Question on Numbering Prints


TPF Noob!
Aug 25, 2011
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Okay, so I don't have a business right now, and won't be shooting for a business for quite some time. But, I do have a few good pictures that I like and am happy with and a few others like as well. I would like to print them for my friends who I am asking a minimal fee to do so. Eventually if I choose to make a business out of my photography I would like to have any prints I do make be numbered. I don't want to print some now, and then decide later I should have but not be able to since some are out there. My question is in the numbering itself.

1) When you number your prints, what is a general good number to use?
2) Do you number the prints by size(200 of 8x10 as well as have another 50 24x36)?
3) Am I retarded and should I just print for my friends now and then have a numbered version later?(The only reason I want to number off the bat is for my last question.)
4) If you ordered a print later on from someone, got your 1 of 50, then randomly down the road saw another person with the same picture with no number, would you be super pissed? I think I might.

I would appreciate any advice and won't try and defend my thought process. I'm trying to use all of you who are smarter than me, and that's probably all of you, to not shoot myself in the foot out of the gate. Also, I have no disillusions thinking I'm the best in the world or anything. There is a very good chance that in the end, when I'm good and dead, I'll have sold a minimal amount of my pictures and that on my tombstone there will be nothing about my photography. But I'm still going to try and get better with every picture I take. Anywho. Again, any advice will help.
Year, month, day, sequence number. For example: 2012-01-19-001. That insures there are never any duplicate names and they sort properly in Explorer.
I assume you mean numbering rather than naming, as in 'this is print 1 of a limited edition of 50.'

This kind of numbering implied two things; first that you will destroy your digital files after 50 are printed and second, that your pictures will be so good that possession of one of a limited edition will really be worth something.

I applaud and am slightly dazzled by your total confidence in your future ability and success as an artist.
This kind of numbering is typically done in pencil lightly in the corner of a print by the artist.
So far I got a little good info. What I am taking from your answer is that it doesn't matter the size of the print, you're making a limited number and that is all that will ever see the light of day. It's not a number for that specific size printed?
The next thing I'm taking is that it is ridiculous to actually number a print until one is established and a value is already set for their work.

I hope that people read the last portion of my comment and realize I don't think I'm amazing yet. Nor am I cocky enough to say that I will be one day.
If there is a consensus that The_Travelers response is agreed upon then I found my answer. Just sign the damn thing and that'll be good enough for now.
First you want to think about what you want to be. A fine art print maker or sell your images commercially. If it's the later but you do It as the former you could end up screwing your self. Example being, you make limited edition prints and the IKEA comes along says they want to buy your image and make 30,000 prints for their store. Oops, ethically I can't

But if you want to go the fine art route, numbering and Limited edition, can increase buyers perceptional value.

The numbers you come up with can be arbitrary and can be size based. That is totally up to you. The more limited the edition, the higher the theoretical price. But then will someone pay you for that?

I do limited editions on certain prints by size and my numbers are faily low but the numbers you stated are more typical. You should also offer a signed certificate of authenticity and the work should be signed on the front and back.

You are also allowed a certain number of Artist's Proofs, Usually 2 and this is stated in the Numbering

You do not need to destroy the negative or digital file. But you should ethically stick to the number you say and you need to keep track of what you have sold or numbered

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