Advice for hospital gallery project.
I am in the conceptual stages of a project to produce a series of large framed b&w prints for a wing of a major Chicago hospital. To start, I am probably looking at 12 to 15 16x20" or 20x24" prints that I will mat and frame myself as always do with my prints. If things work out, I will also be producing prints for hospital rooms but that is a different story and the constraints will be different. This type of project is new to me and I would appreciate some practical advice from others here who may have done similar projects.
For most of my b&w prints, which are displayed in private homes, I have generally used regular picture glass. Obviously I will be using Plexi or a similar material for safety reasons with this project. I sometimes use Plexi for prints displayed in private homes where there are children or there are other safety concerns but I have always used regular (shiny) Plexi because the light in those conditions can be controlled to minimize glare glare. But I am concerned that shiny glass will cause a glare problems in hospital lighting conditions so I may want to go with a non-glare type of glass. However, I know that there are more than one type of non-glare Plexi materials to choose from and I remember reading something about the advantages and disadvantages of various kinds. Some obscure fine detail. The prints will be matted so they won't be touching the glass, of course. I shoot with with large format cameras and I exploit the fine detail capabilities of those formats and fine detail is generally a characteristic of my work so I do not want to suppress or hide detail. I would appreciate recommendations for the best type of Plexi type material for my purposes, that is, a safe material that reduces or eliminates glare while revealing as much detail as possible. I need to know this before working up an estimate.
Also, I would appreciate any other comments or advice from photographers who have done this sort of project that I may not have thought of. For example, any information on pricing for hospital work would be good to know.
Just a few thought. I would use regular plexiglass which is expensive enough as is. I don't think the average viewer in a hospital or hospital exam room will mind. Also, you will be significantly increasing your costs by using large sheets of the non-glare variety. Might be a better use of money to buy locking frame mounting mechanisms for the prints hung in public areas so they are not stolen.
Most hospitals nowadays are part of larger chains and have concerns about "branding."' They want patients to feel like they will get the same level of care and experience at any of their facilities. Therefore, if you have your foot in the door at the hospital and they like your work, maybe you could populate their other facilities with the same set of prints (or different) if you look into it. Usually the administrator you deal with won't care about the other facilities but his/her boss might like the idea. I am working on this at my local hospital.
Also, hospital lighting is usually terrible. You might want to negotiate some lighting into the deal. Most hospitals have their own maintenance crews that could drop a can light into the ceiling tile above your print if you figure it out ahead of time. Trying to get them to move after the fact is difficult.
Also, hospitals are great potential gallery areas where you will get alot of exposure. Rather than selling them specific prints, you might want to set it up as more of a licensing agreement like some software companies do. In other words, they pay you an annual fee in order to display a certain number of prints that you rotate occasionally. That way it is recurring income and the prints don't get so stale that they replace them with some awful pastel watercolors.
Thank you so much for the great advice. I knew that the non-glare type of glass is very expensive... for the good kind anyway .... and I do want to keep costs in line.
We have already established that the people at the hospital who will hang the pictures will handle the mounting of the pictures which will be locked to the wall.
Thanks for the other great advice too. I hadn't thought of those things. I will be going to lunch with the person from the hospital who is in charge of this project and you gave me some great things to think about and discuss with her. I really appreciate your help and advice.
Sounds like an excellent opportunity and best wishes on that.
No real advice to offer other than I would apply hospital rates to your pricing.
If an aspirin cost $12.00 than your print costs should be multiplied by the same factor
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