Is shoot and burn the future in Professional Photography?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Lake Mary, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. Lake Mary

    Lake Mary TPF Noob!

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    Visited with a pro colleague today who is a State and national member of PPA. She informed me the future of professional photography is to shoot, edit, burn, and release to the client rights to print wherever. I disagreed as i consider my business a full service studio. I mentioned why should a box store make profits from your images when you are just watching on the sidelines.

    So the debate is on. Shoot and burn and get more business or stay traditional and not allow box stores your profits.

    Thanks
     
  2. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Hells no. I don't want someone printing at WalMart and having my name attached to that photo. *shudder*
     
  3. camz

    camz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah I agree with musicaleCA it is a scary thought.

    However I think the industry gets this impression because some photographers don't deal with the printing side of photography. It's a whole different art in itself. Having it viewed and enhanced for web versus in paper takes two different types of color management and it becomes a pain in the arse for others. Don't get me wrong we sell the rights to clients though it's going to cost them atleast $1500 for a whole series.

    Unfortunately being that there are many photographers that shoot and burn can't offer printing options. Not only do they create the risk of having clients incorrectly print their work but also cut off potential income and give the impression of a "cheap photographer".
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I think your friend is exaggerating a little bit. Shoot and burn is a bit too one-sided and extreme, and does not take into account a range of business models, like one where you insist on a fairly substantial sitting fee, like $375 to $550, and not the old-school sitting fee of $50 to $100.

    With the ease of home printing,as well as the rise in true top-quality printing from many sources, digital image files are now worth MORE to a client than they were before inkjet printers became available to people. Now that clients can actually "do" something with digital files, now that they have software or access to softeware, they actually have an interest in purchasing the files.

    Does your friend even recall just a few years ago when people had, "no use for the pictures on computer disc?" era. Probably not...she sound slike a doomsdayer, unable to understand how to price services and goods...as a photographer you are offering both services AND goods. Her approach seems to ignore a critical aspect of the way the relationship works, and she seems not to take into account there are people who want prints, small on up to wall canvas sizes, and who are not bottom-feeder shoppers. There are still millions of people with money to pay for the "goods" part, but her scenario ignores the higher-end clients who want a tangible,actual product,not just images on a disc.

    Addendum to MusicaleCA,posting below me:No,my usage was correct--it's "disc",and BTW it's spelled Compact Disc, with caps on C and D, a "c" at the end of it.:lol: A disk is a hard drive--a "disc" is a small,round, flat piece of media. DVD, CD,and DVD-RAM are examples of disc media. My computer has a 1-terrabyte hard disk system. Clients get images on "disc".
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2009
  5. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    It's called a compact disk. ;)

    The only way I'd feel comfortable with such a business model is if I were able to direct them to labs that I know do quality work, and stipulate that those are the only places they're allowed to print. Sure it's restrictive, but most sane people will begin to understand once you start telling them—in simple terms—why they really, really, really don't want to get super-cheap (and poor quality) prints.

    But then again, I guarantee my prints for life, and use professional labs for any paid work. So it's a bit of a moot point. If they want to print elsewhere, fine, but don't come whining to me when it starts fading in ten years. :lol:
     
  6. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm not convinced it's the "future" of photography, but I suspect that more and more clients are going to demand it. Personally, I don't have a huge heartache with it. I've had sample images printed at a range of labs, from Wal-Mart to the high-end, "Don't even darken our doorstep if you shoot with anything less than an H3D" and the difference really isn't all that remarkable.
     
  7. misol

    misol TPF Noob!

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    I think it is. I tried to do prints for the same reason everyone does. But people:
    think they should have rights to pics because the pics are of them or their families
    know how much printing costs
    want cds and will just go to people who offer them
    people dont put high value on art
    it is very easy to steal images. Even if you dont get it online, you can buy a bunch of 4x6 and scan them (it happens alot!)
    if they have ripped you off this way, they are going to not as likely use you again
     
  8. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Basically I only shoot & Burn.

    I am a commercial shooter as opposed to retail. My clients rarely if ever need prints. Raw and then final jpgs are posted in a secure gallery. I then send a CD of full resolution tiffs for printing and jpgs for web. I print a contact sheet, but that is about it. Actually offer a free print or two if needed, but no one has taken me up on it. More importantly the client owns the rights to the photos and can produce them as they see fit.

    My clients pay dearly for this service. The work mainly goes to press or web. For clients who need press services I will (free of charge) add specific profiles and CMYK conversions. Thankfully CMYK conversions are done by prepress which saves my butt. Model portfolios have thus far stuck with web I think. If they have them printed I have not heard about it. I trust it was not at Walmart, because we are professionals. If it was... As long as the check clears... Call it an easy day.

    For retail shooters I understand that image and polish are everything. I also know that print sales are bringing in loot. My advice is to consider a different business model. Get the work great out of the camera, edit post and burn. Maybe consider 17 prints as opposed to 34. Put the images on a cd and call it good. Of course price accordingly. That is where the tough math will come in.

    Love & Bass
     
  9. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think craig has the answer. One can't keep expecting to create an artificial scarcity and selling the same work perpetually.

    You do your work, you charge a reasonable cost, move onto the next client. Kinda like... y'know, a job ;)
     
  10. camz

    camz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't necessarily agree with that. 9/10 of our wedding clients prefer a wedding album. I think when you portray your business as just that(whatever it maybe) you will attract that particular client. We portray it to the ones who want to spend and not worry about printing themselves. Designing an album is a very tedious job as you probably already know so most of our clients just don't want to deal with that. Sure they can get individual prints if they get the cd and try to create album themselves but it sure won't be up to par as a pro finished one. If charging $800-$1200 for an album (aside the sitting fee) with only 24 sides doesn't seem like a valuable income to the ones who shoot and burn are sure missing a big ol boat.

    I swear a wedding album creates a good marketing tool to through referral. I've heard so many referrals that've said I saw your work from a clients album resulting to another client.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2009
  11. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    People will get more educated in prints.

    So for a while, the print market will go back a little higher.

    Then they'll get smarter and go to pro labs and... :meh:

    The cycle begins again. But live for now, eh?
     
  12. phocus78

    phocus78 TPF Noob!

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    It'll be both, there's space for both.
     

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