View Full Version : Advice on how to price my 11x14 Ambrotypes and Ferrotypes

16-Jan-2014, 13:01
I worked on a series of 11x14 Ambrotypes and Ferrotypes this past summer, shooting in the Alberta Rocky Mountains. I was hoping for some advice on how to price them because I have no idea where to start. Any advice or comments on my plates it much appreciated.

Here is a sample of a couple:


Andrew Plume
16-Jan-2014, 13:25
You could also (if you haven't) post this over on 'The Wet plate Collodion Forum'



16-Jan-2014, 13:28
how long have you been making photographs?
have you sold any work in the past?
where do you plan on selling them?

read this:

Steven Tribe
4-Feb-2014, 04:31
You could also (if you haven't) post this over on 'The Wet plate Collodion Forum'

Not any more. This forum is now inactive - you can only search old postings (February 2014)

4-Feb-2014, 07:37
My first answer would be "whatever the market will bear." If you are an established artist you would already have an idea what to charge, so we'll assume that is not the case. But considering the effort involved in creating these works, their "uniqueness" and their size, I would expect someone to charge upwards of $500 a piece. And that "upwards" could easily go higher for really great shots, but again, it depends on what the market will bear. If you work through a gallery they will certainly give you some guidance on selling prices, but they will also take a cut of the sales, so there's that.

4-Feb-2014, 09:13
I'm curious to see what kind of responses you get here.

My first question would be, what is your goal - with regards to pricing?

Do you just want to recoup your costs?
Do you want to use these as a loss-leader to get broad exposure to your work?
Do you want to maximize profit regardless of how long it takes to sell?
Do you want to see as many as you can regardless of profit?
Do you want to generate enough profit to cover costs to date PLUS future costs to perpetuate your "business"?

7-Mar-2014, 05:00
These are just my thoughts, based on several years in a small chemical company; I don't have any experience of the photography or art businesses.

One basis for initially setting prices: work out what a print costs you to make, and simply double that to get its retail price. Postage/shipping is a separate add-on to that, but otherwise include everything it takes (e.g. mounting, framing) to get the finished item into the customer's hands.

All your overheads come out of that gross profit, so you'll need to develop a feel for the rate at which you sell prints. Then you can calculate your net margins (at least to a ballpark figure) and see if it's worth it. Pawlowski6132 has good ideas on what to consider when evaluating your margin.

But there are other factors to bear in mind, such as:
- discount structures (though that really comes under "marketing" and feeds into the question of overheads)
- perceived value (is it priced as "art" or as a consumer item?)
- local conditions (is there a regular market for this sort of work, which would allow you to set comparative prices?)
- will you price per print against individual quotes, or have a regular schedule (e.g. same price for same size, for all prints)?
- will you sell through a website, through your own gallery, or through someone else's gallery (perceived value, again)?

One point to bear in mind is demand. If you have some idea of that already, you're ready to go; but if not, it can be difficult to assess the strength of the market. It's easier to lower your prices if you've set them initially high, than it is to crank them up if you've set them too low (that's a big put-off for any established customers).

I'd also suggest that to begin with, be prepared for the chore of doing all your own accounting. Handing all your book-work to someone else to handle can be efficient - especially once your business is established - but initially, doing all your own books will quickly get you a feel for how the business is doing (or not!).

7-Mar-2014, 06:12
Not any more. This forum is now inactive - you can only search old postings (February 2014)

The http://www.collodion.com/ is still active, I moderate it. The Civil War Re-enactors forum has been locked, it's a different one.

7-Mar-2014, 06:28
starting at 3x your cosr as a general rule of thimb
but wet plate is all about uniqueness so you might have to
change thumbs