You'll have noticed that Tuesday's photo is a bit different from the usual. But what won't have been obvious is that it's a first step towards selling old photos on Gwulo.com. Here's the story so far....
From time to time people ask if they can buy copies of the photos shown on this site. Each time I've explained that 'sorry, they aren't my photos, so you'll need to contact the owner.' Then a couple of months ago the lightbulb went on and I thought, hold on, if people want to buy old photos of Hong Kong, why shouldn't they buy them here?
So, for the last month or so I've been buying old original photos. It's been a mixture: some that I think people would like to buy, some that I think will be interesting to talk about, and some that I just liked the look of.
I've used up the money set aside for that, so now I'm posting them up on the website, starting with Tuesday's photo. There are a couple of differences you'll notice from the other photos on gwulo.com:
- The watermark is the obvious change, hopefully showing people where the image came from if it gets copied to other sites.
- The better resolution is the other difference. If you haven't tried yet, see how far you can zoom in, eg to look at liners berthed at the Kowloon wharves, small sailing boats in the harbour, and people on the streets in Sheung Wan.
Next I'll have to find a way to sell them. I'll be selling reprints rather than the originals, so I'll need to find a way to sell them online. I've got some ideas, but I'd also be interested to hear any recommendations you might have.
If anyone buys, the first step will be to pay back the costs of buying the old photos. Second will be to buy more as we sell more, so that sales support buying more photos. The third step, if we get there, will be to make a profit. I plan to try it for a year and see how it goes - in the worst case if noone buys anything, at least I'll have some nice old photos to hang on the wall.
Of course this only applies to the photos I have the copyright to. Don't worry, I won't be selling any of the photos you've uploaded!!
That's what I've been working on for the last few weeks. Wish me luck and, of course, let me know if you have any questions.
Re: Gwulo sells out
Hi David, This is a good idea. Good luck! Besides targeting HK people as potential customers of the photos, perhaps you can try to increase exposure of Gwulo.com to communities of former expats in the UK and Australia. Regards, C
Re: Gwulo sells out
Thanks C. I also hope that former residents of Hong Kong will be interested in these old photos.
David, how about publish a
David, how about publish a book of the photos you've bought?
The Gwulo book
Good idea, but as I've only posted 5 photos so far, I think it will have to wait a while!!
You should be aware that just because you have purchased a physical photograph, or have a digital image of one, you actually don't own the copyright and, hence, don’t legally have the right to sell a reproduction of the photo. For very old photos, depending on when they were taken, and when the photographer died, and when and if the copyright was extended they could be in the public domain. However, most of what I have seen on your site doesn't fall into that category. You may, or may not get legally popped for selling the photos, but do be careful. Many museums, libraries, digital collections, etc, put far less obvious watermarks in the pixels of what they own and do make examples of people.
re: Selling Photos
Anonymous, thanks for writing. I'll take care to check the copyright before selling any photos.
Old photos for sale
After a few false starts, I've found a printer I'm happy with. So, photos are now available for purchase.
Any questions? Please leave a comment below, or send me an email.
Thanks & regards, David
I'm more interested in your
I'm more interested in your original albumen print that you have, would you consider :D ?
re: I'm more interested in your
Sorry HF, I'm only planning to sell the re-prints, not the originals.