Get Framed

posted on 28th of may, 2008

Images that are mass-produced as ‘wall art’ or posters for use in décor differ from fine art in that the images are not signed prints or original art. The business of wall art is complex and involves multiple publishers, distributors and online retailers as well as direct distribution to consumers through department stores, box stores and poster shops. Creating images for this market can be more profitable for photographers than trying to build a reputation as a fine artist although the two are certainly not mutually exclusive.

The best sellers follow predictable and conservative themes. Scenes that evoke peacefulness or relaxation are on the bestseller lists. Images of deserted tropical beaches with turquoise water lapping at the shore vie with landscapes of Tuscany for top locations in poster and framed art. Why? Think of a mass produced visual product for the consumer to hang on the wall. The art becomes a window to where they wish to be or suggests a mood or feeling. Individuals select images as extensions of themselves or maybe only to match the couch.Themes extend to the location of the dwelling or hobbies. Décor for beach or summer places include a still life of shells, close-ups of sailboats or the ever-popular lighthouse. Colors are usually light and emphasize the colors of the beach environment: white and blue.

A ski lodge or resort in a mountain locale might use images of ice skaters or moody mountain images. A hotel where I have stayed in LA is decorated with copies of vintage images of Hollywood landmarks. Restaurants use themed images that match their menu specialties so that images of Mexican landmarks or people are purchased for the wall décor at the spot where you sip your margarita if you are so inclined. One sub-speciality of the genre is art for kids rooms. Most appropriate for this group are illustrations of cartoony like animals and plants in pastel colors.

Isolated landscapes that bring to mind the peace of the countryside are substitutes for actually being there and evoke a sense of well being. There are w specialist art consultants to aid decorators in selecting prints and posters for modern health care facilities.

Generally the more ‘painterly’ a photograph is, the better suited it will be for décor art. Floral prints are a standard favorite but the image needs to be dramatic like the one here by Davidd2xs to make the grade in a huge field of flower images

© Ng (Help)

The good news if images are licensed for posters or retail framed décor, the publisher usually wants an all rights license. The competition is stiff and just like fashions in furniture and clothing, interior décor goes in and out of style. Since décor photography is more often as not purchased to match the furniture or style of the home or office, it pays to keep up to date on color trends.

Illustrations and paintings are more popular than photographs in the wall décor marketplace. Among best current best sellers are abstracts with some of the same themes such as Ng’s abstract of two flowers. Tasteful nudes in b&w that resemble classic nude paintings are well-liked in this market. Currently and for the past couple of years colored x-rays of flowers have been the best selling images on most sites that sell framed art. You can see samples of that photographer’s work here

Remove framed art on the walls of a room that you photograph. Replace it with framed pieces of your own work and be certain to send in a property release for the art.

Comments (11)

Comment by Ellenboughn on June 01, 2008

The images that I have discussed have been made with real xray machines. The photographer mentioned above lists his 'trade secrets' here You need a friend who is an xray tech!

Comment by Gundam01 on June 01, 2008

Like Demonike, I'm a little bit an aware on how the X-rays acheived... Is there any machine avaiable in the market to make this kind of art... Or it is a Photoshop techniques only..

Comment by Willyvend on June 01, 2008

As usual, your advices are very interesting and useful !
Thank's a lot to have choosen one of my pics.

Comment by Ellenboughn on May 30, 2008

I know three photographers that use x-rays. One is a scientist who 'photographs' sea shells using xrays; another makes beautiful fine art prints of insects using the x-ray equipment at a hospital where she took photos for hospital promotions in exchange for use of the xray and another who did these flower type photos 10 years ago for a RF CD. It all has to do with getting close to a facility or technican to give you access and to run the equipment for you. Once the x-ray is created, you basically have a negative.

Comment by Demonike on May 30, 2008

How are the X-rays achieved, totally escapes me. Is there cheap X-ray machinery on the market all of a sudden or is there just some clever technique behind it?

Comment by Fat*fa*tin on May 29, 2008

great info and thank you so much for choosing my illustration for your blog too :) cheers!

Comment by Valeria73 on May 29, 2008

Great advice, as always! I love the flower abstracts you chose. You made me want to create some!!!

And thank you sooooo much for choosing my picture! It's a real honour!!! :)))

Comment by Photostar73 on May 29, 2008

I liked very much this blog article: it's very useful about thinking to new sell perspectives... I never thinked about this thing for stock photography.

Comment by Rjssignscom on May 29, 2008

What a Great Blog! Thank you for taking the time to write it. Informative and reaffirming. Thanks again, Sherry[imgr]5175184[/imgr]

Comment by Photomyeye on May 29, 2008

good info thanks..........

Comment by Cleaper on May 28, 2008

Realy interesting blog. Love your choice of shots too.

Comments (11)

This article has been read 2898 times. 2 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Laura Iushewitz, Elena Ray Microstock Library © Elena Ray, Fat*fa*tin, Javarman, Ben Goode, Mk74, Ng, Nicolaas Weber, Valeria Cantone, Victoria Alexandrova, Willyvend, Paulus Rusyanto.

About me

I have written a about microstock photography released in 2010. I was the Director of Content at Dreamstime for two years ending in Feb, 2009. You can order my book from amazon via my website at www.ellenboughn.com/blog.

Bainbridge Island, US

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