PDA

View Full Version : Can I edition a portfolio but not edition the prints inside the portfolio?



Iluvmyviewcam
4-May-2014, 13:54
I want to make a portfolio of 12 prints. I want to issue that portfolio in an edition of 25 portfolios. But I do not want to edition the prints inside the portfolio. If I want to make 50 copies of a certain print contained within the editioned portfolio is that OK?

Should I spell it out in the portfolio inventory letter that accompanies the portfolio? Or is it understood that editioned portfolio does not = editioned single prints?

Thanks

Jim Noel
4-May-2014, 18:52
There are no rules or ruling groups. Do as you please. I find nothing wrong with your idea.

Darin Boville
4-May-2014, 19:00
My view--putting myself in the head of a collector--is that you just need to to be up front with what is going on. The primary thing a collector will care about, in terms of the editioning question, is "how many more of these are out there?" And by that I don't mean copies of that particular image but prints of that image of the same vintage.

If you are printing fifty copies and are putting twenty into the portfolios and have thirty off to the side, the folks buying the portfolios should know about that. If you are saying you are printing twenty now and next year or ten years from now you will print an additional thirty than that really doesn't matter--since those later prints don't compete with your 2014 Portfolio prints. It would probably also be nice to know if there were any prints made prior to the ones you are talking about for your portfolio.

So, the past matters, the present is critically important, but the future doesn't matter so much.

--Darin

Ginette
4-May-2014, 22:14
If 50 prints are what you are thinking about the whole printing of a negative, I think it will be the best to do the whole portfolio with a edition of 50.
Unless I think that extra prints for a particular neg will devaluate your portfolio, people will have tendency to buy single prints and not the whole portfolio.
Reserve theses 12 negs to the portfolio and offer differents images for single print selling option.

edkirkpatrick
5-May-2014, 04:13
I put this message on my website regarding editions. It's not quite the same situation as your post but it works well for me.

"I have decided to change my policy of offering my prints as limited editions and open my editions. Here's why.

Almost all commercial galleries insist that in order to gain representation the artist must offer his printed work only in closed or limited editions. The reason for this is to create the illusion of scarcity in order to support the price levels the gallery needs to be profitable.

I see no way that this benefits the artist or the buyer (that is unless the buyer intends to resell the print). Some collectors will not purchase an open edition because they feel that to have one of many prints is of less value. Well, maybe. Ansel Adams' work is in multiple editions of many hundreds and still holding its value. I know. I am not Ansel Adams but I can offer a compromise that I think works well for both me as an artist and you as a buyer or collector.

I will sign and number my prints in sequential order beginning at 1. I always reserve the first two prints for my collection, so the first print offered to the collecting public will be print #3. As I sell a print I will make another and number it incrementally, i.e. #4, #5 etc. My prints are signed and numbered both front and back with the back containing the date and copyright information as well.

For you, the collector, the benefit is identical as with a limited edition, that is to have a print with a low number. so you should buy now. For me this incentive for you, the collector, to buy now helps me to pay the bills and make more photographs.

Opening my editions is really not too much different from my limiting editions as I have never printed more than a few copies of any image, silver or digital, not because they won't sell but because I can't afford to maintain the inventory. It is more cost effective for me to print them as they are needed. In the days of wet darkroom printing, all the various dodging, burning, toning and bleaching controls provided multiple opportunities for subtle differences from one print to another. Worse yet, it was very difficult to duplicate this "dance" from one day, week. month or year to another. So a photographer might make a dozen or two copies of each image in one session for inventory. These would be numbered and signed and the group would usually stand as an edition. With the advent of digital printing each print is identical to its predecessor and can be made at any time on demand.

Look at it this way, some day I will be dead and these images will all then become limited editions anyway."
Ed

bob carnie
5-May-2014, 05:29
Your prints within the portfolio could be designated DP- display prints or PP - printer proof - or AP - artist proof this would then not touch the edition.

Luis Nadeau spoke of this in one of his books and I use this principle for my editions.

ROL
5-May-2014, 09:16
Short answer: You really can do as you please – as long as you realize there may be consequences down the road if you are offering work commercially, or ethically if you limit editions for any reason. I guess that makes it a long answer, some of which I've dealt with in my article, Editioning (http://www.rangeoflightphotography.com/pages/photo-business#editioning). This is loathsome business for creative types, and the best advice may be to ask what your agent (gallery, representative. etc.) expects.

FWIW, this kind of chicanery in editioning is one reason why I have personally decided on what at first blush may seem to be an unrealistically high number of editioned prints. My maximum edition number reflects all fine art prints made from any negative – 5 sizes of prints from 11x14 to 30x40, portfolio (usually 11x14), any other 'special' print, etc. These days, because there are many alternative printers who only make a single size, and enlarging to different sizes becomes ever the outlier, my large number actually seems rather modest, averaging less than 20 per negative. Every fine art print (excepting artist's or, printers's, but not including presentation proofs) is counted out of that number (or, eventually less). It makes things pretty clear in the long run, even though the continuing accounting can become complex. But if you aren't interested in keeping good records, which will become provenance (http://www.rangeoflightphotography.com/pages/photo-business#provenance), I suggest you reconsider limiting at all.

Iluvmyviewcam
5-May-2014, 15:41
Thanks for all the help, I will just list all the details up front.

I am not selling the portfolios. I am making them for donations for art fundraisers to help put my work out there. I may never go through 25 portfolios. But I do send out lots of the prints that are in the portfolio and I don't want to crimp my ability to spread my work all over.

I will offer the portfolios to the charity benefits and tell them to put $3000 reserve on the portfolio. If they get $3000 or more they can keep it all. If they don't, they give me back the portfolio. All I can do is try...

Iluvmyviewcam
5-May-2014, 15:42
Short answer: You really can do as you please – as long as you realize there may be consequences down the road if you are offering work commercially, or ethically if you limit editions for any reason. I guess that makes it a long answer, some of which I've dealt with in my article, Editioning (http://www.rangeoflightphotography.com/pages/photo-business#editioning). This is loathsome business for creative types, and the best advice may be to ask what your agent (gallery, representative. etc.) expects.

FWIW, this kind of chicanery in editioning is one reason why I have personally decided on what at first blush may seem to be an unrealistically high number of editioned prints. My maximum edition number reflects all fine art prints made from any negative – 5 sizes of prints from 11x14 to 30x40, portfolio (usually 11x14), any other 'special' print, etc. These days, because there are many alternative printers who only make a single size, and enlarging to different sizes becomes ever the outlier, my large number actually seems rather modest, averaging less than 20 per negative. Every fine art print (excepting artist's or, printers's, but not including presentation proofs) is counted out of that number (or, eventually less). It makes things pretty clear in the long run, even though the continuing accounting can become complex. But if you aren't interested in keeping good records, which will become provenance (http://www.rangeoflightphotography.com/pages/photo-business#provenance), I suggest you reconsider limiting at all.


Yes, complex for sure. I make artists' books and lose edition count a lot. I have to be very careful. I have 3 books going at once and it is confusing.

ROL
5-May-2014, 16:03
I am not selling the portfolios. I am making them for donations for art fundraisers to help put my work out there. I may never go through 25 portfolios. But I do send out lots of the prints that are in the portfolio and I don't want to crimp my ability to spread my work all over.

Given that specific bit of information, I'd have no problem marking them as 'Presentation Proofs' (see link, my first post), keeping them outside of regular editions. Still, unless not editioning at all, you need to keep count to reassure "collectors". I have no idea whether the commerce scheme of using unknown, unnumbered work for charity donations would benefit from limiting at all. And then there's the possible tax deduction consequences as well. As you say… complex.