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03/14/2006 10:00:40 AM · #151
Those prices are outrageous on the 5x7s!

I use winkflash. but then i place $8 to $30 orders.
Winkflash.com is fast and inexpensive- fuji crystal archive paper.

5x7 .29
8x10 1.99
10x13 3.39
99 cent shipping be it one or 100 photos, and that's usually priority mail. You can mix matte and glossy.

option 2 would be mpix.com - kodak endura
these folks have more options, but cost a lot more for 5x7s - 99c for 1-10, 89c after that.
EVERYBODY does 8x10's for $1.99, some for less
16x20 is 15.99 for 1-10, 13.99 after that.
They have special b&w paper and metallic, but you cannot mix paper types in an order, and shipping is per order, $4.95 - so this can get expensive.

Where are you getting 16x20 for $11 or so?

whcc.com is highly recomended, and a pro lab (mpix is part of millers but consumer oriented) and winkflash is a consumer lab (nothing wrong with the output i can see)
whcc.com's thrifty service is $1.10 for 5x7, $2 for 8x10, $12.75 for 16x20. Their order system (according to their pdf file) is a PITA.

their 'labprints software' gets your studio name and copyright on the back of the prints (cool!) and some other neat looking features (appears to be a free download) and lower prices
you can do proof books with it and some other things like posters, wedding flushmount prints (10x10, 10x20 that sort of thing).

for quantity prints, using their software, you get these prices (6+ of a file) 5x7 35c, 8x10 1.60, 16x20 10.20 - for metallic add 20%. Again, you cannot mix papers in an order.

they want 300ppi level 10 jpgs. winfkflash will take most anything (i've done a 169dpi 10x13 and it was fine) but they prefer 180-200dpi.

SOOOO,

Message edited by author 2006-03-14 10:02:09.
03/15/2006 12:25:00 AM · #152
I have challenged myself...I have a meeting with a couple set for april 22 in my new studio...so I gotta get my butt moving in high gear!

I have to paint some more, and build a wall and cover 3 (short) ones, and then paint all that. I am still figureing out how to arrange everything. The exterior work can't start till the weather behaves (25F now and the wind is howling, 3" of snow predicted for wed or thurs or maybe both)

I am working on a logo - i'll post options here later this week (i hope) for some input.
03/20/2006 06:15:51 AM · #153
Chris how is your studio coming along?
03/20/2006 09:57:02 PM · #154
I am ready to sand the drywall and paint...about a day behind schedule on that.

i did get teh studio cleaned up enough to at least play with my strobes -
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self portraits with different gels on teh BG.

I have my first paying studio customer set for April 13 an 10am. And it also happens to be my first repeat customer!
Back at xmas i did some pet portraits and the owner of Rascal -
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have a new dog and want a photo!

I am pretty set on studio pricing - people ask me 'How much to take my picture?" - they want a simple $ figure. I now have that!! $35. - I figured I need $27/hour for every hour I work - and i PP 1 hour for every hour shooting (close enough for this year). SOOO, 1/2 in the studio and 1/2 hour PP = 1 hour, or $27. (again, close enough). Figure $3 for prints at my cost (an 8x10 mounted, 2 5x7s, etc) so $30 is my cost, $5 for shipping in teh prints = $35. For that they get $12 in print credits to buy whatever they want (an 8x10, 2 5x7s, etc).

If they spend $75 in prints, the session fee is waived - i estimate my costs on $75 of prints at $15-20, so my gross profit is $55 -$60, or more than the basic sitting and print. it's an incentive to spend/buy more. They've already spent $35 - 4 more 8x10s or 8 5x7s or 16 wallets and they hit the $75 amount. What do you all think??

I have a girl working on my logo. I need it to order bags and i think gold on black stickers, like mailing labels, with my studio name and copywright info on them (i am using laser printed mailing labels now - not classy enough!)

by the end of the week i plan to have the walls painted and the floor painted, and then start outside April 3. The week of 26-30 i'm at photo school from 8 am to 7pm! Cool, but everything else in my life has to be put on hold.

Good books to get
I just finished reading Bill Hurters book - this one and I highly recomend it if you are new to weddings or want to learn about PJ style of shooting.
I am part way thru this christopher grey book on studio lighting - super highly recomended!

DVDs: I am subscribed to Rangefinder and Studio Photography and Design magazines (free - search for them) and one of them is connected to //www.photovisionvideo.com/ - and they have a every other monthly DVD magazine type thing, and th eoffer i got was for $30 for 6 issues (shipping and handling only) - i got the first issue late last week - WOW WOWOW. 2 DVDs, one has excerpts from full DVDs they sell. This alone was probably worth the $30. They follow 7 different photographers at work - you get to see wedding PJ pros at work, see them 'direct and choreograph' (NOT pose!) and the MOST popular lens is the 70-200 2.8! One vid is a bride/groom on location, one is the bride getting ready, another is at the wedding site taking the pre-ceremony shots of the bride, her maids and family, etc. More eye opening than every book or online anything i've read or seen on PJ and what it is and how to do it. Changed my whole style of shooting a wedding. And of these 3 and 2 senior sessions - NO FLASH - not once on any of it. Assitants and reflectors. Hmmm...need an assistant i suppose LOL
subscribe here - $149. I've not even looked at the magazine disk - 2 hours of stuff on there!

today I spent out shooting for fun- a spring fever runaway. Pics posted later as i have no time now.

Message edited by author 2006-03-20 21:59:16.
04/15/2006 08:56:40 AM · #155
Attended our local PPA meeting the other night. Our speaker was Jerry Borwick. In 2004 he ran the most profitable studio in the United States out of all studios that use the PPA's Studio Management Services. I won't go into the details of his pricing or how he determines it because this is a public forum and his potential clients may find this but I will say that he spoke with extreme candor; even going to the point of showing not only how he prices his business but his costs and his profit margins on everything. He did this to show us how the business is changing with the enhancements and the ubiquity of technology (digital cams and software are becoming easier to use with no skill and everyone can afford the technology). This wasn't something he was bitter about but he was encouraging beyond measure. He focused on anticipating industry trends and shifts and building your business on customer service and knowing your customer. He, like every other seriously professional photographer I've encountered spoke of just not taking some business unless you price it exorbitantly and the potential client decides that its worth those dollars. He spoke of interviewing the client so that you don't take on business that you won't want to service and also so that you know what your customer wants and needs.

I urge any of you to look for your state and/or local chapter of the PPA. Every interaction I have with these photography professionals is informative and encouraging. These people know that they compete with each other but everyone seems to gain so much from the community that they all genuinely seem happy at each other's successes and those that succeed are willing to share secrets on how they've learned to earn business. I think it must come down to the fact that they all know that their business depends on performing business well in conjunction with being great photographers. These aren't the fly-by-night, been-in-the-business-a-year kinda folks. These men, women and families are committed to building long-term businesses with return clients and they even go so far as to cover each others engagements if one of them gets sick. Its a great community and they bring in some outstanding speakers who talk directly to the current issues that photographers face.

Check out Jerry Borwick's info. He's not doing anything too cutting edge but he is doing enough to be making a full-time career and really building his business to withstand the onslaught of cheap, jump in/jump out photographers who are not committed but will underbid anybody just to feel like they're working on something. And he's done that well enough to be one of the top dogs in a national organization.

Kev

EDIT: grammar

Message edited by author 2006-04-15 08:57:27.
04/15/2006 11:33:00 AM · #156
The school I attended, //www.triangleinstitute.org/ is affiliated with a local PPA chapter and I have to second everything Kevin said.

I am interested to know Jerry's take on the digital 'revolution' and how to price products these days. The speakers at the school are ALL doing projected proofs in teh studio - NOT online, NOT printed. Printed if you pay extra can be had (variations on how that works).

The memebers are very open and helpful when you have questions. The guy that started the school is about 8 miles from me, has 'trained' most of the photogs in teh county, and was helpful as I asked him all sorts of questions...and I am a direct competitor!

The local chapter has 2 large meetings a year with speakers that last 2 or 3 days - and are FREE, even for non- members. The state convention is $69, and you don't need to be a member for that (according the lit i picked up).
04/18/2006 09:25:38 PM · #157
Software and workflow updates and more:

things I've learned that help move it along:
Breezebrowser Pro - great timesaver. It can take a subdirectory of RAW images and with a few clicks of the mouse create a web gallery tied into paypal....or any degree in between. Bloody nice piece of software.

While these are only proofs (the fine cutouts are NOT done) it creted this with ONE CLICK. //cpphoto.home.comcast.net/odie/index.htm

Do you accept Visa/Mc/Discover/AMEX? Why not? You have the internet. Paypal business account - free. With it you can set up a cart and use breezebrowser to sell your images online. Not quite stupidly simple, but pretty darn close. Well, for $20 a month you can take al lthemajor credit cards. you get an on-lline terminal program that you enter the card info into and there ya go - all done. same 2.9%+30c that paypal charges. No contracts, no terminal to buy or rent, etc.

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