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the PRICE of PRINTS..??

hello hello fellow LSers

I have recently been asked to sell some prints of my long term project (6×7colour/neg)

.. THese images have been published and used in various ways.. and i am hoping to keep working with them, adding to them.. and hopefully.. getting a book published.. (innit!)

I am a documentary photographer.. so i’ve never really “sold” prints..

My work seems to be bleeding into the ART world.. HELP!

Can anyone advise me about “editioning” (?) prints and pricing.. ..

Can i use my epson R2400 stylus printer..? or should i get them dark room printed?

thank you

Sveva

by [a former member] at 2006-05-03 10:35:09 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) brooklyn , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Don’t underprice yourself whatever you do – $400 or something like that is a good affordable price for anyone, especially if people are already interested in buying – print them as well as possible and if the printing costs are high, charge more. As for editioning, 10s a good number but you can go up to 25 or 30 and it’s still vaguely respectable. There aren’t any hard rules. Have a look at the photo-eye galleries for an idea of affordable prices.

by Colin Pantall | 03 May 2006 11:05 | Bath, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
if you want to be elitist then eds. of 3 or 4, or completely up your own bum, ed of 1!

by Simon Anstey | 03 May 2006 11:05 | Copenhagen, Denmark | | Report spam→
Hi Simon – that’s about right, but more like if you can get people to pay the prices, editions of 1. It’s all the bottom line in the end, but most editions of 1 are limited by lack of reproducibility.

by Colin Pantall | 03 May 2006 12:05 | Bath, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Colin what is this photo-eye gallery thing you mentioned?


I am curious about this as well, because while I know more or less what goes on with black and white, color is another matter. In the old days a color print from slide cost a considerable sum, but the look was gorgeous. Today’s processes for digital are rather different. would people pay less for ink prints? I have seen black and white ink prints go for big sums, but the photographers were famous (the prints looked like shit too, but the processes are improving and of course one can now print from digital file to silver paper). I think the price you mention, Colin, is reasonable, but the quality of the printing and the number of photos in the edition must enter in somehow,right?

by Jon Anderson | 03 May 2006 12:05 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Here, Jon. It is also a great place to get out of print photography books (for a price…) :-) *Photo-Eye*

L

by Luis E. Andrade | 03 May 2006 12:05 | Philly Metro Area, Jersey Side, United States | | Report spam→
cost of prints depends on several factors:

1. Digital Print vs. tradition (color/silvergelatin etc)
2. Quality of Print
3. Number in Edition
4. Photo’s reputation ;)
5. Demand/Drunkeness of Photographer/Buyer
6. the world

The quality of Digital prints are now, increasingly, replicating traditional mediums. Good film scans can now (especially with color) mimic more traditional prints (almost). In considering your price, remember to “be good to yourself” but also fair to the buyer: I personally hate the idea of over or underinflated prints…and now, when anybody can get a “decent” print by taking the negatives (or cds) to a good lab, it should be a consideration…

10 in an edition is good (fairly typical), but ive seen ditigal prints in editions of, fuck, 30+ :((..but, I am a believer that all photography (from my son’s work to Cartier Bresson) SHOULD BE AFFORDABLE to anyone who wants to buy a photograph…Fuck, if I can buy Joyce or Proust, I should be able to buy Teru’s prints, …I give prints to friends anyway…

$400 is a reasonable price, depending on the size: my rule of thumb would be: what will recoop (sort of) my cost (almost impossible if you think about time spent) and give me something to continue…and what will my “collector” (i hate this word) tolerate:

be fair to yourself and to those who cherish your work! :)) on that note, I hope you sell out1 :)
cheers,
bob

by [former member] | 03 May 2006 12:05 | Albufeira/Lisboa/The Road, Portugal | | Report spam→
Hi Colin, that’s probably right. Still, I think it is a stupidly small amount, 400 dollars, considering the
amounts which have gone into making them, from camera to film, travel, printing etc etc. BTW do you know what a P.S. print sells for nowadays?

by Simon Anstey | 03 May 2006 12:05 | Copenhagen, Denmark | | Report spam→
Since it’s pretty rare to have the opportunity to impose on someone’s private wall space, the print should be of the highest quality you can muster. It will represent your work to the viewer long after you are gone. And since you are in New York, be aware of the local phenomenon that expensive things are more desirable than cheaper ones. Are you a $400 photographer or a $600 one? Which one generates more buzz?

by [former member] | 03 May 2006 12:05 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Here you go Jon – photo-eye is a bookseller and online 9and traditional gallery) in Sante Fe.

http://www.photoeye.com/

The newsletter is brilliant and gives a taster of new books – the galleries have a big mixture of stuff.

As for prints, I don’t know but I think the prices of old Thomas Ruff or Struth (forget which – might be both) went down from their phenomenal levels because of dodgy fading inks. Pricey processes should be and are reflected in higher prices but most prints (inkjet or otherwise) are pretty straightforward. Try to get what people will pay in other words – if Sveva has people interested, and in a big photo-buying city like New York, then at least $400 is a reasonable, low price and she’ll get buyers.

by Colin Pantall | 03 May 2006 12:05 | Bath, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Here you go Jon – photo-eye is a bookseller and online 9and traditional gallery) in Sante Fe.

http://www.photoeye.com/

The newsletter is brilliant and gives a taster of new books – the galleries have a big mixture of stuff.

As for prints, I don’t know but I think the prices of old Thomas Ruff or Struth (forget which – might be both) went down from their phenomenal levels because of dodgy fading inks. Pricey processes should be and are reflected in higher prices but most prints (inkjet or otherwise) are pretty straightforward. Try to get what people will pay in other words – if Sveva has people interested, and in a big photo-buying city like New York, then at least $400 is a reasonable, low price and she’ll get buyers.

by Colin Pantall | 03 May 2006 12:05 | Bath, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
wow.. i haven’t received any alerts.. but loads of answers! thank youu.. will read attentively

by [former member] | 03 May 2006 12:05 | brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
What’s a P.S, Simon – Paul Strand? Goes for loads, some of his vintage
Hebrides prints are for sale at photo-london for £8,000 (ok – they’re not the
blockbusters) but he is Paul Strand and he is dead.

Preston says $600 – which still sounds a reasonable, affordable price. Go for $600 Sveva unless someone says higher,
then go higher.

by Colin Pantall | 03 May 2006 12:05 | Bath, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Personally I would like to be able to buy prints from quite a few LS members, you included Bob. But sheesh that would break the bank, even at 400 bucks a pop, which some would not consider fair recompense. I am all for providing affordable work, but prints are tricky. At least, if I am going to enter the darkroom and make a 16 by 20 from neg to silver paper that really sings, then we are talking about at least a good hour of labor to produce a quality print and fix it archivally etc. Much more time really if you consider the cleaning, fixing, drying, mounting. The materials and lab rental will eat into your 400 price not to mention all the other little expenses (proper handling and delivery, etc). so one begins to think in terms of larger figures or it is hardly worth the candle. Digital may make it all easier though, and cheaper.


books are the way that people can have “editions” in a cheaper form, but even books are costly to produce and they sell for hefty prices. Trick is to find a publisher that can do a reasonable edition for less.

by Jon Anderson | 03 May 2006 12:05 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Sveva, define who your client is or to who you you are selling your prints.

A dealer, a collector, someone who likes your stuff and would like a print to hang on the wall at home, institution, etc. If you are selling a print to someone who wants to hang it on the wall in his home then I think there’s no point of an edition, if you are dealing with a gallery then they should be able to guide you.

Be clear what edition means, go to a gallery in Chelsea and talk to them. An edition of 3 is lot more valuable to a serious collector than an edition of 35. Usually the higher the number the higher the price, but you can do some research on that in the galleries as well. Let’s say you decide on an edition of 10, you print only one picture for your client and label it 1/10. You are not doing more than one print that day since it is so expensive to print, other prints done a year later will look different and you actually only sold one print in the end. It sounds a lot like fakery. I see editioning like serial numbers, they have a purpose, how would you feel if your camera maker would randomly slap some letters and numbers on the camera that are completely useless.


I have a friend who does editions of 3, the prints are very big, cost a lot of money to create, including the research and production of the shoots, it also pays for her living expenses, rent, food, etc. After the printing the negative goes into a bank safe and no re-prints will ever be made, only in rare instances.


So if you do an edition you have to decide how many prints you want to make over your life, you are guaranteeing the buyer there won’t be any more prints after the edition is sold. Now if this is for a client for display purposes it’s a different story. Do you want to have your work accessible to others to buy or be exclusive and recap your investment and future income?


The decision how to print and on what media depends on your personal preference, there is no standard in the artworld, be sure how to deal with issues of fading, degrading, etc before someone wants his money back. I remember there were people who sold polaroid art work and it was a tricky issue in terms of ideal storage to preserve the art.


Be sure to go to Clampart, they are at 531 West 25th Street, they are very nice. They deal in contemporary photography. Some of the art goes around $800. Assuming they take 50% comission, the photographers end up with $400 minus expenses and taxes.

by Andreas Kornfeld | 03 May 2006 12:05 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
Hey ., Are we all talking about unmounted prints?……or framed already..?
Can a 11×17 colour Archive qualitly inkjet print from a beautifully scanned 6×7 neg fetch $400?

by [former member] | 03 May 2006 12:05 | brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
Hey ., Are we all talking about unmounted prints?……or framed already..?
Can a 11×17 colour Archive qualitly inkjet print from a beautifully scanned 6×7 neg fetch $400?

by [former member] | 03 May 2006 12:05 | brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
Mounted but not framed – the price is fine and definitely affordable.

by Colin Pantall | 03 May 2006 12:05 | Bath, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Mounted but not framed – the price is fine and definitely affordable.

by Colin Pantall | 03 May 2006 12:05 | Bath, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Yes I think so.

by Jon Anderson | 03 May 2006 12:05 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
I have a few friends, and well-known artist do that all the time, that trade their work with other artists. One photographer I know, gives prints to his friends on his own birthday, which I think is a very nice gesture. Native Americans have the same tradition in a similiar way.

So on one hand you have the big collectors, who see this as an investment and spend thousands on art, then you have people who buy and can afford cheap art, and last not least we have us. We can’t affored to buy art for the thousands, but we have art that we can trade with other artists, knowing that they will enjoy and appreciate it for the art and not the value it represents at the next auction, where the value is inflated.


I don’t think on the high end it matters if it is good injet, laser c-print or whatever, and art buyers know that art will deteriorate, that’s a given.

by Andreas Kornfeld | 03 May 2006 12:05 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
something really hinky today with teh board. we are all talking and seeing double!

by Jon Anderson | 03 May 2006 12:05 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Sveva, you are sounding too excited about $400 for an unframed print, up your price to $700. If you don’t feel uncomfortable about the price tag you are losing money already.

by Andreas Kornfeld | 03 May 2006 12:05 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
Andreas my client is the lawyer who has got me into the country . She deals with getting artist visa.. and i believe is collecting work from her various clients.. she has only asked me a price.
My images are from my “inner states” section on my site. I want to print them very large one day, maybe via a gallery, but happy to sell some small individual prints meanwhile, if requested.
Like many photographers i am not a business woman/man… i am uncomfortable with any price tag.. someting i am gonna learn to get to grips with.. with a little help from my LS friends

by [former member] | 03 May 2006 13:05 | brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
Hey ., Are we all talking about unmounted prints?……or framed already..?
Can a 11×17 colour Archive qualitly inkjet print from a beautifully scanned 6×7 neg fetch $400?

by [former member] | 03 May 2006 13:05 | brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
i’m not sure what is happening with this repetitive posting Tourettes

by [former member] | 03 May 2006 13:05 | brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
We have an old photo guru in Denver named Hal Gould. He’s in his 90’s and has an incredible photo gallery, the work he deals in spans the history of photography. A couple years ago he had this show that featured a number of large, color prints. I commented to Hal on the vibrancy of the prints, he explained that they were shot by med format on negs, scanned, then printed with a dye printer. He felt that there is a consistency in digital printing, particularly in controlling highlights and shadow detail, that is difficult to achieve in traditional (darkroom) printing. He also suggested that a dye print will hold up over time longer than an emulsion color print.

I’m under the impression, (I could be wrong, but I don’t have time right now to look into this) that “dye” prints are archivally stable while “ink” prints are not. Sort of an aside…traditionally—not sure about how it applies to digital prints—dyes are derived from vegetable matter whose color holds up. If you look at oriental carpets from the 20’s & 30’s, almost none were made with natural dyes, instead used synthetic “stains”, reds turn pink, blues get tinny….the older carpets from the late 1800’s that use the vegetable dyes have much more vibrancy today. So there can really be a big difference in the way different dye/ink type prints perform in the long run. It would definitely be worth looking into.

I also think price shouldn’t be so tied to size or printing method…so long as the method is archivally stable…“let’s see…that Capa is only an 8”x10"…and it couldn’t have cost him more than a buck to print it in 1949…" You get the idea.

Hey…maybe LS could have some sort of “print trade” section or registry…

by Mark Manger | 03 May 2006 13:05 | Denver, United States | | Report spam→
Sveva, so you really need one print/price tag now for your lawyer. Forget about the bs of edition right now since in an edition all prints are the same size and usually printed at the same time, usually.

What’s your relationship with the lawyer? Is she keeping the work for prosperity? Are yuo retaining her for future help.

I would have a nice print made or print it yourself and frame it in what you think would be right. You can do that yourself. If you have a 11×14 print choose a bigger frame, so it makes more of an impact, and charge for your expenses, time and then some. Mark-up everything 100% or 200%. Enjoy the process and feel the excitment of giving someone a piece of your work. Now first get a confirmed buy before you do all the work and she decides it’s too much for her or you could instead offer her a smaller print. If you get a check, write an invoice for tax purposes, so you can deduct the materials and all related expenses, like cab or messenger receipts.

Sometimes I have 8×10 made and framed to give people as a thank you. No fancy frames or so. But I won’t sign or date it.

Someone told me a story of an old photographer who got a request for a free copy of one of his books by a dealer, signed of course. Supposedly he wrote “Not For Resale”.

by Andreas Kornfeld | 03 May 2006 13:05 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
Sveva, so you really need one print/price tag now for your lawyer. Forget about the bs of edition right now since in an edition all prints are the same size and usually printed at the same time, usually.

What’s your relationship with the lawyer? Is she keeping the work for prosperity? Are yuo retaining her for future help.

I would have a nice print made or print it yourself and frame it in what you think would be right. You can do that yourself. If you have a 11×14 print choose a bigger frame, so it makes more of an impact, and charge for your expenses, time and then some. Mark-up everything 100% or 200%. Enjoy the process and feel the excitment of giving someone a piece of your work. Now first get a confirmed buy before you do all the work and she decides it’s too much for her or you could instead offer her a smaller print. If you get a check, write an invoice for tax purposes, so you can deduct the materials and all related expenses, like cab or messenger receipts.

Sometimes I have 8×10 made and framed to give people as a thank you. No fancy frames or so. But I won’t sign or date it.

Someone told me a story of an old photographer who got a request for a free copy of one of his books by a dealer, signed of course. Supposedly he wrote “Not For Resale”.

by Andreas Kornfeld | 03 May 2006 13:05 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
Sveva, I charge 400 for an open editioned, signed print, unmounted. And at the moment they are archival, digitally scanned from negative and printed on 100% cotton rag paper. I will not edition my work unless the day comes when I am a “known” photographer, commanding ridiculous prices. I would just rather as many people that want them can have them without price restraints.

by [former member] | 03 May 2006 13:05 | Brooklyn, NY, United States | | Report spam→
I remember Hal, is the gallery still open? It was fun to go in there and look at all those photographs, fun openings as well, it was the only worthy gallery to go to.

Steichen’s print was 16×20 for $2.9 M, wheras the Richard Prince was 50×70 and went for $1.25. Size doesn’t matter, you are right.

by Andreas Kornfeld | 03 May 2006 14:05 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
I remember Hal, is the gallery still open? It was fun to go in there and look at all those photographs, fun openings as well, it was the only worthy gallery to go to.

Steichen’s print was 16×20 for $2.9 M, wheras the Richard Prince was 50×70 and went for $1.25. Size doesn’t matter, you are right.

by Andreas Kornfeld | 03 May 2006 14:05 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
Hal’s still there…and still going up and down those stairs everytime someone opens the door !

by Mark Manger | 03 May 2006 14:05 | Denver, United States | | Report spam→
You did not mention the size of your image but the R2400 can do up to 13 inches wide.

So, doing an 11×14 print from a 6×7 will be beautiful.

As for pricing and editions, I say make them $495(matted) and make an edition of 25 (including 5 artist proofs).

by david bram | 03 May 2006 14:05 | New Mexico, United States | | Report spam→
thanks everyone :)

a lot to mull over

by [former member] | 04 May 2006 09:05 | brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
Hey Sveva, nice one girl!
I am sure you might have make up your mind by now, but anyway in london a good print can reach from £400 to £900… or more , so dont be afraid to put a price i know is very dificult i am the same, i feel really unconfortable when i have to ask for money, but sometimes we need to do it man…or woman!
muchos besos
Reme

by Reme Campos | 04 May 2006 17:05 | london, United Kingdom | | Report spam→

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Participants

Colin Pantall, Photographer/Writer Colin Pantall
Photographer/Writer
Bath , United Kingdom
Simon Anstey, Photographer Simon Anstey
Photographer
Malmö , Sweden ( X )
Jon Anderson, Photographer & Writer Jon Anderson
Photographer & Writer
Ocala Florida , United States
Luis E. Andrade, I shoot and I write Luis E. Andrade
I shoot and I write
Philly Metro Area, Jersey Side , United States
Andreas Kornfeld, Photographer Andreas Kornfeld
Photographer
(Photographer)
[undisclosed location].
Mark Manger, Photographer Mark Manger
Photographer
Istanbul , Turkey
david bram, Photographer david bram
Photographer
New Mexico , United States
Reme Campos, Photographer Reme Campos
Photographer
Qatar , Bahrain


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