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Archive 2012 · Question re selling prints and request for a CD
  
 
graham_martin
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p.1 #1 · Question re selling prints and request for a CD


I recently shot a first Communion class at my church. I did not charge for my services. However, I will be selling prints through my website. I have already received two requests for CDs with images at 300ppi so that they can make a coffee table album. They tell me they would do this in addition to buying my prints.

I use Zenfolio and they do not offer photo albums as a product. I want to be sure that the client pays me for the album prints and doesn't simply use the CD as a way of making multiple additional prints.

One thought I have had is to charge them the same fee per image as I would charge for an 8 x 10 print. Does anyone have any other thoughts or suggestions?



May 10, 2012 at 12:40 AM
lukeb
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p.1 #2 · Question re selling prints and request for a CD


Why not meet the client and get paid for the albums up front and, advise them you will deliver the albums to them with the CD?


May 10, 2012 at 12:47 AM
graham_martin
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p.1 #3 · Question re selling prints and request for a CD


Not sure if that would work because they have other pictures of their own that they want to add to the album. Zenfolio doesn't offer albums as a product and so I would have to send them to some other vendor or, if they are not looking for fancy, I could get an album printed at CVS. However, you did just give me an idea. I could work this in reverse and have them email the additional images to me, and I could find an on-line vendor to print an album.

I do have an account which I have never used with Reedy Photo here in Florida, and I know they do albums.



May 10, 2012 at 12:59 AM
luketrot
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p.1 #4 · Question re selling prints and request for a CD


If you release the digital images understand they will be used to make additional copies, posted on Facebook etc. Charge a price that you are comfortable knowing those images will no longer produce any revenue once they are released.


May 11, 2012 at 02:47 PM
graham_martin
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p.1 #5 · Question re selling prints and request for a CD


I won't release any digital images until they have purchased prints from me first. Once the Mom has paid for prints I wouldn't expect any more on-line sales. I am also proposing to charge the Mom a price per image that would be close to that of a physical print.


May 11, 2012 at 05:50 PM
CTYankee
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p.1 #6 · Question re selling prints and request for a CD


graham_martin wrote:
I won't release any digital images until they have purchased prints from me first. Once the Mom has paid for prints I wouldn't expect any more on-line sales. I am also proposing to charge the Mom a price per image that would be close to that of a physical print.


Close as in more or close as in less? Since they can make multiple copies of any size I would charge more than your average print. 2-3x an 8x10.



May 11, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Pinata
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p.1 #7 · Question re selling prints and request for a CD


What will the market bear?

Are you concerned that this will set pricing and pattern, so that you'll rarely (or even more rarely) be selling large prints to this (school, church, school district)?






May 11, 2012 at 07:08 PM
graham_martin
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p.1 #8 · Question re selling prints and request for a CD


Close as in more or close as in less? Since they can make multiple copies of any size I would charge more than your average print. 2-3x an 8x10.

I haven't decided on an exact price, and your point is well taken. The main factor influencing my decision is that this parent didn't hire me for the photo shoot. I donated my time to the church and then offered prints for sale on my website. Consequently I want to try and avoid parents taking advantage of my generosity while, at the same time, accommodating reasonable requests for digital images.



May 11, 2012 at 07:10 PM
mdude85
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p.1 #9 · Question re selling prints and request for a CD


I don't see a problem in charging them the same cost as you would charge for an 8x10. I would include resized versions (800 pixels or less on the longest side) with your watermark (including some sort of contact information like a web address) on the CD and request that if they use your images on social networks like Facebook that they use the provided resized, watermarked images.

I want to be sure that the client pays me for the album prints and doesn't simply use the CD as a way of making multiple additional prints.

Even if you sold them a physical print, they could scan that print and make multiple additional prints therefrom.



May 11, 2012 at 08:46 PM
 

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Hammy
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p.1 #10 · Question re selling prints and request for a CD


I used to worry about selling digital prints - getting no residual sales. Turns out, looking back at 5 years of print sales, less than .01% of my sales were residual.

In general, people will buy the cheapest thing you have. Then they'll take a picture of that print with their cell phone, email it to themselves and make all the prints they want.

Since I started selling digital images (at 1/3 the cost of my cheapest print), I've found out two things:
- people buy 5 times as many images now
- my cost to burn any number of images to a disc is about 5 times cheaper than my time, paper and ink to print 1 photo.

Net result, sales are up and costs are down.

We can always talk about what we should charge as professionals, thinking that we can charge an overly inflated price for our 'work', but we're talking about selling some simple candids to the OP's own church members. Since when did they obtain corporate pricing status?

Make it simple, make it affordable, and maybe the people you deal with on at least a weekly basis will have you come back for future gigs as opposed to thinking you're taking advantage of them.



May 12, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Jeremy B.
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p.1 #11 · Question re selling prints and request for a CD


Zenfolio gives you the option to sell digital downloads. Instead of making the entire collection (or their select few favorites) available on disc, sell the digital downloads individually through Zenfolio at a price that makes sense to you.


May 16, 2012 at 05:57 AM
graham_martin
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p.1 #12 · Question re selling prints and request for a CD


Jeremy, I hadn't realized that Zenfolio had that option. I've never seen that before as an option. I will check it out and see what I can find.


May 16, 2012 at 10:54 AM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #13 · Question re selling prints and request for a CD


Hammy wrote:
I used to worry about selling digital prints - getting no residual sales. Turns out, looking back at 5 years of print sales, less than .01% of my sales were residual.

In general, people will buy the cheapest thing you have. Then they'll take a picture of that print with their cell phone, email it to themselves and make all the prints they want.

Since I started selling digital images (at 1/3 the cost of my cheapest print), I've found out two things:
- people buy 5 times as many images now
- my cost to burn any number of images to a
...Show more


Wow hammy talk aout a reality check! People can get so hung up on rights and limiting the reproduction of images it's like they are dealing with clients like coca cola or general motors...anytime I can not make a print and email an image to me is a win win, they pay me and I do very little to get paid



May 16, 2012 at 02:53 PM
graham_martin
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p.1 #14 · Question re selling prints and request for a CD


Someone else pointed out to me that Zenfolio does have a product to download images. I can set my own pricing which is what I have now done. I have also told the parents that I will be donating a portion of the proceeds back to the church.


May 16, 2012 at 04:26 PM
luketrot
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p.1 #15 · Question re selling prints and request for a CD


Hammy's viewpoint is based on producing 100,000 photos or more a weekend. So volume pricing is practical. However for more hands on studio work when it's common to sell multiple copies/packages of a single image you have to be a bit more conscious of your pricing. I was just asked by a dance studio owner if we could sell our portrait images on CD like we do at the competitions. I emphatically said NO.


May 17, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Hammy
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p.1 #16 · Question re selling prints and request for a CD


Actually, it works at a much smaller scale. I used to sell only prints at studio sessions. Then I went to selling the images on disc - for the same price as my average studio print order. Now I only sell images on disc for that price.

Again, my costs/time have gone down in even bothering to try to sell anything and therefore profits have gone up - not to mention my time involved not uploading, processing order, printing, mailing, etc...

Fact is, any photo that we take and don't sell is wasted time and wasted space. Each market has its own price and method to which they'll buy - being dynamic for different situations is key to making it work.



May 18, 2012 at 03:25 AM
glort
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p.1 #17 · Question re selling prints and request for a CD


Hammy wrote:
Fact is, any photo that we take and don't sell is wasted time and wasted space. Each market has its own price and method to which they'll buy - being dynamic for different situations is key to making it work.



Couldn't agree more.

This mentality of keeping images locked up so no one can make an extra copy they didn't pay for or pricing the image as if it's something it's not, amuses the hell out of me.

I would say that the OP practiced a very poor business model in the first place by not charging for his services. To me that's like saying " Whilst my time and effort is worth nothing, I want you to pay a fortune for my images".
To me, that's mixed messages and setting oneself up for a fall or at least a sticky situation... like this one.

Being old school, sitting for hours on a computer fiddling and editing pics gives me the Chits. I'm a photographer not a graphic designer. The way I would have done this is when the client approached, sussed out what they wanted and then offered the Photography and the images on disk as a package deal. You want prints, sure, here's my discounted reprint list seeing you have already paid for the images.

There is more money to me in getting a good price for my time and efforts and moving to the next job rather than fiddling around and getting much less for my time trying to extract the last cent out of every client.

I have done glamor work, portraits, sporting events and other one off and low volume shoots like that for years and it's worked great and brought me plenty of repeat and referral business.

As for the suggestion of charge the same as an 8x10 for every digital image, I'd like to know honestly how many shooters are REGULARLY able to get that for their pics and how many have tried it and got ZIP.

Having approached the job the way the OP has, the clients have him over a barrel. They are either going to order prints and scan them or make prints from the CD.
If the OP over prices the digital images, the clients will only buy prints and have them scanned.
The best option I believe is to put an all up price on ALL the images taken to make them a value added extra the clients can't resist. It might be that they will pay a couple of hundred dollars, they may pay more but I'd be very surprised if they were prepared to pay the 8x10 price for them unless the prints are under priced in the first place.

I really doubt there are as many images printed from CD's as people make out. In any case, I sell lots of Cd's as said for a variety of markets. I get good money for them and if someone wants to make a 100 prints from an image, good luck to them.
I price my work so I make a damn good hourly rate for my efforts so I am content with that rather than trying to have my cake and eat it too.

The bottom line with these situations is you can only try to salvage what you can.
You are not going to get top money for a train wreck. You have to do the best you can on the scrap value and be wiser the next time.



May 22, 2012 at 09:55 AM





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