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I have recently shared an album of my pictures in an online photography forum and someone contacted me, asking if I can sell them a print, or the digital file for them to print themselves.

I have never sold any prints before and at the moment, I don't have time to spend on that; also I don't have any calibration tools for my monitor or any experience in high quality printing, and I don't want to half-ass that, so I don't want to sell a print right now. However, I'd be fine with selling the digital file so that person can print the photo. But I have no idea how to price a digital file, and what exactly I should give out.

Do you normally just send out a high-quality JPG? Or the RAW file along with the XMP file containing my edits? (I edited the picture in Lightroom) If I should go with JPG, do I just send out the full size (6000x4000) or ask them what size they want to print it in and send an appropriatly downsized version? And how do I determine an approriate price for that? What are the relevant factors?

I've read online that I should factor in the image size as well as the editing time. I don't know how long I spent on it, probably less than 10 minutes. I'm just not sure how to approach this, any price I could come up with somehow feels ... random. Some insights are appreciated!

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    Not doing the printing yourself does not free you from developing the image as if you did. If your monitor is not calibrated, you have no guarantee about how the printed file looks like. This may or may not be acceptable for you and your client. – null Sep 6 '16 at 16:28
  • @null Well, this person asked directly if I would either sell them a print or the digital file so they can print it themselves. Therefore, I think he is confident he can do the printing himself. I know I can't do it properly. Of course if I do sell him a digital file for printing I would inform him that I'm not responsible for the printing process and the finished print. – MoritzLost Sep 6 '16 at 16:53
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If you want to begin selling digital images, you would likely want to ask a few questions of the buyer before making any decisions on output or price. Some questions I would recommend include:

  • Is the image for personal, commercial, or non-profit use?
  • If the image is for commercial or non-profit, who is the intended audience and scope/scale of the audience?
  • What is the desired output? (Digital display only, 4x6, billboard, website header, etc.)
  • If the image is for commercial or non-profit, what is the duration of usage (1 month, 1 year, etc.)?
  • If the image is for commercial or non-profit, do they need to modify or alter the image in any way?

These questions will help you narrow in on an appropriate price as well as create a license that makes sense for the sale. Some people would suggest that having attribution on a commercial on non-profit sale would alter the price; I would strongly suggest against that unless you are confident that it will result in later sales.

At any rate, it is highly unlikely that it would make sense for you to share the RAW and even less likely that you should share the XMP sidecar. Literally no one would ever want your sidecar file as part of a sale. I wouldn't recommend sharing the RAW file unless you are paid very well for doing so and you are certain that the license agreement you have in place is desirable for you based on the fee you are collecting.

Of course this is getting into the business of photography, of which you should probably pick up a book on if you are really going to take it seriously. The quick method without getting complex would be to pick up quoting software such as FotoQuote (link).

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