Auzigog 11:07pm, 12 April 2008
Hey guys!

I recently photographed a lacrosse game, and a few parents came up to me and wanted to know if I was selling any of the photos I took.

I'm looking for a way to set up a gallery they browse and use to order prints. SmugMug looks great for that purpose. They have a good gallery, do the prints for you, handle the money, etc. The only problem is that $75 (after a 50% discount) is a little steep. Are there any solutions that are more affordable?

Or maybe I could do my own prints locally and mail them myself? Where should I go to do that?
Alleh Lindquist 10 years ago
I wrote about this in my blog. You can read it here photographerstartup.blogspot.com/2008/01/selling-prints-o... Let me know if you have any questions about it.
dansana 10 years ago
I use photoshelter, however, there is a setup fee and it is designed mainly for stock photos - prints are just and afterthought.

At collages.net/ you can setup for $10 per event.
The_Nothing 10 years ago
also check out redbubble.com - you can select your own price markup :)
i have a few pics there
admin
OregonVelo 10 years ago
I have been shooting sports and selling prints for about 5 years now. I started with Printroom.com and switched to Exposuremanager.com. Out of the hosting services out there, EM (ExposureManager) had the most flexibility when I was looking to switch from Printroom a couple of years back. You can use them as a sale and print service, just a sales management, or even a mixed print and sale. They cater to the more high end professionals that demand high quality prints and service. This means that it may take a little time to learn but if you are a web programmer they even have an API. They have a lot of customization even down to the packaging that is sent out to look like it is from your business.

I have seen see a variety of sites from other photographers that use a variety of services. Most that you go to, you will always know what service they are using because the service is heavily branded. For some customers this can be a bad thing because they might lose sight of who the photographer is. EM only has a little line at the bottom. You can brand your site however you want. For me, this is a big plus because I hate being on a photographers site and then going to another site to see the photos. Not that I have much room to talk, because my site does that too... BUT I can change that with a little bit of knowledge and TIME.

Now is EM right for you?... I can't say, you will have to check out other sites and see. I can say that if you are worried about quality of prints, EM is wonderful. I have had several customers state that they we blown away at the quality of the prints. I think there are too many people that think that their injet printer will do the job. They also offer prints in Gloss, Lustre, Matt and Metallic.

Here is a link that EM posted for site comparison. www.exposuremanager.com/scripts/website.pl?rm=compare

Here is a referal link: www.exposuremanager.com/aff/oregonvelo
I am not sure if it gives a discount anymore. It used to give 15%.

If you not are going be highly active in print sales (twice a month or more), you may want to go with photoshelter.

-shane
Alleh Lindquist 10 years ago
If you sign up for photoshelter at the $30 a month level to get the free sales account you can then downgrade to the 10G for $10 a month without paying the $50 set up fee. Thus only paying $20 to set up your account for sales.
You might also look in to Zenfolio.com as they have a good merchant setup for selling prints and one offs you can setup everything from selling single prints to print packages. I have been really impressed with them and have set up with them but have not got all the things setup for selling just yet. It is a $100 a year and they have 2 different vender's that you can choose form and all sizes from 1x1 to coffee cups as options. Check them out and see what they can do with/for you.
Auzigog 10 years ago
Wow! Thanks for all the responses, guys! I really appreciate it.

I had no idea it was so expensive to get into printing. I guess $100 a year isn't really that bad of a price, but I really only see myself doing five or ten events a year that could even possibly lead to print sales and I can't really justify investing so much.

@Alleh Lindquist: That was a really great blog! Thanks! If I do ever get into serious printing, I will definitely be re-reading that one.

@dansana: collages.net actually looks like a great solution for whave I plan on doing. There's always the chance that I could drop $9 on an event, and not make at least that much back in sales, but that's not too much of a risk at all.

@OregonVelo: Thanks for your detailed response! EM sounds great for serious priting, but as I've mentioned, that's not what I'm looking for at the moment.

@strayz01: Zenfolio actually looks awesome, but as you said, the only package that offers printing services is the $100/year package.

So I think my options at this point are:
1) I can use lightroom to generate a proofing gallery of some sort, upload that to my website. I can set up a quick list of printing prices and use the printing service that flickr provides to have them sent out. I have no idea how I will collect the payment, though
2) **I'll probably go this route** I'll use collages.net and pay $9 per event and hope that I make at least that much back in profits. If I think I'll be doing it more often, I'll pay for EM or Zenfolio or something like that..

Thanks, everyone!

And if anyone still has solutions for low-cost proofing/printing, please do share them.
GeoFX Posted 10 years ago. Edited by GeoFX (member) 10 years ago
If you know how to setup your own web site, you can try Gallery 2 with commerce module for printing. Gallery 2 is open source and is free.

gallery.menalto.com/
codex.gallery2.org/Gallery2:Download#Modules

There are four printing module and they are low in prices. Your customer can order the prints from your web site. Third party vendor will print and send the photo directly to your customer with small fee. You can even set your own price.

codex.gallery2.org/Gallery2:Modules:shutterfly
codex.gallery2.org/Gallery2:Modules:photoaccess
codex.gallery2.org/Gallery2:Modules:fotokasten
codex.gallery2.org/Gallery2:Modules:digibug

- George
Whoowl 10 years ago
I second GeoFX's suggestion. I have integrated Gallery2 into my site and use the Checkout module to have prints done directly. I also am trying to use it for selling licenses for stock stuff too, although that has been less successful.

John
StreetLamp Photo
jimmyhickey1 10 years ago
I use smug mug for my site www.jimmyhickey.net and imo it is worth every penny for a pro account.
Auzigog 10 years ago
@GeoFX: That seems like an awesome option. I can't seem to find how much each of those modules cost, though.

@Whoowl: Which module do you use for printing?
DaveWeav 10 years ago
If you are just getting started you might want to check out www.backprint.com, they do not charge to setup an account, they handle all of the credit card billing, quality is excellent and pricing is right in line with most everyone else. I have been using them for 2 years now and if there is ever anything damaged in the mail they will reprint and ship with no questions asked.

Dave
GeoFX 10 years ago
@eyeRmonkey: these module are develop as open source, so they are free to use... but there is a small fee per print for each online company. You have to try it out and found out which one suit you.
Auzigog Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Auzigog (member) 10 years ago
@DaveWeav: I ended up going with backprint.com because it was gree to get started.

Then I changed my mind and got my 14-day free trial at Zenfolio. Backprint.com had REALLY slow servers, the thumbnails of my photos had HORRIBLE compression artifacts, and the site didn't look that great.

Zenfolio works very smoothly and is really intuitive. I'm not sure if I have the money to pay for a professional account after my trial is up, but I'll definitely consider them if I get more serious about selling prints.

auzigog.zenfolio.com/

I also will consider using a Gallery2 Module when I have more time to set it up.
Whoowl 10 years ago
@eyeRmonkey - I am currently using Digiprint with a bunch of hacks of their provided module. I liked how cleanly it integrated and that company's terms of service. Plus they do very good quality prints on a variety of materials, but the Oce Lightjet on large prints is amazing. Only downside so far is I can't do different pricing per gallery, they all have to be the same. I am working on a hack to fix that too at the moment.
FFPHOTOG.com 10 years ago
I can vouch for SmugMug. I wanted something I could hit the ground running with that was an all-in-one-solution. For $150/year, the Pro account is a bargain. My print sales more than pay for the fee and my clients appreciate being able to order directly from their gallery.

Their customer service is excellent, too. Loads of help on site customization. Here's a link to mine : www.ffphotog.com
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