You can buy beautiful archival prints and greeting cards of fine art photographs from the PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY of Sharon Hudson. The selection of photographs available to buy currently includes over 100 striking images. The ordering and printing is done through www.fineartamerica.com. The customer deals exclusively with fineartmerica, rather than with me, when ordering. However, feel free to contact me with any questions or feedback about my images or your purchase. Artists always like to know people are enjoying their work, so I would love to hear from you!
As a fine art photographer, I am very concerned with the presentation of my photographs, so I am delighted that I can recommend this print service without hesitation. I have personally ordered, inspected, and tested for color permanence a number of prints and cards from this company, and am very impressed by the quality of their prints and papers, and the hassle-free delivery and no-questions-asked return policy. I believe that Fineartamerica treats both customers and artists fairly, and provides a great service by enabling the public to buy excellent photography and fine art prints at reasonable prices.
How do I buy photographs or cards?
To buy photography prints, go to the PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY, which will guide you to a selection of themes at my photography site, www.sharon-hudson.artistwebsites.com, which is affiliated with Fineartamerica. That site provides detailed enlargements, a choice of paper finishes and sizes, and guides you through the buying process.
Fineartamerica offers a choice of papers, from matte to high gloss, along with some special surfaces like canvas texture. The default paper is "archival matte," with a very smooth matte surface. Be sure to specify another paper if you want one. All their papers are equally archival, but be advised that dark tones don't appear as deep on a matte paper as on glossier paper. Therefore, if you want the maximum impact of rich darks, I think a nice option for photography is the semi-matte photo paper. However, if the photograph does not contain deep blacks, such as many of my multiple exposures, then a smooth matte surface like the default "archival matte," or a slightly rougher surface like the "Somerset velvet," are nice choices. If you like a high-gloss photographic surface, get the "glossy photo paper."
All the prints come with a 1" white border all around.
All images are available in a selection of sizes. I have determined the maximum size for each image which yields a professional quality print in terms of sharpness and resolution. You can preview the resolution and sharpness of any part of the image with Fineartamerica's full-resolution preview function, which shows the image at a much larger size than the prints will be. Remember that many of my images are manipulated images composited from a variety of sources, meant to be viewed more like paintings than photographs, so in many cases there is intentional "painterliness" to the image, utilizing soft focus, film grain, and other photographic tools. Some parts of the image may be crystal sharp while other parts are intentionally grainy or blurry. You can see all of this in the full-resolution previews.
The greeting cards are gorgeous, with heavy-duty paper, rich printing, a durable glossy finish, and can be personalized with your own message. Sets of 25 come in a handsome black box.
People often feel insecure when ordering something as personal as artwork online. However, as mentioned earlier, I have received a number of prints from Fineartamerica, and the quality has always been outstanding. I have several on display in my home. The prints were entirely true to my original digital files, which the buyer can preview onscreen. And Fineartamerica has a money-back guarantee, which they honor promptly, no questions asked.
Photography and Card Prices
Fineartamerica prices are set by the artists and photographers themselves, who determine their their own markups, which are added to Fineartamerica's basic printing costs. This is why you will see, if you check out other artists, that print prices vary considerably. We are in a transitional period as digital printing has permitted photographers and artists to offer fine-quality prints at much lower prices than in previous eras, and artists and photographers are struggling to determine how to respond to the new marketplace. Some are pricing their work as if it were posters; others like traditional fine-art photographs.
I have chosen pricing between the two. I believe that because Fineartamerica's print quality is as good or better than a hand-pulled photography print, and their papers are archival, the prints merit more than "poster" prices. In addition, although photographs cost less than paintings because artists can make many of them, as with any other kind of art, photographers must be compensated for their talent, vision, and the hours they spend shooting and editing their images. On the other hand, prices must be competitive. Therefore...
I have set my photography prices in the mid-range of the prices on Fineartamerica. This makes them a very good buy for archival works of fine art.
Shipping of Photographic Prints
Fineartamerica handles the shipping. Larger unframed prints will be shipped in mailing tubes. It's always a good idea to remove art from tubes promptly so they don't get accustomed to being cylindrical!
For framed prints, understandably, the packaging and shipping of large pictures framed with glazing gets a bit pricey: in the $50 range for a frame size about 30" x 36"; $25 to $30 for smaller sizes.
Framing of Photographic Prints
I always advise custom framing of art works on paper if economically possible, because the outcome is almost always much better. The available proportions, mat colors, and frame styles of store-bought frames are rarely ideal, or perhaps even acceptable for any particular image.
However, you may appreciate the convenience of having your prints framed through Fineartamerica. Fineartamerica has a good interface for viewing potential mats and frame styles, and their prices are competitive. They also sell several other options for displaying art work, and I appreciate their attempt to make framing very easy for their customers. (In any case, before designing or buying a frame, don't forget to read my framing and conservation tips and information.)
However, Fineartamerica's mats are not archival, and by the time you add on their shipping charge, you should be able to match their total (non-archival) price with a custom archival framing at a local frame shop, if you shop around a bit. In addition, Fineartamerica does not make their mats wider on the bottom than on the sides and top, which I consider unacceptable. (Why?) In addition, it will be framed with plexiglass, which I do not prefer. Nonetheless, this could be a good option in some cases. Actually, I would love to be able to recommend Fineartamerica framing wholeheartedly, because they have done a very good job with this function and they pass on a small percentage of the frame price to the artist.
But the bottom line is: Picture framing is a significant expense, and a well-designed custom frame adds greatly to almost any work of art. On the other hand, a bad framing job can make even the best artwork look uncomfortable, cheap, or tasteless. For medium to large pieces, allow at least $150 to $250 for conservation framing under glass, depending on size and media. Shop around for price, because prices vary considerably, but don't let a 10% or 20% price difference determine your lifetime enjoyment of your art work.
The final size of the framed picture will be 6" to 7" inches larger in both directions than the print size. So measure your wall space!
However, remember to check out the other presentation options available at Fineartamerica. For example, they can mount the image on a finished board that floats in front of the wall, or even on a metal surface, which might be dramatic in some environments.
Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco Bay Area, East Bay, northern California