Need help figuring out how to start a printing services

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by Claudillama, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. Claudillama

    Claudillama TPF Noob!

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    So i have a small photography business going on,and I'm planning ahead for the future. I really would like to start printing and selling photos from shoots i photograph, i.e weddings, family portraits etc. I really want to do my research before committing into something. I really don't know where to look tho. Do any of yall have experience with this sort if things? What would be some good pricing packages. Etc. Any help would be very appreciated.


     
  2. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    Where you are has a lot to do with how much you can, or can't charge and what packages will, or won't be effective.
    Your profile has no location information.
    And your pricing really needs to be based on your cost of doing business and cost of goods sold.
    Otherwise you may set your prices such you can't sell sufficient product so your total revenue exceeds your operating expenses.

    When I moved from the 33rd largest city in the US to rural Iowa I had to completely re-think my pricing, package, and marketing strategies.

    I found the cost of owning my own printing equipment/printing supplies and doing my own printing was a money losing proposition.
    I had prints made by reputable professional print labs. I used different labs for different types of print products.
    I had the prints shipped to me so I could make sure they were made properly and I packaged the prints in my branded packaging for delivery to my customers.

    One of the problems with shooting different types of situations, like weddings and family portraits, is that they are packaged, priced, and sold differently.
    Wedding customers often want a nice album while those wanting family portraits are wanting framed prints in various sizes.
    I used one lab for albums and a different lab for portrait prints.
     
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  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Keith pretty much nailed it. Once you've done your business plan and all your calculations, your pricing will be self-evident. If you don't know how to write a business plan, put down the camera and start researching that. Seriously, good business acumen will take you 1000x further in the photography business than great photography skills! As for printing yourself... IMO, unless you're a BIG studio in a major centre, it's not worth it. The lab I use can produce a custom-processed 8x10 for less than my local Wal-mart, and the quality is superb. Printing is a whole filed unto itself, with the same degree of skill required by a master printer as by a master photographer.

    Edited to correct typo - thanks Lew!
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015

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