A question for pros...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by flinch13, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. flinch13 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #1
    I'm a nature and landscape photographer, and I'm thinking of selling in a gallery. My question: is a 50% commission a rip-off? It's better than iStockphoto, especially if I'm selling a piece for a couple hundred dollars. Any ideas?
     
  2. Everythingisnt macrumors 6502a

    Everythingisnt

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #2
    It really depends on your prices and your audience. Most fine art photographers exhibition in large galleries where they can control the size of the prints hanging on the walls, etc.. It is also considered more 'professional' to have pieces displayed in a gallery.

    However it ultimately depends on your prices and the amount of traffic you envision having. If you are a fine art photographer selling pieces for around 3,000 - 6,000 dollars, then a gallery suits your needs. However, if you are selling pieces for 50 - 100 dollars, then online is probably a good idea because it gives you alot of coverage and a bigger potential audience..

    Sorry if this didn't really help with your question.. It's mainly based off of my observations.
     
  3. flinch13 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #3
    Okay, here's a better question. Supposing my cost for printing and other materials (matting, etc), is around $70 for a 12 inch x 46 inch panorama. What exactly should I charge for such an image? These are enormous panoramas that took a very long time to put together and color correct; they are flawless and printed professionally. I was initially thinking I should sell them at around $200, but with the price the gallery would be charging me (50%), I'd be left over with $30 after initial costs, which is crazy. What's a reasonable price? $600? I figure that would be a more reasonable profit, but obviously harder to sell. Basically I'm stuck... what to do?
     
  4. Everythingisnt macrumors 6502a

    Everythingisnt

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #4
    If you ARE guaranteed gallery space, I would easily try $600. Then again, it really depends on the gallery you're showing in. If it's a coffee-shop/gallery type thing, you may want to lower your price. If it's a bit more 'upscale' then I don't see why you shouldn't charge enough to get a reasonable profit.

    I live in Vancouver, where there is a multitude of photography galleries. I know of several galleries where the work is presented and sold for well over 5,000 a piece. That being said, the artists who are exhibitioning are quite outstanding and usually well known.
     
  5. flinch13 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #5
    Well said. I am very proud of my work and I see no reason why I shouldn't be compensated reasonably. I will price my piece on par with what I see displayed in the gallery, maybe a bit more because of its size.
     
  6. eddx macrumors regular

    eddx

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #6
    This makes me wonder how would I go about approaching galleries for the opertunity to show / sell me work. Would it be best to send out a few emails with a pdf of some images or would it be more professional to actually go into the gallery, arrange a meeting and bring down a small (16x12) portfolio with 15-25 examples of my best "art" photography?
     
  7. Everythingisnt macrumors 6502a

    Everythingisnt

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #7
    Usually each gallery has their own submission process. The best bet is to look on their website.. If no contact/submission info is listed, then they may be one of the galleries that doesn't take submissions but instead invites notable photogs. to exhibit with them..
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    I know someone who was wondering the same thing. He at first thought that a lower price would make for more sales. Not really. He moved the price around and experimented and found that if the price is to low people don't buy. They think price equals quality. You have to find the "right price". He was not selling at the low price and did better after moving it up.
     
  9. flinch13 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #9
    Hmm, that's very interesting. I'll discuss that with the gallery owner. I've pretty much decided that I'm going to put up one picture in the gallery and see if it sells. I plan to try and make at least $100 after expenses.

    Anyone have any advice on what's the best presentation method? It costs a couple hundred to get these things matted and framed, about $70 to just get them matted, and about $50 to send them to canada and get them mounted on board and sort of laminated. I don't want this to look bad, obviously, but I'm looking to make a bit of money.
     
  10. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #10
    One piece probably isn't representative enough, but that really depends on the gallery owner- who is the salesperson, so they should be answering most of your questions- especially since they'll know their market. But if the gallery will give you space for 3-4 works, then that's what you want, so a purchaser (a) has an idea of your range and (b) can get multiple works (repeat sales are good for you and the gallery.)

    You should be priced competitively for the gallery, as its patrons will mostly be looking for something in that range. A lot depends on if you do limited editions with certificates, different sizes, etc.

    Presentation is a difficult subject, as often frames will kill a sale, but you should be doing the full archival route for all materials, which isn't cheap. Again, the gallery owner should be able to tell you what displays best and what sells best in their gallery (and if they offer framing, etc.)

    50% is a reasonable commission rate for a gallery, but you have to be very careful when setting your prices- you can't have other work significantly cheaper elsewhere without seriously jeopardizing your relationship with the gallery, so you want to get it right out of the gate. Don't price based on arbitrary internet postings- find out what a similar work done with similar materials goes for in the gallery- if you're not matting with the same thickness and quality of mats, then you're not going to compare well to the other works. That hurts sales. Make sure that your costs are in line with the profit margins you want as well, and find out what sort of volume the gallery does- if they typically move 5 pieces a month per artist, then you may want different margins or different prints than if they do 100.

    If you're too far out of the mean, you'll lose sales, no matter if it's on the high or the low side. Purchasers who connect with an image aren't all that price sensitive in the range everything around them is in.

    If you're paying $70 for matting, you may want to look into a mat cutter and board yourself. Wholesale for molding for frames is way cheaper, but takes more time- it's all a balance.
     
  11. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #11
    Fine Art is a personality and "who you know" game. Your best chance of getting in cold is to wander in with a portfolio and sweet talk the folks there. Your best chance of getting in overall is to have a regular patron introduce you to the gallery owner.
     

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