One of the questions I get most often is, how do I price my art photography. In this short article, I will share some advice and ideas on things you should bear in mind when identifying what you will charge for your art photography prints.
Count the Expense
To begin with, there are no set guidelines when it pertains to pricing your work. Other than, conserve one– you require to cover your expenses. Sounds simple however there are not just the costs of paper, ink, matting, framing, chemistry (that is if you’re a darkroom person), and picture paper. If this is an organization for you and not just a hobby then there are a few other expenses you have to consider.
Even if you’re not leasing studio space, you have the monthly expenses of running out of your home or apartment or condo. You do have to travel to locations to produce your work, pick up products, and bring your work to the courier or post workplace for shipping, so there are those expenses like gas, repairs, and oil modifications. I make certain you have insurance on your devices as well as your house and cars and truck and you’ll need to cover those. Don’t forget all those software application upgrades so you can keep doing what you do. Those are simply a few of the expenses you require to consider.
There are a lot more expenses to making your art than simply those physical things that enter into making that print. Among the most crucial expenses that lots of artists forget is their time. Just how much time did it take you to drive to get that great shot of the sunset sky and after that sit there until the light was just right? How much time did you invest in the darkroom getting the print ideal? The length of time did it take you to cut the mat and frame the image? How long did you spend on the computer tweaking the image till it looked best?
After checking out that you may be believing that you’ll have to develop a hourly charge for your time. I’m not a fan of breaking down our time into hours and putting a rate on it since depending on the marketplace you are in, you might not have the ability to command that wage. However it is an excellent location to begin.
A better method is to break down all those expenditures into per-unit costs. You should understand how much each print, framed or unframed expenses you to produce. Just how much to increase that print is the next step. If you’re just starting and you do not have a history of consistent sales then how much you can secure will be extremely different from a professional photographer who has a steady of collectors requesting for their work and offers gradually. So when it comes to pricing the physical print itself (not matted or framed), I took a lesson from painters to figure out a starting point for prices. $1 per square inch. So, an 11″x14″ would retail for $154. A 24″x30″ print would sell for $720 and so on. Next, you have to add on the cost of matting and framing the print. That’s the simple part.
Another great starting point for this is to double the cost of the framing. Hypothetically, if the cost of the frame and matting is $150 (not an actual cost) and you double that for increase; then you add it to the print cost. Using my projected numbers the 11 × 14 image matted and framed to 16″x20″ would be priced at $670.
Now that you know your expense per unit, I like to utilize the following method to help in prices. Because I understand what all my costs are, each month I know what my sales figures need to be to make my monthly “nut” as I’ve heard it described. You’ll have to be practical with yourself to figure out if you can effectively sell sufficient art to cover those expenses. If you calculate that you can’t offer that lots of, you might need to increase your rates a little.
I understand many photographers and artists who do most of their selling at art programs and fairs. To assist cover their costs for those events, they will have artwork at various cost points making something available for anyone. Consider having greeting cards, postcards, and framed or matted 5x7s offered.
Develop Your Name and Photography
The next thing that will determine just how much you can sell is how long you have actually been producing and selling your art. Somebody with a consistent history of selling and whose work is preferred by art collectors will command a higher rate easily since their work is really desirable. A professional photographer who has gallery representation will also secure a greater cost. Part of the increased rate of selling in a gallery is that their commission can be as high as half or more so the artist needs to consider that when pricing their art.
Prior to you think of prices, take a mindful take a look at your images. Being that photography has now been democratized removing the barrier to entry into the profession, anyone can purchase a video camera and begin taking photos. Ask yourself some questions when taking a look at your work. Have I seen this image prior to? What makes it distinct from any of the other photography for sale out there? Why would a collector buy your work over another professional photographer? Have you established a style that is specifically yours? The design and appearance of the image that makes it stand out from any other photograph provide a viewed worth making it preferred.
Pictures are all over. We are swamped with images everyday making them appear commonplace. You need to have an image that nobody can get anywhere else, that they can’t take themselves, and that will make them yearn for that image.
Goal to produce images that stand out.
Offer Minimal Edition Prints
To make your pictures more exceptional, you can offer limited edition prints of an image. The next concern is the number of to put in the edition. There are a number of schools of believed on the variety of prints that you need to offer. I’ve seen examples where it’s just 5 prints and others where it’s 10 or more. When you think of the pricing of the edition, you can increase the quantity in the print run and charge a little less than a very short run. Now you’ve made it budget-friendly to a more comprehensive audience and you’ll offer more.
Likewise, you require to consider what size of prints you’ll use. Don’t use too many sizes. I think 3 is the most you ‘d wish to put out. If you’re simply starting out in selling editions, have a look at professional photographers who are doing comparable work to yours and at an analogous level. Go to gallery programs and auctions to see how they are pricing their work.
Do not fall under the trap of big editions. Unlike other artists, I would not advise editions of 100 or more, especially if you are doing darkroom prints. In that case, you would want to keep your editions to 5 or ten. With digital prints you’ll wish to provide them on the greatest quality paper you can and have it printed at a facility that focuses on edition printing. They should be able to assist you choose the paper you desire your image printed on, have the ability to scan from the negative or print and work from a digital file and their work should be archival.
There are some photographers who do not edition their work. These are called open editions. The purchaser does not know how many images are out there, whether they are all of the very same quality, and the number of different sizes are available. Having an open edition can seriously bring down the rate of your prints and most galleries will want a limited edition print if they intend on selling your work. So, if you are planning to offer in a gallery, then you need to seriously think about restricted edition printing.
Consist Of Artist Proofs
Besides the number of prints in the edition, you should also consist of a minimum of a couple of artists’ proofs. An artist evidence is a print that the artist utilizes to check the quality and color of the print. They are printed in the exact same manner, on the exact same paper and quality as the other prints.
Photographers will frequently include one or two in the edition print run. They are numbered in this fashion, 1/2 AP if there are two artist proofs. If there is only one then it will be simply marked AP. An artist’s evidence is frequently thought about more valuable since there are so few of them, so they frequently bring a higher price.
Do Market Research
Before you start offering your pictures as limited-edition prints, I recommend you do comprehensive research on what the art world is presently spending for photography. Likewise, research what genre of photography is selling in today’s art market. I had a look at a well-known New york city gallery that deals in prints in the rock star and motion picture star categories and the editions they used had, at a lot of, 3 sizes, and 11 × 14 prints began at $600 unframed.
These were from some of the greatest photographers in that company but it still contains a great deal of details that will be helpful to you. Take a look at the small print of the listing for the image. It will often hold a bonanza of info like whether it’s a limited edition print, if it was printed from the original unfavorable, if it’s signed, and if it has a certificate of credibility. Find as lots of galleries as you can that have their artist’s work for sale on their site and you’ll find out much by reading the details on each image.
Where to Sign Your Prints
The other question that shows up a lot when discussing print editions is where should the photographer sign the print. There are a few schools of thought on this however the one that I follow is never sign straight on the print. It’s different for painters due to the fact that they are frequently checking in the very same paint they did the painting in. Signing with a regular pen or marker will eventually discolor with time messing up the print.
Most of my images are printed full-frame so when I print, I will focus it on the paper leaving a white border around the image. Often I place the image somewhat higher on the paper leaving a bigger bottom border. I sign in the bottom ideal corner on the border with a soft lead pencil. If it’s an image without a border, I sign the back, bottom best corner with my name, the date the image was taken, and the title in addition to its edition number with my soft lead pencil.
Consist of a Certificate of Authenticity
The other thing I see that lots of photographers are using with the sale of their prints is a Certificate of Authenticity. Often the gallery will offer them or develop one in combination with the photographer.
There are plenty of templates online that you can work from and develop one that suits your requirements. It ought to have the title of the work, the year, print size, paper type, kind of ink (or it might be a silver gelatin print), and the signature of the artist. It will also have the photographer’s contact information throughout the top. Numerous will likewise tell that the print has actually been made to the greatest requirements of quality, that it is archival, in addition to a copyright notice and perhaps some instructions like that the image should not be shown in direct sunshine and high humidity.
Simply to wrap up a few of the things you need to remember when pricing your fine art photography.
- When prices, think about all your costs; not simply the cost of creating the print and framing. You not only need to make sure you’re earning money on the print sale but you require to sell enough to cover your business’s operating costs.
- Make sure you have an extraordinary image. It ought to be something that will make people stop and look if they see it.
- Choose the number of prints you will have in the edition and what minimal sizes you’ll use. Keep in mind most galleries will have extremely minimal runs and will just provide 2 or three sizes.
- Discover a printer that specializes in scandal sheet printing. Take a look at who their customers are and what services they will provide to help you achieve your objective.
- Do not forget to include one or two artists’ proofs in the edition run.
- Research study, research, research study! Inspect what other photographers of your quality and subject are selling and for just how much. Check to see the number of sizes and the variety of prints are offered.
- Do not forget to sign your print and your Certificate of Credibility.
I hope you discovered this handy. I understand throughout my time in photography I found out the most when I made mistakes. I’ve attempted to share a few of what I found out after those errors. Best of luck in your ventures and keep shooting!
Image credits: Pictures from 123RF