Pricing Prints

Pricing fine art photographic prints is always a challenge, there’s a lot of costs involved, a lot of competition in the marketplace, and a lot of variation in prices out there in the marketplace.  While I don’t have the One True Way of pricing for photographic prints, I do have a few thoughts on the matter for those of you considering your own print sales.

As a starting point, you first need to figure out your cost of goods. Start with the photographic print itself.  If you own your own printer, that cost will include the cost of the ink, the paper, and the amortized cost of the printer itself, Mark Segal has a nice article explaining how to do this over at the Luminous Landscape.  In my own case, I print through an outside service, so I know up front that the cost of one of my standard-sized prints (16×11 inches image size) is about $25, then I add to that a few bucks for shipping or my time/effort to pick it up. (more…)

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Raising Prices

I understand that things are tough right now for a lot of creative professionals like us. I know several photographers who are really struggling to make ends meet, a couple who have gotten out of the business completely, and a couple who have branched out into completely different fields to stay afloat. I also know several who are so busy they’re turning away work. Regardless of your particular situation a periodic review of your pricing structure is part of doing business. Many times that review will lead you to the conclusion that you need to raise prices. But knowing your pricing is too low and implementing a price change are two distinct steps.


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The Pareto Principle

There is an important principle in business called the Pareto Principle – it says that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your effort.

Applied to photography, it means that 80% of your income is going to come from 20% of your efforts. The other 20% of your income will come from 80% of your effort.

It usually works for larger percentages, too – 90% of your income on 10% of your customers, 95/5, etc. (more…)

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Photobooths for Fun and Profit

I photograph a lot of events – weddings, tournaments, parties.

One of my least favorite situations is when a photographer comes around to the table where everybody is eating, and wants to take a picture of the people at the table.

I have several problems with this. (more…)

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I suck at closing.

I get a fair amount of appreciation for my photographic prints, and am usually able to manage a good turnout for my big photo exhibitions, but closing a sale can still be a challenge for me. (more…)

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The importance of discipline

One of the greatest things about being a full time photographer who owns the business is the flexibility it offers in scheduling. Case in point – last week. My kids were out of school for spring break and even though it’s a busy season for me, I was able to move things around on the schedule and spend some good time with them. Of course, like most things there are trade offs that come with this flexibility. The biggest is lack of security. Another is the constant need for self discipline when it comes to non assignment shooting and other internal tasks. (more…)

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Larger To Sell

Since I started The Travel Photographer blog, I’ve come across a lot of photographers’ web sites, and found some that are excellent; some are sort of good, while others are, frankly, just hideous.

We all know that the main objective of a website for most photographers is to promote themselves, to sell and expand the reach of their photography to new clients, and certainly to internationalize their work. However, too many photographers forget that simplicity is always best in creating websites. Whether photo editors or just casual viewers, simple websites with killer images are those that work. (more…)

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How US Copyright Law (sometimes) Fails Small Photographers

Photo District News is reporting that US Airways, it’s insurance company AIG and their lawyers have moved to prevent photographer Stephen Mallon from displaying photos of the recovery of Flight 1548, photos which he appears to own the copyright to. Mallon was hired to document the recovery process by Weeks Marine, who had given Mallon (as had the NTSB) their okay for showing the photographs involved. Mallon is asking people to contact US Air and AIG and express their displeasure on the subject. I’ve done that, but in this point, I’d like to talk, maybe even rant a bit, about the problems with the copyright system and the law as it applies to small-shop photographers like myself and Mallon. (more…)

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