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Old May 11, 2004, 9:04 AM   #1
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I would appreciate your comments on the following.

I have been shooting local SCCA races (road race) at a local track, on a freelance basis. I post selected (small/low res) photos on their website.

I have received an inquiry about selling a photo I took, from one of the drivers. This may start a trend.

1) I have capacity to print 4x6, 5x7, and 6x8 Dye sublimation (Hi-Touch 730ps)
and 8.5 x 11 Inkjet (HP 7960)

My question is basically what do I charge per print (each size)?
Also what do I charge for a CD with electronic files?

Any and all suggestions are welcomed.

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Old May 11, 2004, 12:40 PM   #2
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While I can give you a direct price idea, I wanted to throw out a few thoughts.

1) Is that printer not only photo quality but also archival? How long will those pictures last? I would feel guilty selling pictures that I didn't expect to last for a long time.

2) How do you want to deal with prints.... do you want to deal with repeat calls for more, or just wash your hands of it. If you give them a CD, expect to get no money from them again. They will make their own prints (not as good as yours, thought.)

You'll also have to explain (if you want to do it this way) that you, not they, own the copyright to the pictures. If you make a set of prints fit for giving away or reselling to fans, they will probably find it cheaper to scan the picture in and reprint at a lab or even costco for cheaper than you. They will have to understand this is illegal (or you can charge them a bit more and wash your hands of the hole thing, saying to them "you have the rights to do what you want with them."

Eric
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Old May 11, 2004, 6:48 PM   #3
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This is a very good question.* For the past year, I have been selling more and more prints at the requests of aquaintances and as a result of auction activity (I've probably given more away than I've sold....).*I figure my direct cost of an 8X10 (paper & ink) is a few dollars; add another few dollars for depreciation on the printer. I started out*at* $10-15 for an 8X10 Epson 2200 chromium ink, now up to $45-50 per print for all sizes - 8X10; 11X14 and panoramics.**My donated prints, which are framed and matted, are routinely bringing $150 - $275*(but that's with*buyers drinking and bidding, what a great combination.....)*I'm not getting any buyer*push-back*on*my current*pricing - maybe I need to charge more....* My advice is don't under price your work.* If you buy a photo of yourself on a raft trip or riding a rollar coaster you're going to pay at least $30.* So I think these drivers would pay that for a good shot of them in their glory.* The reference to photo life is also a good point - I would look at getting an Espon 2200 w/chromium inks if this takes off for you.* I hope this helps.
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Old May 12, 2004, 9:08 AM   #4
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Thanks for your feedback -

Fporch - not too sure what your venue is, but I think I get the gist of your comments.

The basic scenario is one of walking the pits (by the way SCCA is for SportsCarClub of America) and the starting grid. I shoot not only the Cars, but the prep activity and other "shots of interest". I try to get the cars as they roll onto the track. I then run- like-crazy to get to a good vantage point to capture the action area(s).

I cull the shots I like and then post them on the Track website (low res of course). My name and e-mail address is on there for contact info.

So far noother shootersare going beyond this step. I am about to announce the availability of more photos, thus my original question.

I have been pretty much advised to offer the following. Dye Sublimation= 4x6,5x7,6x8 @ $5, $10, and $15 each- unmounted.

Inkjet (HP7960) 8x10 @ $25

I'm doing all this on an "Amateur"basis until or if it "takes off".

Hows this sound so far ??

Again thanks for the input.



Jon F.
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Old May 12, 2004, 10:50 AM   #5
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I would bet you could charge twice that, but you could coach it as in "introductory offer" or some other wording that implies that the prices will go up soon.

That will let you gage interest.

Again, you should look up and make sure that your printers are producing archival quality output. This is an issue of both the paper and the ink. You do not want the pictures to fade within 6 months of giving them out. You might want to include (either on the web page or send it with the pictures) a short list of how to care for the picture. Store it out of direct sunlight. Frame it behind UV protecting glass. Stuff like that. Offer them up as suggestions for how to "keep the memories and pictures" from fading. I think you see where I'm going.

Although it would be a serious hassle, you would probably get more business if you printed the shots on the spot. But that would require a partner and cut into the money.

SCCA is a fairly good organization. I've done some business with them, and also watched some open practices at Louden International Speedway in New Hampshire. And the drivers (and others) have always been friendly to me.

Eric

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Old May 12, 2004, 11:34 AM   #6
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If you are in doubt, there are VERY Good labs out there that can do great pix at good prices, then you can sell your prints from there (I'm talking 11 X 14 & larger).

Don't laugh, but the Wal-Mart where I work - I bring in theCD (1-hour lab) for 8 X 10's & I watch the girl who can set it up to my specs on the monitor & my 8 X 10's come out usually looking great! Sometimes, if you are not careful, they tend to print them too dark. It's the machine & employees that are either not properly trained or just plain don't care. If you can find someone in there (or any 1-hour lab) who knows something at all about how to print or is a photographer, that helps, Believe me!

Otherwise- Buy an Epson 2200 if you can afford one - or find a Really good lab!
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Old May 12, 2004, 10:50 PM   #7
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From all I've read, railfire's situation is not uncommon.

Many big stores (Costco, walmart & others) have put professional grade equipment into their stores... but then they don't train the users. So some times you get good stuff, and some times not. The equipment is made to be very automatic... including correcting your pictures, adjusting color or contrast to make it more "appealing". This can work great for holiday pictures, or party shots... common situation. But the serious photography who takes a sunset shot with beautiful colors will be disapointed because it will potentially "correct" them.

One of the things you pay extra for a the pro lab is the trained employees. They know how to use the machine and get the most out of it. That can't be said for the other places. You can get good results from Costco & Co. but you can also get bad stuff. Its cheap, what do you expect?

The Epson 2200 is a very good printer. You might consider getting one if the side business takes off. Its output is archival quality (probably last the lifetime of the drivers if properly protected) and very good.

Eric
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