The time has come around again for our monthly feature! This month we have decided to shed some light on the business side of the creative industry. We invited Elizabeth Bull of One Fine Print who is someone we love working with on a regular basis. One Fine Print is a business that develops partnerships with bold and innovative photographers around Australia to bring accessible and affordable prints to the public.
Tell us a little bit about One Fine Print.
One Fine Print is a curated collection of prints from talented Australian photographers. One Fine Print’s aim is to bring people beautiful and unique photography that they might otherwise not get to experience. There is no need to trawl through chasms looking for treasure; One Fine Print has created something that has, until now, been difficult to find: a curated forum of unique, bold, intriguing large photographic prints that people can take home and enjoy.
I scoured the photographic community to find bold and innovative photographers from around Australia. I selected each One Fine Print photographer for their unique approach to the craft and their love of creating high-quality, contemporary images. We only went with photographers who are recognised within the industry as being amongst the best. We now represent an eclectic group of photographers, including advertising and fashion photographer Robert Earp, who shoots conceptual photography for global campaigns; NZIPP 2016 Overseas Photographer of the Year Paul Hoelen; and Mark Lobo, whose quirky creative work has attracted a following of 45,000 followers on Instagram.
How did One Fine Print get started? Were you searching for something for your own home and found a gap in the market?
I was working professionally as a photographer but would always shoot creative work on the side. I noticed many of my colleagues were doing the same and were producing really interesting and diverse work; however their work wasn’t really getting out there because they didn’t have the time or the means. From this idea One Fine Print was born. The idea being that we could bridge the gap between photographers and the public and bring them beautiful imagery they could enjoy in their home.
I noticed you have a consulting service; do you find much change in someone’s experience when they use this service?
Absolutely, buying a piece of art work is a big decision and people often find it hard to visualise how a piece will look in their home. By visiting clients we are able to show them and suggest ideas of what will work where.
You also provide prints for corporate environments, is this a large part of what you do or do people come to you for a more personal experience?
The bulk of our work is working one on one with clients looking for something for their home, but we still enjoy working in commercial spaces. The nice thing about commercial spaces is our work has the potential to be seen by a lot of people. Commercial environments are looking for interesting and diverse imagery as they want to create a space that inspires and has warmth and this is what we are all about.
Have you found the appreciation for printed work has changed much with the onset of the digital age?
I almost think it is appreciated more. People are seeing photography every day. They are interested in photography and inspired by it but they see it on small screens in their feed so they really appreciate a large format print. They can see the quality and the detail and can imagine how they could live with it in their home.
How personal is the relationship you have with your photographers and do they shoot things specifically for you or have you found them because of their style?
I have a very close working relationship with the photographers I work with. It needs to be as they are trusting me to represent their creative work and speak on their behalf. The really nice thing about the photographers I now work with is that they are finding that One Fine Print inspires them to produce more creative work and I love it when they come to me to see which of their new prints I might be interested in showcasing.
How long did it take for One Fine Print to establish itself?
People are often surprised to learn that we are really quite new. We’ve only been running for just over 18 months. We’ve just had a lot happen in a short amount of time!
What advice would you give to creative small business starting out?
Work hard, keep at it. Business is hard work, you’ll get there though. Just remember it’s a marathon not a sprint!
You’re a photographer yourself, what made you want to sell artwork rather than be behind the camera more?
I’m a strange creative person, but I really enjoy the business side of things. I enjoy the challenge. I know that most creatives don’t enjoy the business side at all, so I felt like it was an important role for me to play in bridging that gap and support other creatives in that way.
Did your style develop naturally or did you always know how you wanted One Fine Print to look?
I think the great thing about style is that you can’t fake it or make it up. You just need to be true to your own personal style and tastes, and they will lead you. Set your own path and don’t follow others. I had an idea of how I wanted One Fine Print to look but it wasn’t set in stone. It’s definitely developed over time as I’ve got a clearer picture of what works for the brand.
Do you want to keep One Fine Print as a smaller refined business or do you have plans to expand?
We’re still relatively new so we’ll see where time takes us. At this point, I’m open to the opportunities that present themselves. I think if we do expand it will have to be on the condition that we keep our core values intact. We always want to be about showcasing high quality distinct photography.
What have been your greatest professional challenges?
Juggling shooting and running a business. Finding a balance between shooting commercial and personal work. The usual creative dilemma!
Why have you chosen the pop-up model as opposed to a permanent residence?
The pop-up model has been a really good way to test the market and see what works for us. It’s our take on the traditional art gallery exhibition. Although we haven’t ruled out the option of going into a permanent residence in the future.
Questions by Georgia Quinn
Intro by Stella Nguyen
Art Direction by Jo Nixon