If you’ve been taking photos for printing onto canvas and you feel that you’ve developed a keen eye for a great shot, why not extend your hobby and try to make some money out of your hard work? While you’ve probably been focusing on taking pictures for yourself or friends and family, it’s worth bearing in mind that the skills you’ve been learning can also translate into more generic canvas prints – items that people will pay cold hard cash for!

Canvas prints are everywhere these days; walk into any general store, supermarket or gift shop and you’ll find beautiful landscapes and coastal scenes ready to pick up, purchase and plonk straight on the wall. While it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to convince these bigger retail outlets to stock your canvas images, there are other more accessible options that might be worth a try – giving you the chance to share your art and make a little money in the process.

Keeping it local at craft shops and cafes

So, you’ve been out taking hundreds of pictures (the wonder of digital photography!) and while you’ve chosen a few for your house, you still have loads left that won’t get to see the light of day -but who’s to say that other people won’t appreciate them? All you need is a bit of confidence and entrepreneurial spirit...

The best way to showcase your photography is in local shops that have a high footfall of potential customers. Take a few sample shots printed on canvas and talk to local business owners – small craft and greeting card shops or cafes and tearooms are a great place to start, or even bigger, independent restaurants could also be worth targeting. When you go in, ask to speak directly to the manager, as it will only be key decision makes who can agree to display and sell your pictures.

Sell yourself first; tell them that you’re a local amateur photographer who’s looking for other neighbourhood businesses to work with, and offer them a commission of any sales of your work. If you can, target specific images for each shop – they may want exclusivity and if you can find photos that complement their existing decor or style, then you’re more likely to grab their attention at the outset.

Explain that all you need is a little wall space and that you’re happy for them to have your pictures for display in return for a small sticker on each showing a price and perhaps a little laminate poster to say that all images are for sale and that they can be ordered at the counter/via your contact details. The benefit to the business owner is free art for their premises and the chance to make some extra income, while simultaneously supporting someone from the local community – get your pitch right and you could strike up a long term relationship that could be great news for both parties.

Tips for selling your canvas art

If you want to increase your chances of making some money from your canvas photography prints, you need to make the offer appealing. First of all, price up the cost of printing – the beauty of canvas prints is that they’re great quality but also fairly inexpensive to buy, so you can have a few of each photo printed so that you always have stock. Factor in the cost of each print, your overheads (such as petrol to the shops), the commission that your partners are going to take and then add something on top for profit.

It’s also worth thinking about ‘limited editions’ – if you promise to just print say 10 of each photo, the customer feels like they are getting something more special and unique, increasing the perceived value of the item.

Focus on local beauty spots or landmarks if you can. Offering canvas prints with things that locals identify with can be a great selling point – but also listen to the shop owner too to see what they would like to see on their walls.

Canvas photography prints work well on any type of wall space, which is why it’s much better to choose this format than spending money on expensive photo frames – this would restrict their appeal and also push the price tag up, which simply isn’t good business sense! Spend some time filtering through your photos (ask someone else to help for an objective point of view) and have a play around with some editing software to see how you can enhance and improve your favourite pieces too. Soon enough you’ll end up with a fabulous collection of photos for printing onto canvas and selling in your community – give it a try and good luck!

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