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Marb

Selling prints in a cafe gallery

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Posted (edited)

I have been invited to sell my more fine art images in a local cafe that has an upstairs gallery. The owner has left the printing, pricing and framing up to me with a 30% commission charge on each print if sold. I am told the frames are not that important as the buyer usually changes them to their preference. Perhaps just plain clip frames would be enough to display the image. The prints will be displayed no larger than A3. 

 

Has anyone here had any experience sourcing a printing service that does quality for a good price and generally what price to ask for a hand printed photograph ? These are local-ish to me https://www.kleinimaging.com/ but I am wondering if there is not much difference with say Photobox . My main question is what to charge for a print, factoring in the cost of printing/frames and 30% margin for the cafe owner. It would be a great way of getting work viewed but I have never done this kind of thing before except in my local library almost 30 years ago which was just an exhibition.

Edited by Marb

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It might depend somewhat on whether you live in an affluent area and what kind of customers the café attracts. I sell prints locally in an area which is not very affluent and I would struggle to get more than £40 for a framed A3 print. Generally people are willing to pay more for original artwork than for photographs. The ones that do sell have to be eye-catching.

 

Alan

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Posted (edited)

Frames from Ikea for A3 size prints are about £7. 12x16 prints at the company I mentioned are £14.86 . factor in the 30% commision and it will be hardly worth doing for £40. I was thinking at least £60 to make it worth my while. I do have some decent eye catchers (colour/light) to offer though that are not for sale here.

Edited by Marb

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Posted (edited)

Those are retail prices. You can do far better than that

https://www.paperstone.co.uk/office-interiors/picture-frames/5-star-clip-frame-plastic-fronted-for-wall-mounting-a3/p-33839?p1=QVvnBCz8pyo1&gclid=Cj0KCQjwkIzlBRDzARIsABgXqV_Q0zRVKD5My46cWMkmR_0f_LOdFNSkOhpZ9Uy_uP70FshLJ2On--UaArXeEALw_wcB

Or buy Swiss clips, board and glass (or acrylic) separately- making a clip frame isn't difficult to do.

Headline price from my old lab Dunns (no relation) is £5.78 for a 12x16.

Edited by spacecadet

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Posted (edited)

Are you going to sell the prints as limited editions? They would command a higher price. We charge £109 for an A3+ limited edition print only and £175 framed. Large framed prints are anything up to £395. We sell direct but also through a couple of outlets that take 30%.

 

Personally I think a well framed print is more likely to sell than one in a cheap clip frame.

Edited by Thyrsis
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3 hours ago, Thyrsis said:

Personally I think a well framed print is more likely to sell than one in a cheap clip frame.

 

Absolutely. A few years back I was asked to put some photos for sale in a local restaurant. I went the whole hog ("totus porcus" as Jackie Fisher would say) and put them in good frames. The bigger ones (printed at 24 x 16 inches) were in big frames with a wide mat. The title cards I did in Photoshop, with the name of the image and the description typed out in a bold font, all printed on a faded version (photoshop opacity of about 30%) of the described image. I thought that it would be a good practice for me and if a sold a few I would be happy. They sold well, and fast. Even the big ones, which I priced at $400 each, went in the first week. People still respond to a well taken and well printed image. Don't undervalue yourself. You could also print some cards as people will often take a card rather than nothing. Pricing depends on your area as Alan says, but I would say avoid the "bargain bin" look. I think we are all suffering from bargain bin prices in photography. If you choose nice quality frames yourself then they become a part of the artwork and people will keep them. I also have found, through selling to the public quite a bit, that the most appropriate frame and mat for photos are a simple black frame with a black mat. I think you are better to produce fewer well mounted images than a whole heap of clip framed ones. Take your time, get it right and people will respond.

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I just had a look and I still have my information and title cards. If you want I can send you one to have a look. You can put your email here or, if you prefer, you can go to my FAA site https://colin-woods.pixels.com/ and leave a comment on a photo. Its worth the time - a lot of people commented on them. I also did a brief biography of myself, which people also liked and commented on. It tells people that they are looking at the visions of a real person, quite important I think, especially in the era of internet anonymity and de-individuation. 

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Try The Real Picture Frame Company - excellent quality at much better than retail prices. There is a minimum order, but it's only about £250.

 

Alex

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3 hours ago, Colin Woods said:

I just had a look and I still have my information and title cards. If you want I can send you one to have a look. You can put your email here or, if you prefer, you can go to my FAA site https://colin-woods.pixels.com/ and leave a comment on a photo. Its worth the time - a lot of people commented on them. I also did a brief biography of myself, which people also liked and commented on. It tells people that they are looking at the visions of a real person, quite important I think, especially in the era of internet anonymity and de-individuation. 

 

This is a bit off-topic (sorry), but you've got some terrific photos on FAA.

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15 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

This is a bit off-topic (sorry), but you've got some terrific photos on FAA.

 

Thank you John. All I need now is a few thousand people who feel the same, all armed with credit cards.

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Please don't under-price yourself.  At the absolute minimum you should be charging £100 for a 16x12 mounted and framed print. Good luck with it.

  • Upvote 2

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All valid points here. I had an exhibition 7 years ago in the smaller of two galleries in a local arts centre. 

 

I printed myself, using an Epson R2400 A3+ printer using Epson's pigment inks on to archival papers. I cut my own mounts using a Longridge Duo mount cutter and 40 x 50cm ph neutral mount boards. The prints were hung from the mount with archival tape. I was advised by other photographers not to do my own framing, but other than the frames, at that time I already had everything else. I wanted to keep the cost down, as I knew what framed prints locally sold for. 

 

I had two problems. I left the framing until the last moment, hoping my homes fitted kitchen and other work would be finished first. It wasn't, and I had a devil of a job removing specks of dust from the inside of the frames glass. A sticky roller and cans of air eventually did it. The other issue was not buying a spare frame. Only when hanging in the gallery did a notice an obvious bubble in the glass. Plexiglass may have been better, but weight wasn't an issue with the frame size. After a trip to Bicester to the supplier who supplied the frames, I had to swap out the glass just before the private view opened.

 

It was a lot of work, and quite a relief when all was done. Was it worth it, perhaps not, but it seemed like it was one of those things you have to try. 

 

As many years have now passed I may have another, but there will be no last minute rush, and will likely seek an area where framed prints would command higher prices. Seven years ago the framed prints sold for £80. At that time I was advised that was the maximum likely selling price based upon the people passing through and other exhibitions.  Commission was low, think it was 20%. I still have some that didn't sell hanging at home.

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Marb,

 

Over the years I have made a few "archival" signed limited edition prints that were sold for display.

I am thinking about doing that again, but my concern has always been that I do not want people

scanning the image and trying to license it.  When I make an inkjet print I always make the image

at 11 X 14 or larger, on 300gsm acid free paper, and attach a notice that the only way the buyer

can post the image on the World Wide Web is when they are selling the print.

 

Selling prints is a difficult business, but it can bring in good money.  My experience has been that

a person who spends over $500.00 for a unmounted signed limited edition print is not looking to

"Steal" or re-license the image?

 

One of my closest friends was Jim Marshall and I know what he went through with prints.

 

Chuck

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1 hour ago, Chuck Nacke said:

 

 

Selling prints is a difficult business, but it can bring in good money.  My experience has been that

a person who spends over $500.00 for a unmounted signed limited edition print is not looking to

"Steal" or re-license the image?

 

 

Chuck

 

Our main income for the last 17 years (since giving up commercial photography) has been made from selling prints so yes, it is possible to make money.

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19 hours ago, Colin Woods said:

 

Absolutely. A few years back I was asked to put some photos for sale in a local restaurant. I went the whole hog ("totus porcus" as Jackie Fisher would say) and put them in good frames. The bigger ones (printed at 24 x 16 inches) were in big frames with a wide mat. The title cards I did in Photoshop, with the name of the image and the description typed out in a bold font, all printed on a faded version (photoshop opacity of about 30%) of the described image. I thought that it would be a good practice for me and if a sold a few I would be happy. They sold well, and fast. Even the big ones, which I priced at $400 each, went in the first week. People still respond to a well taken and well printed image. Don't undervalue yourself. You could also print some cards as people will often take a card rather than nothing. Pricing depends on your area as Alan says, but I would say avoid the "bargain bin" look. I think we are all suffering from bargain bin prices in photography. If you choose nice quality frames yourself then they become a part of the artwork and people will keep them. I also have found, through selling to the public quite a bit, that the most appropriate frame and mat for photos are a simple black frame with a black mat. I think you are better to produce fewer well mounted images than a whole heap of clip framed ones. Take your time, get it right and people will respond.

Thanks for that valuable information Colin, that is most helpful. I will do just that and get dent frames.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Alex Ramsay said:

Try The Real Picture Frame Company - excellent quality at much better than retail prices. There is a minimum order, but it's only about £250.

 

Alex

Thanks Alex, I will have a look at them now.

Edited by Marb

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19 hours ago, Colin Woods said:

I just had a look and I still have my information and title cards. If you want I can send you one to have a look. You can put your email here or, if you prefer, you can go to my FAA site https://colin-woods.pixels.com/ and leave a comment on a photo. Its worth the time - a lot of people commented on them. I also did a brief biography of myself, which people also liked and commented on. It tells people that they are looking at the visions of a real person, quite important I think, especially in the era of internet anonymity and de-individuation. 

Very professional and well organised site you have there. Images are very eye catching with great colour. I sell mine though Saatchi Art but haven't had any success there yet despite a lot of likes for images. 

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14 hours ago, Colblimp said:

Please don't under-price yourself.  At the absolute minimum you should be charging £100 for a 16x12 mounted and framed print. Good luck with it.

Thanks Colblimp. I was thinking £50-60 so would be great to get £100.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks all for the suggestions. Still not exactly sure what way to take it as its a cafe after all that has a gallery so most folk will be average shoppers off the street. Its a popular venue though but the new owner has inherited the gallery that the last people set up so she tells me that it is also new to her too but is open to anything I want to put up (6 images). I have a couple of my own large prints framed at home in Ikea "Riba" frames which have a natural wood. The only thing that lets it down a bit is the overlay is plastic, not glass.

 

Also, I have still got to decide which images to show.

Edited by Marb

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Like I said, it's all down to location. If the café is in London you'll get far more than if it's in a downtrodden post-industrial town in West Yorkshire which is where I live. I do however have an excellent local printer who will do A3 prints for £5. Before my Epson 1800 gave up the ghost I was printing them myself for about £3.

 

Alan

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14 hours ago, Colblimp said:

Please don't under-price yourself.  At the absolute minimum you should be charging £100 for a 16x12 mounted and framed print. Good luck with it.

 

Completely agree - I held a amall show last year, timed to coincide with a local music festival which brings a great many people to our small town, of pictures from a recent trip to Iceland. Minimum price was £150 for a framed A3, and to my surprise I covered the entire cost of the trip and of putting on the show.

 

Alex

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My local craft shop that rents out space. £62.00 for an A4 mounted and framed black and white print. Just a thought make sure you sign them, people like to see a signature so I've been told.

 

Andy

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18 hours ago, Alex Ramsay said:

Try The Real Picture Frame Company - excellent quality at much better than retail prices. There is a minimum order, but it's only about £250.

 

Alex

Alex, have you got a link for them as I Google real picture company and several come up with non called "Real Picture Company"

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13 minutes ago, Marb said:

Alex, have you got a link for them as I Google real picture company and several come up with non called "Real Picture Company"

 

My fault, I misremembered the name - apologies! It's this - http://www.readymadepictureframe.com/

 

Alex

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