Is it worth having print exhibitions if I lose money doing it? I barely broke even during the last show, and I'm very unlikely to come out ahead in the one I'm having now. We're talking purely about dollars spent, not including the time that those involved devoted to set-up, etc. The problem seems to be that "interesting" photos aren't necessarily ones that people would want to hang up on their walls. I've tried to balance interest and eye-candy. It's quite convenient when they both happen to grace a single print, but that isn't always the case. "Themed" shows are also difficult because it takes a certain collection of photographs to tell a story. You can't just pick out the ones that might sell and slap them onto a wall.
I guess I'm frustrated because I've shelled out nearly $2K to make this exhibition happen -- and that's doing it the "cheap" way, trading my own labor and the labor of loved ones to help lessen the costs. $600 of it was for some prints that I prepared for a fund-raising auction. Only three out of six made it into the auction, and only one was sold. There was a pre-arranged deal that stipulated that I would not lose money by donating prints (the costs would be paid back to me), but things didn't work out that way. Yippee.
The last show was cheaper per print, but that's because I bought relatively cheap frames. I won't make that mistake again.
If I can't break even at a specific venue, I will no longer show groups of prints like this. I suppose I should just try to show a print or two at larger spaces, where a larger event is taking place. The preparation cost would be significantly lower, and I would recoup my costs by selling even a single print.
And then there's the web. Eventually, my products will be available through online purchase, where the overhead (for me) is virtually nothing. So I guess I'll work towards that. :)
More on frustration: maybe it's also because I'm tired, and/or because my parents keep making comments about specific entries on this journal. I'm not used to having "real life" reach into my virtual life so directly.
But I *am* tired. I'm don't feel like spending time with people, so I'm hiding here in my sister's room: an enclosed space where the wireless network still reaches -- any depressed tech-head's haven. Now if I could only figure out how to make my hands thaw out. I'm freezing.