How do you keep track of......??
How do you keep track of which edition number you're on when you sign/number a print?
I used to keep everything in a notebook, according to the year in which the negative was made. Year, print title, 8x8/10 or 11x11/14 and follow those two sizes w/ roman numerals (or rather, 4 hash marks with a slash through them for number "5") every time I signed/numbered a print. Recently, my notebook is a mess. So, I've now switched to index cards in a small recipe box, separated by year. Each card contains the print title, year the neg. was made, the two print sizes, again followed by the hash mark numbering system. I'd keep track of the numbering on my computer but, I've had hard drives crash so many times that I'd be really screwed if I lost this info. I have more trust in good old fashioned pen and paper.
Just wondering what kind of system apugers use to track their prints.
I've not had a big problem with this so far, but I'm not a big print seller so that might have something to do with it. I too prefer paper to keep track of this sort of thing. I have a small-ish notebook in which I write the information for printing all the prints I really like and on each print page I have a place for the print numbers and who they went to. I like to keep all the information together because my workroom is rather messy and I'm sure if they weren't kept together, I'd lose them.
Once I've pounded through the workprints and gotten the print to where I want it to be, I make an 8 x 10 reference print which I store in a binder in a print file preserver. In the same sleeve behind the print is a sheet with all the notes on how the print was made. On that record, I log all subsequent prints, date made, etc.
"I always take a camera, That way I never have to say 'Gee, look at that - I wish I had a camera'" -Joe Clark, H.B.S.S.
I know what you mean about keeping records on a computer but it really is the best way to do it. I have been using the data base in Microsoft Works for about 20 years now. The key to peace of mind is to make backing up your data as natural and regular as brushing your teeth. The way I do it is by saving my file twice every time I close it. I save it and then I use the Save As function to save it to another drive. Twice a year I back it up by saving it to a disk with the date as part of the name.
I number every print and enter new prints as they are printed. I have about 3000 prints in the data base which shows all the information about each individual print including, if it was sold, who it was sold to and their address price sold for etc. When I mat a print I enter the mat size. If I frame it, I enter the frame type.
Now comes the fun part. I can quarry the data base to determine all sorts of information like; How many prints did I sell last year?; How many and what images has a particular customer purchased? Or maybe, What did I sell at a particular show last year, or the last three years? I can sort the records by any criteria and I can filter the file to show only the prints that meet the criteria. If I want to know how many matted prints are ready for an up coming show, I can ask the data base.
A paper record is good but difficult to keep up and has none of the feedback features of a data base.
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In my practice, we store a large volume of Wills.
Computers give us quick access to the details about the Wills, and allows us to sort and categorize them too. We back up those records electronically, but we also print them out too.
If we wished, we could also print out labels, affix them to index cards, and have all systems in place at the same time.
If you are diligent about it, you get the best of both worlds.
Perfect! The sooner you start, the better. You won’t be overwhelmed by data to get caught up.
Actually, I have several paper records also. I record each exposure in a small Zone VI notebook and that information is transferred to the negative sleeve after the negative is developed. Then I have a print record where I record when, how, what size and how many each time I print. Then, I use a simple two-part receipt book from Office Depot to record sales. I usually have the customer fill in their name and address (plus their phone number if I have to ship it to them) and they get the copy as a receipt. I keep the original, which I use to update my data base file after a show.
When I do the three M’s (Mounting, Matting and framing) I simply check the database to see what the next print number is for the things I am getting ready. As I do that, I also enter the new data in the file.
When someone calls and wants a particular print in a particular size, I can quickly check to see if I have it printed or not and if so, do I need to mat and/or frame it. So I can quickly tell them if I can ship it next week or that they’ll have to wait till Hell freezes over to get it.
Like you, I’m not a hard sell marketing guru, but if I was I would send out Post Cards to my customers alerting them of upcoming shows and offer them incentives to buy something and I could easily extract that information from my database.
My advice is to try it while maintaining your present system. All you have to loose as a little time.