“I’ve always loved animals and nature and have been photographing both since I was a little girl in Long Island toting around my Kodak Instamatic,” fine art photographer Sandy Sisti, the brains behind Wild at Heart Images, says.
One of our top sellers at PhotoShelter, I recently caught up with Sandy to learn more about how she sells so successfully with PhotoShelter and learn a bit more about her background in photography. Originally from New York, Sandy made it her life’s mission to relocate to somewhere more rural after a dream trip to Greater Yellowstone in 1994. Now happily settled in Wyoming, “most of my time is devoted to observing and documenting the wild horses of McCullough Peaks, a group of horses I consider like family,” she says.
She’s got an impressive list of clients: National Geographic, Outdoor Photographer, Wyoming Wildlife, The Guardian and American Wild Horse Campaign, to name a few. Her portrait of a bison overlooking Hayden Valley, “Surveying his Kingdom”, won the top pro wildlife prize in the inaugural Nature’s Best/Yellowstone Forever photography competition too.
Find out how Sandy found her audience, details about her pricing structure and her sales workflow below. This interview was lightly edited for clarity and length.
All images by Sandy Sisti/Wild at Heart Images.
PhotoShelter: Tell us about yourself. How did you get into photography and more specifically into photographing horses?
SS: I’ve always been interested in photography and animals. Even when I was a little girl, I was forever toting a camera around photographing the backyard birds or butterflies. As an adult, nature and wildlife photography became a hobby, then an obsession and then a profession. I’ve always loved horses, so my move to horse photography seemed like a natural progression in my journey as a photographer.
How did you find your audience?
SS: I found my audience through social media. People seem drawn to the stories of wildlife and wild horses, just as I am. The backstories about each individual animal and their life history fascinates me and seems to fascinate others as well.
How did you decide on what to sell and your pricing structure?
SS: I decided what to sell based on what clients like to order. Most of my clients order fine art prints, metal prints or canvas wraps, so that’s what I offer. I take custom orders as well. I took some online classes through CreativeLive relating to selling fine art photography which helped me to determine my pricing structure. I’ve removed the digital download option from my website since it was never used even when I was selling digital wildlife images to magazines.
You’re notified of a sale, now what? Can you walk us through your sales workflow?
SS: Once I’m notified of a sale, I review the order for all the correct information. I place the order with my printer and then notify the client when the print is shipped. I use the electronic signature function at Bay Photo, which is really wonderful. I had a lot of problems with prints getting damaged when I received them, signed them and shipped them out. That doesn’t happen anymore.
I see you’re using self-fulfillment for your orders. Can you tell us more about your printer?
SS: The printer I use is Bay Photo. Their quality is excellent and if there is any problem with a print, they replace it immediately. The customer service is just outstanding.
Are you doing anything special for the holiday season? (e.g. sales, how you’re preparing for an influx of customers, etc.)
SS: I am offering sales this holiday season. Due to issues with shipping and the supply chain, most of my clients’ holiday orders have already been filled.