How do you present photos for sale?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by PetPortraits, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. PetPortraits

    PetPortraits TPF Noob!

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    For those that do sell their photos, how do you present the finished product? I will be starting very small scale, but I want to present the photos professionally with a mat (is there a standard colour that is always used/recommended.

    I know how to mat,mount and frame artwork, but I am unsure about photography? Do you just hinge the photo to the back or the mat, or do you use a back mount/foamcore as well? Do you then put the whole lot in cellophane bag or is there a better alternative?

    Does anyone have any photos (or website link) to give me an idea of how to presentin my photos well?

    Also, is there a particular way that photographs should be signed, and if it is a limited edition how do you indicate that? Should the photo be printed with a border where this information is provided?

    Any other ideas/tips on presenting the finished photo would be appreciated:)

    Michelle
     
  2. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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    I dont know much about this subject (definatley intersted in learning more).
    I dont know about limited editions but for 'vintage' prints I do believe they can only be called vintage if a certain number was printed and then the negatives destroyed. Perhaps vintage and limited edition could fall in the same category.

    For selling my prints, so far, I have not used mattes.
    I prefer black frames and use them for all my pictures. My pictures usually just fit with in the frame.

    For signing them I use scrapbooking pens (acid free, archival quality, fade proof etc). I dont know if this is the 'proper' way to do it but it's worked for me.
     
  3. PetPortraits

    PetPortraits TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info Neea. Does anyone else sell their photos with matts or is it standard to just sell the photo?
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There is no 'standard'...people do what they think is best.

    If you think that selling photos with a matte will get you more sales, or just improve the value of your work...then go for it. If you want to frame it...then by all means, do so. It also depends on your clientele...are they the type of people that just want to spend the least amount of money...or will the have no problem spending much more on a framed, signed print?

    What works for one person, may not work for another. Are you selling the photos to people who hired you to photograph their pets? Or are you selling prints to the general public? There are many variables.

    I think that it's a good idea to give the customer options. Maybe they want a 4x6 print...or maybe they would be willing to buy a signed print, with a matte, in a custom frame. Then you have to decide what to charge for these extra services. An instructor of mine recommend at least 200%. So if it costs you $50 to have a print matted and framed...then charge them $100 (plus the price of the print).

    I think this is one of those things that comes with experience. If framed prints don't sell...then don't offer them. If prints with mattes only are a big seller...then concentrate on that.
     
  5. PetPortraits

    PetPortraits TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Mike! I will be selling to pet owners directly and also to the general public (I will be selling - or should I say trying to sell - photos of pure breed dogs on a dog website that received 50,000+ unique visitors per month). I am hoping that pet owners/breeders will be the biggest part of my business though and I expect that side of the business to have a much larger profit margin.:mrgreen:

    I just wish I could get on with the photography and someone else would take care of all the business stuff!
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are web sites that allow you to just upload the photos, and then customers can buy prints and products directly from the web site...they do take their cut of course...but it's a lot less work for you. I can't think of any web sites off hand...but you should probably look for one in Australia.
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    As Big Mike said it's personal preference. When displaying prints of my personal work I always want them matted and framed. Usually I'll have unframed, but matted photos in clear mylar bags also available. I will sell prints without matting for people who want custom matting and framing (to match their home), but I don't ever display prints that way.

    I use white or off white mat board; all other colors (including black and gray) add to the photograph, so they must be considered carefully. I attach the photo to the back mat with big photo corners I make myself out of archival paper and archival tape. I print my photos with a large white border so the corners will be hidden under the over mat. Using archival tape I make a hinge at the top between the back mat and over mat. Once matted it either goes in a frame or in a mylar bag.

    Most local photogs who I see displaying their work put the title under the photo to the left, the edition in the middle, and signature to the right. Go to an art museum though, and you'll notice that most famous photographs are not signed where it is visible. Personally, I find all but the tiniest print in light pencil to be distracting from the photo itself, so I usually sign the print somewhere where it's not visible when matted. But that's just me, you'll see plenty of photographs being sold with a big signature in silver or gold paint pen or Photoshop stamp filling up one of the lower corners. I think it ruins the photo, but I'm sure the people that do it that way would explain that they think it improves the photo. I hear/see the term "signature photography" used a lot. To me that means that the photog's style is unique and strong, and just by looking at the photo I know who took it. To most though, it seems to mean a big, loopy, artistic signature filling a lower corner of the image.
     

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