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Thread: Print Pricing (thread closed)

  1. #1
    Kevin Kolosky
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    Print Pricing (thread closed)

    The work of making a negative is already done. Its the same amount of work for a 4x5 print as it is for a 16 x 20 print.

    The trays and chemicals and lenses and enlargers for larger prints are more expensive, but over time the fixed cost items are really no more expensive. The cost of paper is of course different depending on the size of the print. Maybe a dollar or two or three more for a large print than for a small one.

    So how does a 16 x 20 print warrant, say, a price of $750 when an 8 x 10 costs $250?

    Or, to put it another way, why the disproportionate price for larger prints compared to the cost of producing them?

  2. #2
    adelorenzo's Avatar
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    Re: Print Pricing

    I suggest that you try pricing your 8x10 prints and your 16x20 prints a few dollars apart and see which one people buy.

  3. #3
    Kevin Kolosky
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    Re: Print Pricing

    my prints aren't worth selling in any size!

  4. #4

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    Re: Print Pricing

    There's usually a premium on size for art pieces, but it applies to almost everything in life--except popcorn and sodas at movie theaters where--

    small popcorn---->$800

    ultra-gigantic popcorn----->$800.25

  5. #5

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    Re: Print Pricing

    I remember Fred Picker saying artists shouldn't charge by the square inch for their work. I agree. I think it's complete bull shit.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin J. Kolosky View Post
    The work of making a negative is already done. Its the same amount of work for a 4x5 print as it is for a 16 x 20 print.

    The trays and chemicals and lenses and enlargers for larger prints are more expensive, but over time the fixed cost items are really no more expensive. The cost of paper is of course different depending on the size of the print. Maybe a dollar or two or three more for a large print than for a small one.

    So how does a 16 x 20 print warrant, say, a price of $750 when an 8 x 10 costs $250?

    Or, to put it another way, why the disproportionate price for larger prints compared to the cost of producing them?

  6. #6

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    Re: Print Pricing

    It costs very little to write a book--just a few sheets of paper and a ribbon of ink.

    It costs the actor essentially nothing to act in a play.

    You can paint a painting with a bit of scrap wood and some house paint.

    The cost of of production of a specific art work had little to do with the price of that work, regardless of size.

    --Darin

  7. #7
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Print Pricing

    IMHO 16x20s are harder to make than 4x5s and consume significantly more materials. Price them accordingly.

    Its hard to figure out what your work is worth. the only way I know of is to try and sell it at a particular price and learn from that. Some consistency between images and enlargement prices can help people understand what you are doing. Being completely arbitrary seems unprofessional I believe.

    I remember Fred Picker saying artists shouldn't charge by the square inch for their work. I agree. I think it's complete bull shit.
    Fred Picker worked in a very different market than exists today, but even in his day I thought he was full of it on a number of things including that statement-in part. Lots of photographers far more successful than Fred did exactly that including AA when I was looking at buying a print of his back in 1975. Lacking any other consistent and logical way to price prints, its perfectly acceptable to price prints from the same negatives but at different sizes based on square footage. Clients will understand that. It doesn't mean that each negatives value is the same. I mean you may base your base price on 8x10s and double that for 16x20s, but one image you may determine to be worth more. So one image may be priced at 400 & 800 where another may be 600 & 1200. Some consistency helps clients, galleries etc. understand how you market your prints.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 68
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  8. #8

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    Re: Print Pricing

    It isn't the print that is being priced.....

    ------------------- example form another discipline --------------------------------

    Steinmetz was famous for solving engineering problems at the birth of AC Generators and power circuits.
    Jack B. Scott wrote in to tell of his father’s encounter with the Wizard of Schenectady at Henry Ford’s River Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan.

    Ford, whose electrical engineers couldn’t solve some problems they were having with a gigantic generator, called Steinmetz in to the plant. Upon arriving, Steinmetz rejected all assistance and asked only for a notebook, pencil and cot. According to Scott, Steinmetz listened to the generator and scribbled computations on the notepad for two straight days and nights. On the second night, he asked for a ladder, climbed up the generator and made a chalk mark on its side. Then he told Ford’s skeptical engineers to remove a plate at the mark and replace sixteen windings from the field coil. They did, and the generator performed to perfection.

    Henry Ford was thrilled until he got an invoice from General Electric in the amount of $10,000. Ford acknowledged Steinmetz’s success but balked at the figure. He asked for an itemized bill.

    Steinmetz, Scott wrote, responded personally to Ford’s request with the following:

    Making chalk mark on generator $1.

    Knowing where to make mark $9,999.

    Ford paid the bill.

    Read more: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/hist...#ixzz2nHldhmFn
    Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    The print is not the price. The price is in the knowing Who What Where When Why and How to gather the light and shadow into the image and then turn that image into a print.

  9. #9
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Print Pricing

    Quaint stories very much like that are commonplace and frankly pretty worthless. There is the one about the Zen painter too. Yada Yada.

    How does that help a fledgling photographer price his work and enlargements?
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 68
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  10. #10
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Print Pricing

    Have you made 16x20 prints? It takes more skill (which is different than effort) to print larger (skill in the creation of the negative and the print). There is the old joke about someone complaining paying someone big bucks to push a button, to which the fellow replied, "You paid me for knowing which button to push." (Yada, yada, yada!LOL!)

    You also did not factor in matboard costs (or framing if one does so). Matboard for a 16x20 is 4 times the cost for an 8x10 (assuming 24x28 vs 11x14 sizes for the matboard). That is $20 vs $4.60 for the type I use.

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