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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Advice on selling photos
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10/04/2008 06:25:28 AM · #1
Hello,

I have a couple of questions I hope more experienced users will be able to give advice about. I live in Sydney and talked to a couple of shops today, they both liked the couple of printed samples I had brought with me and tomorrow they want to see more and hopefully we'll make a deal.

One guy has two galleries, sells mostly paintings and as far as I know he's working with one other photographer. He only sells canvas and isn't interested in paper prints. His offer was I give him the photos on a CD, he prints them himself on canvas and puts on show in his two stores and if a customer wants to buy a copy, he'll print a new copy on canvas on a size the customer wants, calls me to get the canvas signed and then sells to the customer. He said he works with the other photographer on this basis as well. That way, he said, because I sign every copy that a customer buys and he won't sell any photos without a signature on it, I know that he won't cheat me, every photo he sells I get my cut. I'll get $40-$60 per photo sold (Australian dollars), depending on the size, he sells them for between $150 (35x10")-$250 (50x15" or so). Sizes are my rough estimates.

The other shop will buy paper prints from me and get them framed in the shop as they like and sell them. I will pay for the prints myself.

My questions are, is it normal practice for a photographer to hand the photos to the gallery on a cd, they print on canvas as they like and promise they won't sell any without the photographer's signature so they get a cut when a new copy is sold. Or should I get him to sign some document that he won't sell any of my photos without my knowledge? Or can I just take his word because he's running this business with another photographer and painters?

The other question is how much should I ask tomorrow for my photos printed on paper for the other store. Here in Sydney I can get 10 x 15" printed for $15 and 20x30" for $69.95. How much would be reasonable to ask for these prints?

I've never done anything like this before and never even tried to make money from my photos so any advice will be appreciated, thanks.
10/04/2008 06:41:35 AM · #2
The idea of giving a CD to the gallery owner (distributor) is good in that he can fulfil demand immediately. In theory sales might be better as a result. I would ask him how many prints he might expect to sell in what amount of time. That way you have a sort of base-line on which to compare your royalties (prints paid for by the gallery). Otherwise, like all such contracts, be they books, music, images, or writing, there is trust involved between the parties. The contract is meant to be mutually beneficial. If you trust the owner, then go ahead. Keep in touch on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, call, drop in etc to show you are interested. That always helps to ensure the relationship stays current and you can keep an eye on what is happening in the gallery and see if your work is indeed on display. Find out whether the image will be put online as well. Have an explicit agreement about online sales.

As for paper prints, pricing seems to be double what you paid plus your mark up for time, business and future investments. But does that price leave enough room for your distributor - seller - to make money too? And would your price be at the sweet point to sell more?

Just some 0.02 cents worth of thought at 5:41am ;-)
10/04/2008 11:26:38 AM · #3
That's a pretty well thought for 5:41 am :)

You're right about the positives of him having the soft copy but there's also the risk of him selling 10 copies of the photo and telling me he sold only 2. He doesn't have a website, not one I could find anyway. Maybe if I limit the copies I sell to him to say 50, get each copy certified, then the copies will be more expensive because they're limited and also I'll know for sure he won't be selling any other copies. Then there's the risk of printing 50 copies and selling only 5 :) That'd put me back a new lens :) How do you get printed photos certified by the way to say they're limited copies?
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