I’m a great admirer of Samuel Johnson, poet, essayist, writer and much more, who was quoted as saying: “No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.” I suspect that if there had been cameras around in the 18th Century, he might equally have said: “No man but a blockhead ever took pictures except for money.”
My sentiments exactly. If I write and illustrate an article I get very edgy, not to say cross, if it fails to sell, however long it takes.
A couple of years ago I took a trip to Lille in France where I stumbled upon Europe’s biggest flea market. The image shown here is one from a series of pictures I took over a few days spent in this delightful French city. An illustrated article on the subject would undoubtedly sell to one of the Francophile magazines, I thought. What a choice I had: France, France Today, FR France Travel Magazine, FrenchEntreé Magazine, Living France… what could possibly go wrong?
It didn’t happen. No one wanted it.
Realistically, I knew that my work wasn’t strong enough for a proper travel magazine, so I tried a round of women’s magazines that cover travel subjects. Those that bothered to reply said their travel features were covered in-house.
But then I remembered Antique Collecting magazine. I’d previously sold them a couple of illustrated articles on classic cameras. Might they be interested? They were, and the words and pictures sold at last.
The point I’m making is that sometimes you produce something, be it a written article, or a special picture of some sort, that you just know has that saleability factor, even when it keeps failing to sell. That’s when you need to have faith in your work. You knew when you produced it that it was saleable – all you had to do was find the right market.