I always wanted to sell my photography as fine art but always felt like it would take too much time to do it myself or that the quality of online platforms would be too low. That was until I found a solution that meant very little work for me with no compromises on quality, pricing, or customer support. If this sounds too good to be true, then keep reading for an in-depth look at the new Darkroom.com storefront that is now offering you more tools and features to sell your prints online during the holidays, the easy way.
What Is Darkroom?
Darkroom is a platform that helps any creator sell their fine art. In minutes after signing up, you can have a shoppable fine art gallery live with global distribution. All you have to do is upload your work and set your prices, and Darkroom handles the rest: printing, shipping, and customer service. Let’s dive into some of their other cool features!!
Anders and Theo, the passionate co-founders behind this timely, easy-to-use print shop, have taken the site to a whole new level with some game-changing features that will empower any photographer to start selling their work in minutes.
Formerly known as darkroom.tech, these photographers turned entrepreneurs have now secured the domain name, www.darkroom.com, and with it has come an impressive list of features that enable you as a photographer to not only offer more options to your customers, but also show off your work in the form of 3D renderings on your personalized gallery.These 3D renderings of your prints allow customers to click and rotate the print for a full realization of what your product will be like in person and on the purchaser’s wall. This new feature for Darkroom Plus users, their paid membership, is taking the experience to a more interactive level, inviting your customers to truly visualize your work beautifully and professionally.
Fine Art Paper Options
We all know how important quality is to our precious work. When selling your prints online, you want that reassurance that your photographs will be printed with care, precision, and on the best possible paper available to the customer.
Darkroom works with reputable print houses across the globe who take as much care with your photographs as you would. I have personally sold many prints to customers from rural Australia to Germany, and each customer has been blown away by the quality of the prints received. I have also ordered samples for myself, which is a great feature offered to anyone with a gallery, allowing you to order at cost plus shipping. The feeling of seeing your work printed is truly unbeatable, and if you’re used to seeing your images on a device, it will remind you why prints are still so popular today.
There are now more options than ever when it comes to paper choice, ranging from the professional Kodak Lustre paper that has been a constant winner, all the way to a fine art paper (Moab Entrada), priced, of course, at a higher rate but offering that special, luxury feel to those who are serious about their prints. Also on offer are canvases and metal print types, as well as a myriad of sizes from 8x10 all the way to a massive large format 40x80!
Any option in your gallery can be simply toggled on or off, depending on what you, as a creator, want to offer your potential customers. This provides you with complete control over the way your personal style and brand are being put across, and I personally love the flexibility to upload different images and play around with what I make available to my audience.
Time Poor? Let Darkroom Do The Work
Selling prints all by yourself and handling it from start to finish can be a time-consuming and stressful experience, especially over the holiday season. There is a lot to consider, and it can be a learning curve working it all out so you, as the creator, end up with some money in your back pocket post sale. Darkroom literally manages everything, including printing, handling, and customer support, even on international orders.
Finding time can often be the barrier to us taking the next step in our creative journey or side hustle, and with all of the logistics taken out, Darkroom provides you with a form of passive income from your photography. All you, the creator, needs to do is upload your work, set your prices, and launch! The rest is handled by the Darkroom team.
Offer Store-wide Sales
With the frenzy of Black Friday sales and Christmas approaching, it’s business savvy to offer your customers a discounted rate on your beautiful work. In the past, this was only viable through a creator-generated discount code, but with the launch of the new site, creators can now enable banner discounts that will be displayed at the top of your gallery page, visible and redeemable to any customer visiting your shop. That's perfect for the holiday season fast approaching.
You can also set up private discount codes to be given out at your own discretion. I often direct message those to people who comment on a post on Instagram loving my work or use them as a way to get people to check out my shop and browse my work.
Creators can now download customer data from their previous sales, a huge game-changer that will allow photographers to connect with their customer base directly and market to them in the future. It’s also an amazing opportunity to send a customer an email thanking them, building that relationship and getting feedback straight from the source. It’s a well-known fact in the marketing and business world that returning customers are more likely to buy again if happy and also spend more too! I personally have had many returning customers to my Darkroom shop, often buying two or more prints at a time, so I can vouch for this theory.
Free Versus Plus Accounts
Darkroom.com has two types of memberships, free and plus. The free membership is equipped with the basic tools to start a gallery and sell your work, but if you want these extra additions that really elevate your shopfront and give you more control, then signing up for a plus membership is definitely worth it.
I started off with the free version, and in hindsight, I would have made more money had I gone over to plus, as the percentage taken from total sales is a lot lower, and I have had months where I’ve sold quite a few prints. Darkroom offers all users a 14-day free trial of the plus option so you can have a look and see what best suits your needs. Whichever you choose, the user experience is so simple and seamless it makes this service accessible to any artist, and that is something we need more of right now!
Wait, There's More
The minds behind this genius print store service aren’t stopping at just these updates. Coming soon, there will be options for downloadable renders, signed prints and certificates of authentication, custom domains, and more!
If you want to learn more about the co-founders of Darkroom, check out my recent podcast interview with Theo and Anders for a deep dive into how they got started as a business, why printing your work is an integral part of being a photographer, and also to hear some pro tips on how to best market and sell more of your work these holidays.
What are you waiting for? Go create your shop now!