Sunday, June 12, 2005

Combining Photographs with Poetry for Money

by Christina VanGinkel

I have been looking into ways to make some extra money the last few months. As I love poetry and have written several pieces that have elicited numerous requests for copies, I -decided it might be profitable to incorporate some of my shorter pieces with photographs of some local scenery. The scenery is what inspired much of the poetry, so the two naturally go together.

Living where I do, there are some breathtaking shots residing in my digital camera waiting to be brought to life. Several of some locals shooting the rapids at the river that runs by our house. A few misty morning shots of a neighbor's barn that looks like it could have been shot anytime in the last century, one of a female black bear with her two cubs up a tree. Moreover, my favorite, a shot taken of the sky on a fall afternoon, so blue it looks like you might be able to spy the paintbrush that surely painted it. And, filling the sky with contrasting color is a shower of orange and red leaves floating on the sea of sky, beautiful.

The big question, would there be a market for prints made from a combination of the two, still needs to be researched. The scale I am considering, would involve self-publishing. I would format the words into the appropriate pictures, and then either send them out for professional printing, or print them myself on my personal photo quality printer. I would then have several framed professionally to show them off, and have the ones for sale matted and sealed.

While this is somewhat new territory, I did a similar project several years back with some success. I made note cards from photographs, printed on a home printer, and sold those, and I handcrafted note cards that included a poem penned by myself, poem on the back, with a print on the front. I sold a reasonable quantity at local craft shows that I was already attending to sell my jewelry.

For this project, I would like to sell them to a much wider audience, possibly through the Internet and at specialized art shows. I had run across a few photographers that sold prints of their work, but none that incorporated the photographer's prints and words.

I also would have to consider what works would not only be cohesive to working together, but also if they would be marketable. Just because I liked them, did not mean someone else would want to pay money to hang them on their own walls.

I would have to look at this from as professional a point of view as I could muster also. Business cards, ads in publications both in print and online, and a new fresh look for myself if I was going to hit the shows again. My wardrobe lacks dearly in nice clothes because the usual people I encounter in any given week are the mail person and the checkout clerks at the local stores. Neither they nor my computer cares much about how I dress. In addition, while my husband tells me, I look nice; my normal attire is jeans and t-shirt. Well, the wheels are spinning on this new venture, so wish me luck!

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