Greetings NANPA, from Huntington Beach, CA. My name is Mitch Miller and my site is Fine Earth Photography. I enjoy shooting landscapes, and occasionally wildlife. There’ll be more of that when print sales pay for a longer lens.
I've been shooting Canon and Nikon since 1981 and currently enjoy a Nikon D800E.
Any advice you can offer for how to price prints and downloads would be greatly appreciated. Look me up if you plan on hiking or camping in southern California. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or reply here.
I've also got a D800E. It's a terrific camera. Kind of amazing the kind of technology we have to work with today.
What's your question about pricing? There are a lot of different strategies depending on what type of photo is involved and the target market.
For example - I differentiate between custom hand printed images and production prints. If someone simply wants to order a print through my website, the standard volume prints from MPix are fine and carry a lower price. All I have to do is check cropping and approve the order. But if someone wants a custom print, I hand print it on my choice of paper - often with a higher resolution or wider spectrum than production prints. The hand crafted images are signed - and production prints are not signed.
At the low end, if someone wants a cheap print, they probably aren't interested in a custom print anyway. I sell "proof prints" when I speak at clubs and groups. These are simply test prints, and by selling them I turn an expense into revenue that covers the cost of paper and then some.
The same goes for events. For most images, my focus is quick turnaround with minimal imaging. But I only show my best work, so I do rate images and select those that meet my cutoff for quality. I don't do more than a quick adjust for exposure, brightness, shadows, highlights and color - then crop. If someone wants a custom print from an event, I do a full edit and price accordingly. But I don't invest that time until I have the image sold.
If you are using a gallery, you need to allow for the gallery owner to make a profit, which means you need to mark up images for the gallery. If you are developing a long term relationship with the gallery and they represent your work, you can't sell at a lower price bypassing the gallery. If you don't use a gallery, you can price however you want - but you don't want to give your work away.
Everything in your work needs to generate a return. Plain prints need to be priced far beyond the cost of ink and paper. If you provide a mat, glazing, backing, and frame, each of those items needs to have an appropriate markup. I double my cost as a starting point, but I also view these items as added value items that increase profit from a sale.