Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 88/138 - Example Pricing Exercise


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Example Pricing Exercise

We're going to talk about pricing right now in terms of what you guys are doing. Surprise! (laughing) Should've warned you. I just wanna take a quick moment to see if anyone is starting to form an idea of pricing that you might wanna go with for your work. So, first things first, does anyone have sizes in your mind of a couple sizes that you think you're feeling pretty good about that you would want to put out there? 20 and 30. 20 and 30. So, why 20 and 30 inches? Or if you're doing 30 inches. 20 by 30. 20, 20 by Oh, 20 by 30? Okay good. See, I'm in squares, so I hear one number and I think that's the whole thing. 20 by 30, only size that you wanna offer? It's the first size I thought of, but I, Okay. Can go bigger and I guess smaller by a bit, yeah. Okay. Bigger and smaller. So, let's start with your 20 by 30 size since you feel good about that. And I agree cause my best selling size is 20 inches, so it's probably a good range. And people kinda feel like... It's...

like when you go to Starbucks, and you have the options between the names that I can never remember. What are the names of the, Starbucks It's never small Right, it's never small, right? And so you're standing there in line at Starbucks and you're like, "Oh I don't want it to be too little, "and I don't want it to be too big", so you get the one in the middle and this is very much like that. People think "Oh well the small one is really small, "but the big one's way to big and too expensive, "so I'll get the one in the middle.", so I think 20 by 30 is a really good size. And if you're going to have your 20 by 30, what edition do you think you would do for that? If you were going to edition your work? How many prints, or? How many prints, at that size, would you wanna offer? Just as a starting point? 10. 10. 10. Very good, great starting point. Okay, so 20 by 30 an edition of 10, and you don't have to answer this if you don't want to, but on average how much would you say a single image of yours costs to produce? If you just had to say, in terms of everything, like travel to get to the places, cause I know you do a lot of photographs all over the world, so there's probably a lot of costs involved in getting to those places, so if you just had to say an average price of what you would spend to be able to produce that image. What would you say? Wow that's a tough one. I know. And you'll have to do the counting later, but just totally general range. Well if it'd be something close to home, it's almost nothing, Almost nothing. But then again, you've got the camera equipment and lenses, so, you know, Exactly. it is another thing to take into consideration. Okay so let's do this, let's say that your 20 by 30 print cost you $60 to produce. And let's just say that you're gonna factor in another $40 for you equipment and that'll be something that you recoup over time, so it's $100 for your print. Then if you multiply that by 10 that's $1,000. Yeah, we did the math! Okay so that's good, so we've got $1, as your starting point, so maybe if you sell in a gallery, and you're marking it up 50%, you'll sell for $2,000. Now we have to consider where are you in your career. So do you feel like you're emerging as an artist, you're mid-career you've done some selling, you know kinda what you're doing now, or you've been doing this and you're a complete pro. I'd say emerging. Okay, and there are lots and lots of people who say emerging to mid-career artist, and all that kind of stuff, so we'll say starting. So maybe we'll keep it at $2,000 then and that's the price that you would sell your medium sized print for in a gallery and you would make $1,000 of that back. I think that sounds very reasonable for a 20 by 30 inch print, it's pretty big right, that'll be like this wide, maybe yeay tall or so, that's a good chunk of print. So I would say that's a really good place to start for your pricing, and now you have your mid-point so now you can go okay well if it's bigger I'll do this price, if it's smaller I'll do this price, and it's all relative to that one price point. Okay, any other victims, or you feel good about that? I saw Tori, kinda like, (squeak). I'll try. Okay so what sizes are you thinking? I'm thinking three sizes, I think a 16 inch long edge, and then a 40, 42, somewhere in there, large, Okay, good. and then maybe like a six inch or an eight inch little one. Interesting, yeah! I like that, okay so, really small, medium size, and large. We're gonna call yours extra small, medium and large. I like that. (laughs) And that's really good because the more you can space them out the more buyers aren't gonna be confused by all the sizes in between. Which was my mistake, so, I very much think that's a good idea. So you've got three sizes, are you thinking any editions for those? I haven't decided, but if I were probably maybe five for the largest and maybe 10 for the medium and I'm sort of thinking of doing unlimited for the small. Okay. Which would be a different paper, and a more mass-produced... Interesting, okay that's a really interesting topic because there will be a group of artists who say "Never do that because that devalues "the other sizes of your prints.", and a whole other group that says, "No, it's a totally different thing, "you can sell them however you want.", and the truth is you can sell them however you want. So that's a really interesting thing. And of course the prices would have to be quite different, on those Correct. So what about your open edition, what size do you think would be appropriate for something like that? It would be the smallest size. The smallest size, Yeah. Okay, the smallest size, six inches you said? Six or eight, yeah somewhere in there. Six or eight inches. Something small so, would you want it to be on a mass-produced paper? Or something like a postcard or something like... The printer in me say no, but, Right? Knowing how pricing works, maybe, yeah. Okay, this is really interesting, I've never actually considered this before. So if you had to put a price on that, what would you say? $80? $80, okay, good. So I like that Just outta thin air. And I like how you said bucks too because that makes it feel better. So $80, so if we have $80 on your small print, then what kind of a jump would you see having to happen, from your small to your next size up? So in my mind, it would be a large jump, because it would be on fine art, matte paper, museum quality, like a much higher print. A different thing altogether, so It would be. The 16, maybe, I think I'd start around $400, and then probably go up from there. That sounds pretty good to me. Yeah. I would, I would say, since it's 16 on the long edge, right, I think that that sounds really good, keeping it under the $1,000 mark to start. And it's definitely something that given only two limited edition sizes, you can definitely push it way higher once you start rolling with those prints. So I would say keeping it around $400 would be good, and then since you have a really big size jump, then I would definitely say don't make that under $1, because that's such a big size jump, that I would definitely say push that a lot further. What would you think for that? My initial reaction would be around maybe the $1,500 mark. Something around there, or even a little bit higher for that just because that's a very large print, the 40, 42 you said, 42 inches on the long side, so given such a large print, I would definitely say $1,500 to $2,000 mark maybe. But it depends of course, on the market that you're in right now, and that's always really tricky. Yeah, I think that, about $1,000 increase to start would be good for that jump in size. This is good, we got two of you done, and I'll talk to you guys later. But yeah, thank you guys for sharing. I know that it's nerve-wracking to talk about pricing and everything like that. And it doesn't feel good to do ever. It's really difficult to figure out pricing, to figure out sizing, to figure out editions and there's a lot to think about. So with this segment talking about pricing and editioning, we have a workbook that will take you through this process of how to find editions, how to find your sizes, how to find your prices, how to find your paper, and all of that fun stuff, and it is really daunting so I just wanna take a second to say that I get it. I know that it's so much information, and it's really confusing cause you don't wanna make the wrong choice and of course, we have this tendency as artists to feel like imposters and to feel like our work isn't worth that much money or whatever it may be, and I know that it's really hard to just settle on a price, and it feels terrible, but it's also really good and empowering to just do that. To set your price, know your worth, have done the math on it, figure out exactly the road that you wanna travel as an artist because these decisions will completely inform how you're able to progress as an artist in the future. Which sounds like another really daunting statement. But it's good, I think that it should be something that we take really seriously, that we spend a lot of time thinking about, and just lay a good foundation for what comes next. Because if you don't you might find yourself in a ton of different terrible situations later. But if we just know it right now, we'll be much better off.

Class Description

Creating a great photo for a client is one thing - but turning your passion and ideas into a series that is shared, shown, and sold is a whole different business. If you do it right, you’ll be shooting what you love all the time. Learn how to choose which ideas to create, how to turn your concept into a production, and steps to getting your work seen and even sold in Fine Art Photography: A Complete Guide with Award-Winning Photographer, Brooke Shaden.

This is an all-inclusive workshop that provides the tools you need to run a successful and creative business as a fine art photographer. You’ll learn creative exercises to find and develop your ideas, how to create an original narrative, how to produce your own photo series, post production techniques and skills for compositing and retouching, how to write about your work, ways to pitch to galleries and agents, and how to print your pieces so they look like art.

This workshop will take you on location with Brooke as she creates a photo series from scratch. She’ll walk through every step for her photo shoots including set design and location scouting, she’ll cover techniques in the field for capturing your artistic vision, post-production and compositing techniques, as well as printing and framing essentials.

She’ll round out this experience by discussing all of the details that will help make your career a success like licensing, commissions, artists statements, social media plans, gallery prep, and pricing your work.

This comprehensive course is a powerful look into the world of fine art photography led by one of the world’s most talented photographers, Brooke Shaden. Included with purchase is exclusive access to bonus material that gives exercises and downloads for all of the lessons.


1Class Introduction 2Storytelling & Ideas 3Universal Symbols in Stories 4Create Interactive Characters 5The Story is in The Details 6Giving Your Audience Feelings 7Guided Daydream Exercise 8Elements of Imagery 9The Death Scenario 10Associations with Objects 11Three Writing Exercises 12Connection Through Art 13Break Through Imposter Syndrome 14Layering Inspiration 15Creating an Original Narrative 16Analyze an Image 17Translate Emotion into Images 18Finding Parts in Images 19Finding Your Target Audience 20Where Do You Want Your Images to Live? 21Create a Series That Targets Your Audience 22Formatting Your Work 23Additional Materials to Attract Clients 24Which Social Media Platforms Will be Useful? 25How to Make Money from Your Target Audience 26Circle of Focus 27The Pillars of Branding 28Planning Your Photoshoot 29Choose Every Element for The Series 30Write a Descriptive Paragraph 31Sketch Your Ideas 32Choose Your Gear 33How to Utilize Costumes, Props & Locations 34What Tells a Story in a Series? 35Set Design Overview 36Color Theory 37Lighting for the Scene 38Props, Wardrobe & Time Period for Set Design 39Locations 40Subject Within the Scene 41Set Design Arrangement 42Fine Art Compositing 43Plan The Composite Before Shooting 44Checklist for Composite Shooting 45Analyze Composite Mistakes 46Shoot: Black Backdrop for White Clothing 47Shoot: Black Backdrop for Color Clothing 48Shoot: Black Backdrop for Accessories 49Shoot: Miniature Scene 50Editing Workflow Overview 51Add Fabric to Make a Big Dress 52Edit Details of Images 53Add Smoke & Texture 54Blend Multiple Images Into One Composite 55Put Subject Into a Miniature Scenario 56Location Scouting & Test Photoshoot 57Self Portrait Test Shoots 58Shoot for Edit 59Shoot Extra Stock Images 60Practice the Shoot 61Introduction to Shooting Photo Series 62Shoot: Vine Image 63Shoot: Sand Image 64Shoot: End Table Image 65Shoot: Bed Image 66Shoot: Wall Paper Image 67Shoot: Chair Image 68Shoot: Mirror Image 69Shoot: Moss Image 70Shoot: Tree Image 71Shoot: Fish Tank Image 72Shoot: Feather Image 73View Photo Series for Cohesion & Advanced Compositing 74Edit Multiple Images to Show Cohesion 75Edit Images with Advanced Compositing 76Decide How to Start the Composite 77Organize Final Images 78Choosing Images for Your Portfolio 79Order the Images in Your Portfolio 80Why do Some Images Sell More Than Others? 81Analyze Student Portfolio Image Order 82Framing, Sizing, Editioning & Pricing 83Determine Sizes for Prints 84How to Choose Paper 85How to Choose Editions 86Pricing Strategies 87How to Present Your Images 88Example Pricing Exercise 89Print Examples 90Licensing, Commissions & Contracts 91How to Keep Licensing Organized 92How to Prepare Files for Licensing 93Pricing Your Licensed Images 94Contract Terms for Licensing 95Where to Sell Images 96Commission Pricing Structure 97Contract for Commissions 98Questions for a Commission Shoot 99Working with Galleries 100Benefits of Galleries 101Contracts for Galleries 102How to Find Galleries 103Choose Images to Show 104Hanging the Images 105Importance of Proofing Prints 106Interview with Soren Christensen Gallery 107Press Package Overview 108Artist Statement for Your Series 109Write Your 'About Me' Page 110Importance of Your Headshot 111Create a Leave Behind & Elevator Pitch 112Writing For Fine Art 113Define Your Writing Style 114Find Your Genre 115What Sets You Apart? 116Write to Different Audiences 117Write for Blogging 118Speak About Your Work 119Branding for Video 120Clearly Define Video Talking Points 121Types of Video Content 122Interview Practice 123Diversifying Social Media Content 124Create an Intentional Social Media Persona 125Monetize Your Social Media Presence 126Social Media Posting Plan 127Choose Networks to Use & Invest 128Presentation of Final Images 129Printing Your Series 130How to Work With a Print Lab 131Proofing Your Prints 132Bad Vs. Good Prints 133Find Confidence to Print 134Why Critique? 135Critiquing Your Own Portfolio 136Critique of Brooke's Series 137Critique of Student Series 138Yours is a Story Worth Telling


April S.

I tuned in for most of Brooke's lessons in this course and watched some of them more than once as they were rebroadcast. First I want to say that Brooke is a very good instructor. Her easy-going, friendly, down-to-earth, somewhat quirky manner cannot be mistaken for unprofessional. She is very prepared, she speaks well (not a bunch of hemming and hawing), she is thoughtful, she is thorough, she is very relatable and at ease, and she is definitely professional in her presentation. I really thought when I first tuned in that it would mostly be background noise while I was at work, sound to keep me company. Not because I didn't like Brooke but I really didn't think I was into fine art photography nor did I think I cared about the business side of things much. Not now anyhow. I was really wrong. Brooke sparked a deep interest in me to delve into fine art photography, to consider creating images for myself, from my imagination. In fact, I realized that this was something I'd been thinking about for a couple of years though I hadn't put a name to it (the idea of creating pre-conceived images based on my own creative goals). I gleaned many little treasures from her about image sizes, working with printers, different types of paper, selling, interacting with galleries, and so much more. I may not need all of what she taught right now because I'm definitely headed in another direction at the moment, but she planted ideas and information in my head that I know will be useful at some point. Things I may not have thought of on my own, but that seed is in my head now so when the time comes, I'll know. I'd really like to buy her course but at the moment, with the holidays right around the corner, it's not in my personal budget. I'm grateful to have caught the live and rebroadcast lessons though, and her course is on my list to own. I think it's a great reference to be consulted over and over again, not watched once and forgotten. Kudos Brooke for really putting together an excellent course.

Ron Landis

I'm retired now, but spent decades in the people and training business. Brooke is extraordinary! Even though this course is extremely well organized and she's left nothing unattended, she moves through it with friendly conversational manners and without a sense of it being stilted. It's as though we are all her friends, not students, as she shares her heart and passion with us. What a joy it is to listen to her. And what a clear, unambiguous command of her subject. Wow! She explains it with such ease using explanations and techniques that won't overwhelm artists just starting their portfolio or the Photoshop-squeamish among us; but despite its simplicity her resulting art is breathtaking and beyond original. I wish more of my professors at school were as engaging. This was by far my best buy at Creative Live yet.

a Creativelive Student

What an amazing 20 days this is going to be! Brooke is so enthusiastic and has such a lovely manner. What a bargain for all of the information Brooke will be sharing with us. So excited. Thanks Brooke and Creative Live. :)