QuestionHow much to charge for valuble image of a recently deceased performer?
About a week ago, Hubert Sumlin, a LEGENDARY musician who inspired and influenced Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and others passed away. About a year ago, I had the distinct privilidge of photographing Hubert's performance and spending time with him backstage. The result of this experience is this photograph...
Now since his death, I've been asked several times for prints of this picture. My conflict is that the image is upped in value because of his death, and I do believe it is a very good image, so In a normal situation, I would feel very comfortable with a big price tag for this image, however, I'm fifteen. I am very concerned about overpricing people who are unlikely to be able to pay the rates that I think this photograph is worth. Plus, because of my age, I'm afraid of having people slam the door in my face and tell me my rates are too high for a fifteen year old photographer.
So I'm calling on the advice of you Shakodoer's. How much do you think I should charge for a 24x30 print of this image, signed by me and with a white border around it?
Several thoughts come to mind. First, congratulations on a maturity beyond your years. I have to admit, when I was shooting at the age of fifteen, I was happy just to be paid for the soccer team photos I was taking at the time and did not yet have the perspective of the value of a copyright. I'm also pleased that you even know who Jimi Hendrix & Keith Richards are - we're talkin' good music here.
Secondly, photography is an equal opportunity career. Your skin color, age or education does not stop you from creating great images. While it is true that if you were competing for an assignment with a very experienced shooter and the two of you had identical portfolios, the job is probably going to go with the greater experience. (However it would be nice if I could charge extra just because of my age!) But that is not the case here. This is about a previously created image (for all intents and purposes a stock image) that may have been shot by somebody with 50 years experience or 50 minutes experience - it does not matter. All photos have a value that is not dependent on the age of the photographer.
If you are concerned about client perception, why not have an older brother or an uncle make the phone calls or deliver prints? In this digital internet age I have over a dozen regular clients that have never even met - I couldn't tell you how old they are or if they have purple hair.
If this musician is as legendary as you say he is and the print quality is much better than what the web is showing me, I would price a 24x30 print $US300 - $US500 over the cost of printing and framing.