An Explanation Regarding Fine Art Photography Pricing




Since launching a website in 1998 I have come into more direct contact with people interested in my photography than ever in the past.  Previously, the majority of my original print sales was handled through various art galleries that represented me and therefore I seldom met or conversed with the actual purchasers of my prints.  And while I fluctuate through the years with representation in "real world" art galleries, this website has increasingly become the major conduit for getting my photography directly to people who want to own and collect original photographs, images created over a time period that now spans decades.  I sold my first signed original photograph in 1976.

It has been interesting and often rewarding dealing directly with the collectors of my photography.  With this website I am able to communicate personally with them, answer specific questions, and ultimately (hopefully) complete a transaction that leads to my shipping something to them wherever they are in the world.  In doing this I have encountered many people and find they have various levels of collecting experience.  They also seem to possess varying degrees of knowledge pertaining to the processes
necessary for the ultimate creation of an original photograph. With the advent of digital photography
there is an even greater gap in many people's knowledge and experience in reference to traditional
analog (film) photography and its related wet darkroom processes.

I intend what follows to be an elucidation for anyone interested in purchasing and collecting my photography.  It particularly refers to the rationale behind the price structure for my archivally processed fiber photographs which are signed.  This has been prompted by numerous e-mails and phone calls in the past from people expressing interest in my photography but sometimes uncertain because they find the price to be more than they can afford.  

Let me state at the outset, without intending in any way to sound conceited, that I consider the prices of my black-and-white and my handcolored photographs to be inexpensive. The term "inexpensive" is in relation to the actual amount of time, expertise, and materials that go into the creation of a completed mounted fiber base photograph which has been produced individually by my own hands. I realize that a lot of people feel they are worth more than what they are paid at their jobs. Being self-employed as a visual artist is usually not undertaken and continued for financial remuneration because quite frankly the term "starving artist" is in the vernacular for a valid reason. What I have found vexing is that some people who question a set price for a handmade object often lack the insight as to how much time and materials go into the creation of said object. And when the time, materials, and overhead are added up and the price of the object is divided into it the resulting "hourly" figure is far below what they themselves earn and at a level few of them would ever remotely consider basing their existence on since even it is not a guaranteed wage at the end of a week's toil. Most artists are driven by passion rather than remuneration but that can only take one so far in this world.  

The foundation of my fine art work consists in locating the right models who I feel will fit into and complement my body of work with the nude figure.  Being based in a small city like Savannah has not made that task easy.  Contrary to what some people assume, there is no magical agency I go to and pick from a catalog or book a person to photograph.  There has never been a place remotely like that anywhere in Savannah.  And realistically, if there ever were I probably would not patronize it as I prefer people who are not professional, experienced models.  I prefer subjects who in most cases have never posed for a professional photographer until me.  My search for suitable models is on-going and never-ending.  There is no way to compute the hours I have put into looking for models. Nor is there a way to measure the hours wasted with my waiting on a prospective model who has made an initial appointment to meet at my studio to discuss the possibility of her posing for me but who is in fact never going to arrive or even extend the courtesy to call me in advance to say she has changed her mind and will not be keeping the appointment.  This is, unfortunately, far too common an occurrence and one that I optimistically thought might diminish as my body of work became more established and my reputation as a serious artist was unassailable.  And such discourtesy extends to the same behavior but applied to an actual photography session that has been confirmed with the non-appearance of the model.  The model did keep the initial appointment to meet at my studio to discuss our doing a first session and did promise to call well in advance of the actual scheduled session if she changed her mind in the interim or if something came up, but in actuality I am left waiting