Giclee prints and what you NEED to know.

Nature photography giclee wall art prints of an abstract agave cactus, a leaf floating on water and a forest landscape

Being a fine art photographer who regularly sells prints at art festivals, this question comes up all the time in my line of work. I'd like to take a moment to address it. First off, it isn't a picture. It's a fine art giclee piece. Giclee is pronounced "zhee-clay" and there are very strict quality guidelines for a piece to be considered a giclee. The materials used for instance have to be archival. That means using pigmented inks, not dye and eight or more ink sets. For example Magenta and light Magenta, Black, light black, and light, light black. The resolution of the piece has to be 300dpi for optimum detail. The paper or canvas used must be 100% archival (this is where MOST print on demand services fail) you can not cut corners on ink or paper! Even the printer has to be of certain quality. We're talking a large format printer. The big expensive ones. I personally use the Epson P800 17 inch for my paper prints and the Epson P6000 24 inch for my limited edition canvas pieces.

Now what makes it a fine art piece?

It isn't a loose sheet. Some will argue with me on that. And I don't care. It needs to be matted at least!

It must be hand signed by the artist. That shows that the artist has viewed and approved the piece. It MUST come with a letter or certificate of Authenticity. This is the proof that it's a fine art piece and not a picture. Collectors know all this already. Which is why they're not only unsurprised by the price, they expect it. Many art collectors also consider it as an investment. As the artist's name gains notoriety the value of their work goes up. But that only applies to fine art pieces. A picture will stay a picture and not gain monetary value. For example, I can by an Ansel Adams picture online for $30 or I can buy an original fine art photography piece for $5,500 to more than $20,000 from the Ansel Adams gallery. That's why it's important to know the difference between a picture and a fine art giclee piece.

Thanks to Tracy Lizotte Studios for some assistance as well!