Setting up Shop – Products

Ok, I want to offer some framed prints to sell. That’s quite easy to say, but the reality is I have a little bit more to think about:

  • What size will the prints be?
  • Where will I get the prints from?
  • Where will I get the frames from?
  • How much will they cost me?
  • How much will I charge for them?

Now, size is a tricky one – I want the prints to be large enough to hang on a wall, but not so large that no one will have space for them. I have several of my prints on the wall, and find 12 x 18 inches to be perfect! It creates a piece that can comfortable occupy wall space, without dominating a room.

Where will I get them from? I have been searching around and have found a print lab in London who are very well reviewed and offer a very wide range. I emailed them and got an immediate response. Since then they have been extremely supportive in helping me calibrate my equipment and prepare for printing. Right now, I have just ordered a few test prints to get a feeling for the image quality and check colour matching. All being well, I will order some larger prints next week.

Frames are harder, they are generally quite expensive and will increase the cost of my product but I don’t want to get something that is just cheap and nasty. I have ordered a few different frames from different places but have yet to decide.

Cost and pricing is a very delicate issue, isn’t it? There is a material cost, which is how much it will cost me to prepare the framed image, including all the shipping fees I will need to pay etc., and then there is the value. Value will ultimately decide how much I charge for my final products, and needs to reflect something more than just the material costs – I have spent hundreds of hours out with my cameras, from my basic DSLR back at the very start before I knew what an aperture was right up to now, and I am still learning every day. I am dedicated to my photography and have committed a huge amount of time and practice to be able to take the images I take. That adds value to my work. I have a creative style that I have developed over those years of beating on the craft which is mine, and unique to me. Other people could replicate my images in the technical sense, of course! If they had been at the same place and at the same time. But they weren’t. My creative interpretation is the only one that exists of that moment, and that is important.

The final issue with value is this – if I don’t place a high value on my work, why would I expect anyone else to? I have some numbers in mind for my final prices, but until I decide the components I am going to use, those numbers will change depending on the material costs.

If I gave a breakdown of how I chose my pricing, would that make people more comfortable with what I charge, or would people just take it apart?

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