Why are prints from the photographer more expensive?

posted 3 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
3841 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@FleeSircus:   Paper quality, ink quality, printer quality.   

Post # 5
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@FleeSircus:  definitely better quality. I snorted at $6 though, my a**hole photographer wants £35gbp (about $55) for a 6×4 print. 

maybe try to find a mid range print company?

Post # 7
631 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Why is it common in photography to have a devalued stigma on prints?

Some people think prints shouldn’t be charged a studio price because someone can get it for “$0.15″ on their own from said store. BUT you can also cook, unless you are like me, however that doesn’t mean you should pay a chef for only the ingredients he uses. You may be able to sew but it doesn’t mean you can go to a department store & buy jeans for the price of the fabric. You may be able to cut your own hair but it doesn’t mean the stylist should do it free. You pay for the equipment used to make the product, the time included, the artist, the art, and so much more. The cost to run a photography business is huge. I can vouch for this. It takes many years of sales to cover the cost of your investment and even then you are always purchasing upgrades to ensure your client gets the most out of their unbelievable day!”

Read more here.  

Aside from the above, most photographers put EXTRA work into prepping an image for professional print – including taking out distracting elements, select sharpening, resizing, and the order process. A photographer deserves to be paid for their time and skill, period.  

Post # 8
629 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@mariematt:  I read most of what you linked to. Of course a photographer should be compensated for their skill, their art, and ultimately they do own the images unless stipulated otherwise in the contract. But saying ” Your work wasn’t meant to be stored in a drawer.  It was meant to be hung.” when the cost of ordering prints is so prohibitive that I will be getting minimal, if any, prints from my wedding. It seems a shame that the images will live in digital land and never be displayed on Facebook or otherwise because $35 for a 4×6 (and UP and UP and UP) makes it too hard for me to order the adorable print of my maid of honor and her husband and all the other cute but not “necessary” shots. Just my thoughts…

Post # 9
9859 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

@FleeSircus:  the prints from my photographer aren’t like regular prints, they’re actually thicker, they would stand up on their own leaning on a wall (she displays them on a chair rail in her studio) they’re basically mounted on a thin board but will still fit in a standard picture frame.  

Post # 10
2052 posts
Buzzing bee

I work in a custom framing shop, and we get a LOT of photographers who come in to get things done for their clients, and charge them both the cost of what they paid us plus whatever percentage so they make a profit. A lot of them specifically request we leave our stickers off of it so that they can claim it as work they did.

Stuff like this is why I will never buy anything pre mounted or pre framed

Post # 11
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@FleeSircus:  Nope! Just a plain old print on photo paper!

Post # 15
4742 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@FleeSircus:  Like others have mentioned, prints from a professional print lab are of better quality. Your photographer is calibrated (for color) with their print lab, which is why your print from them will arrive true to color and not a different shade (like when your walmart prints come out with color shifts..or blue/green/red tints or overly saturated). The quality of the paper is better, and archival – unlike drug store and online printeres. I know personally, my prints all come coated with a protective lacqure to prevent dust and fading, and any printer larger than 8×10 are mounted for durability. Additionally, every image ordered for printing get some additional editing and enhancements to ready it for print – which is extra prep time. The employees who print them in the pro lab are usually photographers themselves, or are trained as editors and can notice what it should look like…unlike walmart where they press a button and whatever comes out is what you get, regardless of how it look.

Aside from all of that, photographers are in it to make a living. They have markup on their product just like everyone else and they have bills to pay. It’s like comparing it to any other product. A $10 shirt from Target is going to be of lesser quality and durability than a $60 shirt from J.Crew. Do they do the same job? Yes, you wear both of them and often they look similar. The difference is the Target shirt will last you a season and the J.Crew shirt will last you longer. (FYI – I’m not knocking Target, I love them. I buy lots of clothes from there….but I also go into it not expecting the same quality I would get from a more expensive shirt.)

Post # 16
1315 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

As others have mentioned there is a huge difference in quality. It means you are getting a color accurate product that will likely stay looking like it does when you got it for years. Morever we also have bills to pay and are trying to be profitable businesses. Wedding photography is not this super lucrative career like people on this board perceive it to be. We’re not assholes trying to screw you out of money (might I add @Rachael1287: you hired that “asshole” – did you not know their prices?). Of course we charge nowhere near $55 for a 4×6, our prices start at $5. But I have to say also that our cost is also nowhere near .15 or .20 either – we pay a lot more than Snapfish for our product.

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