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Hello Everyone,

I've aspiration of doing an art show next spring.  I was wondering for all the photographers that has done arts show in the past, what has been your experience with limited editions vs. open editions in shows?  Also, typically how many duplicate photos did you have in each size?  And what is the largest framed art work you have on display in your booth? 

My goal is to have some framed & matted prints to display my photography work, but just sell only matted prints in the show.

Thanks in advance,


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Limited editions, though it may be specified on many applications, is one of those rules that are never enforced except by Virginia Beach. Limiting is a marketing decision that should be up to the individual photographer, not a show application that has been copied from other show applications without understanding of what it really means to the photographer trying to earn a living.

Before I get flamed by non photographers, this type of question is much better asked on my forum, which I saw that you joined last night.

As for multiple sizes of an image. I only displayed my work in two sizes, small and large and only the larger size framed.

Larry Berman
Digital J u r y Services
I mostly agree with Larry on the limited edition question. I only number my higher end prints. Most of the shows I do are low-end or middle caliber shows, not the upper end like the Virginia Beach Boardwalk show (which is the only Virginia Beach show that I know of put's a limited edition requirement in the app. - although the VB Neptune show may use the same rules).

As to the size of my prints, I have all sizes. Which one's I carry and display depends on the show. Most of the shows I will carry some 4 x 6 and 5 x 7s framed, but not display them prominently. Usually they are pushed to the back of my table. (which I'm usually standing in front of). If someone really likes a larger picture but isn't buying, I mention the smaller version. Right now I only have a few that way because I've run out of the frames I like (Costco)! I also have note cards of most of my work. Some shows they keep me afloat, some shows they don't sell at all.
Dave Hinde said:
Most of the shows I do are low-end or middle caliber shows, not the upper end like the Virginia Beach Boardwalk show (which is the only Virginia Beach show that I know of put's a limited edition requirement in the app.

Dave, actually An Occasion for the Arts in Williamsburg also has the limited edition rule for Photographers. This is one of those shows that operates under the radar of most show directories. It is tough to get into but very profitable for a 1 day show. I did as well at this show in 1 day then I did at Virginia Beach Boardwalk.
Laura, as Larry says, it is a decision that must be made by each photographer. It's more a personal thing. I've always limited all my images. I do it for my own creativity and quite honestly, most images will not sell out. I'm not that good or I'll get bored with the image. If you want to stay fresh, you will usually cycle the image out to something new before you hit the limit.

Few shows that I do have a limited edition rule (I do two regular shows that have the rule). Do buyers care about limited editions?... Most don't, but then a significant number do, maybe one out of ten.

If you do any significant number of the big shows you'll run into the limited edition rule somewhere along the way and you will have to decide. For me, that decision came early.

Best wishes,
Hi Laura,

My largest size is a 30"x40" but that is only one and it's not on display at every show. My regular largest is 24"x32" frame. I also show a 18x24" and a 12x16" as my 3 main sizes that are limited. I also show a couple of panoramas in 12x24" and a triptych in 12x24" I personally think a little variety makes a more interesting display, although more complicated. My 5x7" prints (matted to an 8x10" or a triptych) are open editions. I completely agree with Leo about being "fresh". There's only a couple of prints I sell that will even come close to the limit when I put out my new stuff next year after two years & I do about 2 dz shows a year. One interesting note, I changed one size from an 11x14" to a 12x16" print this year from last year. I raised the price 80% on that one and it sells better than the older ones sitting right next to it (when I have room). Small is nice, but too much looks busy in my booth. Good luck!
Thank you for everyone's inputs. I really appreciated it!


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