Sell or not to sell

November 11, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Good morning,

My cousin and I are on our way for a Road Scholar photography program in the outer banks of North Carolina.  We will be doing some sightseeing along the drive down to Salter Path where the program will be held. Spent last night in Somerset Pennsylvania just off the PA turnpike 76/70, today we're headed for Alexandria Vermont for a few nights to see Mt Vernon and to go into Washington DC before moving on to the outer banks.  We will be gone almost two weeks total but will be back in time for Thanksgiving.  I’m looking forward to the photography opportunities that are awaiting us. 

Well this week’s blog is sort of a continuation from last week, dealing with digital files.  Through my business, I get asked if I can give/sell my clients the digital files on CD, it’s not a matter whether it can be done or not but what do they do with them when they get them?  I understand people wanting some to share on social media and to have on their mobile devices and I’m sure they are thinking about possibly saving money, but do they actually have any of them printed to display in their home or hang on the wall or even put in an album?  

There is allot to think about when it comes to selling digital images, the purchaser can actually put the files on their computer and edit them with photo imaging software how ever they want (good or bad).  You as the photographer want the images to represent your work, your still/brand but if they change the images and tell people you were the photographer, it could effect how people view your work and effect your reputation. 

Then there is how much should you charge if you do decide to sell digital images, with selling digital images you should really charge enough to make it profitable if you plan to stay in business.  When you sell prints you mark up your product cost to cover your time in post processing, overhead, equipment, profit, etc.   If you don’t charge at least the same amount for the digital that you would charge for a decent size print you are giving away any chance of making a profit and staying in business at risk.  There are allot of people that think it should be cheaper to get the digitals instead of prints, it may not cost the photographer as much putting images on a CD as having them printed but there is still the same amount of time preparing the images, post processing and we still have overhead, cost of equipment, the need to make a profit, etc. to be able to stay in business.  So what is a photographer to do?

Thank you for visiting and listening to my dilemma,

~Bonnie

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