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  1. #1
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Questions about limiting editions of prints

    For years, I've been wanting to sell my prints. I've given a bunch away because I just hate pricing my prints and the business part. Are there any advantages of limiting the number of prints? Also, lets say I want to limit the number of prints to lets say 300 prints. Do I have to print all 300 of them or just keep track and stop printing the neg on the 300th one?
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

  2. #2
    Rick A's Avatar
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    I print batches of three. Any reprints of that negative will be changed slightly, reversed, or toned. After 10 prints total, no more will be made. I charge $150 for a matted 8x10 print.
    Rick Allen
    Argentum aevum

  3. #3
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Not really

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    Why bother? All your prints are valuable.
    I just want people to perceive them as valuable by making them "limited" edition. Maybe I can get rich by "limiting" them to many as I can sell. I can give them away as gifts. Demand is really high if they're free.
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

  4. #4
    Rick A's Avatar
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    If you continue to give them away free, no one will want to buy them. I usually donate one or two prints a year to charity causes, which results in an increase of sales post event. I have a rep who has an exclusive on retail sales, and I never sell directly to any one. When asked, I refer them to my rep. I do accept orders for out of print photos, but that requires a 100% prepay with the order.
    Rick Allen
    Argentum aevum

  5. #5
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Sound advice Rick. I have to stop thinking in terms of the cost of paper, film and chemistry. Art is such a tricky game. But donations to charity is a great idea. You'll get free exposure.
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

  6. #6
    Rick A's Avatar
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    I did a one man show of my prints at the local library a couple of years back, that opened a few doors. I still refuse to show my work at the local art center.
    Rick Allen
    Argentum aevum

  7. #7

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    As far as I know, the definition of "Limited Edition" is kind of murky.

    Some say if it's limited edition of 100, there will be only 100 prints of that image PERIOD.
    Some say if it's limited edition of 100, that means that image in that size will be limited to 100. Printed to different size, there may be more prints.
    Some say limited edition 100 means there are 100 prints in that issue/batch. There may be more printed at later date. (this one doesn't sound right but it came from someone who used to work at a gallery in New York)

    Then there are concept of Artist Proof (A/P). These were originally meant as a quality control measure but they come out in market often, too. These are not part of the editions.

    Many collector values limited edition and notation of issue numbers. But, if you have never sold your work, why not just sell some, and see how much business you can actually get before deciding for sure? You may not want the headache or limit your money making potentials.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  8. #8

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    back in the day, (before photography) prints were limited because the copper, steel, or zinc plate would fail, or the litho stone would lose information. By fail I mean the first print pulled would have information on it that the last ones did not have. With photography, light shinning through it, does not degrade negative. so in theory you can make a zillion prints if your chemistry, time, and temp. stays the same. most people change out the chemistry every so often "to keep it real" as they say. . . . . Some people who make limited additions of the negative have a "strike plate" or image that shows "the original" being altered or partially destroyed or fully destroyed and make a print of that. Many photags do not like to destroy their negatives. They keep an "open" addition. so you just keep numbering them, , ,1,2,3,4,5,6 and so on. . . . . if you make a strike plate then you can number them 1/10, 2/10, 3/10 and so on . . . .. IF you do not have a strike plate, then it is misleading to say you have 1/10,2/10, and so on.because tomorrow or the next day, you can print more because your "original" is still quite nice and has not been tampered with. If its limited, then make it limited, If its not limited, do not say that it is. Its like Jeep wrangler being "limited" its mass produced!!! how absurd!

  9. #9

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    I once tried. Numbered 3 prints, then forgot to number the rest, got confused about the number I was supposed to write, then felt silly about this "numbering" thing, and stopped.

    I simply sign all my prints and write the year. The mere fact that my print is signed it means that the print is Archival, To my ultimate liking, selenium toned. That's what my signature means. Numbering them made me feel stupid, pretentious and Con Man.

  10. #10
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I feel ambivalent about limiting the number of prints of a particular shot. GZINSEL has a point where numbering is relevant to other mediums of art. NB23 also has a point about limited printing of an edition. It's creating a false shortage to make the print exclusive. There's really no governing organization that verifies actual number of prints. I remember years ago, when somebody found a stash of art paper with Salvador Dali's signature on it. From that stash, someone made forged Dali prints with his signature on it. http://www.ebay.com/gds/Dali-fakes-a...8657016/g.html

    As for me, I think I'm getting way ahead of myself and assume that people will buy my prints if I limited the number of copies. Just like NB23, I feel like a pretentious con man. I'm a former pro and now a hobbyist with a day job with health care. I'm happy where I am and I don't need to earn my living by selling prints. I don't have a thick enough skin to be more than that.
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

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