Selling Photographs in Patagonia
by Leo Ridano with an Introduction by Alain Briot

Other essays in this series

Catarata stream, El Hoyo city, Chubut. Patagonia Argentina

I often write on Marketing and I also teach and lecture on the subject of selling photographs. I am also always interested in learning about other photographer's experience selling their work.

Here, Leo Ridano gives us a very interesting experience report on selling his work. Leo lives and works in the Patagonia region of Argentina, and his experience selling his work is quite unlike that of many of us. At the same time, Leo faces challenges that all artists face, such as the necessity of framing, matting, and marketing our work.

Let's listen to Leo tell us how he handles these challenges. If find Leo's experience and approach very touching.

Alain Briot

Selling Photographs in Patagonia, Argentina, by Leo Ridano
My name is Leo F. Ridano and actually I’m living at Lago Puelo, Chubut, Argentina. My first language is spanish so please excuse my poor english.

I sell photographs at our regional market, which it’s not an art show. It is more a handcraft market. But I start and try to show our “beautiful-landscape” to our visitors and, principally, our local flora. But I did not kneow how to do it.

Here’s where your essays come to enlight my vision (my really narrow vision) about how to sell photography, and how to sell it in a country like mine where all kind of art is not easy to sell.

After I read your essays I feel new fresh air, they let me dream, they give me new forces to continue trying, new ways to show “my” art or, better, new ways to “teach nature”, to transmit what I feel when I get into the forest with my camera.

Leo's Display

The display is very little. It sizes are 1.2 x 2.3 x 2 meters (width x hight x depth -in feet, maybe something like 4 x 7.54 x 6.56 feet) so I can't show big photographies (the bigger ones I have are 16"x12"). This is the size I can use at this market. This year  I preferred to concentrate my profits to buy a new camera and lenses, because with the older one I can't print big sizes. And this winter I gonna try to improve matting (buying a Logan matt cutter) and framing.

Campo en cercanías de Cholila- Cholila, Chubut, Patagonia, Argentina

Obtaining mats in Patagonia
Here in Patagonia it is very dificult to find good past-partout (mats) and imposible to buy an already cutted mat. Until now I'm buying the frame to a frames maker and I'm cutting past partout with my common cutter but is very big the difference between a common cutter and a diagonal cut.

But well, this are the photographies of my humble display and art. I think it's gonna improve with the time.

Leo's Display-detail.

Marketing approach
Those photographs in frames, full of little photos, are collages of diferent themes of our Patagonian flora. I sell one of native mushrooms and two of native flowers at 12x16 inches (two of them are press printed, no photography printed), and also I have six 8x10 inches of native flowers, mushrooms and birds (all these are printed as a photograph). They have white all around so the clients could frame it themselves (or they could buy with the frame already).

I start doing these photographs because it's very common that the clients want something to remember and recognize their travel to Patagonia and the flora they saw here. I saw that those clients usually don't want an artistic photograph of a unique flower for decoration, and they prefer "more information for less money". But usually I have a lot of those "little" photographs bigger and alone. Remember that I don't sell at an art show, I do it at our regional market where it's uncommon to find art, the usual things you find here are handcrafts (silver bijouterie, lot of wood things, scarfs, ponchos), jams, organic products, etc... So it's not the best public to buy art. We are only two persons who sell photographs at these market: me (preferredly flowers and mushrooms macro photographs) and the other guy who sell only landscapes photographs.

Now I'm using a Canon 400D/xti with a Sigma macro 105mm f:2.8 and the Canon lens that came with the kit (18-55 mm f 4-5.6). When I brought it, I couldn't buy the macro and a better wide angle lens so I prefer to have a good macro lens and then, with the time, buy a better lens for landscapes. Now, I waiting a new Canon 70-300 because I need to photograph some birds. Before this I used a Sony H1, a little compact camera that surprised me a lot, but after a year using it I prefer to buy something with RAW and a bigger sensor to improve resolution.

Leo Ridano,

You can learn more about Leo's work on his site at

Laguna La Tortuguita- Lago Puelo, Chubut, Patagonia, Argentina

Essay and photographs Copyright © Leo Ridano 2008. Introduction © Alain Briot 2008
All rights reserved worldwide