Limiting Prints?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by CanadianMe, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. CanadianMe

    CanadianMe TPF Noob!

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    I have people I know and deal with on a regular basis from days gone by with my involvement in the Art world. I was showing some my photos that I have taken and was caught a bit off guard (actually completely off guard) when I was asked how much prints would be, I blurted out a price, thinking they would think I was joking but the next words where when I could have them ready. I informed them 2 to 3 weeks and the first two sales I included a frame of their choice, mounted and matted, since then I have sold 6 more and those are all extras now and still no debate on price. Now because I am charging a fair amount of money I want to limit my prints, number and sign the backs of them.

    What my question is what do people find reasonable for limited print numbers? I want to limit what I sell of each one, having been in the business I know the more copies out there the less the work is worth, I am thinking of limited runs of 100 for each photo that I can actually get sales from and keep charging what I have for some very odd reason been able to get.

    There are two photos which have sold, 5 of one and 3 of another, neither had ever been posted online thankfully but once I made the second sale I removed almost every photo of mine off line. I will be getting a website up soon to display photos but I want to keep the size as small as I can get away with, what is a good size for display but small enough to be not worth stealing to have them enlarged for printing? and other recommendations for the quality of online display? All my photos online will be Digimarked since I already have a license for my Graphic Arts I do for a living, but that is only good for online posting, not for printing and any graphic art I do that are for printing is for clients so the theft of them was never my problem or concern since once I am paid I hold no rights to them anyway.


    I really do not expect to make a living off this, but I know I can sell a small limited amount to help pay for this hobby of sorts. I found once I learned my DSLR it was like riding a bike, I had some limited success 20 some odd years ago with B&W film photography but was not expecting it to come all flooding back to me so fast, the odd thing was it was not my B&W that sold but some of my colour photos, which I am still screwed up about lol. I was not expecting the reaction I received, they have all left deposits so I know the sales will go through. So I need to start looking at this as a Business of sorts and any suggestions to what I have inquired about would be appreciated. Now if only I could get really good night shots I would be laughing, shooting film at night is not even close to using a DLSR from what I can recall of doing night time film photography, it was so much easier for me from what I recall.
     
  2. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Congratulations on the print sales.

    Have you thought about a tiered approach? - ie the first 10 at one price, next sets of 10 at a steadily rising price as the edition sells, to a limit of between 100 and 500. Without knowing what sort of work you are selling, or what sort of price range you are in, I'm not sure what else to suggest. You are obviously comfortable with the idea of limited editions of photos, so I guess that isn't open for debate. (My editions are limited only by their unpopularity, and hence most are very rare.)

    I'd look at the editioning policy of similar photographers, and choose one that matches your ideology the best.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  3. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I was having the same problem, Not knowing exactly what the images are and what not. Given CMs experiance in the art comunity I have to assume he knows a bit on the subject alredy and I just don't know where to start, or if I even can for that matter.

    As for the online display I can get more into detail about that later as I don't really have all my information here with me right now :(
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Congrats.

    I don't have any advice on limited edition printing...

    As for online display, you could probably take them down to 600, 500 or even 400 pixels wide (or tall)...and then adjust the JPEG compression down a bit. The files would be quite small and probably wouldn't be much good to a potential image thief.

    However, it might be harder to sell them if the customers can only see small versions of them.
    Another option might be to just put a watermark on them.
     
  5. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You where asking about optimal online display size to prevent theft. Now given What I do on PL's Sistersite I can tell you it is impossible to stop online thieves, but I assume you knew that and are looking to prevent clientele from just getting their own prints from your online samples.

    I apologize for the sloppiness of it but I am not feeling well, I had to work a doubleshift with a sinus infection the size of New Jersey. Over the weekend I will redo this test and give you a more detailed listing, but for now.

    200x150 - Nothing of value
    300x225 - Nothing of value
    400x300 - Poor quality wallet sized image 2" or smaller
    600x450 - Acceptable to Good or better 3x4"
    800x600 - Acceptable to Good or better 4x6"
    1000x750 - Acceptable to Good or better 5x7"
    1500x1125 - Good or better 8x10"

    This information is effected by Jpeg compression (the afore mentioned sloppiness) The software I did this on I does not have the ability to adjust the Jpeg compression. I think it would be some where in between three to six on your PS Jpeg compression options but I could be wrong.These where done fairly quick before I went to bed, in fact it's fairly simple to get that information, but wait there is more.

    By intentionally configuring your aspect ratios combined with an abnormal crop you can deliberately destroy the print they receive if they take it out for a printout at the local Wally world and the like and manage to gain access to print them by whatever means.

    Basically what you do is this:

    An 8x10 translates to 1500x1200px, What you can do is Shoot to crop. Crop tight to the ends of the picture and then during post crop sides down under what a proper print would give on the display image.

    For example, This is what you get and print from
    [​IMG]

    What you display is this
    [​IMG]

    Now how this works is, When you print from the first image with a standard issue minilab you get the second image (If my infected calculations are correct). Now if the second image is on display as a sample and a thief attempts to print it below is what they get
    [​IMG]

    Here is why, The machinery cheap and publicly accessible and even some sendout labs use print based on the narrowest section of the image in order to fill the print on all sides, anything longer than the selected printing size gets cut off. By predetermining how tall (for horizontal) or wide (for verts) and intentionally cropping the image in a disproportionate way you can forcefully hack the picture to pieces if you are not the one printing it. IF the thief is smart enough to figure this out and compensate for this the best print they will be capable of getting on their own with out your authorization will be in letter box format, you can use this as the telltale sign of copyright infringement simply by not using letterbox format in authentic prints negating any value of the unauthorized image and making it worthless.

    However, the draw back is this, It only applies to images that framing composition is crucial to and or whether or not the thief really cares about quality.
     
  6. ironsidephoto

    ironsidephoto TPF Noob!

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    the images on my site are 500px max if that helps.
     
  7. renegademaster88

    renegademaster88 TPF Noob!

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    I would love to see what you sold, i am also trying to do more art photography, and work out what sells. my current work is

    http://www.fallonsphotography.co.uk/photo_library/art/

    also in limited to 500 pixels wide, which fits nicely onto most web pages, and limits useability.
     

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