Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Pricing landscapes  (Read 5222 times)
karrphoto
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 42


« on: November 12, 2008, 11:08:07 PM »
ReplyReply

I don't have a clue if I'm in the right place or not.. but..

I'm a, or was, a portrait and wedding photographer until a car accident and other medical problems forced me to go on disability.

I can price my work fine when it comes to weddings or portraits..  But tell me I have to price a landscape and I'm SOL.

So, any wise words of wisdom or pointers would be much appreciated.   I know right now that I'll have 2 different print types, limited editions printed on fine art paper, signed and numbered and then "artist proof" images that will be just straight prints on luster or matte paper.    Beyond that, I'm just guessing that I'll have to see how many images for a limited edition I would plan on doing, maybe guestimate a proof number as well and then figure what my typical expenses would be and then multiply it by whatever factor.   But I also know art pricing is subjective and a lot has to do with people following a given artist.  So do you start low until you work up a name, or what??

Dazed, Confused and out of my element,

Jim
Logged
bill t.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2693


WWW
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2008, 11:48:32 PM »
ReplyReply

Biggest factors are probably where you are located, and the curb-appeal of your photographs for the market that is available to you.  Mathematics only enters into the equation in the form of making sure you don't rob yourself, but is otherwise useless for pricing or predicting performance within any particular market.

As a sort of ballpark, if you are getting less that about $20 per square foot of print area, you had better have another source of income if you want to stay in fine art photography.  So for entry level, low-ball pricing think something like $40 base + $20 per square foot...and you need to move up from that ASAP as you start to make sales based on who you are.  If you are paying a service to make your prints, you need to charge a lot more.

I know that 90% of my private customers could care less about editions or paper type, they simply buy those images that viscerally grab them (merely pretty pictures are not enough, but that's another story).  OTOH, I do have a few collectors for whom I reserve the "single digit" numbers on numbered but unlimited editions, and that seems to satisfy them.  BTW it also helps to write "To Joe and Mary, blah blah blah..." on the backs of prints, collectors want something that sets the print aside as something special, a handwritten message in some ways beats a "2/20" scribble.

Edition sizes have a lot do with price, lately I've been seeing "edition of 6" on a lot of big pricey prints from the big names.  I recently saw a 30" x 96" edition-of-six print valued at more than my house.  When I was editioning, I usually did 100, but I only charged as much as my dishwasher.  Editioning is basically a PITA, there are all sorts of complications about what comprises an "edition" that may or may not allow the photographer some wiggle room that may or may not piss off his existing customers.  I hear some states even have laws governing what comprises an art edition, who needs that stuff!
Logged
Geoff Wittig
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1017


« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2008, 11:55:49 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: karrphoto
I don't have a clue if I'm in the right place or not.. but..

I'm a, or was, a portrait and wedding photographer until a car accident and other medical problems forced me to go on disability.

I can price my work fine when it comes to weddings or portraits..  But tell me I have to price a landscape and I'm SOL.

So, any wise words of wisdom or pointers would be much appreciated.   I know right now that I'll have 2 different print types, limited editions printed on fine art paper, signed and numbered and then "artist proof" images that will be just straight prints on luster or matte paper.    Beyond that, I'm just guessing that I'll have to see how many images for a limited edition I would plan on doing, maybe guestimate a proof number as well and then figure what my typical expenses would be and then multiply it by whatever factor.   But I also know art pricing is subjective and a lot has to do with people following a given artist.  So do you start low until you work up a name, or what??

Dazed, Confused and out of my element,

Jim

Yep. What bill t said. The sad fact is that fine art prints are a luxury, a nebulous commodity worth precisely what someone else is willing to pay for them. Robert Glenn Ketchum or Andreas Gursky can get $10,000 and up per print because of the 'perceived value' of their work. If you produce really stunning prints of subjects no one else has adequately addressed, and manage to get them in front of 'art people' with discretionary income to burn, and can generate that perceived value, then you may be able to get a good price. Developing an excellent portfolio with a consistent theme can also generate repeat customers.

The most successful fine art photographer I'm aware of in our area has a large portfolio of very nice landscape/forest/waterfall/local architecture images. He prints them all with a consistent brown/sepia toning and subtle soft focus that is very attractive. He sells both matted prints and finished framed pieces, for prices ranging from $90 (U.S.) for 11x14" frame to a little less than $400 for a 24x32" frame, print size about 16x20". He ceaselessly markets his work through local art shows, a coffee shop/gallery, and a very good website. He keeps a database of customers and sends reminders of shows and occasional print specials. As a result he has a decent following of local collectors plus impulse buyers. He sells editions of 25 and 50. (Probably the clearest explanation of editioning and limited editions I've ever seen is in one of the last chapters of Amadou Diallo's Mastering Digital Black & White)

The rule of thumb I follow is to charge 4 times my material costs for the print (including ink, paper, mat board and frame). This just keeps me from losing money on the transaction, and allows me to buy more paper & ink.   If you're actually doing this as a business, you either need to charge more than that, or run a ruthlessly efficient production process and sell lots of prints.

Just my 2 cents.
Logged
PhillyPhotographer
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 334


« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2008, 09:28:43 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: karrphoto
I don't have a clue if I'm in the right place or not.. but..

I'm a, or was, a portrait and wedding photographer until a car accident and other medical problems forced me to go on disability.

I can price my work fine when it comes to weddings or portraits..  But tell me I have to price a landscape and I'm SOL.

So, any wise words of wisdom or pointers would be much appreciated.   I know right now that I'll have 2 different print types, limited editions printed on fine art paper, signed and numbered and then "artist proof" images that will be just straight prints on luster or matte paper.    Beyond that, I'm just guessing that I'll have to see how many images for a limited edition I would plan on doing, maybe guestimate a proof number as well and then figure what my typical expenses would be and then multiply it by whatever factor.   But I also know art pricing is subjective and a lot has to do with people following a given artist.  So do you start low until you work up a name, or what??

Dazed, Confused and out of my element,

Jim


It can be tricky Jim. There are several different directions you can go.

I do editions of 45. I also only print one size and I don't do A/P copies so when I say 45 I mean it. If a print sells out what's the worse thing that can happen, I have to go out and take more photographs ?  Sounds bad doesn't it. LOL

Pricing can even be more difficult. You can charge $20 or $2000 but what's your goal for photography, getting your work seen and into the hand of collectors or making it big right away. When I started to really take photography seriously two years ago I would sell prints for $50 to $100 and in some cases give them away to the right people and it has paid off. I still take photos today that I'm not sure where they fit in my portfolio so I use them as gifts or sell for $100. The object is to get your work seen. As my print sales dramatically increased I raised my prices to $200 and then recently to $400 without a drop in sales at shows, galleries or online. I can't even tell you how many of my customers are friend of a friend, a work colleague or relative of someone that purchased my work. Again that's the objective, getting your work seen and the rest will follow. It's also better to start off low and then raise your price as you sell more prints then it is to start off to high and not sell any. Presentation is another thing. When i started to charge $200 I decided that everything will be matted and again it paid off. A matted photo ready to frame is just more appealing to the eye.


This is how I do it and some would agree and some would disagree. Do what seems right for you and good luck.


      Michael Penn

www.michaelpennphotography.com
Logged

joergen geerds
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 46


WWW
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2008, 06:28:54 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: bill t.
Edition sizes have a lot do with price, lately I've been seeing "edition of 6" on a lot of big pricey prints from the big names.  I recently saw a 30" x 96" edition-of-six print valued at more than my house.  When I was editioning, I usually did 100, but I only charged as much as my dishwasher.  Editioning is basically a PITA, there are all sorts of complications about what comprises an "edition" that may or may not allow the photographer some wiggle room that may or may not piss off his existing customers.  I hear some states even have laws governing what comprises an art edition, who needs that stuff!

wow, you hit my print sizes and edition right on the head... how did you know?
(unfortunately, my sales prize is far less than your house, unless you live in a garden shed).
I think editions are important for larger works, not so much for smaller works, but the rarity factor still comes in play. if the sales don't take off, editions don't matter, if the sales take off, small editions are better, because you can raise the price towards the higher numbers. I rather do small editions, and offer more photos over time, than do a large edition. but  sales are slow anyway, so we'll see what the future brings.
Logged

bill t.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2693


WWW
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2008, 08:01:26 PM »
ReplyReply

Fabulous portfolio Joergen!  Work worthy of its big dimensions.  Would love to see some of those prints.
Logged
Steven Draper
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 147


WWW
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2008, 08:26:16 AM »
ReplyReply

Does anyone manage there print work as described by Brook  Jenson in the LL video? I think it is a very sensible way of managing general prints.

Personally I am using it for images that are outside of a specific collection in order to provide an good price point of $25 - $35 for a print that is about 10x6.6" that is un-matted but sealed with info sheet and archival mount board. It means I do not have to print loads of any one print (printer may upgrade, paper changes or I may learn something and wish to tweak an image.) However I have a max limit of 50 on all images made from a particular file.  (not including postcards, note cards and images less the 5x7etc) I also do not take multiple images and then reprint using the next frame taken .2 seconds later!!! I think it is important that even at the entry price points work is still special, for may people $25 for a print is still an expensive luxury item.

However a defined difference needs to exist for work targeted at much higher price points that involves more 'artistic concept - rarity of image / angle etc and has taken some observations of the market to come to my own conclusions. I'm working on my first two 'collections' and these will be very limited to about  5-10 prints (including AP that are saved!) at only one size. All prints made at the same time - putting my money where my mouth is!
Logged

image examples are at my website  stevendraperphotography.com   and Polepics is      "Here"
Pages: [1]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad