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Thread: How much to charge for a digital file of a Landscape image?

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    Ausphotography Regular glennb's Avatar
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    How much to charge for a digital file of a Landscape image?

    Hi all, A friend of mine has a work colleague who wants to purchase one of my landscape pictures but he wants it in digital form so he can print it onto a large canvas for home. I have know idea how much to charge or if I should sell it in digital form at all. Is anybody able to give a range in price for something like this just to give me guide line to work with and also, should I sell it with a watermark and conditions eg. No reproduction of the image... If so how would I go about this? I do have copyright data in the image, is this enough? but I do know this cannot stop the misuse of the image if he chooses.
    Cheers
    Last edited by glennb; 15-01-2016 at 4:28pm.
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    My thoughts ----

    Talk directly to the person who wants to buy your image and determine what size and style of canvas print they want.

    Sit down and look at the various canvas printers on the www ( don't forget site advertiser and comp sponsor http://www.bestcanvasprintsonline.com.au/ ) and work out how much it will cost you to have it done the way the "client" wants it.

    Add whatever profit margin you want to receive ( 0% - 100% ) and then tell the client that you are prepared to ONLY sell a finished article which you are satisfied reflects the image in question.

    There are just too many pitfalls in selling the digital file, the first is that the client chooses a cheap and crappy canvas printer based many thousands of km from Aus and receives a rubbish job which then represents your work.

    Then the other worries about where your image ends up start to come into play -----
    Last edited by I @ M; 15-01-2016 at 5:08pm. Reason: typo
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    Thanks Andrew, you have raised some good points.

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    My opinion is that firstly you need to:
    1. Define what business you are in (or want to be in)
    2. Determine the value of this particular opportunity
    3. Determine the cost of your response, or lack of response, to the opportunity

    With those three points as the premise for moving forward -

    It was not apparent (maybe I missed it?) from you website or your facebook page that you are in the business of selling your images. If that is not your business and you do not want that to be a business entity, then:

    a) At the moment you have an hearsay request for a purchase of a digital file of a landscape image you have made

    b) It is very unlikely that any landscape image will contain a yet undisclosed residue value that could become of such significance later to render the image highly valuable

    c) Any of your images can be misused as a result of people lifting them from the www - this one is not special simply because you sell the file

    d) The cost in researching all which is necessary for a finished product and then executing all which is necessary is quite substantial, if it is done properly - (small example) - if you sell a finished canvas, will you have liability insurance to cover the occurrence of the frame, wire or securing device on the frame failing - and as a result causing damage or injury?

    e) What's the REAL loss to you if the "client" makes an el-cheapo canvas print and hangs it in his home?

    ***

    If you are not in the business of selling finished art works, my advice is to meet the prospect, without the friend, and as soon as possible - whilst the desire is still hot and the sole purpose of that meeting is for you to realize the value of your work and then quote the prospect a one-off, take it or leave it price.

    I'd whet the offer by guaranteeing the prospect that it will be a one-off sale and no-one else will have a print of that file.

    If you want a ball park figure: on the face of what you describe and what I have assumed somewhere between $2000 and $5000 would be my take away - OR - my walk away.

    But it won't be the picture that sells it and closes the deal - if the prospect really wants the picture then it is already sold - what will close the deal is your capacity to realize the value of the picture into $ terms.

    WW






    It is not apparent (from your website or facebook page) that you are in the business of selliing photography.

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    It's not unheard of to get $2000 to $5000 for a digital file, but from someone who just wants a picture on their wall? and from an unknown artist? These are the prices for a large Ken Duncan print and then you are paying for the name, not the picture, and you will get it nicely printed and framed. Try chopping a zero off, or more.

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    Thanks William and Steve, William you have raised some good points and noted, also I am looking to sell my images in the near future and my facebook page is to help me get my name out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Axford View Post
    It's not unheard of to get $2000 to $5000 for a digital file, but from someone who just wants a picture on their wall? and from an unknown artist? These are the prices for a large Ken Duncan print and then you are paying for the name, not the picture, and you will get it nicely printed and framed. Try chopping a zero off, or more.
    Steve I agree, I'm an unknown artist and no Ken Duncan but his pricing is for a print, not a digital image. I did travel to the US for this image and have spent 2-3+hrs editing it plus getting a 20MB Digital image I think increases the price. I don't think its worth 2k but the figure I am thinking is $400-$800??
    Love hear more thoughts from other people
    cheers
    Last edited by glennb; 18-01-2016 at 2:10pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular Hamster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennb View Post
    .... the figure I am thinking is $400-$800??
    Love hear more thoughts from other people
    cheers
    I think you've just answered your own question.....
    If that's what you're thinking then you'd be happy with that. Personally I'd get it printed for them, to ensure it is done as you want, then add $400-$800.
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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    Good luck. I'd be interested to hear how it goes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennb View Post
    . . . I don't think its worth 2k
    I am thinking is $400-$800
    Indeed. As mentioned if that is what you don't think and do think, then you have answered the question.

    Also note, if that is what you do think then in any Sales Negotiation which follows the sale realized will most likely be within that range or lower: but never higher.

    Also note that it is exceptionally difficult to ever realize something from a premise of don't think.

    WW

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    Thanks everyone, I have probably answered part of my own question but how would I protect the image for further reproduction from the buyer in a legal sense, is copyright meta data in the image enough or do I need to get something up drawn up? And I understand you cant give "legal advice" but would like your opinion. I'm probably overthinking this, but would like to know your thoughts

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    I would think that an invoice would be OK. Just don't give him the RAW image, not that he would want it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennb View Post
    . . . how would I protect the image for further reproduction from the buyer in a legal sense, is copyright meta data in the image enough or do I need to get something up drawn up?
    When I've sold TIFF or JPEG files I have a copyright and usage notice in a pdf file on the stick or disc provided and an hard copy of that attached to the invoice, which the Buyer acknowledges as the condition of purchase - 'acknowledges' means signs off as conditions of purchase and dates and prints their name and address.

    That bit of paper doesn't "protect the image for further reproduction from the buyer" but what I think it does do is give me a lot of leverage to get the image off a web page more quickly (as one example of a minor misuse) and more importantly I feel it gives me a lot of leverage to make the "buyer" think very carefully before on-selling prints (a one example of a more serious misuse) and I feel it gives me a lot of leverage if legal action is required.

    The point is, any legal process will cost money and time: not worrying about taking legal action - in many circumstances can be factored into the selling price.

    Notwithstanding that, when I do sell an image file and if is misused, then, at the time the misuse becomes known to me, I need to choose what actions to take and how far to take those actions.

    My view is it is better that I choose how I will react to any misuse at the time of the sale, rather than later, if it happens, because doing that means I feel that I am more in control of the negotiation and the sale and all possible outcomes, from the beginning and that I have costed the sale as a definitive which will not require any time or effort in the future.

    QUESTION:

    How many hours have passed since your friend first mentioned to you that there was someone interested in buying an image file from you?

    FOLLOW UP QUESTION:

    How many hours before your friend told you, was s/he told the third party wanted to buy an image file from you?

    WW

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    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post

    QUESTION:

    How many hours have passed since your friend first mentioned to you that there was someone interested in buying an image file from you?

    FOLLOW UP QUESTION:

    How many hours before your friend told you, was s/he told the third party wanted to buy an image file from you?

    WW
    Thanks William, what you have said makes a lot of sense and similar to my thinking. To answer your questions I was aware before leaving to the US that this person was interested in an image of the Brooklyn Bridge and if I got a nice one that he would be interested in purchasing it.I Think it was the day I started this thread ,15th, my mate text me with the image that he like, I gave a few to choose from. I gave him a price on a canvas yesterday, but I said if he is really interested in a digital copy I will work out a price for him. I'm not very good with sales I admit and something I need to change very quickly.

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    Post #13 contains new information which changes the sales scenario.

    WW

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennb View Post
    Thanks William, what you have said makes a lot of sense and similar to my thinking. To answer your questions I was aware before leaving to the US that this person was interested in an image of the Brooklyn Bridge and if I got a nice one that he would be interested in purchasing it.I Think it was the day I started this thread ,15th, my mate text me with the image that he like, I gave a few to choose from. I gave him a price on a canvas yesterday, but I said if he is really interested in a digital copy I will work out a price for him. I'm not very good with sales I admit and something I need to change very quickly.
    That bit of information makes a huge difference. You possibly have other information that would give you an idea of what this person is capable of paying and what emotional attachment he really has. This all makes a difference, as do many other things. Only you have the information - and
    you need to work it out.

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    I'm usually quite reluctant to sell digital files as I have no control about what happens at the other end both in terms of the printer the choose and the potential ongoing use of the image
    In the rare scenario that it has been requested, Marianne and I have charged what we would for a normal print of the size they intend to print and prepare the file as though we would be printing it ourselves
    We attach a disclaimer about print quality not being assured and that the image is one time use only.

    We have had a few clients accept this,
    One particularly memorable refusal accused us of extortion and that they could get the file for $40 or less (for a 30 inch canvas print) instead of the $180 we were charging.
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    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    Post #13 contains new information which changes the sales scenario.
    Sorry, a very poor internet connection required brevity for that commentary . . . continuing here:

    Knowing of a particular Prospect’s desire to buy an image prior to the making of the artwork is very similar to a Client commissioning a work from you.

    In both cases the Sale Negotiation (can) begin at the time the interest is shown. I think that it is best if the Sales Negotiation does begin then.

    I think that you knowing that you had a possible sale before you left to travel to the USA, it would have been very good for the Prospect to own that responsibility and also for you to have created and developed a rapport and continuing dialogue with the Prospect such that here was no third party involved.

    The previewing of the sale items should have been kept until you returned to AUS: that would create both anticipation and also provided you the opportunity of presenting your work at a showing for the Prospect ONLY at the FIRST viewing of the works for selection.

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 20-01-2016 at 9:23am.

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    Glenn, my normal practice is to negotiate based on the size of the product they wish to purchase. You need to have a price list which you would charge if they were purchasing the product from you direct. The big catch here is to ensure that the file you give them is set at the size they said to you they wanted. You then inform them that printing any larger will decrease the quality and look much poorer than if the file was optimised for the larger size.

    This prevents them from ordering based on a 12" size and then going to print at 30"+.

    Good luck with this if you haven't already gone through with the sale.
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    Spammer - Permanent Ban BathurstFlorist's Avatar
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    I think the average price is from 700 to 1000. you only person who can figure it out .

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    Quote Originally Posted by BathurstFlorist View Post
    I think the average price is from 700 to 1000. you only person who can figure it out .
    Interesting that as a beginner you would have an idea on this.
    Last edited by ricktas; 04-02-2016 at 10:05pm.
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