Intro by Skip Cohen
Sheila and I were in Sedona in March and got out to dinner one night with Bob and Holly Coates, hitting a restaurant/nite club I've heard about for a long time, Sound Bites. Imagine an entire room decorated with images like this. It had sort of a "hall of fame" feel for all the musicians. In fact, so much so that some of them have now requested a photo shoot with Bob Coates as part of their compensation package when playing at the club.
The growing revenue stream that Bob talks about in this guest post is a nice thing to have happening, but there are two additional benefits. First, the idea for the work came out of a new technique he was working on for a personal project and now word is getting out in the community. Second, he's got a great relationship with the owner of the restaurant and their food and wine list are terrific! LOL
Check two previous guest posts from Bob on the process and follow Bob through his website. Also check out Bob's blog for the latest on what he's working on. There's a lot going on in the not-so-little town of Sedona.
All Images Copyright Bob Coates. All Rights Reserved.
I'm teaching a class at SCU's Summer Session on Fine Art Photography, Personal Projects and how to take the work generated to market and make some money on it. Photographers don't always understand how this can work. Here's a case study on how one of my personal projects, a fine art technique I call 'Photo-Synthesis', has been turning itself into income.
I've been playing with this technique in creating fine art images that have a painterly feel in order to create a unique look for wall decor for businesses and fine homes. I've only just begun to sell these outright to the market I was originally thinking about.
I was contacted by a restaurant to photograph their build-out upon expanding and taking over new space. I suggested I could create some original art for some of their decor needs and was subsequently commissioned to create five art pieces. Following their seeing these images the owners asked if I could do that same style in an ongoing fashion to document the live entertainment performing at the club. I agreed.
They asked for a discount and to trade for some goods, because it was going to be an ongoing project. I've learned never to give a discount unless I am getting something in return. My 'return' for the discount was being able to brand all the art pieces with my logo and web address. I now have a high traffic business that is displaying my work and promoting Bob Coates Photography on a regular basis. We are soon going to offer images with this technique for sale on site and through our web sites.
Extra business is being generated by the artists being exposed to my work and wanting to either use the images already created or have me design new work for their CD's and promo photos. Income from the past year from just the restaurant alone was just under $10,000 and it's growing more for this new year.
All of this happened because I was experimenting with new techniques for a personal project. There's a wonderful side bonus when it comes to working on a personal project like this. I really have to stretch to push my techniques further in order to create a unique look and feel to the images, which is forcing me to continue to grow as an artist.