Yes; you can take your photo to a super center or large chain pharmacy and have a 4×6 print made for just a few cents. Yes; you can take that same photo to those same places and have a 5×7 print made for less than $3.00. And yes; you can take the photo and get your print all in the same day if you choose to do so.
So why does it cost $4.00 plus shipping to order a 4×6 print from my site? Why is that 5×7 going to cost you $5.00 plus shipping? And why will it take anywhere from a day to a week for those images to appear on my site after a shoot?
When you order a print, a product, or a photo book from my site you are not only spending money on a quick print you are investing in a memory that took more than the blink of a shutter to create.
You spend days, weeks, or even months preparing for your events. You plan out every detail. You practice. You work hard to make it happen. And I work hard to capture it for you.
I spend a great deal of time traveling to locations, shooting those events, transferring images from the memory card to the computer, sorting them out, doing hours of post processing, uploading them to the site, creating the galleries, applying product lists, tagging those images and otherwise keeping up with the SEO, maintaining the site, maintaining equipment, and attending seminars and other events to keep up with the education on how to do all of that and more.
The super center doesn’t really care what the finished print looks like; they just want your $3.00 in their cash drawer. They are not going to spend hours straightening a slightly crooked image, adjusting the white balance, removing that pesky zit, tweaking the little things…. they didn’t upload the images, create the galleries, and they don’t maintain a website just for your images.
Why do I have professional labs print the images and ship them to you instead of printing them myself and hand delivering them? Simple. The cost of the professional printing equipment is astronomical! If I was to purchase such equipment I’d have to charge even more. And delivering myself would surely cost more in gasoline and time than the USPS charges for shipping.
That large chain pharmacy uses a less costly printer than the professional lab, they use cheaper paper and less vivid printing methods; and because you have traveled to them there is no need to charge you shipping. Wouldn’t that $7.00 in postage have cost you less than the hour standing in line and the gasoline you used up driving there and back? Your time is more valuable than that isn’t it?
Oh the cost of this business. I won’t’ go into all the details but for starters there’s expensive equipment, website costs, my cost to have those prints made, the cost of education, the cost of traveling to the locations, the need for all those supplies, fees for professional organizations… you get the idea. Yes; it is a business like any other it has all those overhead costs that most people don’t even think about.
Those super centers and large chain pharmacies have all those overhead costs as well; yes that’s true. In fact their costs are so much higher than mine that I can’t even do that kind of math. But they have hundreds and thousands of stores and thousands upon thousands of products to sell that all help support those costs. I think that part just might balance out.
I know that to some my prices seem high compared to those quick prints you can pick up on your own; but I do hope that at least a few of you understand and appreciate all the time and work that goes into creating them. Some things are just a little more valuable and worth waiting just a little longer for; aren’t your memories one of those things?