I am about to put a body of work together that I plan to sell. I am debating with myself whether to make the work in editions and how many.
I am considering making each print in an edition of 35 with 5 artist proofs.
So my question to you the membersof APUG is this:
Do you offer your work in editions and if so, why?
So I am guessing that no one on APUG is selling their work?
Its not that no body is selling any prints its more that this topic has been discussed on many of the photo forums and the threads can/have digressed into gallery bashing.
A lot of galleries will pressure an artist into limiting the number of prints made from a negative to try to drive up the print prices. The fact is that work not limited in edition is selling at some of the highest auction prices. So their argument doesn't really make sense.
It's a personal thing as to limit the editions or not. It's really up to you, it's your work after all.
I don't put edition limits on my work. I do number each print sold.
I like What Michael Smith said in a panel discussion aimed at photo collectors last year. He said, they number each of their prints, after a certain point in time they will stop printing the old negatives and that total number sold and in inventory will be the edition size. I believe that thought was also printed in the B&W article.
My perception of limiting editions, and this may be a bit blunt, is that it adds a bit of snob appeal in the market place. As George said, this may be mostly due to pandering to the buyers.
Michael Smith's practice seems more pragmatic. Print the negatives up to a certain number, that number being whatever is practical for the photographer, then define the edition size on that basis.
Temper my comment with the fact that I have yet to sell a print.
I do not limit my editions, I feel like they are self limiting through my interest in printing a negative over and over. The other thing I say is that you never know which photograph you make will be your "moonrise". By that I mean that ansel sold somthing like 1300 moonrises in his lifetime, far more than any other of his negatives and the sales added up. Many artists end up with a signature image that is not always the one they think it is going to be.
For practical purposes, I think this is a decision that most people let the market make, i.e.--when a gallery says "we only represent photographers who make limited editions" and you want to get into that gallery, you decide to limit editions. One might ask how much of a limitation this is, since I suspect that few editions of 100 or more get past the fifth print, and most people probably want to move on after the 100th print of any image.
Here is a link to the LensWork point of view on editions.
It's something I agree with.