Maxfield Parrish

Look into the sky and see what you see.

Today’s post isn’t about Maxfield Parrish.


I didn’t mean to mislead you.  The sky reminds me of his work. Now that I looked at some of it via Google Images, the entire picture reminds me of his paintings. I suppose that means I’m in good company.

There’s one thing to look at. The thing that caught my eye. The thing that forced me to make a radical crop so that you could see it.

The moon.

It’s lurking in a white puffy cloud that is about two-thirds of the way down on the left side of the photograph. That’s it. That’s why I made the picture.

But, the sky.

That’s a winter sky in Southeastern Louisiana. Soft. Looking like cotton. Or, cotton candy. For me, this is a great time of year. I get to wear long pants. I can wear heavier shirts and jackets. I bought some shirts when we returned from the desert. Some of them are on the heavy side. Do you have any idea how new they look after coming up to eight years? I get to wear them about five days a year. Luckily, they are “classic,” like me. They don’t go out of style very quickly.


As I assemble and edit my archive and get the pictures ready for easy licensing and sales, I’ve started thinking about style. For the most part, I process similar genres of pictures in the same way. You know, Mardi Gras Indians might be bright but I don’t do much experimenting with them. Meanwhile, with a picture like the one today, I might add a lot. I believe it helps you to feel what I felt when I made the picture.

Conventional wisdom suggest that there is not much variance between pictures in each collection. I agree. I think. That usually slows me down as I rework some pictures to have the same general feel in color, contrast, and weight.

Not to worry. Building this thing has become a hobby to me.

I have a question.

I’ve been poking around Smug Mug, where all of this will live. I’ve looked at other photographers work. Really what I want to learn is how they price pictures. For the most part, unless they are selling specialties like canvas, stretched canvas or some sort of metal or glass print, their prices seem a little low.


What’s a picture worth to you? I kind of have a problem pricing a picture by size, because I think the content is what you pay for. That is not the case in this world. Buyers pay for size. Let’s say you want a photograph printed on archival paper at about 16×20 inches — about, because digital file sizes are not the same as traditional file sizes — what would you pay for it?

It won’t be signed because  it comes straight from the photo lab to you. I suppose I could sign it, if you’d be willing to pay additional shipping from the lab to me and from me to you. That’s a side issue for right now.

I ask this because I would like this to have a reasonable return on investment. If I price pictures too high, they might not sell. If I price them to low, a smart collector understands that you get what you pay for. I’d like to hit the proper price point.

Help me out with this and there might be a picture in it for you.

There you go.



Leave a Comment

  1. I definitely see a Maxfield Parrish influence in this photo, Ray. I have always loved his work.

    I have paid a “small fortune” to get a piece of art framed, at times not paying as much for the work itself. When I really want something, I will pay more, and although that doesn’t give you a monetary figure, it is intended to encourage you to not price too low. Particularly when I think of your Mardi Gras photos and street life and people in New Orleans, they’re not just technically exquisite, but the subject matter alone makes them quite unique and I’d think more valuable. I would be tempted to price a little high–whatever that means compared to others, and see what happens.

    I think an option for having it signed would be good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your reply. I don’t really need a monetary figure although that’s helpful for most people. I agree with you. While I was thinking about my reply, a thought struck me. Maybe there are two classes of pictures. One is the usual. The other is a limited edition. Those would likely be my “portfolio” pictures. The ones i would show when I’m looking for work. The other would be some of the work I publish here, that is fairly popular but would make my final cut.

      About our Mardi Gras culture. Hmmmm. Most people who live out of the region don’t care about the pictures because they don’t understand them. The only person I’ve ever known to sell out of the region or hang a show, currently has a show at UCLA. Even when I sell here, it is usually to somebody around here like the Jazz and Heritage Foundation who spend the money Jazzfest brings in, or to somebody who happened to be here for some event — usually Mardi Gras — and is excited by what they saw.


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