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Old January 20th, 2010, 10:54 PM   #1
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Photograph Printing for cheaper

Ok, So, I am a photographer (as well) and I have some clients that may want some larger prints made. The problem is, There is a very small profit being made off of these prints cause the place that I go to get them printed, is fairly expensive. I have to pay the same price as anyone walking off the street.

Is there anywhere that I can go to get cheaper prints made with the same quality? I heard SnapFish was rated high and I set up an account with them, but they only go up to 20x30. What else is there for lets say, a 24x36? I just did a few of those for a company and the total was around $40 per picture.

Any help would be nice!

Thanks!

(feel free to move this post, Not sure where it would fit, seeing as I am not shooting for Video)
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Old January 21st, 2010, 12:46 AM   #2
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I have heard good feedback about these guys, although I have never used them myself.

http://www.elcocolor.com/poster_special.htm
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Old January 21st, 2010, 12:56 AM   #3
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Thanks! Looks promising!

I am going to start ordering some prints in the future and I will try to remember to let you know what I think of all the different companies.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 04:09 AM   #4
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A little word of advice: Be sure to figure in the value of your work, in addition to the price of the print.

It's not the pigment on the paper, but the value of the image that determines the fee you should charge.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 11:19 AM   #5
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Another optoin

I know someone who concentrates on equestrian photos. He's been using this place in PA for more than 2 yrs. Here are the sizes available:

Dan's Camera City: Wide Format Prints

Here are their handling options (though I suspect for the very large sizes, postage may be a bit higher than you'll find listed here:

Dan's Camera City: DigiPrints - the best prints from your digital photos

Contact them. The photog I work with has researched others, and he loves this place. What he especially likes is that they are willing to deliver right to the client without including a receipt, so his original cost is never known to the client.

Good luck.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 09:30 PM   #6
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Depends on what you want to do, and what the purpose of your final print is going to be.

You can print 24x36 at Sams Club for like 9.99 a pop.

If you want rock solid performance on everything...
Whitehouse Custom Color or Pounds Photo Lab.
Those 2 recommendations are 2 of the places that many of my accomplished photographer friends use.

I have printed many times with Whitehouse, and love their work.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 11:16 PM   #7
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I know a lot (and I do mean A LOT) of photographers poo poo this, but I tend to give clients the Hi-Res Jpeg (not RAW) and tell them to go do the prints themselves. Just a flat fee for each photo and they can print for personal use to their heart's content.

I'll do On-site Printing, Photobooks and canvas printing where I can easily justify tacking on a good margin of profit for my time; but for simple print jobs I just find that there isn't enough of a margin to make it worth my time and clients don't want to pay more than the price they see in store (in fact I've had some expect my cost to be below store printers).

Yes, the photo colour may not be 100% perfect if they do it by themselves but most if not all aren't going to notice (Sad but True).
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 08:22 PM   #8
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Yeah Graeme I would say that I have to agree... there are lots of pro photogs that go totally nutso over that. i have seen some pretty harsh flame wars on forums over that topic alone.

I can totally relate to lower cost printing. Thats why I stated to the OP that it totally depends on what he needs to accomplish with the final print product.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 08:40 PM   #9
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It used to be argued that photographers make most of their living through selling reprints.

That was certainly true when the economy was healthier. But times have changed, the economy is a lot weaker and discretionary spending habits aren't the same anymore.

Now most of the revenue is probably earned through the initial coverage and wedding albums. But processing orders for miscellaneous individual prints might not make economic sense. Better to automate the process and make a few bucks, than spend hours mired tracking and filling orders.

Also, these low-cost printing services have greatly improved in quality. I'm picky about prints, and what I'm seeing coming out of Costco lately is impressive. Color management seems to have been properly implemented, consistency is very good, and the turnaround time is incredibly fast. Same-day service for 20x30 poster prints!

And Costco is just a one-mile walk from my house.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 09:55 PM   #10
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The best way to make money on large prints is to own a large format printer. On large prints you'll be about 50% of the pro labs. For small prints like 5x7 it's less expensive to order them from a lab. The Epson 3880 is a fantastic printer within a reasonable price range.
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