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Sales, Exhibitions and Web Presence Discussion of commerce models and processes by which Photography reaches clients and the public.

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  #1  
Old June 8th, 2012, 07:10 AM
Rachel McLain Rachel McLain is offline
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Default Pricing image sale (not prints)

I've been talking to an art consultant about the possibility of using one or more of my images in very large format for one of her clients. It would be printed on plexiglass very large (like 20-30' wide).

She said either I could arrange getting it printed or she could, but that if she did it, I should decide how much I wanted for them image use.

My inclination is that it would be so much easier to have her deal with printing and taking delivery, etc., because the piece will be so large.

So how much would I charge her for the image? I am sure I would keep all rights to it. It would just be a charge for her to use it in the piece and her client to display it in their building (a medical center).

Pricing is hard enough when I'm just doing prints and framed images. I have no earthly idea what to charge for this. Someone said $20 and I nearly laughed. Gee, for $20 I don't think it would be worth my effort unless I felt it would garner me a *lot* referrals or something.

Anyway, thank you for any ideas you might have on this topic. I feel very lost!

Rachel
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  #2  
Old June 8th, 2012, 08:46 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel McLain View Post
I've been talking to an art consultant about the possibility of using one or more of my images in very large format for one of her clients. It would be printed on plexiglass very large (like 20-30' wide).

She said either I could arrange getting it printed or she could, but that if she did it, I should decide how much I wanted for them image use.
Rachel,

First I'd have to see the image and portions of it from key elements at 100%. In this size 20 feet wide, galleries are charging something like $1,000 per square food. Now to get into a gallery is a big thing and occupying such wall space means actual risk and investment by a curator who is putting his or her reputation on that allocation of the gallery's resources.

but you are apparently not there yet and have jumped over the usual hurdles and broken through barriers that most of us face to place such a large print in a medical building. That's impressive. If that art consultant went to the LACMA Rental and sales gallery, the artwork would be of a Southern Californian photographer who is believed to have great potential and therefore being supported in getting their work out.

"The Rental Program is available exclusively to LACMA members. Work is rented in three-month renewable rental periods with 60 percent of the fee applicable toward purchase. Clients who wish to acquire the work they have rented may do so at any time during the rental period. Monthly fees for rentals range from $17 to $149, plus tax."

So the cost of renting for 1 year is already about $1,000 even if the picture is some great bargain price!

I can't think it would be less than a one year rental! The art consultant is used to place artwork in institutions. Just tell her she can have 80% of the sale price if she is printing and if you are printing it, (and have the printer deliver it to the client and hang it for them), then you need at least 40% of the sale price.

I cannot think that any photographer proud of their work would not control the printing themselves! So in any case, you must be working with the printer and get them to print out sections first to be sure its as you intend. I have never sold such an impressive size.

I hope this helps.

You should be congratulated .... but I'm still wanting to see this picture!

Asher
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  #3  
Old June 8th, 2012, 08:53 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel McLain View Post
I've been talking to an art consultant about the possibility of using one or more of my images in very large format for one of her clients. It would be printed on plexiglass very large (like 20-30' wide).

She said either I could arrange getting it printed or she could, but that if she did it, I should decide how much I wanted for them image use.

My inclination is that it would be so much easier to have her deal with printing and taking delivery, etc., because the piece will be so large.

So how much would I charge her for the image? I am sure I would keep all rights to it. It would just be a charge for her to use it in the piece and her client to display it in their building (a medical center).

Pricing is hard enough when I'm just doing prints and framed images. I have no earthly idea what to charge for this. Someone said $20 and I nearly laughed. Gee, for $20 I don't think it would be worth my effort unless I felt it would garner me a *lot* referrals or something.

Anyway, thank you for any ideas you might have on this topic. I feel very lost!
Hi Rachel,

You have an image that someone else would like to use. In that case how much would another image cost them, including the time to find it. I'd check some imagebanks with stock images on the internet, and see what they ask. That should give you a better idea of what value is involved and what an alternative might cost.

Of course, only you can decide which price you'll actually ask, considering potential follow up orders or a single sales. How will the image be used, how long, how many copies will there be printed, will there be international use, etc. Just see which criteria a stock agengy considers for setting the price.

Good luck with deciding.

Cheers,
Bart
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  #4  
Old June 8th, 2012, 10:31 AM
Rachel McLain Rachel McLain is offline
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Asher, thanks for that info. That's helpful. I absolutely would have to have some control over printing--there's no way not to for me! But I cannot feasibly take delivery of something that size and then deliver it to the building. I wonder if it could be shipped directly to the building??

And I thought hanging in galleries had a lot of details to consider!

It's not a done deal yet, and it's not certain what image or images they will want, but the one she is most interested in is this one: http://rachelmclain.com/sites/rachel...watermar_0.jpg It would be cropped differently, though, because the wall is very long.


Bart, good point that I need to find out if they just want this image(s) for the one print for their wall or if there might other uses they would have for it/them. I did try to look at some stock photo prices, but I'm not sure how helpful that is. That's partly because I guess I see art photography as something different than stock photography (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!). :-)

Rachel
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Old June 8th, 2012, 12:09 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel McLain View Post
I wonder if it could be shipped directly to the building??
Good print houses who could mount such a print on plexiglass have those details worked out and a person to contact to do the hanging. It's difficult for me, personally to judge your picture with the giant logo. bCan you crop to the plan for the wall and post it?








They want this! Does it fit with their decor? How did they get to you? You have to consider the worth of your work. how much time did it take, what are your hopes for it and what price structure you want to set. It's impossible to change that when the contact wants more down the road. That's why a percentage of the total sales price, including the printing makes sop much sense. why don't you price it out. I'd guess about $20-40 per square food for this picture, might be a good price for printing and mounting. I'd take the upper level. At 20 ft long and presumably 10 feet high, that's 200 sq feet or a cost of $2,000. Add $185 for transporting and mounting on the wall and you have at least $2200 in direct costs.

These are minimalistic prices. You can't be getting just a few hundred bucks for something that the client is going to pay upwards of $3500 to $4,000 for.

I am surprised at the size of this picture. I'd want to check it out. Do they know how much just the printing might cost?

Asher
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  #6  
Old June 9th, 2012, 11:21 AM
Rachel McLain Rachel McLain is offline
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Asher you bring up some good points. I really need to go and see the wall/walls they're talking about using. I'll talk to the consultant about that.

And pricing based on cost and all is definitely wise--that's how I do everything else!

I presume the consultant is quite aware of printing costs as this is her 2nd or 3rd job for them as she is slowly decorating the whole place.

Interestingly enough, she is talking about printing directly to the plexiglass rather than printing and then mounting to it. I haven't seen one in person (though she did tell me where I can see some locally), but looking at the ones online it looks like a really nice way to highlight light in a photo as it's mounted a bit away from the wall and light can come through the piece a bit.

I definitely must ask her a lot of questions before I come up with a price.

I agree--if they are paying anywhere near 3-4K for the piece, then I'd better get a decent cut of that! :-)

Thanks!

Rach
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  #7  
Old June 9th, 2012, 11:48 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Rachel, it's the size of the thing that boggles my mind. Nicolas claris, here, routinely prints that large for exhibits on Luxury Yachts and that's his expertise for which he has international recognition. Mostly, his work is not sold as such for decorating buildings, but I'd imagine that the usual practice is to choose artists that are all known.

Your work must have some particular resonance with the building. Write down the names of other artists shown there and see how much their work sells for. Could be she's giving them a lot for their money, but just the physical medium alone means a pretty hefty base price and she must make a profit. It could be that in her business plan, she takes a less known artist, so that she can essentially pocket the profit as that photographer has never commanded a price more than a few hindered dollars previously. So while it's perhaps exploitation, she may have already given an estimate that limits what's left for real profit to what she has in mind for herself!!

So you may not have a lot of room to bargain with her. It could be then that you look at this installation as a way of getting a work of yours in a public display that you can refer to. The price you'd have to keep to yourself!

Still, if you can, get her to give you a percentage of the sale. That's fair.

Asher
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Old June 9th, 2012, 12:33 PM
Rachel McLain Rachel McLain is offline
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The size boggles my mind, too, Asher. :-) But from what she says, she has a couple of other local photographers (more well known than I am for sure!) who are already hanging there, so that's part of why I really want to go and see.

She particularly tries to support local artists of all kinds in her consulting business (and she is also a photographer herself). Plus she is a friend of friend, so overall I feel she will be very fair with me.

I think you are right that a percentage of the sale is the way to go. Now to figure out what that percentage should be...well, that's the hard part. For my other work, I basically double my costs and expect to split that with the gallery/store that is showing my work. (Of course, some places charge a smaller percentage than others do and that's always nice!)

So I definitely need to find out the dimensions and work on getting a price for the print itself.

I really appreciate your input in this and your help in prodding me to investigate this a bit more.

Rach
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Old June 9th, 2012, 12:42 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Originally Posted by Rachel McLain View Post

I think you are right that a percentage of the sale is the way to go. Now to figure out what that percentage should be...well, that's the hard part. For my other work, I basically double my costs and expect to split that with the gallery/store that is showing my work. (Of course, some places charge a smaller percentage than others do and that's always nice!)
Rachel,

How do you count your costs? One really needs to add up all the prices of your gear and amortize over a sensible time, like 5 years and that will give you your monthly costs. Somehow you have to assign part of that to this picture. Add your own hourly charge that can be assigned to this image for all direct and indirect computer and other processes you undertake. Then add you material costs.

Even if you double this, it may not be the price you need to consider. Are you intending to make a living from this? If so you need to aim at a particular market level and those prices. If you are just happy to sell one picture and it's a one off chance in a million, then whatever you do is fun and great!

Asher
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  #10  
Old June 10th, 2012, 08:01 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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I would be tempted to work out what Getty would charge. If you are selling usage then the pricing should be in line with that.
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Old June 16th, 2012, 06:20 AM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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This is a common question for artists starting to sell their work so it is best to start at the beginning.

When you are selling fine art, you do not price your work based on the costs of production.

Instead, you price your work based on your leverage (reputation) and pricing used by comparable artists (artists who are where you are).

You also do not sell fine art on the basis of a usage fee. Your clients are buying a print, not the use of a photograph. In other words, you are not selling stock photography. Pricing on the basis of usage rather than print sale is a common mistake.

I also recommend pricing based on dollar figures: 1 figure ($1 to 9), 2 figures ($10 to 99), 3 figures ($100 to 999) , 4 figures ($1000 to 9999), 5 figures ($10,000 to 99,999), 6 figures ($100,000 to 999,999), 7 figures 1,000,000 to 9,999,999), etc.

This being said, for a very large piece like yours, the price needs to be in 4 figures ($1000 to 9999) or higher.

Let me know if this helps.

AB
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Old June 16th, 2012, 06:36 AM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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Another issue is that artists often price their work low, sometimes at a loss or with a very small profit, with the expectation that future sales will make up for it.

The problem is that profit needs to be made now, not later. Think about selling your car rather than your art: let's suppose for the sake of this example that you are pricing your car way below market value expecting to make up for your loss with future sales. That would make no sense at all because you don't have a second car to sell! Plus your car has an intrinsic value that you are disregarding. If you were to do this, someone would be making a great deal (the buyer) and someone would be getting ripped off (you)!

It is the same when selling artwork. How do you know that you will have future sales? Maybe this sale is it. Maybe this is the one sale that matters, just like when selling your car.

Plus, if you price your work below what it is worth, you set a precedent and you must expect future sales to be done at the same price. This is why pricing low and expecting to make up the loss on future sales does not work. Future sales will be done at the same price! If you are sell your work for cheap now, you must continue to sell your work for cheap later on! If you don't, your buyer will go somewhere else! They will look for an artist willing to sell their work for cheap!

The foundational marketing rule here is this: 'If buyers come to you because of price, they will leave you because of price.' ALain Briot (it's in my book).


My recommendation is to price your work correctly, at market value, right now. Forget about expecting future sales. If it happens, fantastic. But if it doesn't, at least you got paid the right price for this one sale.

Get paid what you deserve for your work now, not later
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Old June 18th, 2012, 08:09 AM
Rachel McLain Rachel McLain is offline
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Alain, thank you so much for your input. It is very helpful!

Of course, the truly hard part is knowing what market value is.

I already price my work a bit higher than many local photographers I know. That is not on purpose, but it comes from printing a little bit more expensively (I don't use Costco and many of them do!) and in pricing some value on my own time spent in putting together each piece, plus value in the print itself.

So much to think about here!

I'll be following up with the consultant this week!

Rach
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Old June 19th, 2012, 06:36 AM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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Hi Rachel,

"Of course, the truly hard part is knowing what market value is."

Not really. All that is required is research. I do that all the time. It is a requirement when you are in business. You do not exist and sell in a vacuum. You sell in a specific environment of which you must have awareness and knowledge.


"I already price my work a bit higher than many local photographers I know. That is not on purpose, but it comes from printing a little bit more expensively (I don't use Costco and many of them do!) and in pricing some value on my own time spent in putting together each piece, plus value in the print itself."

So how do you print your work ? Do you use a lab or do you print yourself?


"So much to think about here!"

Indeed.

Alain Briot
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Old June 20th, 2012, 12:10 PM
Nicolas Claris Nicolas Claris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alain Briot View Post
Another issue is that artists often price their work low, sometimes at a loss or with a very small profit, with the expectation that future sales will make up for it.

The problem is that profit needs to be made now, not later. Think about selling your car rather than your art: let's suppose for the sake of this example that you are pricing your car way below market value expecting to make up for your loss with future sales. That would make no sense at all because you don't have a second car to sell! Plus your car has an intrinsic value that you are disregarding. If you were to do this, someone would be making a great deal (the buyer) and someone would be getting ripped off (you)!

It is the same when selling artwork. How do you know that you will have future sales? Maybe this sale is it. Maybe this is the one sale that matters, just like when selling your car.

Plus, if you price your work below what it is worth, you set a precedent and you must expect future sales to be done at the same price. This is why pricing low and expecting to make up the loss on future sales does not work. Future sales will be done at the same price! If you are sell your work for cheap now, you must continue to sell your work for cheap later on! If you don't, your buyer will go somewhere else! They will look for an artist willing to sell their work for cheap!

The foundational marketing rule here is this: 'If buyers come to you because of price, they will leave you because of price.' ALain Briot (it's in my book).


My recommendation is to price your work correctly, at market value, right now. Forget about expecting future sales. If it happens, fantastic. But if it doesn't, at least you got paid the right price for this one sale.

Get paid what you deserve for your work now, not later
All true and very wise suggestions Alain!
I fully agree with you.
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Old June 21st, 2012, 04:30 PM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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Thank you Nicolas. Good to see you here.
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Old June 30th, 2012, 09:10 AM
Rachel McLain Rachel McLain is offline
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Finally getting a chance to come back and reply to this.

Alain asked where I print. Most of my prints these days are done at Miller's Professional Imagining. I used to get them printed locally by a guy who does beautiful work and has a great selection of papers so I could choose the paper tone and type for each print depending on what suited it, but each print was $20-40 which meant my prices were *much* higher than everyone else's so I started using Miller's and I'm happy with them, especially the metallic paper which works well for my style of work.

Most local photographers appear to charge from $75 to $100 for a matted, framed 8x10ish photo. I don't know how they can do that and make any money at all.

I get my work mounted and matted at a local shop which is the cheapest place I have found in town. I buy the frames from them and assemble them myself. The mat and mounting for an 8x10 is about $15 and the frame is about another $15. So, I've spent $30 plus about 2.50 for the print. If I sell that for $75 at a gallery that has a 40% commission then I've made a whopping $13 for the effort in taking the photo, processing the photo, getting it matted and mounted, and assembling the frame. That makes it not worth my time, IMO.

If I sell at $100, then after commission I've about $28 which is closer to worth my time, but still, the literal time I've spent assembling the frame, ordering the mat and mounting, ordering the print, etc. is maybe barely covered by the $28.

So I sell my matted, mounted, and framed 8x10s at $130 which means that after a 40% commission I've made about $36 which then covers my time and gives me a bit of profit. Not everyone in town charges 40% commission. Some charge less and a couple charge more, so I settled on figuring my prices at that 40% commission figuring if I lost a little in the places that charge more then I would make up for that in the places that charge less.

So I know this post is very long, but, basically, it comes down to that I don't see how I can at all be competitive with people who can charge $75-100 for an 8x10. And I frankly have no idea what to do about that.
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Old June 30th, 2012, 03:13 PM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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The solution, quite clearly, is to not sell through a gallery. You will then make 40% more.

Or, if you must sell in a gallery, then raise your prices by 40%.

If you are not making enough to justify doing this as a busines, then why do it as a business?
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Old June 30th, 2012, 04:05 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel McLain View Post
I get my work mounted and matted at a local shop which is the cheapest place I have found in town. I buy the frames from them and assemble them myself. The mat and mounting for an 8x10 is about $15 and the frame is about another $15. So, I've spent $30 plus about 2.50 for the print. If I sell that for $75 at a gallery that has a 40% commission then I've made a whopping $13 for the effort in taking the photo, processing the photo, getting it matted and mounted, and assembling the frame. That makes it not worth my time, IMO. ...........

So I sell my matted, mounted, and framed 8x10s at $130 which means that after a 40% commission I've made about $36 which then covers my time and gives me a bit of profit. Not everyone in town charges 40% commission. Some charge less and a couple charge more, so I settled on figuring my prices at that 40% commission figuring if I lost a little in the places that charge more then I would make up for that in the places that charge less.
The thing to do is to raise the prices of your matted and framed prints by 60% and then sell just matted prints for that $130. That way folk will the think that both choices are a great bargain. Selling with a gallery has to be worth everyone's while and it will be!

Consider standardizing so you can get the mattes for less. In any case, it's foolish not to cover your labor charges. If you worked for this artist, wouldn't you want to get paid?

Also, try to carefully pick choices that can justifiably and impressively go to 16x20 and have limited edition, if your work merits this. Make the print as high as you dare. The gallery could, if you're lucky, end up selling more of your smaller prints and who knows, someone will eventually buy the larger prints. If things are going well, think of having an opening for a new series with some (Trader Joe's) wine and cheese!

Asher
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 11:45 AM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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Rachel,

So either way, whether you follow Asher's advice or mine, what we are both saying is 'raise your prices.'

Which brings me back to the point I made earlier on: don't compete on the basis of price. Instead, compete on the basis of uniqueness. If there is no difference that people can see between your work and your competitor's work, people will buy the lowest priced work.

Competing on the basis of price is often done by people who have not studied marketing. They don't know how to market their work, so they use low prices to attract customers.

Which brings me to this question: if you don't mind me asking, have your studied marketing and if yes how did you study it?
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 12:33 PM
Rachel McLain Rachel McLain is offline
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Originally Posted by Alain Briot View Post
The solution, quite clearly, is to not sell through a gallery. You will then make 40% more.

Or, if you must sell in a gallery, then raise your prices by 40%.

If you are not making enough to justify doing this as a busines, then why do it as a business?
But that's basically what I've done if other's are selling at $75. My prices are about 40% higher than that :-)

I absolutely agree that there's no point doing it as a business if I'm not making enough. I think some people do it as a hobby and feel it doesn't matter if they make anything from it, but frankly I cannot afford to do that.
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 12:38 PM
Rachel McLain Rachel McLain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
The thing to do is to raise the prices of your matted and framed prints by 60% and then sell just matted prints for that $130. That way folk will the think that both choices are a great bargain. Selling with a gallery has to be worth everyone's while and it will be!

Consider standardizing so you can get the mattes for less. In any case, it's foolish not to cover your labor charges. If you worked for this artist, wouldn't you want to get paid?

Also, try to carefully pick choices that can justifiably and impressively go to 16x20 and have limited edition, if your work merits this. Make the print as high as you dare. The gallery could, if you're lucky, end up selling more of your smaller prints and who knows, someone will eventually buy the larger prints. If things are going well, think of having an opening for a new series with some (Trader Joe's) wine and cheese!

Asher
I think that maybe you and Alain both misunderstood my post. My prices are already 30-40% higher than most other photographers in town (except the really locally famous ones who've been doing it for many many years). I don't think I could raise my prices any higher and sell anything--maybe I'm wrong, but since I'm not selling a lot as it is then it seems unlikely.

I do use standardized mats for the unframed prints I sell and that does help keep those costs down. Again, I'm charging about 40% more for those than most other photographers, too.
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  #23  
Old July 2nd, 2012, 12:41 PM
Rachel McLain Rachel McLain is offline
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Originally Posted by Alain Briot View Post
Which brings me back to the point I made earlier on: don't compete on the basis of price. Instead, compete on the basis of uniqueness. If there is no difference that people can see between your work and your competitor's work, people will buy the lowest priced work.
Well, I would like to think that people can see the value difference and uniqueness in what I do, but some of those $75 prints are truly stunning, too, which is part of why it always amazes me they charge so little.

Quote:
Which brings me to this question: if you don't mind me asking, have your studied marketing and if yes how did you study it?
I have not studied marketing. I've working with marketing people a bit over the years in other kinds of work (software and real estate mostly). I do have an artist friend who gives me some marketing advice.
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 01:15 PM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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I have not studied marketing. I've working with marketing people a bit over the years in other kinds of work (software and real estate mostly). I do have an artist friend who gives me some marketing advice.
I recommend you study fine art marketing with an expert. While there are some commonalities between the marketing of fine art and of other products or services, there are also numerous differences. Studying with an artist is OK provided they have studied marketing and are doing well financially. Otherwise, their advice can only be as good as what they know and do. The rule here is that you only want to study with people who are where you want to be (it's also in my book).

Regarding Asher and I talking about your pricing, the reason why we do is because you bring up the issue of price regularly in your questions. If indeed, as you say, you are priced higher than your competition, and your work isn't visibly different or better, then this is why you are not selling anything. As I said several times, when customers cannot SEE a difference between the products of several different vendors, they will buy from the lowest priced vendor. The fact that your product costs you more to make is irrelevant to the buyer if they cannot see a difference or if this difference is meaningless to them.

Finally, you mention that the lower-priced prints of your competitors are 'really good' and that makes it difficult for you to be different or to do better. Well, that's the real challenge right there! You have to be better than them and different as well. It's not easy to do, and that's why most people decide to compete on the basis of price. Lowering your prices takes only an instant, while developing a personal style -which is the only way to truly be different - takes years.

Acquiring a unique style requires hard work and dedication. Most people want to succeed right away without doing any more work than absolutely necessary. The result is they compete on the basis of price, or they believe they have a style when they don't have one yet and as a result price themselves out of the market.
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 03:21 PM
Rachel McLain Rachel McLain is offline
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Thanks, Alain. Good things to think about it.

I do think I have a fairly unique style. And yes *some* photographers who are very good are selling cheaper than I am, but also some photographers who are not that great (IMO!) are selling cheaper than me. I don't see many who shoot like I do, though, so I think that is pretty unique.

Feel free to review my website and let me know what you think: www.rachelmclain.com

Rach
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 05:40 PM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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You have a personal style when people recognize one of your photographs as being yours, without knowing that it is one of yours.

You have a personal style when you are doing visible things in your work that no one else does, or when you were the first one to do these things.

Are you in either of these two situations?
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 09:55 AM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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The reason I ask is because to tell if you are the only one to do something in a specific field - which is your case is botanical close ups-- you have to be intimately familiar with what has been done in that field. My specialty is landscapes, so to answer your question 'do I have a personal style?' I would have to study your field in depth before answering it accurately.

This brings another question: are you intimately familiar with everything that has been done in your field? Have you studied the work of the leading artists, past and present, in your field?
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 10:00 AM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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One more thing: I noticed you don't have a photograph of yourself on your website while you do mention that your work is for sale.

I strongly recommend that you add a photograph of yourself on your site if you want to sell something.

How would you like to purchase something in a store from a vendor that does not let you see his face?

That is how visitors to your website store feel like.

We buy from people we trust. Seeing someone's face is a significant part of building trust between you and your customers.

Alain Briot
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