Oh...where to start on this topic?
I'm sure as a professional photographer (i.e., making a living from your photography) you've heard this complaint more times than you care to count, "That's too expensive. It's only a photograph. My Uncle Bob has a good camera." (Yea for Uncle Bob!)
Or, if you're a client buying photographic art, you really don't understand why photographic prints should cost more than the $0.57 per print you can get at Sam's Club.
The problem lays...
WARNING! WHAT FOLLOWS IS MY OPINION AND NOT GOSPEL!
1) In these days of a camera in every cell phone and (relatively) inexpensive camera systems, it is easy to understand why the majority of clients don't grasp the work and artistry that is behind professional photographs. After all...it can be so "easy" to take a quick snap on the ol' cell phone.
But, I think this is just an artifact of our modern day. I think the real reason, or perhaps, the real "fault" rests in the very lap of many professional photographers.
2) We don't educate our clients about what a photographic art print REALLY is.
We don't educate them about the service we are providing them.
Our service is the collaboration among artistic professionals for the sole purpose of producing legacy artwork for you - the client. Artwork that you can hand down to your children and grandchildren.
Ok...this part is gospel
We're going to skim all the legalities and fiduciary requirements to EVEN WORK as a professional photographer. You know, those costs-of-doing-business such as licenses, registrations as a vendor, insurance (yes, the photographer has to have insurance and not just for stolen or broken equipment). Rent? utilities? equipment, continuing education?
You get the idea.
And then, there are the costs-of-goods-sold; the costs of film (if used), processing, editing, retouching, printing, taxes, matting/framing and shipping...to name just a few!
As the client, you should know...
In the navigation bar (to the left) you will see "The Print Manifesto". This full page outlines my beliefs about the value of photographic art prints in your lives, in your homes, in your generations.
In the sidebar (to the right) is a link to A Story of Prints, a lovely little infographic I made for my clients that I will insert here. This infographic is specific to photographic art prints you purchase from me.
If you are a photographer or artist who sees value in the infographic, please feel free to adapt it to suit your business practices.
The photographer actually spends time designing the art and based on the design, the photographer will develop/set the stage for the photograph. Years of study about posing, lighting, composition, color theory, figure-to-ground placement are all behind what is perceived to be a "simple snap of the shutter"
The photographer works to make your photograph something you will love more each and every time you see it.
Then, the photographer edits the photo...anything from removing the blemish on your cheek, to correcting the color of your dress.
Once the photographer is satisfied with the artistic vision in the photo, she sends it to the Paper Whisperer, aka, the printer.
The photographer works in close collaboration with the printer for just the perfect paper to highlight the depth and artistry of the colors in the photograph. Personally, I prefer deep, saturated colors that look dreamlike and the depth I prefer is only found in a certain, archival cotton rag paper. The printer uses his knowledge and skill to produce the exact, color-matched, artistic vision of the photographer.
No drug store or discount store print machine can produce the high-quality art print that is generated by a professional printer in his lab.
The Paper Whisperer hands off the print to the Master Framer. She mattes and frames the prints in a manner that accentuates their beauty. She uses only materials that are archival - providing the structure for your photographic print to be a genuine piece of legacy art.
The Special Sauce - Giving Back
When you purchase a folio box or a wooden box to contain your multiple smaller photographic art prints, you are providing meaningful work for adults with disabilities. The folios and boxes that I offer are also eco-conscious. The wooden boxes are actually constructed from pine trees felled by the Western Pine Beetle. The wood is blue-grey in color, perfectly straight and its use prevents the destruction of healthy forest pines.
Additionally, any printed materials you may receive are recyclable and printed by a local organization that also provides meaningful work for adults with disabilities.
The final give-back is a percentage of the profit from your photographic art purchase is donated to certified elephant reserves.
- 1) saves healthy pine forests,
- 2) provides meaningful employment to adults with disabilities in two states, and
- 3) supports elephant reserves.
A triple win and great karma for you!
So, you see, there is so very much more to the production of any photographic art print that you may purchase, whether it is from me, or any other photographer/artist. Your final product from any of us is worth so much more than $.57 at Sam's Club.
The photographic art print is documentation of one point in the timeline of your life.
Pass it on.
Thanks for reading. And if you liked this post, please share on your Social Media. As always, I look forward to your comments below.
Expect the best. Anything else is an adventure.