As photographers, we all have our favorite shots. But our favorites don’t always sell.
I recently sold a large print of the photo above to a very nice woman in Oregon. When I visited Redwood Forest National Park, the rhododendrons were in full bloom, and the misty atmosphere created perfect light conditions for a moody image. I took a series of shots that day and offered just one for sale through my gallery – the photo below.
I felt that the composition was stronger than some of the others I took that day. The intricate details in the flower grab the viewers attention. In comparison, some of my vertical shots seemed too busy and lacked a clear point of interest. In some shots, the dead log in the photo seemed to take up too much of the foreground.
After discovering the photo listed for sale in my gallery, the Oregon woman started looking through my online portfolio. There, she found more of the compositions I took that day in the woods. She contacted me about making a purchase, and I sent her other photos for consideration. But she was steadfast in her choice of the vertical photograph that included the log. I was curious about her choice and asked her why she preferred one of the photos I’d rejected. She told me that she was an evolutionary biologist, and she spent a considerable amount of time studying insect colonies. She’d specialized in the study of termites – and the log reminded her of the long hours she’d spent in the woods learning about those remarkable creatures. She wanted to purchase that particular print because of an emotional attachment to that log.
More often than not, our clients are looking for that emotional attachment to a print. Photographs of “iconic” locations sell well because lots of people visit those places – and they have fond memories of them.