Artists look at different aspects to find fair price ranges – The Park Record | Candle Made Easy

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 its works, Brandenburg pays attention to the market value of works by similar artists.
David Jackson/Park Record

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

And just as you will see these different creations, you will also see a wide range of prices that can start as low as $15 and end at more than $12,000.

Determining the monetary value of a work of art is a tricky part of trading, as artisans often spend hours planning, purchasing materials, and creating their works.

In some cases, these hours also involve traveling to off-the-beaten-track locations to find her subjects, which is what local fine art photographer Richard D. Pick does and Patrick Brooks Brandenburg do.

Pick begins with pricing, which ranges from $20 for unframed notecard-sized works to $1,800 for a wall-sized landscape, keeping his audience in mind.

“There’s a very thin layer of people who will be interested in your work, and that’s the way it is,” Pick said. “But the (group of) people who buy my work are usually made up of people who have had experiences similar to mine when I produce my paintings. There’s something about my paintings that tells a story or that they have some sort of emotional response to them.”

Most of Pick’s work is done locally, whether in national parks or other open spaces.

“I value the experiences I have, not the by-products of those experiences, which are my paintings,” he said. “But of course when I think about pricing I also think about the costs I have – paper, ink and framing, which is one of my big costs because I put a lot of emphasis on presentation.”

Additionally, Pick said he makes educated guesses about how to value his works, which are all limited editions, based on the images.

“In my field, creative photography is more expensive than what I would call representative photography,” he said. “My landscapes are more creative. I love birds and I do bird photography and I would say this is more representative. So I don’t rate these that highly because anyone with really good technique and knowledge could take them. The bottom line for me is that my buyers appreciate the time and effort I put into my work.”

Pick also remembers that there may be some people who are moved by an image but cannot afford to buy a work for $250 or $600.

“That’s why I like to have a few small items on notecards, small prints, or unframed works,” he said. “The notecards are typically $20 and the unframed pieces start at around $100.”

Local photographer Patrick Brooks Brandenburg unwraps one of his artistic photos of a grizzly bear at his booth at the Park City Kimball Arts Festival. Brandenburg will be showing and selling his work throughout the weekend.
David Jackson/Park Record

Like Pick, Brandenburg relies on fair pricing of its works.

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

Brandenburg’s prices start at 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 have to do limited editions, more of a one-off offering that isn’t mass-produced,” he said. “They should also have different sizes of works that appeal to people. I’m always honored when people buy my art.”

In the spirit of respect before and after work, Brandenburg also wants constant and fair prices.

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

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