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Author Topic: Pricing by Size... or...  (Read 2181 times)
Mike Guilbault
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« on: June 25, 2011, 02:00:22 PM »
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I know most photographers price their prints by size and possibly the type of paper it's printed on (at least for digital printing).  A smaller print sells for less than a large print, and to some extent it makes sense. Probably makes the best sense to clients too. 

Aside from business models/plans, COGS, etc., what other factors do YOU base your print prices on?
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KLaban
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2011, 04:17:19 AM »
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Size matters, or at least as far as the photographic print market is concerned it matters. The same is largely true of the art market in general, larger pieces tend to sell for more than smaller pieces. Whether or not this is justified or even desirable is a matter of opinion and conjecture.

Personally speaking I can't help feeling that pricing by girth is rather bizarre but it is what the market expects. Some of my favourite image makers only offer prints sizes that I would describe as being 'intimate'.

As has been mentioned elsewhere there are other factors that influence price, sales outlet, market, open or limited edition, size of edition, to mention but a few. On a personal level the decision to limit the edition or not depends on the intended market, potential sales and also to a certain extent on vanity. There are images that just scream to be sold as open editions, and others with perhaps a rather limited market that lend themselves to being sold as limited editions. If I know an image will sell time and again and will sell over a period of many years then where is the sense in severely limiting those sales? Conversely, if I know an image will appeal only to a highly targeted audience then limiting the edition and increasing the price makes sense. Vanity?...well, there's a part of me that thinks I'd rather sell more prints to more people rather than fewer prints to fewer people. 

Having said all of this, and having sold images - prints and image licensing - ranging in size from thumbnails to 84" long side, it's rather perverse that the best earners have probably been smaller sized open edition prints and web use thumbnail licenses that are renewable yearly.
 

 

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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2011, 09:39:29 PM »
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thanks Keith.  As you mention, it's what the market expects and does make pricing seem more logical. 

Now, do you ever price images that are the same size differently?  In other words, if the market, edition, size, etc. are the same between two images, are the prices always the same? 
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bill t.
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2011, 01:06:29 AM »
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I price strictly by size using a formula.  Has number of advantages for selling across a wide variety of venues in that, for instance galleries can quote a custom size and price without having to play phone tag while a customer is waiting.  It's great to be able to tell customers that prices are the same "everywhere," they really have a sense of what things should cost and are quite sensitive to the idea that something might cost less or more at different venues.

I actually have several different formulas based on specific framing treatments.  But it's always a "base price" plus a certain cost per square inch.  The dimensions are always to the outside of the frame, so frame area is valued the same as print area.  The "base" price is a kind of minimum-bid thing that prevents loses on small frame sizes that are still require some significant labor.

I don't deny that there may be some mojo to pricing by image merit.  But that makes it hard to discount initially overpriced images without getting early adopters ticked off.  Formula based pricing also avoids the implication that some of your images are better than others.  Best to take an overall average view of pricing IMHO.
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KLaban
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2011, 02:18:41 AM »
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In other words, if the market, edition, size, etc. are the same between two images, are the prices always the same? 

The short answer is yes, but the key word there is market. Same prices for the same market, edition, size, but differing prices for differing markets. This only applies to print sales, licensing is a whole different ball game and fees vary wildly.
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michaelnotar
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2011, 03:09:46 PM »
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while not mainly a portrait photographer, myself and others do something like this 4x5 for $29, 5x7 $39, 8x10 $49. while materials arent that much the PITA factor is there and it also makes it easy for them to buy a larger print.
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