Thinking about making the switch (from CD to print)

SabrinaO

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I think I'm going to offer prints only to my clients. I do put a lot of hard work into my photos and to have them go to walmart or walgreens to get them printed all my work will have been done in vain. Only thing is that it's a major switch and most photographers here offer CD so I'm going to be competing against that. Anyone have any tips on how I should price print packages and what should be included so everyone is happy? Maybe i should include all the web size/res and watermarked photos on cd? If you made the switch, how easy was it for you?
 
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SabrinaO

SabrinaO

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Ok so another thing.... I'm trying to find a middle-ground on pricing. Say if I charge a $150 for a session, not including prints... I don't know how well that will go over for potential clients and my past/loyal clients. I don't want to be dirt cheap (anymore?) either. Any advice is appreciated!
 

TooShay

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I think I'm going to offer prints only to my clients. I do put a lot of hard work into my photos and to have them go to walmart or walgreens to get them printed all my work will have been done in vain. Only thing is that it's a major switch and most photographers here offer CD so I'm going to be competing against that. Anyone have any tips on how I should price print packages and what should be included so everyone is happy? Maybe i should include all the web size/res and watermarked photos on cd? If you made the switch, how easy was it for you?

I don't *yet* have an official photography business, but I'm getting there gradually and I'm kind of in the same boat as far as trying to plan my pricing and what to offer.

If you offer prints only, definitely include all of the low res, watermarked images from their session. You could also offer a CD of all of the photos for a price, so if they REALLY want the high res images, they can buy the CD when they are placing a print order. Another idea - make the high res CD free when they spend X amount of dollars on their print order. Just throwing some ideas out there.
 

TooShay

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Ok so another thing.... I'm trying to find a middle-ground on pricing. Say if I charge a $150 for a session, not including prints... I don't know how well that will go over for potential clients and my past/loyal clients. I don't want to be dirt cheap (anymore?) either. Any advice is appreciated!

I've seen your work and I think $150 for a session isn't outrageous for what you are giving the client (especially if you choose to give low res, watermarked images... people love to share on facebook, email, etc.) I know it's easier said than done because you don't want to lose your current clients but I think it would ultimately be an advantage for you. If they love you because you're talented, they'll keep coming back. If they love you because you're cheap, they might not be your ideal clients anyway. And I say this as a person who has done many, MANY free sessions and very few barely paid sessions while trying to build a small business... and now everyone expects free or dirt cheap. It sucks, but eventually you have to charge what you want to be paid.

I'd definitely hire you at $150 per session plus prints, if that helps. Lol!
 

orljustin

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I think I'm going to offer prints only to my clients. I do put a lot of hard work into my photos and to have them go to walmart or walgreens to get them printed all my work will have been done in vain.

Boo Hoo. Stop worrying about your ego and give the clients what they want. People want to use images digitally these days. You're going backwards. BTW, I am always happy with my prints at Walgreens.
 

LadyJasmine

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I offer CDs when a client has ordered a certain amount of prints, or a certain bundle. And then, I resize down to 5x7.
 

2WheelPhoto

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Ansel Adams didn't offer CDs either
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CCericola

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I am the opposite. Since I started in film I have always sold prints. Now I am looking into CDs. back in the day when a client wanted the negatives they had to pay quite a bit because I would no longer be able to make any prints or samples of that particular negative. Once in a while I would make a print and make a new negative on a copy stand if it was a picture I really wanted to keep. Now that we are digital it is just a matter of giving them a copy.

I can only share what I do in my market. They don't really like being nickel and dimed on everything. My sessions include a print credit. They can then order whatever they want in any size. For those who have a hard time deciding I do have some packages that are the same amount as their print credit.
So it is easier to upsell them when I show them their images because the bulk has already been paid for.

After I have shown them their pictures in person and they have made their order their pictures are hosted on my website. They have a password protected gallery that they can send to friends and family and download watermarked, web sized files for facebook and e-mail.

So I already have the session paid for. I have hopefully up sold them more product. So by the time they get their online gallery I'm not losing much by letting them download small jpegs.
 

TooShay

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I think I'm going to offer prints only to my clients. I do put a lot of hard work into my photos and to have them go to walmart or walgreens to get them printed all my work will have been done in vain.

Boo Hoo. Stop worrying about your ego and give the clients what they want. People want to use images digitally these days. You're going backwards. BTW, I am always happy with my prints at Walgreens.

Really? Because I've gotten prints at walgreens just for the heck of it and they suck. I'd rather have a client go through a pro printer and get excellent quality. People don't realize the difference until you show them. That's why I printed an image at all of the local pharmacies/stores and then ordered the same print from a pro printer. Just to compare... big difference.
 

Christie Photo

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My sessions include a print credit. They can then order whatever they want in any size. For those who have a hard time deciding I do have some packages that are the same amount as their print credit.
So it is easier to upsell them when I show them their images because the bulk has already been paid for.

I essentially do the same with my location portrait work... and have done so for years. I quickly learned this my first year in business when I found myself packing and lugging my gear, setting up and shooting a family portrait, tear down and repack, and then return to my studio lugging it all back in and setting it all back up, and (here's the punchline) I got an order for one 8x10.

Now my pricing includes the session and one 16x20 print ready to frame... all for one price (currently $325). I do not sell files for printing to my portrait customers.

Now for the disclaimer: I do very little portrait work these days. I don't know if it's due to my approach or just that the industry has changed so much. I prefer to believe the latter and justify that reasoning by how many pro labs have vanished. Am I kidding myself?

-Pete
 

lovemygsd5

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Hi, I've had many fellow photographer friends ask me this. The had been selling cd only for like $600 for an entire wedding. The off to walmart they go to get poorly printed photos and the bride tells everyone who photographed the wedding. What do they see? You got it! Walmart quality prints attached to your name. I fixed that in my business by only selling prints. I offered packages with options to purchase individuals. I only sold cds of weddings in addition to the package and album and only after they received them. The cd went for $600 in addition to the wedding photos/package. It worked out great. They had the album and loose photos printed by my professional lab with my name on it, then for back up purposes they had the images on cd which I reccommended they keep in a fireproof safe when not in use. At that point, I made my money $3000 plus, so if they went the big box stores it didn't matter at that point.

Although, I never sold the portrait cds. I think if you set up a very high end package you could include the cd, but only a middle grade resolution, suitable for use on facebook etc.
 

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