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Thread: Edition Sizes

  1. #1
    roteague's Avatar
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    Edition Sizes

    For those that are do gallery sales, how do you number your editions, if you do? Are you edition sizes based on an individual size or can the edition cover all sizes (for a given image).

    The reason I am asking all these questions is that Hawai'i has strict laws about these things, but I have not found anyone who can tell me exactly what they are. So I am trying to find out what the general industry trend is. In Hawai'i anytime you sell a print, with an edition size, you are required to provide a "Certificate of Authenticity." There are also laws as to how big an edition can be.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

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    Try reading this before you go any further:
    http://www.lenswork.com/unlimitededitions.htm

    I suggest you number the prints sequentially without limit.

    Do not place a contrived limit on your sales. Doing so will only hurt you financially in the long run and limit your ability to improve the print later as your skills improve.

    Cheers,
    Graeme Hird
    www.scenebyhird.com

    Failure is NOT an option! It comes bundled with your software ....

  3. #3
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    No idea about Hawaii, general concept is that editions relate to one size of image. Size of edition (number of prints) varies widely, some galleries say that more than 20 or 25 prints cannot be a genuine limited edition, other seem OK with a "limited" edition of hundreds. Probably best to go for small editions, in many cases likely sales will not exceed 20 anyhow and declaring an edition of this size sounds more exclusive. A "Certificate of Authenticity" sounds great fun, I would love to design one on the computer and make it look like a Victorian bond. Stepped editions (price goes up for later images) I think are good, you can set a reasonable price for the first images to get the ball rolling and increase later. Look forward to finding out what the legal requirements are on Hawaii!

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    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roteague
    In Hawai'i anytime you sell a print, with an edition size, you are required to provide a "Certificate of Authenticity." There are also laws as to how big an edition can be.
    An the ACLU doesn't go after them??????? (Oh yeah, too busy suing the Boy Scouts).
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

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    For Hawaii, I would suggest the "lava/survivor edition" model. That is, once the number of prints purchased has reached the specified limit, one of the previous purchasers must relinquish their print for certified destruction before a new print can flow forth, like lava, from Photopele, the print godess. Previous print buyers get to vote on who must relinquish their print, and have the option of conducting sports challenges to make the determination. Naturally, the photographer reserves all TV rights for possible syndication.

    Cool, eh?
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  6. #6
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graeme Hird
    Try reading this before you go any further:
    http://www.lenswork.com/unlimitededitions.htm

    I suggest you number the prints sequentially without limit.

    Do not place a contrived limit on your sales. Doing so will only hurt you financially in the long run and limit your ability to improve the print later as your skills improve.

    Cheers,
    Graeme,

    Thanks for the link, I have read the article. While I find myself in agreement with most of what Brooks has to say, I don't see that it has to be an "either or" situation. My intention is to have some images in a limted edition set, while having others as unlimited editions. For example, I intend to offer this image http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphot...cat=500&page=1 in a limited edition, initially only in two sizes - 24x30 and 30x40.

    This is partially driven by what I see and hear talking to gallery owners in the area. The quality of images on this island, I have found to be quite poor, and they seem to want to offer photography of higher quality. My biggest request so far has been for large images.

    FWIW, I have found a reference to Hawai'i law and it defines an "Edition" as an aggregate of prints produced from a single master. There is a reference to multiple issues of a single image, but the description is vague (and I'm not sure what it is trying to say).

    Thanks for the feedback. From someone who is actively markets and does gallery sales is appreciated.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  7. #7
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarker
    For Hawaii, I would suggest the "lava/survivor edition" model. That is, once the number of prints purchased has reached the specified limit, one of the previous purchasers must relinquish their print for certified destruction before a new print can flow forth, like lava, from Photopele, the print godess. Previous print buyers get to vote on who must relinquish their print, and have the option of conducting sports challenges to make the determination. Naturally, the photographer reserves all TV rights for possible syndication.

    Cool, eh?
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  8. #8
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Hi Robert

    I have read the article by Brooks that Graeme presents and it makes a lot of sense.
    I print for various photographers and have an exhibition space/gallery. This question seems to be on everyones lips.
    I personally make solarization prints that are almost impossible to accurately reproduce , so I am taking the unlimited number approach.
    I also advise this to photographers who ask questions about editioning images.
    You live in Hawaii , you make an edition of lets say 10, after 20 years I finally happen to go to Hawaii and see your work. Unfortunately you just sold your 10th print of the edition. I am pissed that your work does not get the chance to travel to another part of the world where you may not be as well known. With an unlimited number I may buy #11 and let my circle of friends see this amazing artist from Hawaii.
    I may sound glib with the above paragraph but I think ones work sometimes takes an incredible amount of time, money, energy and an excellent dealer to make you better known.
    chances are, the more people seeing your work, from different locales the better the price you will recieve . This does take time and patience , smaller editions may be sold out at a less than desirable rate before your work recieves the attention it deserves.
    Anyways I like an unlimited approach and will pursue this method for my own work.

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    Robert,

    I think you'll need to look carefully at who you expect to buy your work. The general public don't care about limited editions when they buy their artwork - they just want something beautiful to hang on their walls. You'll sell as many as you want into that market, based on the quality of the print and the price you put on it.

    Serious art collectors with deep wallets are probably more concerned about the rarity (read "exclusivity") of the art and might be prepared to pay more for a limited edition. But they also only collect works from "known" artists: do you classify yourself as a "known artist"? Deep walleted collectors are thin on the ground around here, so I market to the majority of the population and don't limit my work. Maybe I'll do so when I'm rich and famous and can command a price of $1000 for the first 50 prints, and $10,000 for the last 10 of my 100 prints .....

    Currently, as I sell prints and the numbers rise on the popular ones, I increase the price of the prints. So print #1 might be $300 but print #100 may well be $2,000. The market then detirmines what the limit of the edition is, and the early buyers get the bargains. I continue to benefit from the sale of my best prints.

    Only you know your market, so you'll need to come up with the strategy that suits you best. Personally, I would not recommend limiting your prints.

    Cheers,
    Graeme Hird
    www.scenebyhird.com

    Failure is NOT an option! It comes bundled with your software ....

  10. #10

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    But Mr Barker's survivor method sounds like fun ....
    Graeme Hird
    www.scenebyhird.com

    Failure is NOT an option! It comes bundled with your software ....

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