Art world

What Makes a Photographic Print Valuable ?

9 Lessons Easy

About this course

A lost da Vinci painting resurfaces and is sold at auction for half a billion euros. You put your heart and soul and printing expertise into a print and no one seems to want to pay ten bucks for it. Art valuation can seem highly subjective and auction prices can fluctuate wildly from time to time. But there are implicit rules that every market obeys and factors that can be used to understand the prices you see in galleries, or to make your own prints more desirable to potential buyers. In this course, we examine 7 then tie them into a pricing formula.

Banner image (c) Roman Kraft

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Course Structure


Why this matters, a lot. Where the information is coming from. Why you should believe me, at least a bit.

Print process, size and quality

The perceived quality of a print largely determines a viewer's appreciation for it. The selected print process can play a major role in this, and also conditions the archival quality of the final object.

Your Artist Statement (Oi, come back here!)

Companies with strong brands are more highly valued by customers and investors. Artists with great brands are more desirable to collectors. Your artist statement is the first component in your brand. It helps others understand you and connect with you more deeply. Far from the pfaff you can occasionally read, it can be short, simple and to the point. But, however you want to write it, you need one.

Harsh curation

Be unique, be consistent. Culling and curation are your best friends when it comes to assembling a desirable portfolio.

Limited Editions

You collect photograph like you used to collect marbles at school. The rarest were always the most valuable.

Sacrity matters

The largest work of an artist is rarely the best, but it's almost always the most expensive, in the primary market. Should you follow that rule of thumb?


If John Lennon had 12 of your photographs on his walls, Gagosian represents you and the MOMA is fighting with the V&A for the last of your Artist proofs, chances are your prices are higher than uncle Joe's. Here's how that works, here's what to do about it!

Tying it all Together

It's a simple formula: how much value does your print create in the mind of your buyer ?

Fighting your ego

Stick the plan. Don't let subjective considerations derail you.