You’ve reached a point where you are comfortable with your photography skills and are ready to sell fine art prints. The first question that comes to mind is: How should I price my photos?
Determining the value of a fine art photo can be challenging. It’s all about perceived value. Unlike stock photography, where you don’t have to worry about prices, in fine art there is no specific guideline, and it will depend on different factors.
It is important to research before selling your photos online. You don’t want to overprice your work and drive away potential buyers, but you also don’t want to sell yourself short. Finding a balance is the trickiest part and it might take some trial and error to work out what’s best for you.
There are two approaches to selling your fine art prints. The first option is the traditional way of handling the printing and shipping yourself, and the second option is to use specialized online websites who will do the work for you.
Here are some general pricing tips for each option:
1. Handling the printing yourself.
If you want to have control over the quality of your prints and get the highest profit margin, this is the best way to go. You do the printing and shipping yourself or hire a reliable professional service to do it for you. It might be tempting to use the cheapest printing options, but you want to ensure that your client sees the value in buying your prints.
Before deciding on how to price your photos, you need to calculate what your total cost will be. This will include everything from the printing to packaging, shipping, and even credit card charges. Once you have the total cost, you add in your profit margin. It’s up to you to decide how much that margin will be, but I usually recommend anything between two to five times the total cost to start with.
Keep in mind that the larger the print, the higher its value.
2. Selling fine art on specialized websites.
This option is similar to stock photography. You upload your photos on specialized websites such as Fine Art America or RedBubble and you collect your profit from the sales without having to worry about printing and shipping.
Each website usually has a base price for printing different-sized photos. You as the artist then add a markup on top of that base price. The total price is what the client will pay, and you will only get the markup amount you’ve set.
Since you don’t have any costs and you are competing against thousands of other photographers on the same website, the best way to find your markup is to browse and look at what others are charging for similar work.
Try to find the average price range and make small adjustments as you go. It’s important to also keep an eye on market prices so that you remain relevant and competitive as you grow.
Ultimately, the quality of your work and your reputation will determine how much you can charge for photos. And as you continue improving your skills, you can gradually increase your prices and find people willing to pay for your prints.