I learned that photos are priced using resolution, frequency of usage and sizes. I am not able to figure out how. How do these criteria relate to the price of the picture ?

This question is about selling stock images. I gather that print size determines the eventual digital size. However, there doesn't seem to be a specific correlation between size vs price.

Could someone elaborate?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean pricing for stock photography in specific? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Dec 16, 2016 at 22:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ This question is too broad -- there are many different markets for photographs, each with their own criteria for pricing work. You've already got two good answers about two different markets, demonstrating that you need to make the question more specific. \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleb
    Dec 18, 2016 at 5:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Caleb The way the question reads strongly suggests a context of of someone buying usage of a stock image. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Dec 18, 2016 at 23:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm... yes, it's for stock. What I've found is that the paper size determines the eventual digital size. With reference to some stock sites, there is no linear relation between size versus price. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 22, 2016 at 6:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Since the question is now on hold, you may want to edit that and any other specifics into the question, in order to get it reopened. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Dec 22, 2016 at 11:02

2 Answers 2


When it comes to traditional stock photography licensing, when you purchase a licence to an image you are effectively renting it. This is especially true when licencing for print where the number of copies is a known quantity.

  • Higher quality items attract more money; resolution is readily quantifiable
  • Larger uses cost more; physical size and number of copies are measures of usage)

In the same way as if you were to rent a vehicle, the quality of the vehicle (type, size, luxury level) and amount of use (number of days, mileage) would all affect the price.


As a fine art photographer I had to deal with this issue. There are a lot of not-so-obvious factors besides size and quality of the print. You have to know your market: who would buy it? Some of my photos were bought simply because the colour matched their decor! You have to do some market research as to what similar photos are selling for. I often went to photo galleries to set my price expectations.

Where you sell also affects the price: a $1000 price on a photo displayed at the local cafe will probably not sell, but in New York or Maui it may.

Of course your name and reputation are important - A small Ansel Adams photo may sell for much more than a large, high-resolution, well-printed, well-framed photo by an unknown artist.

Bottom line: look at the prices of other photographers' work and decide where you fit in.


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