Custom Usage Fees??? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have been asked to produce a series of large permanent archival prints for a new mall. I was elated when the owner and the manager unanimously picked 6 of my favorite images. Four will be at 4 feet by 7 feet, one at 4 feet by 12 feet, another at four feet by 24 feet, all from 4X5. Organizing and estimating expenses for printing and framing was accomplished and agreed upon. But I am confused as to a formula to be fair to both client and myself regarding usage of images. Though this project will do wonders for my name in the region, not sure where to gain insight to its commercial value. In my previous years as corporate graphic designer, I had heard often of the ASMP guidelines that many commercial photographers used to estimate the basics values of their work. I know the selling value of my framed prints in galleries, but this permanent display has me stumped. Any suggestio

-- Gary Albertson (, November 05, 2001


100% markup of the printing expenses?

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, November 05, 2001.

Kind of a crap shoot. ASMP has books out that provide ranges that surveyed photographers charge for various usages, but ASMP, as they will tell you, is a trade organization and cannot set prices or collectively bargain. Their books can give you an idea, but you have to extrapolate to your unique job, its unique usage, and the unique size they are printed. Nothing is solid or finite in the book. You can find it on many photo bookseller web sites. There is another guy out there with books that do list prices for most conceivable usages but right now his name is escaping me. But I have seen his books at Barnes and Noble and other chains. You might even try calling ASMP in Philadelphia, PA (I think) and asking, though they can be a bit preachy. Maybe you can indicate that you want application materials too. I hate dealing with this stuff though, which is why I have a rep. She wheels and deals and takes her cut, but many times I get sold in places I would never thought to try so I do fine. Way to go! Sounds like a dream sale!

-- Rob Tucher (, November 05, 2001.


"Though this project will do wonders for my name in the region, not sure where to gain insight to its commercial value."

My suggestion is to disregard this notion and certainly don't factor it in to your calculations. It is the sort of argument put forward by prospective clients to gild the lilly but at the end of the day the only potential for promotional benefit to you is during the short period between the establishment of the display and the first graffiti, fading or weather staining. To the vast majority of passing viewers the pictures, irrespective of how godd they might be, are merely visual urban noise. Sure, there will be some that may enquire about the images and chase you up, but not resulting in so many additional sales as to warrant a discount being considered.

Calculate a fair and reasonable price based on the use and your costs then stand your ground. It is nice to feel flattered by the acceptance of your favourite photos but, at the end of the day, a plate full of flattery looks pretty lousy on the dinner table.


-- Walter Glover (, November 05, 2001.

WOw, good luck. Hope all goes well and deal comes through. Definitely something to be proud of! (bet you wish now that you had shot those images on your 8x10 :>)

-- Andre Noble (, November 05, 2001.

Not to sound crude but.....get as much as you much as the market will bear in relation to how much you think the client has to spend and how much they like you and your work. If you charge too little....they won't value it....too much ....and you might not make the sale.Definatly figure out what will make you real happy($$$) and also what will barely make it for you...some where in between is the real figure.....but it's not your job to cut give the client the best price first off....why cheat yourself if you can really max this often will you be doing a job like this? Keep in mind though that it's nice to triple or more to make expenses as well as profit....but the best way and price will be yours and yours alone.Only you know what your true expenses are and what your profit should be.

-- Emile de Leon (, November 05, 2001.

I know this is off-subject, but how do you make prints that large?

-- Michael Feldman (, November 05, 2001.

To Michael,

Make prints that size?? These days, if you're smart, take the transparency (neg) to a lab for scanning and output on a Lambda or similar.


-- Walter Glover (, November 06, 2001.

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