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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 30 Sep 2010 (Thursday) 10:51
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Low res FB, digital "add on" sales?

 
Starbucker
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Sep 30, 2010 10:51 |  #1

I was contemplating adding an option for clients to purchase some sort of low resolution add on package when they place print orders to meet the current demand for digital images to share. Question... What would be a reasonable resolution to provide the customer to post as well as email to friends / family, carry on their phones etc. But at the same time protect future print orders? Any other ideas are appreciated on the concept. Thanks.




  
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roszell
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Sep 30, 2010 10:59 |  #2

Kind of wondering the same thing as well. I am currently using 800px on the long length of the image with my logo.


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USER876
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Sep 30, 2010 11:20 as a reply to  @ roszell's post |  #3

I think facebook sizes them around 700 or so. Some people may try to get 4x6 prints with a pic 800 on the long side. I would give them 600 on the long side max.

I include this facebook res file with every print order or allow them to buy it ala cart much cheaper than a print ready file would cost.

As long as they dont crop off your watermark (be smart about placement) I think the advertising is worth some lost (small) print sales maybe. Another option is to upload it yourself and tag them....so they never actually get the file.....




  
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Edges_of_Twilight
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Sep 30, 2010 11:47 |  #4

I've been told that for optimal quality photos on FB and to avoid compression, you want a max of 604 on the long side with a resolution of 72.

USER876 wrote in post #11008148 (external link)
Another option is to upload it yourself and tag them....so they never actually get the file.....

They can still save the photos, but it would be a tiny file and nearly impossible to create a decent print from. Also, if you tag someone in a photo on FB, they are given the option of making that photo their profile photo... and when they chose to make it their profile photo, they have the optician of cropping (off the watermark).


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Daedalus34r
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Sep 30, 2010 12:30 |  #5

for facebook, the long side is 720pixels


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Andres14
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Sep 30, 2010 13:39 as a reply to  @ Daedalus34r's post |  #6

With all my print packages, I include Low Res Watermarked files that are fantastic for media sharing (e.g. FB, E-mail, etc). make sure your logo is not too intrusive yet, hard to crop out and the max I go is 700px on the wide side, with 70 of resolution.


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joyofmarketing
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Sep 30, 2010 15:31 |  #7

What we do is we give them a low res facebook image, watermarked of course, of any large canvass they purchase. They are going to take a picture of it anyway or try to use it. So we make sure our work appears clean and is a good representation of our studio on facebook.


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ShotByTom
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Sep 30, 2010 20:58 |  #8

I offer a custom thumb drive with low res, watermarked files, for digital use. People today can easily find a friend to remove the watermark for them, or very easily crop it out in FB. The custom thumb drives have been very well received and I am working on adding them as a item for purchase. I offer a dvd with images, prices vary based on their print purchases, and I have been giving away the thumb drives as a gift with bigger purchases. But I am working of a short video clip for avertising that will be put on each thumb drive along with their pictures. The thumb drive also has my website printed on it.


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RDKirk
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Oct 01, 2010 16:04 |  #9

Starbucker wrote in post #11007983 (external link)
I was contemplating adding an option for clients to purchase some sort of low resolution add on package when they place print orders to meet the current demand for digital images to share. Question... What would be a reasonable resolution to provide the customer to post as well as email to friends / family, carry on their phones etc. But at the same time protect future print orders? Any other ideas are appreciated on the concept. Thanks.

Forget protecting future print orders. Accept the fact that when you have released the digital image--low rez, watermarked, whatever--you can't depend on future print orders. Trying to control printing through manipulating the image is a lost cause if you're clients are the type who are disposed to getting their own printing done.

The exception would be dealing with higher-end clients who don't even mow their own lawns, much less go to a Wal-Mart photo kiosk.

But otherwise, you would do better to set up your pricing and sales procedure to gain whatever print sales you want along with or prior to selling the image.


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Starbucker
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Oct 01, 2010 17:20 as a reply to  @ RDKirk's post |  #10

Great ideas everyone. Thanks.




  
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ShotByTom
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Oct 03, 2010 23:03 |  #11

RDKirk wrote in post #11016275 (external link)
Forget protecting future print orders. Accept the fact that when you have released the digital image--low rez, watermarked, whatever--you can't depend on future print orders. Trying to control printing through manipulating the image is a lost cause if you're clients are the type who are disposed to getting their own printing done.

The exception would be dealing with higher-end clients who don't even mow their own lawns, much less go to a Wal-Mart photo kiosk.

But otherwise, you would do better to set up your pricing and sales procedure to gain whatever print sales you want along with or prior to selling the image.

This is true. If you do sell an individual digital image, then your price should at least be as much as a print would cost. Too many people will price an 8x10 for $20 and also offer a download of a 2mp image for $2!


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Dermit
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Oct 04, 2010 10:41 |  #12

I've been with Exposure Manager for some time now. They are constantly monitoring the market and sales of all the accounts they have. Bottom line is people want digital files of their images. Sometimes that is all they want and never intend on even making prints. This is only going to get to be more of the rule than the exception as time goes on. So not offering a digital download means not giving the customer what they want. Which means they either take it, watermark or not, or they walk away. Either way you make nothing. So the trick is to offer a download/digital file priced where they would rather pay the price than deal with a small watermarked image.

I've offered digital download files on my site for a long time. My first stab at it was to charge a lot for higher resolution files to try and justify the print order loss. I sold zero of these digital downloads and my print sales were so-so. This is where the good people at EM evaluated my site and sales for free and gave me advice on how to better price and organize my galleries and products.

In their stats they figured out that if you price a 4x6 print a little steep, and a 5x7 just a little more than a 4x6 then more people will order the 5x7 and in the end you make more. This was absolutely true because I followed their advice. Next, they advised to price a digital download to be close to a 5x7 print price and make the resolution enough to print 5x7 (around 1500x2100 pixels). In addition to this they advised me to offer a digital download plus a 5x7 print package and price it to be less than if they ordered these two separately.

Turns out this is working great! Consider that now I sell quadruple in terms of images ordered. I sell about as many digital downloads as I do prints now. And the cool thing is that the same people who order digital files ALSO order prints of the same image. Why? Because they want the digital file because they can use it on-line, in digital frames, and in this format it can be preserved much longer/safer than just a print by saving on computers, and discs. But, they also order prints because they want a print that is done at a professional lab.

Now I am not saying all of them order both, but a lot do. There are a lot of photographers out there who feel that selling digital files is equivalent to selling your soul, but in reality it is more and more what the customer wants and if they can not get it reasonably they will take it. So it is best to figure out how to accommodate your customer rather than alienate them. In seeing my sales before and after my move to reasonably sell digital files I see that before I was not selling any digital and they were likely just taking them or walking away. So at least now these images are generating income rather than just sitting on my disc taking up space.

I have also actually got jobs where the client told me they had to have the ability to obtain digital files of the images and other photographers just flat out do not offer this so the client kept looking until they found one that did.

...oh and along with the purchase of digital downloads from my site they have to agree to a personal-use license agreement that explains how they can and can not use the images.


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RDKirk
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Oct 04, 2010 11:42 as a reply to  @ Dermit's post |  #13

Regarding "giving the customer what she wants," I would caution:

No customer with a horse wanted an automobile before manufacturers made clear the benefits of an automobile.

No customer with a carbuerated automobile wanted fuel injection before manufacturers made clear the benefits of fuel injection.

The whole point of advertising and marketing is to show customers what they really want before they know they want it.

"The world is more malleable than you think and it's waiting for you to hammer it into shape." -- Bono


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Dermit
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Oct 04, 2010 12:11 |  #14

I believe that as the techno-savvy masses grows the demand for the digital medium will become greater. To the point that if it is not offered eventually that photo studio will go out of business with few exceptions. Images are already very powerful in that they keep points in time as permanent reminders and memories. Older generations carried prints of loved ones in their wallet/purses to share with friends and family. Prints are matted, framed, and hung on a wall to display for all who enter the house. But anymore the ability to share images with greater audiences nearly as quick as the images are captured is what will drive the market to go more toward the digital medium.

You do not have to make clear the benefits of this medium to the younger generation. Given the choice of a 5x7 print or a digital file decent enough to share on-line they will pick the file 99% of the time. This is because they already have the means to share the image digitally in a number of ways and all their friends have the means to view these images electronically.

Ratchet up the age group a generation or two and this becomes less so and more of them prefer the print over the digital file. Mainly because they do not have either the tech savvy or means to share the images as prolifically as the younger generation... or their friends do not have the means to view them, or both.

The younger generation already know what they want, you do not have to convince them. The problem is that they often times have to search for someone who even offers what they want. As a photographer and a business owner you can not ignore this fact and expect to do well in the future. You must figure out how to offer what they want and still make it worth your time and efforts.

It used to be sell a few prints at a high margin and you do OK. With digital files the potential is to sell a lot more quantity so you can get by without pricing them extremely high. And the beauty with the file sell is there isn't any issues with print quality, shipping, etc.


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RDKirk
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Oct 04, 2010 12:41 as a reply to  @ post 11031899 |  #15

You do not have to make clear the benefits of this medium to the younger generation. Given the choice of a 5x7 print or a digital file decent enough to share on-line they will pick the file 99% of the time. This is because they already have the means to share the image digitally in a number of ways and all their friends have the means to view these images electronically.

Ratchet up the age group a generation or two and this becomes less so and more of them prefer the print over the digital file. Mainly because they do not have either the tech savvy or means to share the images as prolifically as the younger generation... or their friends do not have the means to view them, or both.

Most of my older clients are professionals who are very much "tech savvy." And a whole lot of Net Gens are not truly "tech savvy." Knowing how to set up a Photoshop droplet might qualify for "tech savvy." Knowing how to set up a computer to dual boot Linux and Windows 7 would be "tech savvy." Being able to type "where r u" with one's thumbs does not make one "tech savvy." That merely makes one a "tech consumer."

But my tech savvy older clients are parents who have homes with walls, and like homo sapiens for the last 20,000 years, they like pictures on their walls. Back when the Boomers and X-Genners were in their teens and twenties, they were happy with wallet-sized photos because they didn't have children or walls. Now they have both and now they want the big pictures of their children on those walls.

I don't think that's going to change--it's just that the Net Generation does not yet have either children or walls. The medium of the big wall pictures will change, just as it's changed from charcoal to oil to silver halide. It will change to 30x40 digital picture frames. But when the Net Gen gets children and walls, they will want big pictures of their children on their walls.


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Low res FB, digital "add on" sales?
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