School portraits...question about pricing


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roygoh

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#1
I recently took up an assignment to take class photos and individual portraits of every student in a local school. As with all other commercial studios, I did not charge any service fees directly, but only charge for the prints the parents ordered.

A parent enquired about the possibility of buying the soft copy of his son's pictures, and I am not sure if I should sell and what price to charge if I do sell.

I know commercial studios will probably not sell the soft copies, and some would only sell or provide for free when there is a minimum order of prints.

For my case I don't really see a reason not to sell. In fact if I charge them high enough it is even better because I do not have to worry about printing.

Can the pros here enlighten me on this subject? What are the things I should consider in my decision on whether or not to sell the soft copy and what the pricing should be?

Thanks!
-Roy
 

Andy Ang

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#2
Personally, How much are you earning from the print? multiply that by a factor of 3 and charge the parents that for the softcopy (minimial / unedited)
 

roygoh

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Personally, How much are you earning from the print? multiply that by a factor of 3 and charge the parents that for the softcopy (minimial / unedited)

I am charging US$24 for 4 pc 4x6 and 2 pc 5x7. This is considerably lower than the studio the school engaged for previous years, which was a US$48 package for a few more prints than what I offered.

I am thinking of charging the same US$24 for each pose, because it is actually less work for me to just give the soft copy rather than have to deal with printing.

This seems to make things simple for the parents. They just pay $24 per pose and choose between getting a set of prints or a soft copy of the photo.

3x sounds very high, and I believe that will drive the parents away... but thanks for your suggestion!

My guess is a studio keeps the original softcopy to encourage the customer to buy more prints which is more profitable...is that right?
 

Yatlapball

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My guess is a studio keeps the original softcopy to encourage the customer to buy more prints which is more profitable...is that right?
You got it spot on.

Why do you think those walk-in passport photo places that provide you with the negatives (in the past) and softcopy (now), charge a couple of dollars at least, when the cost of 4 or 6 pieces, is hardly a dollar.

btw, if you intend to destroy the softcopy some time down the line (maybe a couple of years?), then i think it would be a better idea to sell them the softcopy and charge them a little more for it. If you intend to keep them indefineitely, then it would mean potentially a repeat customer. Somehow people lose/damage prints quite easily. Heh.
 

chngpe01

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I am charging US$24 for 4 pc 4x6 and 2 pc 5x7. This is considerably lower than the studio the school engaged for previous years, which was a US$48 package for a few more prints than what I offered.

I am thinking of charging the same US$24 for each pose, because it is actually less work for me to just give the soft copy rather than have to deal with printing.

This seems to make things simple for the parents. They just pay $24 per pose and choose between getting a set of prints or a soft copy of the photo.

3x sounds very high, and I believe that will drive the parents away... but thanks for your suggestion!

My guess is a studio keeps the original softcopy to encourage the customer to buy more prints which is more profitable...is that right?
Hi Roy

If you want to live with the hassle of parents calling you now and then to order a few prints and then you have to go to the lab etc, then do as what the studio do, keep the soft copy and not sell.

But in your case, I don't think you want that. However, I would suggest that you sell the soft copy to only those who have ordered package, at a "packaged price". Those who did not ordered are not eligible to buy the soft copy. In this way, it prevent ppl from exploiting the situation of not ordering prints from you and buying the softcopy to print numerous prints. Hope you now what I am getting at. :)
 

roygoh

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Hi Roy

If you want to live with the hassle of parents calling you now and then to order a few prints and then you have to go to the lab etc, then do as what the studio do, keep the soft copy and not sell.

But in your case, I don't think you want that. However, I would suggest that you sell the soft copy to only those who have ordered package, at a "packaged price". Those who did not ordered are not eligible to buy the soft copy. In this way, it prevent ppl from exploiting the situation of not ordering prints from you and buying the softcopy to print numerous prints. Hope you now what I am getting at. :)
Hehe..actually if everyone buys the soft copy at the same price as the print package, it is better for me because I just collect payent and email the files wihtout the need to deal with prints. Look at it this way, for the same amount of money collected and no prospect for further business after the first round of ordering, would I rather sell the soft copy or prints? I think answer is quite obvious.

Since the portraits is an annual event a the school I doubt if any parents will come back later to order more prints. By the time they need to do that it will be time for the next portrait session already. That's why I don't see much value in holding the soft copy and try to make money out of prints for this type of "business", especially when I am only doing this less than part time (besides my real job and being a dad...)

Thanks!
 

Andy Ang

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#7
I am charging US$24 for 4 pc 4x6 and 2 pc 5x7. This is considerably lower than the studio the school engaged for previous years, which was a US$48 package for a few more prints than what I offered.

I am thinking of charging the same US$24 for each pose, because it is actually less work for me to just give the soft copy rather than have to deal with printing.

This seems to make things simple for the parents. They just pay $24 per pose and choose between getting a set of prints or a soft copy of the photo.

3x sounds very high, and I believe that will drive the parents away... but thanks for your suggestion!

My guess is a studio keeps the original softcopy to encourage the customer to buy more prints which is more profitable...is that right?
Emm, the 3x is on the PROFIT. Not 3x the pricing. Its calculated on average reprints normally done throughout the life of the softcopy.
 

roygoh

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Emm, the 3x is on the PROFIT. Not 3x the pricing. Its calculated on average reprints normally done throughout the life of the softcopy.
Yes, the key is the expected life of the softcopy. In this case, my understanding from talking to a few parents is that they rarely go back to the studio to order more prints, so the life of the soft copy is short.

For me, since I do not want to deal with parents coming back to me later for 1 few prints at a time, I am actually better off in selling the soft copies.

Thanks for all your input!

-Roy
 

#9
It's all subjective. Normally the parents won't come back at all. Rarely does. But then again, there are clients who actually came back 3 years later to ask for their children's prints. (Apparently the move house and the original printed pix was missing..................... $$$ extra)
 

roygoh

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It's all subjective. Normally the parents won't come back at all. Rarely does. But then again, there are clients who actually came back 3 years later to ask for their children's prints. (Apparently the move house and the original printed pix was missing..................... $$$ extra)
Yes, and for me I don't want to deal with that. So if they want to buy the soft copy that;s fine. If they buy the print and come back to me 3 years later...well they may not even find be because I am only doing this on my spare time...:)
 

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