Pricing Framed Gallery Prints - Newbie

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Punker, Aug 22, 2018.

  1. Punker

    Punker Member

    Messages:
    148
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm very fortunate to have had three photos selected for my first gallery exhibition. It pertains to this forum because they are all Holga photos and it was a toy camera competition. I'm wondering a ballpark price to give the prints as I'm not a renowned photographer. I know that technically I don't set the price-- the paying public does-- but I need something to go off of.

    The photos in question are 3 professionally printed, personally framed, and matted 10x10" prints in 12x12" frames. I've calculated all the costs (frames, prints, mats, shipping, time) to come out to around $190. The gallery fee is 30% of whatever I sell them for. Scouring the gallery's instagram didn't give me much help with figuring out pricing and I'm sure it's a major faux pas to contact them and ask what is "average" for something similar. So I'm asking the wonderful experienced folks at Phototrio.

    I was thinking $200 each? Assuming all 3 prints sell = $600, less 30% gallery fee ($180), minus costs of $190 = $230 profit ($77 each).

    Is that reasonable or expecting too much? Dropping it to $150 each = $125 total profit ($42 each). ...I've been sitting here now having almost deleted this whole thread before posting for the better part of an hour out of embarrassment of my ignorance :errm: Please help.
     
  2. REAndy

    REAndy Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    107
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    Location:
    USA Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have no advise on what you are asking at all.
    But, I did want to say: Congratulation on having your work exhibited!!

    Very nice.
     
  3. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    10,650
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    K,Germany
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    actually, that is the job of the gallery but starting points are:give yourself an hourly rate and calculate it according to your efforts; another starting point is:self cost x3;don't sell too cheap;below$50 rarely sells; above $500 is hard to sell; start with$100 or so and take it from there; that's what I sold my first prints forby now my prices have settled around $300 and sell well at that
     
  4. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    1,286
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A few thoughts:
    - if the work is good it should sell for $300+
    - if you and the gallery are confident it is good work I wouldn't go below $200
    - can you claim it is produced to archival standards and mounted and/or matted on acid free/museum board etc.?
    - have you thought about editioning? what does the gallery think about this? Arguments rage about editioning for lesser known photographers but sometimes setting a low edition number of say 3 or 5 can help create interest/demand.
    - 10x10 in a 12x12 frame is pretty tight. Allowing a more generous mat in a bigger frame can enhance a photograph. 4 to 6 inch mat border is a good rule of thumb.

    As with Ralph , congratulations on the exhibition. I remember my first selection about 18 years ago as the feature image for a group show and I was petrified about putting any kind of price on the work! I'm not worthy, etc. but that feeling will pass as you exhibit more. Go with the gallery's input for now and you'll eventually become very confident about putting fair prices on your work!
     
  5. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    1,286
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    p.s. you said professionally printed. b&w silver gelatin or ink jet? an archival silver gelatin print should attract a higher price relative to inkjet in my opinion.
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    25,229
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    paswonquitte
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    congratulations !
    it depends .. r 3x COST,
    or (if you feel uncomfortable
    asking for that much ( and depending on
    the venue they are being displayed) less than that...
    have fun :smile:

    john
     
  7. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,354
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto-Onta
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    If you feel your work is gallery standard , then I would suggest starting at $600 per image matted unframed.. As time goes on if you have recognizable talent your work will sell and the selling price will go up. Most galleries that will want to take on a photographer will be asking 50% commission and this is the number $$ I advise all people who come in our shop to start at.
     
  8. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    3,051
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Chillicothe MO
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My few photographs in basic 16x20 aluminum frames available in a local gallery are priced at $90. I do the printing with Epson ink on Epson paper on a big Epson printer with archival mounting and matting. With complete control over the process from initial image capture to presentation, I can offer an unconditional full money back guarantee. The selling price covers the modest gallery commission and a small profit. Decades ago I was charging $25 for darkroom prints in 16x29 frames at the local small town art fair. Back then I cut my own mats with a Dexter mat cutter and salvaged glass from old storm doors and windows. We who are more photographer than businessmen often start out like that. It provides good training in economy and quality control. However, it does require work and commitment.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Punker

    Punker Member

    Messages:
    148
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thank you all!

    Oh no kidding? So I should maybe contact them about pricing?

    Based on everyone else mentioning the costs x 3 rule of thumb, I'm thinking $200 is the minimum I'd list them at.
    The photos were inkjet printed on Fuji glossy paper which I assume is archival and put together with acid-free mats and backing boards.
    Editioning actually never crossed my mind. That's a whole other can of worms I have a general understanding of but am unfamiliar with.

    Here's one of the framed images for reference:
    IMG_3109 2.jpg
     
  10. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    5,407
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Geelong/Richmond VIC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Groups:
    This depends on how successful you are as a photographer and how well you are known to the market. Familiarity and above all else, consistency in the quality of your work and knowledge of the subject(s) you photograph, will bring recognition and sales, especially at street level (never mind about the internet).
    Galleries are renowned for biting into photographers' profits. A better market is angling for private buyers who have collections of photographers' works.

    As a baseline guide, the absolute cost of the image to you in dollar terms:
    1. the cost of the film and ancillary costs (processing etc.) -- yes, it does matter, especially if it is e.g. 8x10!
    2. processing
    3. printing
    4. matting
    5. framing
    6. Add 150% to 200% (depending on the size of the work, generally around 16x20" for the higher margin). This covers all the other cost incurred e.g. travel and your own cut.
    Tony Egan makes the point printing to archival standards. This is very, very important, and a gallery is likely to ask and have you explain what you have done.

    Editioning of prints doesn't always work for photographers in their first steps of exhibiting. If a print sells well first off, Editioning can be looked at later. I produced an Editioned triptych in 1996 (ending in 2001), and it went through 8 editions, all at the same size but framed according to client directions. It was exhibited in just one gallery; the rest of the editions were sold to private collections.

    What type of "Fuji glossy paper"? There are many types, and in the present market, more than 200 different types of print media (and growing!)

    Irrespective of whether the print is silver gelatin or gicleee, and assuming top quality printing (a darkroom-produced print is not necessarily, always or exclusively "top quality" or archival), it is the quality of interpretation of the subject you have photographed that will ultimately determine how well your work sells in a market literally saturated with works -- you have to offer something special that nobody else does (although there is a very good chance somebody will then copy you!), even it if means breaking the bank.
    Lousy photography with high prices doesn't sell, though it may be popular (a quirk of the market). Beautiful, technically precise photography with priced low for "impulse" buyers short-changes you and devalues your work, now and into the future. There is a happy medium but it will take time to arrive at that and be happy with the market will actually be prepared to pay for your work.

    The gallery's cut of 30% is on the lower scale of commission from what I know of, which varies from 25% to 60%-plus, depending on how successful the photographer is or has been in previous exhibitions or how well he is known to the market.
     
  11. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    1,286
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Also, don't be tentative about inviting every friend and relative (and their rich parents and friends) to the gallery and opening etc. As a first time exhibitor you may have some reservations about doing this but be proud of this achievement, promote it and celebrate it. Nothing wrong with relatives or friends buying your work and generating a few red dots! It may lead to commissions or other opportunities down the track and you will look back on this as a wonderful learning experience.
     
  12. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,354
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto-Onta
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    This is called the Mercy Buy and though good for the evening, the next show funny enough never matches the sale of your first... Kind of like your first start in the big leagues, (cherish the moment it may be fleeting)
     
  13. canuhead

    canuhead Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    768
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Southern Ont
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    fwiw, and if not too late, I'd re-mat and re-frame those prints. The 1" mat border feels way too tight imo (frame too close to print and I find that visually distracting). I'd be looking at 3 or 4" mat borders, bottom weighted. Good luck with pricing.
     
  14. jim10219

    jim10219 Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    844
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    One of the most important things in determining the sale price of a work of art is WHERE it’s sold. In a high end gallery in a large city, $300 is terribly underpriced for any 8x10 matted photograph. In a small town coffee shop, it’s terribly over priced. Same photo. Same presentation. The only thing that changes is the location, and with it, it’s value.

    I live in Oklahoma City. Art is not highly prized here unless it’s of Native American origin or of horses or cowboys. A high quality print from a well respected photographer in a mid level gallery will typically need to be priced around $100 to sell in under a month. $300-600 might sell in 6 months to a year, if the gallery likes your work enough to let it stay around that long. Top end range is about $1,000 for a large, framed print from a well known local artist at a high end gallery or one of the large art festivals. Just 3 hours south in Dallas, you could easily triple those prices, maybe more. Same work, but the location triples the value due to exposure to a different clientele. Something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it, and around here, people aren’t willing to pay much for anything. Just look at our housing prices!

    Art is generally only seen as decoration here, and is usually priced accordingly. If your lucky enough to get your work displayed at a prominent museum, your work jumps to the level of financial investment. In which case, it doesn’t matter if the buyer hates it, so long as they believe it will outpace inflation. They’ll pay a lot more, but it’s still not appreciated as art. It is viewed as another piece of a diversified portfolio.

    So, my point is, if you get into a gallery, it’s probably a good idea to take a look around the gallery, and price your work in comparison to similar works in that same gallery. If you want to charge more, find a more expensive gallery. At least that’s how it works here.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies. If you have a Photrio account, please log in (and select 'stay logged in') to prevent recurrence of this notice.