Pricing My Work
I often get asked the question, “How much does a car portrait cost?” “Well, … that depends.”
Do I already have photos of the car and do those photos inspire me to create? I visit a lot of car meets with my camera and take a lot of photos. Only a few of them really inspire me to be creative. Now that being said, I don’t wait to be asked to turn those few shots into art. If it is a great shot, I will make something of it just because I love doing it. So, I might already have something you like.
What sort of theme are you looking for in the piece? Do I need to travel to get the background shots? I have many backgrounds available which include vintage gas stations, old brick billboards, scenic views, various paved surfaces, and others that I have made from scratch using Adobe Photoshop. I am always adding to the collection, but it takes time. I am always looking for new locations with vintage gas stations, old warehouses, and other interesting settings to photograph. I am planning a trip down Route 66 to capture more backgrounds before they are lost and forgotten forever. If you know of any locations I need to visit, please contact me with as much information about it as you can.
Are you and the vehicle available to travel to the background location? This option usually requires a photo shoot and associated costs. Any travel outside the Houston area would accrue travel expenses. If you happen to be at a car event that I plan to attend, no problem and no charge to take the photos. But please make sure the car is cleaned and polished so I don’t need to spend hours in Photoshop cloning out the dirt and smudges.
How many pieces do I have to create to finally create what you are looking for? It is always best to know what you want up front. It saves time, money, and a lot of frustration. There is nothing worse than dealing with a client that isn’t happy. I used to say that the customer is always right, but sometimes its just not worth the bother. Maybe I’m showing my age here, but sometimes I would just rather move on. Besides, its my art - start to finish. Right? Its not like I’m working on your car. I will do my best to listen to your suggestions, make changes, try a different background, etc., but there comes a point in time when it can get ridiculous for both of us. If I don’t like something I have created, I won’t sell it. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it!
Framed or Unframed? I used to frame my art, but I found it took up a lot of time and I think that it should be done by the client. My frame might not be what you had in mind. The matting might be the wrong color or size. So, to simplify things I have left this job up to the customer. Update: I have started framing my art again due to the fact that photos are delicate and sometimes they can easily be damages when in larger format. At least this way I know the piece will make to the customers home in good shape.
Size? Most of my work is printed on 12” x 18” or 12” x 18” on a 15” x 21” photo stock. Much larger prints are available due to the high resolution of each piece. I searched far and wide and finally found the best photo lab in this part of the world. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the service I receive. I have found many others that were way cheaper, but it is clear that you get what you pay for here.
Paper? Fuji Crystal Archive Professional Super Type PD Luster. This paper has vivid color reproduction, brilliant whites, rich blacks and a semi-gloss luster finish.
Fuji Crystal Archive Pearl Paper. High quality gloss finish with a distinctive pearl-like appearance. This new paper is incredible, but don’t let it touch the glass or it appears to have moisture everywhere it is in contact. Prints MUST be mounted on foam board and spacers MUST be inserted when framing behind glass.
So, … “How much does a car portrait cost?”
“Well, … that depends.”