What Are Open Edition Prints?

Open edition fine art photography prints are prints that have not been designated with a specific edition size. In theory, a photographer could sell tens of thousands of open edition prints. In practical terms, that’s not realistic unless you’re selling $10 prints on cheap poster paper at Walmart or Bed, Bath & Beyond. If you’re reading this website I’m going to assume that you’re not here for that kind of cheap mass-produced artwork. A few photographers like Peter Lik might have possibly sold that many fine art quality prints by nature of his galleries being located in high-volume tourist meccas like Las Vegas but that would be an extreme outlier. The overhead costs of running a gallery like that is a huge barrier to entry; and one that is passed onto the art buyer.

Open edition fine art photography prints shouldn’t be confused with cheap Walmart or Costco prints however. Many photographers including myself take the time to produce the best photography files possible (or film) for printing. Print labs and papers are carefully considered for the quality and archival length (longevity) of the printing.

Let’s answer some questions here:

  1. Are open-edition prints worse photos than limited-edition prints? No. Not at all. Anyone can designate any artwork as limited-edition or open-edition. That is at the discretion of the artist. This is generally a marketing decision more than anything to do with the quality of the art. Besides, quality is subjective. You might love a piece that I loathe and vice versa.
  2. Can you number your open-edition prints like a limited-edition print? Yes. I’ve heard that noted nature photographer, Christopher Burkett, does not do limited edition prints but numbers his open-edition prints. He has vowed to stop producing prints once his print chemical supply runs out. That is legitimate case of scarcity right there regardless of whether the print has a pre-defined edition size or not.
  3. Are open-edition prints more affordable than limited-edition prints? It depends. Some photographers price that way. Others don’t. In my case, prints are priced based on production and overhead costs with margin applied on top of it because I have to work in order to earn a living. My open-edition prices are more than some other photographers’ limited-edition prints. Some photographers also charge a lot more than I do. My focus is on offering the best quality artwork that I can and not cut corners. So it really just depends. To be honest, I’ve sold small prints for $60 before but I realized it just wasn’t worth my time to fulfill those since after all the time and overhead costs involved there's almost no profit to be made.

How can I buy an open-edition fine art photography print?

Browse my website galleries for my print collection. Any photo not labeled as a limited-edition print is an open-edition print at this time. All displayed photos have been vetted for print quality and are works that I’m proud to put my name on. If you would like to see specific photos that are not displayed on this site then please contact me for private correspondence. I’m happy to hop on a phone with you or email to learn more about your needs. I could create a Lightbox for you in order to collaborate on your project.

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Fine art photography prints by Richard Wong. This online gallery features my photography from the past two decades. In addition to showcasing my fine art prints, fineartphotographyprints.com was created as an educational resource to answer common questions for prospective art collectors. I mainly specialize in landscape, nature and travel photography. My photography has been published worldwide and I have publishing credits in many different publications. My fine art photography prints have sold to private collectors, art consultants and business owners. Exclusive limited-edition prints and premium open-edition prints are available for purchase. Please reach out to me via phone or email if I can assist you with your art installation project.