My First Photography Sales

My first photography sale--sunset over the Pacific
Pacific Sunset

By Way of Introduction

This post will look at my first photography sales–ever. The past few days, I’ve been reviewing my notes about blogging, and what I want to achieve through my blog. From the start, I wanted to get my photography in front of a wider audience. And, yes, the goal was to sell more photography. Back in April, when I wrote out my dreams and my goals, I noted that I would like to earn $1,000 from photography sales. Well, in the past twelve months, I’ve made $933.78 from sales on Red Bubble. That does not include the money I’ve made from selling articles and photos to Distinctly Montana, nor the few private sales I’ve made this year. I would say I met my first goal.

I don’t say this to brag. My long-term goal is to bring in $10,000 per month from my photography and writing. I mentioned this quite recently when I wrote out my Roadmap to Success. There I spoke of the desire to bring in $3,000 to $5,000 monthly. But back in April, I wrote the specific goal of making $1,000 from my photography. My jaw dropped open when I read that this morning, knowing what I have sold this year. It is so true that we speak our reality into being.

Also, back in April, I set forth the themes that I would cover in this blog. The top two were photography and travel. Lately, you’ve been seeing a lot of travel writing. As I have stated, I want to put together coffee table books on the forty-four counties of Idaho and the thirty-nine of Washington. What I’ve been posting are my research on each of the counties in those two states. And yes, I’ve been including my photography from my travels. What I haven’t been good at doing is showcasing my photography. So, from time to time, I will write a post strictly confined to sales I have made. This post looks at my first photography sales–way back in 2009.

My First Photography Sale–Pacific Sunset

Shown above, Pacific Sunset is a photo I took at a restaurant on the California/Oregon border looking out over the Pacific. I used my Pentax ZX-50 single lens reflex camera and 35 mm film. Unfortunately, I no longer remember what type of film I used. I scanned a 4×5 inch photographic print, and uploaded it to Red Bubble. I’m not sure exactly when I took the picture either. It is one of the first photos I put on Red Bubble, and on August 11th, 2009, someone in Ohio bought it in the form of a greeting card. I made all of 83 cents on that sale.

My second sale–At the Mouth of the Smith

A tree along the Smith River where the River flows into the Pacific.
At the Mouth of the Smith

Another photo I took with my Pentax and film. This tree is on the Ship Ashore property where the Smith River flows into the Pacific in northern California. Again, I have no details as to when I took the shot, nor what film I used. I scanned a print and posted it on Red Bubble. On August 24th, 2009, someone in California bought it as a greeting card. Again, I made 83 cents from the sale.

My Third and Fifth Sales–a Calendar of Coastal Views

The Coquille River Lighthouse, Bandon Oregon
The Coquille River Lighthouse
Bandon, Oregon

Back in the day, Red Bubble manufactured calendars, and did them very well. My third sale was a calendar–twelve different photographs taken along the Pacific Coast of Northern California and Southern Oregon. The Coquille River Lighthouse graced the cover and served for the January photo. Pacific Sunset showed up for August and the tree above for June. Someone in Washington bought the calendar on November 22nd, 2009. Someone in Iowa bought one on December 6th of that year. I made $4.75 and $5.23 on those two sales, but I have no idea why the difference.

The Coquille River Lighthouse photo was one of the first I took with my Nikon D80 digital single lens reflex camera. I took the shot on December 19th, 2006 in Bandon, Oregon. The photo remains one of my favorite scenes. I wish Red Bubble still offered calendars. I enjoyed selecting the photographs and I sold quite a few.

My Fourth Sale–Bare Chests

Bare Chests

Another photograph I took with my Pentax camera and film. Walking along Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon I couldn’t help but notice the juxtapostion of this statue of Poseidon and the bare-chested young man behind him. I like the image, and so did someone in California who bought it as a mounted print–my first print sale. I earned $9.50 on this photography sale.

My Sixth Photography Sale–Another Calendar

Fishing boats on the dry harbor at Port Orford, Oregon
Home is the Sailor, Home From the Sea
Port Orford, Oregon

Sometimes it helps to be in the right place at the right time. I loved spending time in the Oregon coastal town of Port Orford. When I learned that the parents of one of my University colleagues had retired to Port Orford, I shared some photos with her. She asked if I could put them together into a calendar. That ended up being her Christmas present to her rather large family. Each family member got a calendar and I netted $31.34 on the sale of my photography.

The photo above deserves some explanation. As I wrote when I uploaded the photograph, Port Orford has one of Oregon’s two unprotected harbors. To keep their boats safe from the unpredictable waves of the Pacific, Port Orford’s fishermen lift the boats out of the water and store them on trailers as seen here. I loved spending time at the harbor photographing these boats out of their normal element. I used my Nikon Coolpix L3 camera to take this photo on November 9th, 2006.

My Last Photography Sale of 2009–One More Calendar

A Red Jammer Bus at Apgar Village, Glacier National Park My last photography sale for 2009.
1930’s Postcard
Apgar Village, Glacier National Park

Another calendar I put together featured scenes from around Montana. Many of the images, including the one above, show scenes in Glacier National Park. Others included photos taken in Fergus County, in Fallon County, in Lewis and Clark County, among others. I have literally thousands of photos I’ve taken all around Montana, and I like the twelve I chose for this calendar. Apparently someone else did as well as someone in Oregon bought the calendar on December 17th, 2009. I made another $5.23 from the sale.

In Summary2009, my first photography sales

My first photography sales included two greeting cards, one mounted print, and nine calendars. Twelve items sold, and I made a total of $57.70. That was back in 2009. We’ll look at some of the more recent sales in other posts.

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