Weeekly Discussion Thread: "How" do you sell prints?

AgnieszkaAgnieszka Photoshopping ...Between Denver and BostonRegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 3,262
edited February 3, 2010 in Weddings
I'll make this a 2 week thread as I'll be at a destination wedding next week & I'm attaching a couple extra days to rescue myself from the cold weather :smile6 (So be nice to each other while I am gone!!) :lol3

Alrighty. The question of the week: How do you sell your prints?

Many photographers offer their digital files with their wedding packages, with the result that the couple will get their prints at a cheap photo store & we don't sell any prints anymore. How do you handle / avoid this situation?

>> Shhhhhhht. Wanna see the other weekly threads? Click HERE.

Comments

  • BlurmoreBlurmore Goofy Grin Registered Users Posts: 992 Major grins
    edited February 3, 2010
    I sell from my smugmug...but I do offer LLR I have no interest, desire, time, patience to sell paper.
  • AgnieszkaAgnieszka Photoshopping ... Between Denver and BostonRegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 3,262
    edited February 3, 2010
    I'm sorry I should have been more precise, I'm *assuming* everybody on here is selling trough smugmug thumb.gif. The question is, how to do convince your couples to order their prints from YOU and not go with a cheap photo developer?

    After all .... your clients will end up with low quality prints, no matter how much they paid for their wedding package / how good your work is & keeping in mind that those are the prints that will not only end up on any walls, but will also be showed to your clients friends & family (= your prospective clients)
  • Moogle PepperMoogle Pepper Big picture in the sky Registered Users Posts: 2,950 Major grins
    edited February 3, 2010
    Ultimately, I give them the choice to choose where they want to print giving them labs that they can utilize for their prints and show them the difference the labs. I inform them that the choice is theirs, but, as their photographer I want them to have the best of everything possible and try to convince them not to use the CVS-wal mart type prints.

    Have fun at your destination wedding! Send us some post cards! mwink.gif (and some good drinks would be nice too!)
    Food & Culture.
    www.tednghiem.com
  • BlurmoreBlurmore Goofy Grin Registered Users Posts: 992 Major grins
    edited February 3, 2010
    Well I do a proof album which is printed from smugmug....so they can see what they would get is wysiwyg. I've also printed about 5 identical 8x12's at Walgreens, Target, Walmart, Smugmug, and the last independent HQ photo finisher in Baltimore City. At my initial consult I lay them all out and tell them that one is a 4 dollar print, one is a 8 dollar print from my website, and one is an 8 dollar print from that awesome photo finisher. Most of the time the guys pick the glossy Walgreens photo as the most expensive (dudes love glossy and over contrasted) and girls pick the smugmug one as the most expensive. Target & Walmart are almost indistinguishable but better than Walgreens by far, but not as good as the smugmug print. So the difference between my 8 dollar print and the photofinishers? Some processor jockey muted some of my colors, (because they thought they were unrealistic) which works to my advantage. What I've found is that unless prints are laid out side by side....people don't know or care what the difference is between a cheap print and a good print, and if they don't care...neither do I. I'm not going to gouge people on paper when they themselves when confronted with all the options can't tell the difference. I know it goes against the "old ways" but it works for me. People know what they are going to get wherever they decide to get their prints done. If grandmama doesn't need the 8 dollar print because she can't see and has one foot in the grave, the client saves 4 bucks, grandmama gets her picture in 15 minutes, and all is well.
  • heatherfeatherheatherfeather Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,739 Major grins
    edited February 3, 2010
    Blurmore wrote:
    Well I do a proof album which is printed from smugmug....so they can see what they would get is wysiwyg. I've also printed about 5 identical 8x12's at Walgreens, Target, Walmart, Smugmug, and the last independent HQ photo finisher in Baltimore City. At my initial consult I lay them all out and tell them that one is a 4 dollar print, one is a 8 dollar print from my website, and one is an 8 dollar print from that awesome photo finisher. Most of the time the guys pick the glossy Walgreens photo as the most expensive (dudes love glossy and over contrasted) and girls pick the smugmug one as the most expensive. Target & Walmart are almost indistinguishable but better than Walgreens by far, but not as good as the smugmug print. So the difference between my 8 dollar print and the photofinishers? Some processor jockey muted some of my colors, (because they thought they were unrealistic) which works to my advantage. What I've found is that unless prints are laid out side by side....people don't know or care what the difference is between a cheap print and a good print, and if they don't care...neither do I. I'm not going to gouge people on paper when they themselves when confronted with all the options can't tell the difference. I know it goes against the "old ways" but it works for me. People know what they are going to get wherever they decide to get their prints done. If grandmama doesn't need the 8 dollar print because she can't see and has one foot in the grave, the client saves 4 bucks, grandmama gets her picture in 15 minutes, and all is well.
    That sounds like it is right out of my playbook.
    During consultation I offer them a discount on 4 x 6s (I think I charge $450 for a 4 x 6 of every photo in the set) so they "can see the way they are intended to look and not the way the highly paid workers at Walmart envisiones them...printed with a lab that knows a thing or two about calibration and on professional paper". And then tell them that they can put those photos in a box or frame them or whatever... but when they go to order their larger canvases or prints they have a reference for what they are going to come out like. Probably about 1/2 of the clients get the 4 x 6s. I also tell them that it is a $5-6 K value at the regular print price.

    My pricing on all my wedding services is ala carte... it makes another way for a client to pay for it as you go...even after the wedding. Sure I could loose out by not getting all the moolah I could up front, but up here in AK where we get the PFD in October it works out great for people to add on the disc or get prints around then. Since everything is priced with that in mind, my base packages are priced a bit lower than competition that include the disc in the package. I get my foot in the door, and usually still make the same (or more) amount of money in the end. Everything in my packages is planned to work together to garner sales... however that works out is fine by me!

    But the way that I get folks to purchase individual prints is sort of tricky... my individual print prices are fairly high... but my disc price is really high. I figure that if a client gets the disc, they don't plan on purchasing any prints. (though sometimes they do) So, the disc is priced with the loss of all possible print sales in mind. And the print prices are high to encourage them to get the disc. So the couple just has to choose which has the most value for them. I don't personally care one way or the other what they choose, but the disc is way less work.

    Also, I have professionally printed "guest cards" that get placed at each place setting by my assistant... I custom design them with the clients e-photos or just the wedding colors and their info... Then on the back it has directions for guests to view the photos online. I make sure the bride gets the extras to mail to famiy or friends that couldn't make it. Brides just love having classy personalized things at the place setting... and it is at no extra charge for them so I call it a bonus for both of us! It only costs me about $30 per wedding but the benefit in advertising is huge.
    Here are examples of a couple of them... And I always get sales from them. I am considering putting a % off print purchases on the guest cards and see if that makes print sales increase.
    780140973_JWwsm-S.jpg

    780139233_Xmqbt-M.jpg

    One other thing:
    In December I did a cupon for 15% off print sales and made $500 in one month...

    I am not getting rich off of print sales, but I do make more than couple thou a year on it.
  • zoomerzoomer Major grins Registered Users Posts: 3,688 Major grins
    edited February 3, 2010
    I really don't care if they buy them from me.
    I have two 16x20's on the wall of the same photo, one is done by the local drug store and one is from the pro lab we use.
    As Blurmore said, it is kind of funny...if we don't show them the pro print they think the drug store shot looks good...then when we show them the pro print they say, " Wow what a difference!".

    We tell them to think about buying anything over 8x10 from us for best quality. We encourage them to buy the little prints somewhere else.

    I make my money selling packages and books of photos, don't care about prints.
    People judge my work from my website and word of mouth...a couple of crappy looking random prints loose in the world....does not worry me.
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