Monday, November 24, 2008


Affordable Prints, an experiment

A perennial problem in the arts is that pricing paintings, sculptures, photographs or other original work at a realistic level for the artist’s survival keeps most of the potential audience from buying the work. I certainly couldn’t afford to buy one of my own platinum prints! So I’ve watched with interest as a number of internet venues experiment with promotional offerings of prints at prices wildly below gallery standards. Probably the best known is the 20x200 site which offers one or more pictures each week in a pretty elaborate editioning scheme starting with small prints that are priced literally at the “lab fee” level of twenty bucks. There are some things I don’t like about the 20x200 paradigm but the basic idea of making “real pictures” available at really low prices is fascinating. If that lets a larger number of people than otherwise buy a few of my pictures, it sounds like a good idea.

Another point is that I really like small prints, but dealers only seem interested in large ones, at least for digital work. Not that I don’t like large prints too, at least some of the time for some pictures. But I think the photo world has fallen into a bigger-is-better trap. Small prints that are comfortable to hold in your hand can have a special intimacy that I appreciate. So if you too like small prints and have enjoyed pictures you’ve seen on this blog, this is the chance to move from a virtual image on the computer screen to a small but very real ink-on-paper print.

Here’s the idea. The color digital-capture pictures that make up the core of this blog will be available as “WP 30s”—small prints around 8-inches long dimension, on letter-size paper, for $30 each. They’ll be pigment ink prints on cotton paper, shipped via USPS in ‘sta-flat’ mailers.


It seems to me that ordering should be simple enough. I’ve set up a “WP 30s” link over in the blog’s sidebar. That will take you to this notice on a page at my website with a feedback link. Just use the link to send me an email with the date of appearance on WP for the picture you want, plus additional I.D. if there was more than one that day. After I send you a response to confirm that the picture is available, send me $30 via PayPal and I’ll ship out the print. United States orders only for now, until I see how complicated international shipping makes things.


Anonymous said...


Interesting idea. Yes, galleries today want it big and bigger. However, on Thursday I went to an opening of Jamie Warren's work at Higher Pictures (she is one of the new, 'in' photographers) and the work, 8x10 color, was $100 a print. With the art market cooling down, this could be the next trend.

In the past, many photographers did books to 1)present a coherent body of work in the sequence they wanted (think Strand, Time in New England), and 2) get images into the hands of folks that couldn't afford a print.

Good luck


Carl Weese said...


Wow,$100 a print in a gallery situation sure seems like a new paradigm. I'm curious, were the pictures also available in larger, more typical 'gallery sizes' and if so, was there a big price jump?