Saturday, September 15, 2007

More On Our Market And Pricing

I left my prev. entry on addressing who are our market for prints with the suggestion that I'd discuss pricing. In the mean time Scott Jones, another physician photographer, made the following commment which I felt needed more attention - he's saying some pretty important things here.

Scott Jones said...

Hi George,

Good thoughts. My reaction today on this is that if you take into account the major effort in marketing you discuss and take account of the hours doing so and then take into account the costs you have to produce the saleable images and then look at your income, you may find that your real hourly wage for these business efforts is incredibly small. Therfore this way of making a living is a very inefficient use of life energy of which we have a very limited supply. Unless one is a true 100% dedicated professional, it may be much more efficient to remain an amatuer in the true sense of the word and do our work for love and sell at reasonable prices to the public when the chance presents itself.

The day job probably presents a much better and easier way of putting food on our tables and then we can spend our free time doing our art. Also if one makes a living through a more efficient means, then we can sell our work at a much lower price and thus actually share our work with more people which is the point anyway, isn't it?

The great paradox is that once you substantially lower your prices, you unit volume goes way up and sometimes you end up making more money. I sell my matted prints at $60 and have sold 27 prints from my last show. That is much more than I have ever sold at higher prices and so many people have told me how pleased they are to have pieces of my work hanging in their homes. At a higher price they never would have bought one. I feel so much more fulfilled this way which again seems the point of doing art (at least for me).

It will be interesting to see what your latest thoughts ar about pricing since our last discussion. Also how refreshing to be able to not have to deal with the galleries anymore. Unless you are really a hot shot in demand photographer, that really seems a fool's game.

Thanks George...


mike said...

So right! Do the photography for the love of it and keep your day job which should be earning you your retirement checks. Then you can do the art without interruption.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post.The great thing about our medium is that the original artist can produce as many copies as they wish at reasonable cost and have complete control over the process. For example, it really annoys me to see pretty shoddy 'fine art' photography prints, which are really just lithographed poster prints available in department stores, furniture shops, poster shops etc. often a moderately high prices. Everytime I see one, the nagging suspicion that photographers miss the point gets a bit stronger!