Take My CD and Print? Photographer’s Excellent Response to Client: by Pro Studio Supply

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Here’s a great article our friends over at Pro Studio Supply wanted to share with the CurrentPhotographer.com community. Enjoy!

A tip for those of you planning weddings: To print every single wedding picture we have would only cost $104 at Walgreen’s. Skip the print package and just get the CD-Rom!  – Janet

Woe to photographers who have clients like Janet.  Photographer M. Bubba Blume of Insomniac Designs Photography offers an excellent response for educating the customer who questions why she should pay him to print photographs when she could get them printed from the CD at a low-cost processor.

Thanks Janet!

Photo Price ImageOf course, Walgreen’s uses the cheapest paper and processing they can get away with and the result is prints that won’t be around in 50 years.

You’ve spent the money on a professional photographer. You’ve trusted him with creating the memories and capturing the moments of one of the most important days in your lives. Why not trust that he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to prints?

Sure, you won’t pay 19 cents a print. But you shouldn’t. I can spend 4 or 5 hours working on one image to make it as perfect as I can get it. Most images don’t get that kind of time, which is true, but they do get some time. They all get color corrected and balanced lighting. Go ahead and print that on some cheap paper and see how they turn out.

The fact of the matter is simple; great photography of a major life event should cost you some money. Anyone should be more than willing to pay for it.  Why? Because in 50 or 75 years there will be a young woman hanging her grandmother’s wedding photo on her wall with pride. But if it’s printed at Walgreen’s, it will won’t be there for her to look at.

And about purchasing  just a CD or DVD full of images, Bubba says:

Additionally I haven’t seen any digital frames that are 16 x 20 size. If they do exist, they are going to be priced out of most people’s range. But a nice 16 x 20 print is affordable and will last more than a lifetime

I completely agree that digital packages should be offered, or at least the option. But also realize that the photographer is giving up his or her right to earn a living by selling you prints and other products. So expect to pay for that CD or DVD full of someone else’s intellectual property.

Bubba’s comments originally appeared on the Pro Studio Supply Facebook fan page.

Thanks for sharing this great post. Be sure to check out Pro Studio Supply’s blog and give them a follow on Twitter as well.

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  1. Excellent points made, I used to get this early on in my career. But providing those extra touches and finding a style that works helps elimitate all of that. Now my clients don’t think twice about purchasing the photos as they know the quality of paper used for their prints will last them way longer than what their getting from Cosco’s.

  2. WOW! Never expected to see my name here!

    To be fair, Janet is a very good friend of mine who I love dearly. And she’s about as thrifty as they come. But I did find it necessary to make the case for myself and fellow photogs. And I wasn’t the guy who shot her wedding.

    I do believe all digital packages can be a nice addition to services offered, but it has to be an addition (at least for me). When the work I’ve done is printed I want to maintain some control over the quality. The best way to do that is to select the print house (I use BayPhoto) that will be making the prints and other products.

    Thanks for the support CurrentPhotographer and Pro Studio Supply. I really do appreciate it.


  3. I think many clients are confused about “Copyright ownership” and once I explain that it has nothing whatsoever to do with Copyright and everything to do with QUALITY, then they calm down and are more inclined to accept and respect that concept.

  4. Great article. Another good example: imagine if Rembrandt, Picasso, or DaVinci painted on the equivalent of Walgreens paper of their day. Some of the greatest works of art we have today would not be around. There’s no reason why we should invest the same in art that will benefit our family for generations to come.

  5. When explaining the value of studio prints to my clients, I try to focus on the value of the art over the paper itself. In reality, it only costs me a shade more to print via my pro lab than it costs consumers to print at the discount stores.

    I focus on the value of the art itself, and the white glove experience of buying straight from the studio – convenience, satisfaction guarantee, the best possible reproduction of the art they’ve invested in, etc.

    If clients can’t envision the superior quality of your studio prints over the discount store’s offerings, print up a set of 8×10’s from Walgreens and the same set with your pro lab or in-house printer. Give clients something tangible and show them the difference – in color, texture, detail, contrast, etc. As they say up north, “Prove It.”

  6. I wanted to share this with you.. I blogged about you  http://shelleydlm.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=398&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2

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