Ratical : Analog Photography

Price Discovery

I run this web site for two reasons: to share what I have learned, and to make connections with those who like what I have done. Perhaps a third objective is to learn how to run a business. Finding the intersection between what people want and what you can provide is sometimes called price discovery.

This last step requires creativity because the price cannot simply the valuation of my time plus materials. More likely the effort and resources spent on making the product need to match the price that makes the end product a good value for the one buying it.

Transforming a Portfolio into Inventory

Whenever we search out a product or a service, we rely on the manufacturer or the service provider do the hard work of finding a way to build a product that is a good combination of cost and quality.

Starting February of 2022, I begin pricing photos based on what I have on hand rather than what I can print. This serves to improve three factors:

  1. Lead Time
    We are mortal, so a long lead times approximate a loss of value. On the production side this is also reduces preemptive work.
  2. Cost to Produce
    For darkroom printing, the major time is spent on setup—two or three extra copies only takes an extra 30 or 40 minutes.
  3. Shipping Economy
    I would love to be able to ship fully framed prints, but on a percentage basis, the cost of shipping is enormous.

After all of this we can build in margin which is a vital component that leaves resources for working out any difficulties.


One of the striking realizations that comes from developing a craft is that an aesthetic sense is somehow related to goodness and beauty. Picking an difficult medium such as film and leaning into it is not necessarily arrogance. For some, it is the only way to develop a meaningful style.

Some founder trying to find a way to use digital imaging in a meaningful way. Moving in other direction—using materials such as wood and paint are equally challenging for others. In some ways film photography as a lower art form, but an art nonetheless, and as such it can be a reflection of the transcendent.

Last updated on July 12, 2023