With over 25 years of experience we (Chris Maher and myself) wrote the definitive article on selling photography at art shows for Shutterbug Magazine. You can read it on the web site at:
This new forum gives photographers a chance to ask questions about marketing their work at art shows around the country. Please read the article to understand what questions you need to ask if you're interested in selling on the street.
Thanks Larry. I know that you spend a great amount of time and effort at these shows and that you have been very successful in your work, so your advice and counsel are invaluable. Welcome aboard!
I caught your exhibit at Manayunk last year. Nice work. I've done a few much smaller, local outdoor shows the past three years, and am wondering what the "secret" is to making more than one's expenses back. Lots of fun schmoozing with the attendees, though.
Mike (no relation that I know of) Berman
The formula is not so much of a secret as it is very thoughtful editing and marketing. I'm kind of simplifying it with this answer.
It starts with creating an interesting uniform body of work which will enable you to jury into some good shows. Purchasing high quality materials inexpensively so you can price competitively. And a professional looking display combined with strong images to draw people in who want to purchase.
I will be back at the Manayunk (Philadelphia) show again this year last weekend of June. Besides a new body of color infrared flowers I shot this spring, it's the only show I can do where I can hang my old Julius Erving photographs in addition to my fine art photographs. That give me a chance to also advertise my sports web site and get future sales.
Art shows are an amazing way to get immediate good and bad feedback on your work.