Portrait Studio / Changing times

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by DeadEye, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. DeadEye

    DeadEye TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Portrait Studio / Tanked Economy/Changing times
    Well I found myself in Baltimore and in need of a passport Polaroid of myself a few days ago. I managed to find three studios and that were boarded up ( busted and out of business ) : and a CVS with a broken machine. I drove through many a mall parking lot and asked at least 20 people if they knew were a Portrait Studio was. In the end I had to drive 3 hours back home to get a darn picture for the red tape nightmare quest.

    What the heck are studios rapidly becoming a thing of the past? Ok ~ lets think marketing ~

    I posed this experience to a few non photographer friends and got the same general consensus . People for the most part don’t want prints as much as they want files for there putter desktop and emailing to friends and family.

    So what do you think we should do? How about if we GIVE them the files on USB stick and sell the prints to them as always, perhaps a higher sitting fee to offset the loss in print sales. What the heck we have to pay our mortgage and a Closed out of business studio wont do it.

    Your thoughts appreciated ~ Good Bad or indifferent.:(
     
  2. jbhinojosa

    jbhinojosa TPF Noob!

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    What about, must buy the prints and for just a little extra get the files. What quality and format would the files be? I would worry about the reproducing of those files. but thats just me
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008
  3. DeadEye

    DeadEye TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Well file reproduction would be a given, if we give them out they will get reproduced. How about we call it the "Internet and Desktop package" give them 1000 wide or 1000 tall (to fill the screen) with a small but readable watermark in the corner and downsized the 150k or less to kill printing quality but be ok for desktop viewing. Perhaps the watermark image will bring in more work as well when the email to freinds and family generates the ( Ohhhh yea , Me too Me Too ).
     
  4. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    this is not new.... a lot photographers now front load the sitting fee in exchange for the final digital negatives...
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Many photographers have had to shift the 'value' away from prints and to the service of professional photography. Fewer and fewer people want prints and everyone has a digital camera now. What we can offer them, that they don't have, is the expertise to create great photos. So the idea is to charge more for the service, then prints or files are extra or an add on. The total price might be the same in the end, but it's a different mind set.

    Also, many photographers are offering more than just prints. There are all sorts of cheesy photo products like coffee cups, mouse pads, key chains, t-shirts etc. There are also some great products like leather bound albums and all sorts of paper and mounting options. Custom album design is also something that we can offer an expertise in. Several of the high end album companies only sell to photographers, so this is something that we can offer clients, that they can't get on their own.

    I've been seeing that the lower end of the market really likes getting files. They aren't likely to spend a lot on prints, so they feel they are getting a lot of value with the files. The upper end of the market don't seem to mind spending money on good quality prints...even when you also give them files.

    One big issue about selling files vs prints, is that you give up control over the final product when you sell files. The client may have them printed at Wal-mart and then blame you when the prints look like crap.

    Like many industries / professions, it's getting harder and harder for Mom & Pop operations to stay afloat.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2008
  6. Pure Captures

    Pure Captures TPF Noob!

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    I think Big Mike summed up the issue pretty well. We typically sell full-res files with all our packages (though are considering modifying that policy a bit). To hedge against Walmart hurting your reputation, you can always throw in a couple free "professional quality" 4x6 prints so that they can see the quality of print when they buy from you. We even have the same image printed from several different places (Walmart, Target, Professional) set next to each other so people can see the difference in quality before they decide whether to print images themselves or have us do it.
     
  7. holga girl

    holga girl TPF Noob!

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    odd question, were you in fells today taking pictures?
     
  8. DeadEye

    DeadEye TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    No I was at the Customs House on gay street. Not far from Fells point.

    Fingerprints taken and so forth. They do a full security check on me allmost every year. PITA
     

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