Bill, that was funny. I hadn't seen that picture. If I knew I photographed so well I wouldn't have been hiding behind a camera all these years.
A lady I once took a workshop with mentioned that one day a client had asked her why it cost so much for an 8x10. She said that she could get an 8x10 print for a couple of dollars.
So the lady went into the darkroom and brought out a blank piece of 8x10 paper and said, "for this 8x10 I'll let you have it for $3.00. But if you want one of my portraits printed on it, it's going to cost you $160".
The fact of the matter is, what we sell our work for, which consists of our artistic ability, our craftsmanship ability, our genes, our years of study and our condo payments in Hawaii, has absolutely nothing what-so-ever to do with what the cost of materials are.
If you are still basing your pricing on what your costs are, you are screwed.
I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.
Just a couple of points:
1) Was the lady's question stupid? She was allegedly an experienced art buyer. You only need to visit a couple of art shows to know that if you need matter-of-fact details of what you are looking at (process, media, materials), the place to turn to is the catalog. It only takes a couple of visits more, with an opportunity to talk to the exhibiting artists, to know that artists show up at private views with the express purpose of speaking to visitors and are always glad to do so, given a reasonable level of courtesy on the part of the punters. Remarks such as "Shucks, that there picture looks like any durned fool could'a done it!" are rather below this level and are guaranteed to annoy!
2) A word to billschwab (and anyone else who is interested): I really don't claim to know everything. but as a former professional industrial photographer (7 years in my youth) and now keen art photographer and frequent exhibitor, and someone who has been working with cameras in one form or another for over 50 years, I do try to bring a practical viewpoint to this forum, particularly with regard to financial and business matters.
I agree Michael as I come from the marketing school that taught you sell by "photographer" and not by "photography".
Originally Posted by blansky
I basically agree with you, but saying what you have said just brings you up against the question "How do you quantify the artistic ability, etc., etc.?" One of the most useful ideas I have ever come across is the concept of the "1,000 billable hours a year." Using this, you figure out what you want to earn each year, figure out your total costs for materials, equipment, etc. (everything except your time), add the two figures together and divide by 1,000. This indicates directly what you should be charging to live the way you want to live (for most people, the 1,000 hours is sufficiently below the critical-stress burn-out level). It is a very valuable way of reviewing your business - if the figures don't add up, you could decide to work much harder (OK if you really understand what effect this will have on you), scale down your ambitions or in extreme cases realize that you are in the wrong business!
Originally Posted by blansky
[QUOTE=Jorge]No it is not wrong, the value of the materials is $20, the experience, suffering, culling, etc, etc, nobody gives a rat's ass about. In the end it is what the print does for the viewer, if this person wanted to know why she should pay $800 for a print, I would have gladly told her why....
Ah semantics, semantics ... :-)
It is good to have you back!
When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss art. When artists get together for dinner, they discuss money. Oscar Wilde Blog fp4.blogspot.com
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Each individual has his/her price, if one thinks the value asked is ridiculous, well, there`s always the "don`t buy" option.
There is an old saying that says "If you have to ask the price then you probably can't afford it"
Originally Posted by WarEaglemtn
Personally, as a buyer, If I like it and want it, I buy it. If I havn't got the money, I'll come back when I have.
Basically, Its "I WANT THAT ONE"
As Degas said, "Art is not what you see but what you make others see".
If I had the good fortune to be the photographer and was asked that question by the lady I'd probably say "Don't ask me but someone was willing to stick my photographs up on a wall and slap a price tag on them. To me they're just pictures." I'd also be tempted to say, "Well, if you can't see it, don't worry too much." If I wanted to be even less friendly I might add "Maybe you will eventually". If I was really poor and keen to sell I might grovel and try to expose my soul.
I can well imagine most of the great artists and photographers of the past whose work I most admire could have described each of their new works as "just another (of my) pictures". Even if they also saw them as 'art'.
But it's difficult to judge this particular situation without knowing more about the two people, and particularly the work. I can imagine being sympathetic to each. If the work was obviously good to me and I liked it I'd think her question was a little time-wasting and unnecessary, even a little rude. If the work was obtuse or empty and didn't mean much to me or I downright disliked it I'd be tempted to ask the same thing.
Steichen's pond breaks Sotheby's record (Thursday 16 February 2006)
compiled by Marissa Connelly
Edward Steichen: The pond - moonlight, 1904, image held here
Photography continues its upward spiral on the art market. Photographs sold by the Metropolitan Museum of Art made quite a stir last Tuesday evening when a particular print, Edward Steichen's The pond - moonlight sold for a record-breaking $2.9 million at Sotheby's Holding Inc. in New York.
Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.
And another thing!
I employed a carpenter a few weeks back, bloody extortionate price for a days work, right? I mean, I can cut wood, Right? anyone can cut wood.
Well yes, but not as good as a carpenter.
So, perhaps the price he charged me wasn't that bad after all!