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04-23-2009, 09:54 AM   #1
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Signing prints do's and don'ts

I'm no where close to being a pro but I thought this would be best put here.

I have a few wolf pictures that folks are going crazy over and are wanting prints. So I have printed some out for folks and now some other folks are asking if I would sign the prints for them. My question for this is:

Do you sell the print and signed print for the same price?

What do you use to sign the print?

Do you write anything on the back of the print (signed and not signed)?

Does anyone number their prints anymore and how does this work?

Well thats all the questions for now.

Thanks for all the reponses in advance.

Thanks
Jim

04-23-2009, 10:53 AM   #2
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--Archival Ink felt pen, Light Impressions may be the company where I found them...

--Probably no price difference, but people think artists signature adds collector value. For you it adds name recognition and perhaps opens buyers to purchase more prints from you someday.

--Thomas Mangelson uses limited edition numbers per size: edition of 1500 16"x20", 1500 30"x40" etc. Some others use limited edition numbers then print any size up to that total number.

--If the edition is 1500 of whatever size, you don't have to print all 1500 at once and hold them in dry storage or whatever. You can print as you go. This is different than the almost valueless so-called limited edition prints made from original paintings. Because those require a press run, it is common to print the entire edition and then sell off of that. Note that those type of prints are the most common consumer items of art but due to almost nonexistant secondary market after the initial purchase, these are not generally considered collectibles unless by a very famous artist and even then demand is quite limited.

--Signature should be inobtrusive--don't do the gold ink "hey look at the signature not the photo" high school crap. Try to position the signature in a darker area if that is possible. Viewers should have to seek the signature not try to ignore it. I know most of the prints you see in tourist shops do the gold ink calligraphy thing...virtually none that you see in galleries or museums do it that way so take the high ground off the git go.

--Keep a tally of prints so your edition numbers are accurate. I once had to skip 10 numbers (thus losing 10 potential sales someday) because I couldn't rectify my poorly conceived tick marks keeping count on the prints. If just once you sell two prints with the same number, your credibility is gone forever.

--If you are going to do anything on the back of the print, be very careful as the pen marks can "dent" the print and be visible. That's why the signature needs to be felt pen--to reduce denting.

--Some artists sign the mat not the print. This leaves the potential for counterfeiting someday (if you are Ansel Adams...who btw did sign mats on some works...perhaps all, I can't remember, haven't visited an Adams show in 10 years). If you sign the mat, pencil lasts forever, ink pen eventually fades--this is happening to some early Adams prints nowadays so I guess pencil is better even though it can be erased. Point being, who would erase it and why?

--You may want to add an "about the artist" or "about photographing wolves" small card to the back of the print. Typically, this will be on the back of the framed print, though it sounds like you may be selling loose prints.

--To make any coin, you should consider matting and framing yourself. Someone is going to earn a fair market profit margin on the matting and framing. Why not you? By matting and framing yourself, that may mean having it professionally done and then making a small profit margin on the framing. Of course, you'll need to negotiate a wholesale cost of the matting and framing then sell at retail thus earning a small margin to go along with the profit you earn on the print.

Have fun! Sounds like you are off and running!
04-23-2009, 12:24 PM   #3
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Thats cool that you are able to sell your wildlife photography. I'm not saying this applies to you but if you took those photos at a zoo then it is illegal to sell them without the permission of the zoo. I only say this because a lot (maybe the majority) of really impressive wildlife photos that one sees around were taken at a zoo. If you got the photos in the wild then congratulations on capturing great shots of a relatively shy animal.
04-23-2009, 01:16 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by kunik Quote
Thats cool that you are able to sell your wildlife photography. I'm not saying this applies to you but if you took those photos at a zoo then it is illegal to sell them without the permission of the zoo. I only say this because a lot (maybe the majority) of really impressive wildlife photos that one sees around were taken at a zoo. If you got the photos in the wild then congratulations on capturing great shots of a relatively shy animal.
Thanks for the info I will go and talk to the zoo about a release.

Thanks
Jim

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