Upload & Sell: Off
I would love to get away from prints though. For us, we are selling $450 packages with prints. I'm not sure we'd be making as much profit selling DVDs. I'd be happy to be wrong. Please help me see the light.
I initially went away from prints for logistical reasons.
The result however was that our average sales went up substantially.
For one market I was selling a package of 3 8x12 sheets. one was a full size print, the others were multi size/prints done in PS picture package. For this we got $35 or 60 for 2 sets to the same family.
My costs were low on this but time and reprints were significant.
At first when I went to USB I added the cost of $5 for the drive to the price. THe client response was that this was great value and they loved being able to have digi images. Burn the USB on the spot for them to take home so no order delivery, postage or reprinting shots with weird colour balance which was a significant thing in the work i'm doing. Still got the occasional print order WITH the USB.
Seeing it was so well received and I hate it when clients tell me my products are cheap, I bumped the price to $50 per kid for however many images we had. Usually this was 3-6. People were still stoked but we did get the feedback it was exy for families with multiple kids. I didn't want to discount too much as that devalued the initial purchase.
I then went to doing 1-5 Images for $50, 6-10 for $75, 10+ for $100. Kids must be from the same family, IE, No buying the friends pics etc at the discount rate.
This has worked a treat. I now shoot as many pics as possible of each kid rather than just waiting for the optimum shot and the parents like this even if there are some "Bloopers " amongst them.
Often the parents will stand there trying to pick out the best 5 or 10 shots and once I can see what their spend is going to be, I just drop them all on the USB, say Merry Christmas, I'll save you the trouble of deciding, have them all for that price. The parents are stoked and client satisfaction goes through the roof. I tell them to keep it our secret as I can't go giving away all my pics and that builds appreciation as well.
I have a formula I measure sales performance by which basically relates to the average spend for each kid in the Club we photograph. I was averaging 4-6 "Percent" as I call it, now I'm up to an average of 10-11%. I did have one 8% but I think that was due to outside factors. My last one was surprising at over 12% which I'm also not sure was just a freak or due to investment in much better and obvious signage. Need more gigs to say for sure.
At the end of the day though, I'm not doing an 8+ hour day shooting then coming home and doing another 4-6 hours printing. I would have been happy to take a dip in profits to get around that ( and was expecting to! ) but I have been real lucky in that it has gone the other way.
As I said, Digital isn't the be all and end all for every market but where I have applied it, it has worked well.
Many shooters still crap on about their images being out of their control and other crap but I promote it. I tell people they can get their own prints done cheap, they can use them on face waste, email them to rellies, use them on christmas cards etc. I ADD value to the product because I know the images are worth absolutely NOTHING sitting on a HDD before I delete them. Once I have them the object is to get what I can and that's what I do. If people want to make 1000 prints, good luck to them. They have paid me and I'm real happy with what I'm getting atm.