Join Konrad Eek for an in-depth discussion in this video Pricing and titling your work, part of Exploring Photography: Planning and Staging an Exhibition.
The final thing you need to consider as you're preparing your exhibition, is pricing. Hopefully, we're going to be able to turn this time and energy you've put into creating this work, and convert it into some sort of financial return. This will help support more exploration in photography, and also help defray the expenses you've incurred in creating the work. Pricing you've got to have a tag to price it. A tag also brings to mind one of the other issues we haven't talked about and that's titling your work.
This can be a thorny problem and I solve it pretty simply for myself particularly in this body of work. These are sort of documents of place. So this image here, its title is simply, Gas Station, Highway 77, Springer, Oklahoma. My work in this particular series is documents of, of very specific places and it makes the titling very easy. It's just a specific place name. I think if I titled this something like Lost Dreams, I might lose interest from my viewers.
Because I'm, maybe trying to direct their thoughts into a, an area that they don't really want to explore. I might prejudice their opinion about the particular piece. Another thing I, I get tired of is seeing untitled, or untitled number 37. Try to do something to help your viewer, particularly as, as an emerging artist I, I think untitled is a certain pretense in, in a lot of cases that is well avoidedmuh, in this particular piece once again it's a place name, Good Luck Name Dallas, Texas.
The working title for the exhibition is obsolete America, an exploration of disposable architecture. Along with the working title and the titles for the work, you want to create a tag where each work will be titled, and then you'll have typically a size description, in this case 11 by 14. The type of print that it is. In this case a gelatin silver print is the typical tur, description of a, a silver print. You may sometimes make reference to toning or post-production processes.
In this case I don't think it's particularly necessary. And finally and most importantly, you want a small, a small little notation that says price. And that's where it gets a little sticky. How do you price your work? I know when I started as an artist, it was very difficult to figure out exactly what my work was worth. A few suggestions I'd make. First, look at the market in your area. Go to some exhibitions of photographs. Go to the local galleries and see what the work is selling for. Analyze your costs, in this case with this particular acid free mat board, the gelatin silver process, the sectional metal frame, the, regular glazing.
I have about $50 in each print that I'm producing. Now that $50 is just a materials cost. It does not include the gas I took to drive to these places to make the photographs, the hours I spent in the lab making work prints, the though process involved. All of that you need to be rewarded for. In my market here in Oklahoma, the last time I exhibited prints of this size, I was selling them for $450 a piece. Now, that may sound great. It's like, wow, he's got 50 bucks in it, and he's selling it for 450.
It doesn't work that way. I was in a nice gallery in Oklahoma City, and the gallery's commission was 40% of the purchase price. So out of that $450, by the time the gallery took their cut, and I paid for my materials my net was less than $200 on a print. That may seem like a lot but when you consider all the other expenses, it's really not that much. And there are also some intangibles you have to consider. Particularly the value you place upon yourself as an artist. Your creative vision is such an important part of what happens in this process, and you should be rewarded for the time and energy you've spent to develop that.
The credibility you have in an artist is sometimes expressed in the price you demand for your work. And if you price your work too low, you undermine yourself and your own credibility. You run the danger of putting yourself in a position that when your success begins to grow, you may have trouble increasing your prices. And you also undermine the price structure of the other working artists in the area. So, don't sell yourself short. Look at the value of your work and price your work accordingly to where you are in the market.
And I talked about I get $450 an image the last time I exhibited. Another photographer I know is exhibiting in the same venue. She's much more accomplished, has an international reputation, and a work of hers this size will sell for $850. The prices can go up from there. It just depends on the market, your expertise, your reputation.
Next, Konrad takes a selection of images to an exhibition space in Oklahoma City. There he shows how to sequence selections for maximum impact and hang them at the right height and distance apart. The course concludes with tips on other methods of self-promotion available to photographers.