ACEO Miniatures Are Not Only For Painters, Photographers Can Make Them Too

ACEO stands for Art Cards, Editions and Originals, a slight variation of the well-known ATCs (Artist Trading Cards). The only difference between the two is that ACEOs are supposed to be sold (can also be traded), while ATCs are usually only exchanged. Either way, they share the same characteristics: miniature size at 2,5?�3,5 inches (63?�89 mm), and created using any artistic media. Most people believe ACEOs are mostly paintings, but they are collected as photographs too.
ACEOs are usually presented in card-collector transparent sleeves. Pertinent information (title, signature, media, edition number) are usually written in pencil on the verso of the print.
Of course I present my fine prints in larger sizes, but I am also proud to be offering miniatures (in editions of 250 prints) for all collectors out there. The main advantages to me with ACEOs are the very low cost at which I can sell them (shipping cost is also very low), so more opportunities to have my work around, but mainly because they are just lovely in the small size. More and more art enthusiasts are decorating their homes with miniatures. In fact, if “sleeved” ACEOs are just great for collectors, I rather prefer them mounted. I mount them to 13?�15 inches using gallery quality, acid free mountboard. A miniature print presented this way is a very beautiful and artistic object. In 2008 I was fortunate to attend a Man Ray exhibition at the Tate Modern in London, where many of his small size prints (properly mounted) were on display, and I was completely fascinated.
If you are a photographer you can also make your black and white portfolio as ACEO prints: quick to make (eight prints will fit a standard 8,5×11 inch sheet of paper), and inexpensive, to the point that besides selling them, I also send them as gifts or samples of my work. I use Hanhemuhle PhotoRag paper which yields a very long tonal scale and lovely details (although my prints are usually quite blurred). I like low contrast and “tone” my ACEO prints to resemble platinum/palladium prints, a medium which I have been practicing for many years. You can buy PVC transparent sleeves in ACEO size off eBay at $2/$3 for a box of 100.
The selling price of ACEOs is usually quite low ($5/$10) but sometimes, especially on eBay, they can fetch quite a high price. There is a big market for this niche. Just consider that private art enthusiasts can decor several walls in their home with very little money. Or art galleries owners can make a great profit purchasing a portfolio of ACEOs to be resold at quite a higher price when properly mounted and exhibited in a brick and mortar gallery. Finally art collectors often do not care about the price when they want something, and they are happy to purchase something relatively unique and inexpensive for a change.
I would recommend all fellow fine art photographers to pursue the miniature prints niche which can be remunerative, interesting and fun.

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