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Printing on site

Discussion in 'Reality Check' started by photoshadow, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. photoshadow

    Paintball Life... Jokes.

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    Guys,
    I'm looking to start printing on site, what your thoughts to it...
    Info i need about starting this is:
    1) Whats the best printer for the quality for the best buck
    2) whats your cost usually on a the printer.. Ink, Paper and the printer
    3) How much do you usually charge?
    4) Worth selling a CD with it too like the images?
    5) Is it worth it in the end? Pro and cons of your experiences?

    My budget is unknown... But try to keep it cheap...
     
  2. danny

    bike manic

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    i'm getting some offers on picture taking out here for sports like softball this summer and hockey right now and it looks like printing doesnt have as much interest as i was expecting.... I have TONS more interest in teams paying a set amount for like 200 pics or wtv just slapped on a cd then they can copy it and print wtv they want at wallmart or where ever... but this is in edmonton... I duno what it would of been like back east.

    If its the same way back home thats what i'd recommend instead... The guy out here running the local softball league said they usually are willing to pay upto 150 a team for a couple of hundred photos from a game on a cd... if you get both teams to agree thats 300 a game... and most fields here have 3-4 diamonds with 2-3 games a night on weekends.... i'm still contemplating the same thing as you tho on cost/charge and what kind of equipment to get though, but if this works better, i wont buy a printer.
     
  3. Eclipse

    countrygal

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    I shoot horse and livestock shows a lot. Some photographers take printers on-site and sell right there. The downside to that is the dirt and crap that gets into your printer, on your paper etc. Don't recommend that method.

    Most others, myself included, upload photos to a website and let the subjects look at the proofs on-line with editing, printing and delivery after selection. Up until this year, I did it through my own website and then arranged printing and delivery locally - a royal pain in the petootie.

    This year I've taken a subscription out to smugmug.com (http://imagesbyceci.smugmug.com) I can upload and store my shots there, customize the site, price each album and/or each image and/or have one pricing scheme for all. The client selects whatever images they want, whatever size they want, and they order and pay on-line through paypal or whatever. Smugmug emails me the details of the order and I go in and do the appropriate final editing, cropping etc. only on the selected photos. (there's a 7-day delay to allow time for this). Then, Smugmug does the printing and delivery. My cost is the annual rental of the site (various plans depending on what you want) and the printing and delivery costs (which are already built in to my prices, as is my time for the shoot, the editing time etc.)

    The scheme Danny describes nets you less than $1. per image and he doesn't mention a contract or anything whereby you retain ownership of the copyright to your images (see another thread for an extensive discussion on this topic) - which is VERY IMPORTANT. On my Smugmug site that statement is clearly made.
     
  4. photoshadow

    Paintball Life... Jokes.

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    i just remember for the hoop classic the lady would go take the shots then inbetween games the poeple would come down and get shots done... They would buy 8x10 right there..
    I understand about getting shit in the printer and ruining the prints. What i do for photography is 2 things one is Paintball which is 5 games per day with 40 min game that have 2 20min half... meaning that inbetween half time i would upload. and i have a friend that can let people view them and then print them for them...

    And well Soccer for the little ones is great becuase the parents like action shots of them...
     
  5. grahamr

    GrahamR :D

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    1,2 - decide what size you would like to offer for sale, then work backwards - if you want 8x10s or 11x13's you need a larger format printer - any epson in the 300+ range will give you high quality archival prints on good paper, good paper isn't cheap and neither is good ink - personally i print everything at labs because its MUCH easier for me - no wasted prints due to color problems, no print heads clogging, etc. - That doesn't help you at all for onsite stuff though
    3 - figure out your cost per page, your cost per hour, expected print sales and work the numbers to get a healthy profit.
    4 - this is the route i would go. CD made on site, buy a 80 epson printer that can print on cd's, make a custom label and charge on a "per image printable to 8x10" file. X images for X dollars type thing. you still have printer/ink/cd cost, but its lower then printer/ink/paper and faster
    5 - i have shot a few events and my cd sales to the people in the shots have made it very worth it but it all depends on the event. For your paintball i could see people picking 1-2 photos to get prints of, so in that situation i would have business cards and contact info, then post only your best shots of each person and have them orderable - if you take 500 shots and post 500 you will get fewer sales then if you pair it down to 100 because the buyer will not be as overwhelmed.

    I don't use smugmug or anything else like that, i have a gallery clients can browse on my website that sends the order via email - payment is worked out after the fact via paypal, cash or cheque.
     
  6. grahamr

    GrahamR :D

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    one other thing to note - is make sure you have permission (written) from the event organizers to be doing this since most likely you will be on private property and they have every right to ask you not to (especially since you are potentially making money off it they may want a cut/fee)
     
  7. danny

    bike manic

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    Thats definitely a detail that i am currently looking into right now (copyright etc)... as far as the net profit per image, yes definitely MUCH lower net per image than if you would individually prep and print them for the client (you can usually get 20$+ on those), but your cost for it and the amount of time you save that would be spent selling/printing can be replaced by shooting. One night of work at a ballfield can get you 4 games to shoot with possibly 8 teams to sell the cd's to, getting you 1200$ for a day's work. The real details that need to be worked out with this is how many photos can you realistically take per game and how much profit is reasonable without loosing sales...

    This method might not be the best, its definitely one I was NOT considering.. infact, the only reason i'm looking into this right now is because I just moved here and the guy who runs the league tells me its an easy sell here in edmonton. (So obviously if I told you that you could make over a grand in one night of shooting you'd look into it.)....

    Although one question to those who sell prints VIA their site.... Do you sell enough to make it worth your time spent at the events??
     

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