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Thread: Print Pricing

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Pacifica, CA

    Re: Print Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
    So yes, larger prints should cost more IMHO! Even if they're done by inkjet.
    Thanks for illustrating that every discipline has its challenges...

  2. #12
    Greg Greg Blank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Central Maryland

    Re: Print Pricing

    I am going to trepidly step back into this discussion, and add something else to consider- hopefully my words will be read carefully before I am jumped all over: Would you sell your prints at differing costs dependent on the camera system used? Say someone wanted a 16x20 image from 35mm and you have lots of those negatives? Clearly to a photographer the prints look different- hopefully perhaps better from a Large format negative. <Which is the prime reason I know that I shoot 4x5 and 8x10.

    I do tend to agree with Kevin, yet I will say as others have said as an edition sells I charge more for popular prints or even more difficult ones to make that are unique enough not to discard.
    I have small run editions so I feel justified charging an averaged price for all sizes between 8x10 and 16x20. A 24 x 30 is a lot more difficult in a Silver edition to make- so yes, that is where I would jump in price.
    "Great things are accomplished by talented people who believe they will
    accomplish them."
    Warren G. Bennis

  3. #13
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico

    Re: Print Pricing

    As a reference point, as primarily a commercial photographer, I am well aware of what my time is actually worth and what my costs are, but my b&w print sales (both silver and ink) are not insignificant and a vital part of my income so I take their pricing seriously. Right now I average about 15k in sales a year starting at the bottom with an 8x10 inkjet in an open edition for $400 and a 16x20 at $800 or 16x20 silver at $1000. The difference in price between inkjet and silver is the perceived archival qualities of silver by some collectors-NOT because silver is any more difficult or costly to make. It simply is not IME. I have found that some people will pay more for silver so I charge accordingly. I am not discounting the inkjet but charging a premium for silver.

    I figure that with these sales I am not even breaking even on my FA efforts if you look at it as a separate business and include my time. I would need to triple that to really make a profit of 15k. But it has other value-such as satisfying my true artistic interests AND all the FA shows are tremendous advertising for my talents which then generates commercial work. So they are really not separable-just different facets of a diverse career with some facets more financially successful than others.

    Another way perhaps to look at larger prints for more money is to compare it to magazine usage and fees where a larger usage always carries higher fees-for example a quarter page pays way less than a full page like $75 compared to $250. My point is that this is common standard practice for all photography in many different ways of using photographs. I wouldn't consider, because of industry tradition, leasing an image to a publication for a flat fee and letting them use it however they want at any size they want.

    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"

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Sonora, California

    Re: Print Pricing

    In a free maket, pricing is boils down to supply and demand.
    End of story.
    Move along.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Re: Print Pricing

    I think the people that justify their larger print sizes due to an incremental increase in time and materials are dishonest.

    1. I can almost guarantee they don't know exactly how much more a 16x20 print costs compared to their 8x10. I don't even think they know what their 8x10 costs them or even how to account for those costs. They just go with the notion that it does and mark it up and say, "it costs me more to make."

    2. And if you are telling me you are basing your prints on what it costs to make will you charge less if it ends up costing less than your 8x10 print? What if you spend a ton of time and money trying to print some 8x10 because you just happen to make a ton of mistakes, waste paper, spill your chemicals, etc. Then, you make a 16x20 perfect first time. Will you charge more for the 8x10 and less for the 16x20?? I doubt it.

    I don't think you're being honest.

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Mar 2002

    Re: Print Pricing

    I've always held the cost of materials & time to be almost completely irrelevant in pricing work (just have to make sure that's my rock bottom price.. which is frankly, just a few dollars for pretty much any kind of print). The price is based on what the market dictates, in the market in which I sell prints. The price of a print also increased based on the number of prints left in that edition. Most of my platinum are in editions of 9, 7x7" & 12x12" for the square ones. 1st 3 of the editions are $900 & $1500. 2nd 3 are $1200 & $1800 . last 3 are $1500 & $2100.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Re: Print Pricing

    I am perfectly willing to sell prints at a loss, if need be, so I don't buy the 'increased cost of production' argument either. I don't think fine art print sales are governed purely by the 'free market' and 'supply and demand', because for many photographers, the sale of the print is not motivated by market considerations. It can be motivated by anything from a desire for exposure or the photographer's ego (why I might be willing to sell at a loss). I have never expected to make money from this, certainly not from my lf photography, so I think it's a little mistaken (polite enough?) to talk of print sales, for most of us, in terms of market forces.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Mar 2002

    Re: Print Pricing

    selling thru a gallery is interesting.. from what I've gathered, there are unspoken rules. You never lower your price. (giving a discount to a customer for quantity is ok). You never personally sell lower than your gallery. Selling in an art or craft fair is a big no-no. (unless it's something put on by all of the other galleries.. Photo LA, AIPAD). Typically, it's a 50% commission. (mounted, matted work). The gallery will typically offer the framing themselves.

    I know a photographer who was selling so much, they were spending all of their time printing, mounting & matting. They cut their edition size in half, doubled their price, and are still selling quite well.. with editions frequently selling out. (one should have those problems.... )

  9. #19

    Re: Print Pricing

    Jody, just curious....what is the motivation then? Because as a full time pro with 23 years in the business ( started selling prints at a profit at age 19 on an aircraft carrier ) my ego has never felt uplifted at selling something at a loss, so I never have.

    And C. Remington, like it or not, that is the way it works and always will, I already gave my example above about large prints needing a lot more spotting and how it does indeed take me more time to make a sale ready print.

    I understand why photo enthusiasts think and do the things they do, why do they often not understand what professional photographers do and seem to fully enjoy criticizing them? There seems to always be an immense lack of respect if not ugliness towards those who are doing photography because they love it and also make a full time living at it on here, far more so than any other photo forum I have been on actually. And I never encounter this bitterness and ugliness with people in person, just the Internet.

    It's the one thing that makes me not want to come back...

  10. #20

    Re: Print Pricing

    I am not sure why there are 3 or more threads on this. Supply and demand. If you don't want to charge more or pay more, then don't. If you want to charge more or pay more, then do.

    Plenty people have given their reasons for how much they charge and how much they want to pay, what more are we discussing here? The morality of such decisions? The business benefits of the same? Been there, done that. Are we trying to dictate people's choices? If not, then... what are we talking about?

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