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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 30 Oct 2014 (Thursday) 10:37
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Product based wedding Business Models are DOA

 
memoriesoftomorrow
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Nov 16, 2014 08:01 |  #31

I was just saying to a friend today that it is really no surprise that the shift is coming. The generation that was raised on digital is coming of age. Prints and albums will still have their place for some. But for many they don't hold the same value. They used to be luxury items. Now they are not, they are cheap and easily obtained by the consumer themselves.

We're getting back to where things should be... people will be hired because of their photography, customer service and the experience they deliver. The playing field has been levelled and just being good is no longer good enough. To survive long term you need the be great at the trifecta.


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GooseberryVisuals
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Nov 17, 2014 19:48 |  #32

In the 3 years we've been in business, we haven't attempted to sell an album or print. It's all been full-res on a USB.

I just can't see how the margins on albums are worth it. Everyone knows how much a 24x36 canvas costs. Everyone knows how much an 11x14 album costs. I'm not about to spend hours working on an album just so I can make, what, $300 profit if you're lucky? I'd rather do an extra family shoot then be stuck behind a computer for another minute. Editing is bad enough.




  
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Peacefield
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Nov 18, 2014 07:11 |  #33

I still do albums ~75% of the time. I do a decent print business. I even still get my share of thank-you card, print on canvas, etc., orders. And I've ben a la carte for years.

Part of this is owing to the fact that I price things modestly enough for it to be reasonable. My 8x10's aren't the $20-$30 some photographers charge; they're just $8.99. I'd rather sell 100 8x10's at that price than 10 of them at $20 . . . or none at $30. And since it's just a pass through and it consumes no time or labor on my part, there's no reason not to out with that kind of pricing.

Zookbinder albums aren't top tier, but they're at least second tier and far nicer than some others. On average, my clients go for a 12x12 with ~40 pages. Depending upon other choices, that might go for $1,500 - $1,800. Yes, they can buy Zookbinders directly. But that is not broadly known. I also do all the design work, make that process very easy for them, and take care of logistics and they see enough value in that to buy from me instead of direct. And since they've already paid $500 for their disc and that will be a sunk cost if they go outside for their album, buying from me becomes a very easy decision.

I think it was said earlier, it's about providing a service experience. Shooting is only the first part of the service experience, but definitely not the last. The market for products is still alive if not vibrant. But you need to have this stuff priced in such a way that you are fairly compensated for your time and expertise but that price also represents good value to our clients. A la carte allows more control for your clients to do what they want when the want. That's valuable to them. But if your pricing model is right, that doesn't mean they all beat their way down the DIY path.


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umphotography
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Nov 18, 2014 12:32 |  #34

ZachOly wrote in post #17278317 (external link)
In the 3 years we've been in business, we haven't attempted to sell an album or print. It's all been full-res on a USB.

I just can't see how the margins on albums are worth it. Everyone knows how much a 24x36 canvas costs. Everyone knows how much an 11x14 album costs. I'm not about to spend hours working on an album just so I can make, what, $300 profit if you're lucky? I'd rather do an extra family shoot then be stuck behind a computer for another minute. Editing is bad enough.

Get a good album design program. I use fundy. 45 minutes tops for a 20 page album and that includes dropping in Background files. They cant buy what a good program can do. So its extremely profitable once you have the right software.


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jmikolich
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Nov 18, 2014 12:32 |  #35

When my wife started our company we knew that Prints were long a dying thing, we still offer canvas/metal/wood prints but don't push them at any time... What I don't get is the people who want to charge $500+ for a couple to have their images. To me, that is just selfish and lots of brides we meet with tell us they cannot stand that type of manipulation on the part of the wedding photographer. They are willing to compensate us for our time and expertise on the wedding day, and the artistic vision to edit the files, but they will not spend $1 per image to own it.

We offer albums, in a less traditional sense, meaning not the 20-40 page album, but rather the 100-120 page (avg 2.5 images/page) full story of their day. This romanticizes the day for them instead of the cold "swipe" of browsing their images on a smartphone/PC/Tablet/T​V etc.

I'm in agreeance though, Photography has/is becoming/become a service industry rather than a deliverables market.

EDIT: Also use Fundy to design.


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PhotoMatte
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Nov 21, 2014 17:49 |  #36

Peacefield wrote in post #17279039 (external link)
I still do albums ~75% of the time. And I've ben a la carte for years.

Part of this is owing to the fact that I price things modestly enough for it to be reasonable. I also do all the design work, and take care of logistics and they see enough value in that to buy from me instead of direct. The market for products is still alive if not vibrant. But you need to have this stuff priced in such a way that you are fairly compensated for your time and expertise but that price also represents good value to our clients. A la carte allows more control for your clients to do what they want when the want. That's valuable to them. But if your pricing model is right, that doesn't mean they all beat their way down the DIY path.

Yes, this exactly. So far, every wedding I've booked for 2015 has included at least one album. I ask my clients to choose their favorite 50-60 images and then I do the rest; it takes me very little time at all. Any my pricing is competitive enough to make it worth it for them while still generating a decent profit for me.


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vanmidd
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Nov 23, 2014 20:56 |  #37

We're getting back to where things should be... people will be hired because of their photography, customer service and the experience they deliver.

Agreed. At the end of the day, if you deliver good photos and can be seen (particularly on social media), you'll survive and thrive. Exciting times :)

If you


Van Middleton Photography - Byron Bay Wedding Photographer (external link)

  
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vanmidd
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Nov 23, 2014 20:58 |  #38

Regarding albums, DIY will never come close to a good wedding photobook. I always bring a Vision Art to my client meetings, and I never try to sell them - just give them one to look at and feel while I have a coffee and answer questions, and by the end of the meeting most people are determined to get one.

It's easier to get average quality DIY photobooks these days, but as difficult as ever to get true quality.


Van Middleton Photography - Byron Bay Wedding Photographer (external link)

  
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Product based wedding Business Models are DOA
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