FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Neomodern?
Neomodern is committed to bringing great photography and photo enjoyment to everyone. We have lots of free educational materials (our podcast, our photoschool), we have a classic gallery in San Francisco of museum pieces, and we offer artisnal photographic services for regular people as well as professionals: editing, printing, matting and framing, on demand.
WHATS THIS “@NEOMODERNSF” COMMENT THING?
We have developed a new process (patent pending) that makes it easier for everyone to purchase images they discover on their social media. When you comment on a photo, you’re signaling your interest. We contact the photographer to see if they’re interested in selling it, make sure they’re the rightful owner, and then get a high-res image to create an art print for you. Meanwhile, you select the product and sizes you’d like (printed or framed) and once we get the OK, we’ll ship it to you the next day. It’s just in beta right now, but we continue to build it with everyone’s input.
CAN YOU PRINT FROM THE INSTAGRAM IMAGE?
We can but it’s a poor option. Because the resolution is compromised, the largest we will frame it is in the 8x8. But it’s always better to print from a more original file, whatever you have. Images from today’s smartphones are plenty good to print at all the sizes we offer. You don’t need to know anything about file formats or image resolutions. Just give us the best you have.
WHAT IS “ARCHIVAL”?
Generally it means that the materials and methods will not damage the photograph. Specifically, archival papers are acid-free, and archival acrylics will filter harmful UV-rays. These materials will keep photos from fading or yellowing. We use gloves to handle the photos and frames to keep skin oils from the materials. Archival pigments are used to print our photos, specially designed for photography and guaranteed not to change over time and in response to light. There are also archival methods for handling photos—prints are never permanently attached to anything; they aren’t glued down or fastened. Archival mounting of photos means they can always be removed if needed. Fine art photos are always handled and mounted this way.
Unlike every other framer, we ONLY work archivally. We ONLY treat photos as fine art, regardless of their origin. We think the photo is more important than the frame, and few businesses who frame will ever care about your photo as much as we do.
SOMEONE COMMENTED ON A PHOTO I DON’T WANT TO SELL
Then you won’t sell it. On the www.neomodern.com/sell page just indicate you’re not interested. Or ignore us entirely. Nothing will happen without your explicit permission.
HOW DO YOU PUT A PRICE ON PHOTOGRAPHER’S ART?
As collectors of fine art photography, and photographers ourselves, we are extremely sensitive to photographers being rewarded for their creativity and effort. While photography is a talent, it’s also remarkably democratic, more now than ever before. Everyone has a camera. Anyone might have a picture you love. Value is tricky to determine. For photographs it’s often about the popularity of the photographer, the quality of the print, the number of prints of a given image that are available, and so on. Why can you buy a vintage Harry Callahan for $3,000, a classic Ansel Adams for $80,000, and a contemporary Cindy Sherman for $3.8 million—it’s kinda inexplicable. Ultimately, as a photographer, you can charge what you can get, but know that consumers have many many options—it’s truly a buyer’s market.
So NEOMODERN is setting prices for a large group of photographers, and we’re not allowing for a lot of variation—we want artists to be paid, and we want to take the randomness out of photo pricing. We also know first hand about the complicated realm of deciding what to charge for your own work. It can be a little embarrassing. Am I charging too much? Too little? Should I raise my rates? It’s nice to be collected, and since it’s hard to support yourself from print sales alone, particularly at first, perhaps getting prints in the hands of fans is a valuable goal. And importantly, we want to take the hassle out of buying art for consumers.
ONLY 25% ROYALTY ? Galleries often split 50/50…
First of all, we’re still testing a range of options that balance “fair” and “easy.” But where ever that lands, we’re not a gallery. We’re not marketing you or your work. We’re fine art printers and making high-end photographic services available to regular folks. You could print images yourself, but you’d need expensive inks and papers and the upkeep on the printers is serious. You’d also need to handle matting and framing, which honestly, is a pain. And shipping. More hassle. So if you don’t do it all the time it’s nice to have someone do it all for you. You have the fun of taking pictures, we’re your team, making you look good. Most photographers— no matter how many followers —don’t generate revenue from selling their Instagram art. We’re trying to fix that.
SO HOW MUCH CAN I ACTUALLY MAKE?
Our 8x10 fine art prints are $25, and 13x19 fine art prints are $55. Framed prints start at $125 and go up to $299. So the range of revenue for a single purchase goes from $6-$75. Retail prices are subject to change without notice…
CAN I MAKE MORE MONEY?
Certainly. Your royalty increases the more people want your work, building from 25% at start, to a maximum of 50% (or, with current pricing, $12-$150). You’ll also get points with each transaction which you can redeem for prints and frames of your own, and other products from our partners. Begin by signing up at www.neomodern.com/beta
THIS DOESN’T SEEM LIKE MUCH FOR SELLING THE RIGHTS TO MY PHOTO…
No rights are being sold. You upload an image that you have the rights to print, and we will make you a physical print and sell it and ship it for you. The rights are unchanged and remain with you, the photographer. A person who purchases a photograph does not have the rights to the IMAGE in the photo; it cannot be used commercially and doing so would be the same sort of infringement as other copyright theft. So, again, this is not a rights sales.
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY DIGITAL image FILE ONCE THE PRINT IS MADE?
Image files are deleted after printing. We do not store files. If at some point you need another print from one of your images that has already been printed, you will need to upload it to us again. It also gives you the opportunity to refine the image in the new moment— many times photographers want to revisit how an image prints based on their evolving tastes. Regardless, files are removed once a project is completed.
Our presumption is that images you post on your social media are pictures you have taken and have the right to let someone print, but this certainly isn’t always the case. Sometimes you post something from somewhere else. If someone wants to get a print of it, and it’s not yours, just indicate this and we work to find the rightful owner. Similarly, if someone steals an image from you and posts it to their feed, know that we don’t automatically send money to the poster; we do reverse image searches to verify ownership. This means that as a photographer, even if scumbags of the Internet have pilfered your images without permission, if someone sees one and wants a print, we’re going to try to find you.
WHY DON’T YOU OFFER MORE OUTPUT OPTIONS?
We will over time. But our focus is on making fine art prints and treating them right — we’re not about sticking an image file on any surface just because it’s cool. We take pride in our gorgeous prints. We want to create objects that are archival—that will last and are worth taking care of. It’s photography. It’s all about the image. Let Kinkos output your file onto a car, or a mug. We specialize in these prints, and when you want a great print, you’ll know where to go.
HOW DO I SELECT THE RIGHT PAPER?
Our experts are familiar with all the various forms of fine art papers for photography (and there are many) that vary in terms of surface (glossy, semigloss, mat), weight, tooth, color, and so forth. We exclusively use Hahnemühle Photo Rag Bright White for our matte prints. Hahnemuhle is world-known for their high standards. The paper is widely used by professional and fine art photographers for exhibitions and limited edition prints. It produces very clean whites and consistent strong colors, and has a luxurious weight and surface.
For our semi-gloss option, we exclusively use Ilford Gallerie Prestigue Gold Fibre Silk. This paper has a natural photographic white tint to produce prints with superb color gamut, perfect for skin tones. The Ilford imitates the look of traditional silver halide photo paper. The paper's weight provides a heavy, professional-quality medium.
Now that we’ve narrowed down your options to two, it really depends on your design style and the photo itself. Statistically, our clients tend to print their color images on the semigloss, and their black-and-white images on the rag matte. But not always. Sometimes you want all your photos consistent. Many art photographers always use one kind of paper for everything. If you want, we’ll help you select.
CAN YOU PRINT LARGER THAN 13x19 ?
In theory, yes. But we dislike having to roll prints to send them to you—it’s a terrible thing to do to a photograph. So prints up to 13x19 can be shipped flat. If you frame a print, yes, we can print on 17x22 sheets, for the 20x24 frame.
WHY DO YOU ONLY OFFER 4 FRAME SIZES?
In working with galleries as well as with clients like you, we’ve found that our four sizes fit with the vast majority of consumer photographic needs and the resolutions provided by their phones. Limited, but refined selection allows us to complete projects fast, while balancing the highest quality with unusual affordability. (If you need a custom size or project, we’d be happy to work with you on a special project basis.)
We don't want you to stress out about the SIZE of the photograph, so we don’t charge for inches of print size; our pricing is solely based on the size of the frame. We custom cut the mat to perfectly fit your unique photograph. We want the photo to be a size that looks good in the chosen frame, and you can decide that with us.
Our smallest (8x8) size is specially designed for square Instagram images, but the other three are flexible in supporting whatever size photo you have.
WHY DO YOU ONLY OFFER ONE STYLE OF FRAME?
Each NEOMODERN print comes with a simple museum-quality frame so your photograph, not the frame, stand out. Choose between white or black. That’s it. We found that it's too easy to become paralyzed with framing options, and there are many combinations of frame size, mat thickness and style, acrylic quality, and so forth: we chose one very high-quality path to make the process easier.
If you really want a different frame, we are happy to print and mat your photo so it can be managed safely in a standardized size (11x14, 16x20, 20x24 are readily available sizes) and then it’s easy to insert it into any style frame at a local frame store.
HOW LONG DOES THIS TAKE?
The concierge work with a photographer tends to take 5-15 minutes per photo. Our printing and framing take another 15 minutes. If you come into our gallery in San Francisco, you can not only work with the printmaster in person, but watch your print get mounted and framed. You can literally walk in with your phone and walk out with a finished framed piece.
When you work online, this still happens, but it won’t ship out until the next day. No rush orders. We’re just that fast.
If you’re trying to get someone else’s image printed, we don’t know how long it will take, since it relies on the photographer to decide to do the sale and to upload a file. But we’ll keep you posted.
WHAT IF I COMMENT @NEOMODERNSF ON MY OWN PHOTO?
Then you’ll get contacted by us to see if you want to get a print of it (or get it framed). We think this is an easy way to make prints for yourself as well; maybe you hadn’t thought of it until you got a ton of likes, or comments from friends, regardless, if you comment on your own photo, we’ll initiate the printing process. And you’ll get the 25% royalty too!! Until we fix the loophole. Enjoy!
HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF MUSEUM ACRYLIC
The glazing in your frame is made of museum-grade UV-coated acrylic. While the advantages include its light weight and resistance to dangerous shattering, it also is highly susceptible to scratching, so it must be handled with care.
Take down hung pictures to clean them. Do not spray water, wood polish, glass cleaner, or any other cleaning agent onto a frame with a mounted picture to make sure that none of the moisture gets inside the mounting and damages the picture.
To clean acrylic and plexiglass that has slight blemishes or dirt, start off by clearing away any debris. Then, use a premium micro-fiber cloth with soapy water to clean the entire surface area. After wetting the cloth, be sure to lightly blot the surface, rather than applying pressure as you wipe.