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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 15 Nov 2013 (Friday) 10:20
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Selling portraits vs. selling art prints?

 
jmalonear
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Nov 15, 2013 10:20 |  #1

I am a full time portrait photographer. I own a studio in Northeast Arkansas. Although I make my living selling portraits, I have a love for photographing nature, still life, and landscapes. I normally share my art images on facebook and instagram. Now I have people asking to purchase prints of my art images. I am wondering how I should price the prints of my art images. Should they be priced higher or lower than my portrait prints?
I sell an 8X10 portrait for $38 which is mounted to styrene. Should I sell an art print for the same? Or should it be different? My cost of the print is the same, however I spend extra fuel cost driving around looking for interesting things to photograph. When I do portraits, most customers have paid a session fee prior to purchasing prints. That session fee covers my time and fuel cost . Any input would be appreciated. Thanks


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gonzogolf
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Nov 15, 2013 10:29 |  #2

Essentially you are trying to monetize the hobby side of your photography. Nothing wrong with that but it frees you to be divorce yourself from the actual costs (you would have driven around looking for landscapes even if nobody ever bought a print) in a way you wouldnt be able to do with your portrait work. Think about what the market would bear. Art prints usually sell for more than you charge for your portraits, although they are often marketed in a gallery setting mounted and framed. But since this is essentially found money, selling something you already made for little additional cost, you can select a price point that you feel comfortable with and feel like provides value to your customers.




  
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Hikin ­ Mike
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Nov 15, 2013 15:17 |  #3

I'm not doing this full-time, but I came up with a formula to price my prints... area in inches x $0.42, rounded to the nearest 5 dollars. So a 8 x 10 (80 x $0.42 = $33.60) would sell for $35. I came up with this by averaging the size/price from a lot of landscape/nature photographer's sites. Hope that helps.


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drvnbysound
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Nov 15, 2013 16:43 |  #4

How many times did you drive to a particular location to get said landscape (e.g. travel expense)? How many customers do you want to charge for this expense?

When you sell portraits, I assume that it's generally a single client that is buying portraits of them-self or family. However, there may be multiple people that choose to purchase a landscape.


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jmalonear
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Nov 15, 2013 21:39 |  #5

Thanks for all of the input!!!!


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Ernst-Ulrich ­ Schafer
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Nov 16, 2013 10:08 |  #6

I also have a portrait studio and sell 8X10's or 5X7's at $60each. I personal mat and frame my BW art images to 16X20 and sell them at $250, same for any BW portrait.


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Nov 16, 2013 11:37 |  #7

Both should be higher.


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MattPharmD
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Nov 16, 2013 19:03 |  #8

I think it matters whether you want your art prints to be considered "Art Decor" or "Fine Art." I think of "Art Decor" as the kind of thing you buy at a home decor store (Kirklands, Bed Bath and Beyond) to fill a decorative space on the wall or as part of the overall room decor. These are the kind of things that sell for the price point you mentioned.

Fine Art is something hung to be appreciated for the thing itself. That generally lends it more value. Print and mount according to what you want your image to be, and then price accordingly.


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Nov 17, 2013 09:21 |  #9

Thomas Campbell wrote in post #16456186 (external link)
Both should be higher.

Totally agree. Depending on your sitting fee, I think $38 is too low for a portrait print. But, your market may dictate $38 (I'd at least bump it to an even $40).

Along with the driving expenses, there is your time. Do you drive to a place, jump out of the car, take a shot, and leave? No, you may have to wait for the perfect lighting, or whatever.

Even though it's only the hobby side of your photography, once you start selling the art prints, you have to think of it as another part of your business, that has costs involved.

If, as mentioned by Matt, they are truly 'art prints', I would probably go larger than 8x10, and charge a minimum of $100.


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Ernst-Ulrich ­ Schafer
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Nov 17, 2013 09:33 |  #10

Yes it all depends what area you might be living in. I live in small town America and am quite happy with what folks spend with me. My costs for 8X's is $12 and costs for the 16X20 is $50. If I were in Seattle I'm sure my asking price would be much higher.


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jmalonear
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Nov 17, 2013 22:25 |  #11

Thanks everyone. I think as far as my print prices are concerned...I am within my market. I live in a very small rural community, and my prices are higher than any competitor within 45 miles already. So I doubt I would substantially increase my prices right now. I do think I like the idea of there being a minimum of something like $100 or so for a matted and framed 8X10 maybe. And the price would increase if they want a larger size.


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dkizzle
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Nov 22, 2013 12:40 |  #12

Fine art landscape prints are more expensive than portrait prints because there is a lot more equipment involved and more skill. For portrait work you have 2 of the best Canon lenses but for landscape you might want something thats wider (another expense for you). You might also use a polarizer, GND filters, tripod and others that would not be needed for portrait photo shoot. You also have to factor where you go to take your landscape pictures. If its somewhere close to your house than the only expensive you have is gas / car depreciation. I fly out across the country to shoot landscape and do less than 5% locally. I have to factor in thousands of dollars that I spend on airfare, lodging, transportation, meals, etc while shooting landscape.


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gonzogolf
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Nov 22, 2013 13:16 |  #13

dkizzle wrote in post #16472186 (external link)
Fine art landscape prints are more expensive than portrait prints because there is a lot more equipment involved and more skill. For portrait work you have 2 of the best Canon lenses but for landscape you might want something thats wider (another expense for you). You might also use a polarizer, GND filters, tripod and others that would not be needed for portrait photo shoot. You also have to factor where you go to take your landscape pictures. If its somewhere close to your house than the only expensive you have is gas / car depreciation. I fly out across the country to shoot landscape and do less than 5% locally. I have to factor in thousands of dollars that I spend on airfare, lodging, transportation, meals, etc while shooting landscape.

I call BS on the first sentence. Price out a studio equipped with profoto or even elinchrome strobes and modifiers before you say portrait work takes less gear. And as for skill, different skills, yes, more skill not necessarily.




  
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Nov 22, 2013 14:11 |  #14

Thomas Campbell wrote in post #16456186 (external link)
Both should be higher.

If your name is known..sure..if not..;)


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Nov 22, 2013 15:36 |  #15

gonzogolf wrote in post #16472288 (external link)
I call BS on the first sentence. Price out a studio equipped with profoto or even elinchrome strobes and modifiers before you say portrait work takes less gear. And as for skill, different skills, yes, more skill not necessarily.

Yeah, that is pretty dumb. I shot corporate portraits last week. I used a total of 9 lights with modifiers, a camera, two lenses, pocket wizards, and backup cameras and lenses.


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