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Photography Question 
Jodie Michalak

How to price reprints/enlargements

For practice and portfolio-building I am offering free shootings. If my models like the pictures and want their own copies, do I add on additional fees from the original reprint price? I will be going to a professional processing shop for the photos. I just don't know if it is standard to "tack on" to the base price that the shop will be charging me? I am a total beginner and I have to start somewhere so any advice is appreciated. I know I will be developing a business plan and this is all part of it. Thanks!

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5/3/2006 12:31:15 PM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  I'm a bit confused by your question, Jodie. When you say "Free Shooting" what's free? Are you really doing this to build your portfolio and willing to trade models their time and expertise in exchange for prints (that you pay for and give to them)?? OR are you really trying to generate sales with a come on of no shooting fee but PAY for your own prints? There's a huge difference of course.

In the first scenario, you agree in advance to GIVE the model(s) X number of free prints of a specific size, in black and white or color. If they want more than that, you're of course happy to get them whatever quantity of prints they want for whatever the lab charges you to make them. In other words, volunteer models are for developing your skills and building your own portfolio not for profiteering. Seewhatimean? Good to see you're planning this stuff in advance. I'll be glad to help you out when I can. ;>)

Take it light and slowly...but surely.

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5/3/2006 3:01:32 PM

Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
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Kerby's Gallery
  Hi Jodie,

When you offer time for print you are offering the model free images in return for their time. You pay all expenses in having having the images made up. In return you get the time of the model.

You might look around at children in your area or talk to teachers and get some recommendations. Parents are wanting good solid images of their children and it a fun and magical way to start in portraits.

Also look for interesting and nice locations. This can make or break an image.

Make sure all clothing is ironed and crisp like it came off the rack. This helps not having to do so much photo shop.

Look at props closely and details that would be in the image.

Pick up any garbage or things you do not want in your images. Make them as perfect as you can before taking the image.


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5/3/2006 3:20:27 PM

Jodie Michalak   Thanks for both of your advice. We have a local "freecycle" group in which you can post things/services for free. I used this and posted a free shooting for my own personal practice. I definatly don't want to portray any sales "gimmicks," but I can't afford to spend all that money on reprints on every model, say in 8x10, 5x7 etc. etc, as that is very costly! Maybe I am approaching this all wrong! Anyway, I had a bunch of people respond and they are very interested- but their first question was "How much will the prints cost?" So...before I respond I thought I'd come here. The last thing I want to do is say one thing and do another, and if this leads to referrals, I'd like pricing to be consistent. I was thinking just offering standard 4x6 sizes for the models. Does this make any sense? I hope so! Thanks for the input. Any other ways to approach this now that I have people interested in the free shoot who WANT to purchase prints???? HELP! :)

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5/3/2006 3:31:05 PM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Well Jodie, the standard way to do this as we've said, is trading your time and prints for the models time. If you don't have the budget for a lot of prints, try starting off shooting less models.

The alternative might be to specifically say in your ad, that in exchange for the model's time and expertise, you'll pay for 1/2 the cost of say 3 or 4 8x10 prints. OTOH, depending on your particular area, it might be cheaper to just higher the models and pay them an hourly fee rather than spending the dough on prints that can add up pretty quickly.

OR (Door number 4) get family members and their kids to pose without pay other than maybe a peanut butter sandwich, soda, etc. Whaddya think?

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5/3/2006 3:51:32 PM

Kerry L. Walker   If you are offering this to a limited number of people, go the TFP route. Pick the models you want to use and provide them with the prints, as Mark has suggested.

OTOH, if you are offering this to the general public, I don't see any problem with using this as a sales gimmick. There is nothing wrong with a sales gimmick as long as you aren't trying to sucker someone into paying a lot more than they expected. Many businesses offer something at a reduced cost wit hthe hope of building up a client base or selling additional goods at theregular price. You could offer a free sitting fee and prints to, say, the first ten customers at half your regular price (which should be at least 4x your cost). That way your customers (who would hopefully be repeat customers at a later date) would get good value for their money and you would be building a portfolio at no cost to yourself.

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5/4/2006 6:47:39 AM

Jodie Michalak   LOVE that idea! This is being offered to the general public so I do not know if the models will actually be the ones I will be using for my portfolio so I have to be careful in expenses upfront. I think the first ten free is a great way to offer my time and service. Thanks for both of your reponses!

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5/4/2006 8:05:51 AM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Sure, Jodie, I agree with Kerry. Just be up front with people on what you intend to charge for and how much. Have an introductory offer, good until ____, no posing or sitting fee.


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5/4/2006 12:15:36 PM

Nelda Sturgill   Jodie,

I am new here, so perhaps I wil be offerring a suggestion that has already been discussed.
There are on-line photo sites that will allow you to upload mages for free (assuming that they are digital or or you have the digital files/photo CD, etc). These images an be viewed by your clients and you can even sell them. You can set "no mark up" (they sell at cost) or you can add in some profit for yourself. Either way, the company will collect all money, make the prints, and send them to the customer. They hadle all the money part, and provide you with the profit, minus a 18% charge for the service (not applied if you offer the prints with no mark-up).
I do not work for any of these companies, but I do use one, which I like. I am assuming that I am allowed to post the web address - there are several, but the one I use if I have heard good reports from other forums on their pices and their prints. They even have packages and gifts for purchase.
The nice thing is that you can set a different pricing structure for each album so you could offer some images at cost (in exchange for allowing you to take the picture), and then some with a mark-up (so that you can start making money doing this). There is no charge for the client to view the pictures, and they can forward the link to others as well (in case they want to share their photos with others).
I have a few albums of mine that you can view if you want. Just respond and I will send you a link. Not sure if the forum allows for me to post it directly here? I hope that I am not breaking the "fine print".
This is a great idea - about putting an ad in the local freestuff forum. I may try this as well! I would like to continue to build up a portfolio of images. Great idea!

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5/10/2006 2:21:45 PM

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