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The real cost of albums.

The real cost of albums.

These are just some of the thing you need to think about when putting albums / prints into your collections or offering them as an incentive for further sales.

My print sales pretty much take care of themselves (thanks to Zenfolio!) so I’m going to concentrate on albums.

What you need to think about –

  1.  The process for getting the chosen images for the albums.  How long will this take, how much effort is involved, the cost of off site hosting of images using Zenfolio (my preferred choice) or SmugMug, Shoot-Proof etc.
  1. The longer this process takes the more money you “spend” on it.
  1. The process of designing the albums.  Downloading the chosen images, using an online designer, paying for external album design software, design of the albums and sending of proofs to clients, making amendments etc.
  1. The longer this process takes the more money you “spend” on it.
  1. The cost of advertising of those albums to encourage people to buy them.  The process of carrying out the advertising.
  1. The longer this process takes the more money you “spend” on it.
  1. The price your album company will charge you, including postage.
  2. The above will you give you the Cost price of the album
  3. The Retail price you will sell it to customers at.
  1. You can just double the Cost price or add a percentage on. Your call.

I talk about spending money on the process.  Time is money.  You sell your time and expertise; at whatever rate you feel comfortable with. BUT.  Unless you are honest with yourself about how you run your business, you WILL be a busy fool with little real money coming in.

The more efficient your workflow the more time you have to do more profitable things or spend time with your family. Sometimes a great idea you have just needs to be thought out more before jumping in or ditching it – because in the long run it may not be worth it for the effort you put in.

  • For every £100 you spend on the above if you only get £80 back – is it worth it?
  • For every £100 you spend on the above if you only get £100 back – is it worth it?
  • For every £100 you spend on the above if you only get £160 back – is it worth it?
  • For every £100 you spend on the above if you only get £180 back – is it worth it?
  • For every £100 you spend on the above if you only get £200 back – is it worth it?

If you WANT to expend a whole load of effort and £££ for a few ££ crack on.  Your life.  Your business.

Also, looking at other people’s prices is totally irrelevant unless you can figure out what their costs of business is and what their living costs are.

So, I don’t care that a wedding photographer in London charges £2000 and I charge £1,100 in Wales:

  • Their cost of living is much greater than mine for a start. I have no mortgage; they pay maybe £1,500 a month for renting.
  • My cost of doing business is cheaper as I have cheaper cameras and lighting kit (Fuji & Godox), they have more expensive cameras and lighting kit (Sony & ProFoto).
  • I don’t use second photographers, they do.
  • They may have kids. I don’t

In just the same vein don’t get stuck up on how many weddings a photographer shoots.  I used to worry that I was only shooting 35 weddings a year and a competition was shooting 45.  Then I sat down and did some hard thinking about cost of doing business etc.  I was actually making more money as my costs were lower.

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