing category to make more room or replace a category altogether with a new one. That was forcing me to revisit the work that has already been completed and never gave me satisfaction of completing another body of work.

My photography interests changed. I go to many different places and try to create a story about the place or seek images with a common theme that tell a story about particular subject.

I had to reimagine my website. It took a long time and a critical mass of unpublished material to finally spend time on website design and making the changes. That work is finally completed and the new website is live today with the three most recent photographic stories.

There is a lot of work ahead of me to sort out a large pile of unorganized work that I’ve collected over the years. It will be something to work on during the long winter nights ahead.

Thanks to my amazing girlfriend who helped me re-imagine my website with a fresh new look. She’s the best ❤

Enchantment Lakes

On this Monday I’m off to adventure of my lifetime. With 3 other people I’m going on a 5 day backpacking trip to Enchantment Lakes. 18 miles, 6000 ft. elevation gain, 7800 ft. above sea level at the highest point with a large backpack on my back will put to test my body and mind.

I’ve been preparing to it for the last month with hiking longish hikes and running every day but still the longest I went was 9 miles with less of elevation gain and lighter backpack. I’m very curious what 18 miles and 6000 ft. elevation gain feels like. And I’ve never been backpacking before. But the place have been intriguing me for a long time. I’ve heard it is magical. And finally I have a good company to go there.

It is going to be peak of larches golden fall foliage that Enchantment Lakes are famous for. So, I hope to come back with great photos. Ok. Maybe it should have been two sentences. I hope to come back. And with great photos. 🙂

Water in Motion

As I said in my earlier post Second Love Like First Love long forgotten love of waterfalls is coming back to me. Here are some results of it: new folio Water in Motion on my website containing old and recent images of waterfalls and tumbling creeks.

Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls

Art Fairs

Three weekends art fair marathon is over. It has been exhausting. Monday thru Thursday I was printing, varnishing, stretching my work. Friday thru Sunday I was displaying it at art fairs – it was 10-hour workdays for me. Here are some stories from my experience.

Don’t give up

My first art fair was in Kirkland. I had prepared ahead of time. The only thing that I kept my fingers crossed for was good weather. The forecast for weekend was favorable: nice warm weather, cloudy but with some sunshine. It sounded like a great weekend for an art fair.

As it is most of the time in Seattle weather forecast was a wishful thinking. On Friday I woke up to a thunderstorm. The rain was pouring. Wind gusts were blowing water into an open window. It was depressing. I had to force myself to get up.

By the time I got to Kirkland Marina Park, where the art fair would take place, the rain only got worse…

My memories of the last year were still too vivid. Two and a half out of three days it was raining. There were no people at the art fair. I was standing in my booth and looking out at an empty street. It was very depressing.

I was sitting in the car, being afraid that the same would happen this year. I was about to give up. I thought I don’t care about booth fee that I would lose. I just wanted to drive out of there, away from my memories.

Apparently I still had some will power left in me because after sitting the car for an hour I decided to get out and setup my booth despite the rain. By the time I got canopy up with a roof I was completely wet.

Later that day the rain ended. And on Saturday and Sunday the weather was great. There were lots of people at the art fair. I sold almost half of the work that I brought. Art fair in Kirkland ended up being my best art fair to date.

Lesson learnt: don’t give up. Prior failure (just like prior success) does not mean the same will happen again.

Be ready for success

Kirkland art fair success far exceeded my expectations. I was very happy about it. At the same time I was not prepared for it at all. After it I did not have enough to show on the next art fair in Bellevue. I did not have enough materials either. I was out of canvas and had very few stretching bars left.

I had to quickly place orders, pay extra for second day shipping just to get things going. Well, canvas manufacture had computer glitch and my orders were not shipped on time. And they were out of stretching bars I needed.

I got the order in on the day before art fair and then the second part on the first day of the art fair. Rather than resting after whole day 10 hour straight work at art fair I was coming back home to do printing, varnishing and stretching till 3 in the morning. I had only 4 hours left for sleep before I had to get up, dress up, load up work I’ve completed the night before and go to the art fair again.

Lesson: be ready for success. It is better to be overstocked than miss out on an opportunity.

Not everything that shines is gold

I wanted to get in Bellevue Festival of the Arts. It was one of more prestigious art fair. It had higher average price and very high attendance.

This year I was accepted into it and after Kirkland’s success I put very high, too high, expectations on it.

I did not meet my expectations. It did ok. I just did not sell as much as in Kirkland and certainly not as much as I expected. Great attendance did not translate in great sales. And it was not like my prices were too high, in fact the were the lowest at that art fair. And my work was great. I had people visiting me multiple times, bringing their friends and relatives to show. Yet very few were buying.

The art fair just appeared to be very expensive with few sales. Kind of fishing for a rich buyer. I on the other hand want to make my work affordable and want to sell a lot, so I can start working on a new project.

Lesson: not everything that shines is gold. Great attendance and high prices don’t necessarily translate into large sales. The outside look does not always match inside.

Have fun

With so much focus on business side of selling art work at art fairs it is easy to loose track of what it is about. For me it is not about money, it is about being able to show my work, being able to print it, sell it and move on to new adventures.

It is about having fun. And while I have not sold anything at Anacortes Art Festival I’ve met other photographers, met a lot of people and had some memorable moments. Like when a group of high school kids were captivated by my work, having lively discussion about it, then just sitting on a pavement and staring at it.

Now onto new adventures. See you at Best of Northwest festival in Seattle on November 16 thru 18.

Art Fair Simulator

Some people build flight simulators at home. I’ve built art fair simulator. 🙂 Art fair season starts for me this weekend with Kirkland Uncorked. And I was practicing setting up booth at home. It is nice to have home large enough to do this.

I’ve tested tent, propanels layout, lights (not in this photo). I feel ready now. Just keeping fingers crossed that there will be no rain this weekend.

You can find more details about art fairs and exhibitions which I’m participating in on my website: http://www.vitphoto.com/?link=shows

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How much my prints worth?

A few days back I wrote a post about pricing of fine art prints. After thinking a bit I decided to do an experiment with upcoming exhibition to find out how much people are willing to pay for my prints. I’m going to do a silent auction with no reserve, no starting price for the prints that are going to be exhibited. I’ll find out just how much people are willing to pay for them (if they are willing to pay for them at all, of cause).

Here are the images that are going to be exhibited:

Palouse at Sunset  
Sketch with a tree and road Three trees by the road Tree

All the prints are on a canvas stretched with gallery wrap 27”x18”.

I’ll let you know results.

Upcoming Show: Rolling Hills of Palouse

I’m having a show on May 1 – May 29, 2010 at East Shore Gallery, Bellevue, WA (directions). It is in their office/bookstore building. The theme of the show is going to be “Rolling Hills of Palouse” and will include select images from the Rolling Hills folios at my website. All images will be giclee prints. Here is one of the photos that will be featured at the exhibition – “Palouse at Sunset”:

Palouse at Sunset