Professional print price reasonable?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by NeverhadaPC, Aug 14, 2015.

  1. NeverhadaPC macrumors 6502

    NeverhadaPC

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #1
    Hi all,

    I won a $160 1-hr family portrait session from a local professional photographer at a charity raffle. I called them up and tried to set up the session and they told me that
    a) I would have to pay the following for each photo: 4x6 = $69; 5x7=$79; 8x10 = $89; 11x14=$199; and up to $799 for a 24x30 (includes canvas) and
    b) they do not offer digital files.

    Are these prices reasonable/standard? It seems like the $160 should cover their time (i.e. labor) and that print costs should then be much much lower... are they trying to rip us off??
     
  2. Reality4711 macrumors 6502

    Reality4711

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    scotland
    #2
    If the $160 is their standard charge for the hour and these are their standard charges for the print sizes mentioned the my opinion is.

    1 - They are standard for this photographer. The hourly rate would seem reasonable. The print charges IMO are excessive viewed from the UK.

    2 - As to the 'ripoff' enquiry. Only checking these charges against their 'normal' charges will tell you that. Personally I would send a friend in to enquire about a similar session and get a quote. The comparison will give you your answer.

    Hope that helps

    Sharkey
     
  3. mw360 macrumors 65816

    mw360

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #3
    Those don't look surprising. Professionals cost a lot of money, and the cost of the prints is how they make their living. You're not going to get the pictures for the cost of paper & ink plus a bit of mark up.

    It's also standard for them to retain the digital files.

    Giving away the studio session is a little sneaky, but no more than any other loss leader you might encounter.
     
  4. crawler1975 macrumors regular

    crawler1975

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    #4

    As a pro-photographer myself, I can say that these prices are reasonable. $69 for a 4x6 print may seem absurd to customers but there are other associated costs that goes into that print (paper, print lab, insurance, equipment costs etc). In fact the Professional Photographers of America studied that for a pro-photographer to break-even in the photography business - they should charge an 8x10 print $59 minimum ....
     
  5. NeverhadaPC thread starter macrumors 6502

    NeverhadaPC

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #5
    Thank you all for your responses. I had an inkling that the prices were standard... how else can you afford L-lenses :D
     
  6. Reality4711 macrumors 6502

    Reality4711

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    scotland
    #6
    Your minimum of $59 for an 8x10 print compared to $89 by this photographer?

    As a retired UK pro. my thoughts on charges were very much influenced by other trades. I remember an extremely costly plumber who, when I asked why he had charged soo much for just turning up, spending 15 minutes on site, solving the problem and leaving; at the time about a days wages for me. Responded with "They pay me for what I know, not how long I am on site".

    In the same way I did not have an hourly rate; but fixed session fee for different scenarios e.g.. A single outdoor portrait to provide one image may have been £50 (twice the plumbers rate at the time) then prints would be charged (if the customer wanted me to supply them) at 33% mark up. Obviously there were no digital files in those days and selling negatives was definitely a no no!

    I think I am saying a photographers skills are really his/hers product. The speed and accuracy of the service follow and to me the prints or finished product would be something that the photographer uses others to supply and therefor only adds their markup to mostly cover time spent/postage etc...

    Obviously if the Photographer is providing all of this directly then composite charges can be made and savings possibly passed on.

    To my mind if you are relying on the profit from one 6x4 print as a basis for a sustainable business you are in deep Ka Ka!

    If my customers had all (strangely) decided only to have one 6x4 print off me then I would still have survived -JUST - but I would have survived.

    Your name and reputation are your highest earners which is why they should be protected fiercely with your skills, your effort, your honesty absolute reliability Not forgetting brilliance of course:rolleyes::D;)

    In this case the prize I would contribute would not mention print costs at all. It would be "A studio session with makeup artist and assistants PLUS a list of printed products, with an all encompassing value of £X" This would put me totally in control of costs (so that I know what I am giving away), give the impression of being a much bigger prize and not give rise to the kind of questions the OP has brought up.

    The main question is this. Is the studio just trying to make a profit off a charitable contribution or not??

    If the studio cannot afford to give this as a prize then they should not offer it - simple. No wonder there are so many short lived studio operators out there.

    Regards

    Sharkey
     

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