Artists look at different aspects to find fair price ranges |

Artists look at different aspects to find fair price ranges

Local photographers have own methods of attaching dollar figures

Fine art photographer Patrick Brooks Brandenburg, whose studio is in Kamas, hangs his latest limited-edition photos in his booth in preparation for the 53rd Park City Kimball Arts Festival. When pricing his works, Brandenburg keeps in mind the market value of works by similar artists.
David Jackson/Park Record

Attendees of the Park City Kimball Arts Festival this weekend on Main Street will find themselves surrounded by images and works made from different materials.

And just as they’ll see these assorted creations, they will also see a diverse range of prices that can start as low as $15 and cap off at more than $12,000.

Putting monetary value on a piece of art is a tricky component of the trade after crafters often spend hours planning, buying material and creating their works.

In some cases, those hours also include traveling to remote places to find their subjects, which is what local fine-art photographers Richard D. Pick and Patrick Brooks Brandenburg do.

Pick starts to decide on his pricing, which ranges from $20 for unframed notecard-sized works to $1,800 for a wall-sized landscape, when he thinks about his audience.

“There is a very thin slice of people who will be interested in your work, and that’s just the way it is,” said Pick. “But the (group of) people who buy my works usually consists of people who have had similar experiences to what I have when I produce my images. There is something about my images that tells a story or that they have some kind of emotional response to them.”

Most of Pick’s work is done in the field, whether it’s at national parks or other open spaces.

“I place a very high value on the experiences that I have rather than the by-products of those experiences, which are my images,” he said. “But when I think of pricing, I also certainly look at the costs I have — paper, ink and framing, which is one of my big costs, because I place a lot of emphasis on presentation.”

Above that, Pick said he makes educated guesses as to how to price his works, which are all limited editions, depending on the images.

“In my field, creative photography is priced higher than what I would call representational photography,” he said. “My landscapes tend to be on the more creative side. I love birds and do bird photography, and I would say those are more representational. So I don’t price those as high, because anyone with really good technique and knowledge could take them. The bottom line for me is I think my buyers tend to appreciate the time and effort I put into my work.”

Pick also keeps in mind there may be some people who are moved by an image, but can’t afford to purchase a work for $250 or $600.

“So I do like to have some small items, on notecards, small prints or unframed works,” he said. “The notecards are usually $20 notecards and the unframed pieces start around $100.”

Local photographer Patrick Brooks Brandenburg unpacks one of his fine-art photographs of a grizzly bear at his Park City Kimball Arts Festival booth. Brandenburg will show and sell his work throughout the weekend.
David Jackson/Park Record

Brandenburg, like Pick, relies on being fair when pricing his works.

“There is market value and precedent,” he said. “You have to honor what other people who are working in the same field are doing, because you can just undercut them. And you can’t undercut yourself. You have to respect yourself and your artwork.”

Brandenburg’s prices start around $650 for unframed and signed works, and that has a lot to do with the care he takes in creating his work.

“Especially with photography, you need to do limited editions, more of a one-of-a-kind deal that is not mass produced,” he said. “You also should have different sizes of works that will appeal to people. I’m always honored when people buy my art.”

In keeping with the idea of respecting the work and others in the field, Brandenburg also wants his prices to be consistent and fair.

“I want to be honest with people, and they have to trust me that they are getting the best deal,” he said. “I don’t do very small pieces, because I don’t want someone who buys a $5,000 image to feel that another person has access to that same image for $200 or $100. And when I sell a framed piece, I just add the cost I paid for the framing.”

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