Thursday, November 13, 2014

Investing More Into My Photography - Printing

One of my frustrations is not having 100% control of the final product with my photographs. I look at my photographs as a full process that I cannot complete, and the next step in my photography world is printing.

Currently, I need to send out for each and every print. I've tested many online sites spending money on proofs, different papers, and so on. One of the things that I dislike greatly is turn around time. For example, a new image is ready for printing. I don't like to make prints available prior to me seeing what they look like on at least at 13x19 inch print. So this means I must go online, submit my order, and wait about a week for an order. If it doesn't turn out right, I need to repeat it until it is correct.  My screen is calibrated, but not calibrated with the printers I send to (which is a different issue).

I've been looking into what I need to be able to do printing at home, professional grade, up to a 13" print. I have been mainly looking at the Epson and Canon line due to their history and quality of prints in the inkjet world. I first came across the Epson R2000 and R3000 series. After initial review, the R3000 series was the number one pick due to the higher quality black and white photos. Next, I compared prices of what I was doing for prints, what type of media can I print on, and ease of use.

I have found that the R3000 has created a huge buzz in the photography world.  Amazing prints in both color formats, the large amount of printing options (including canvas), and would allow me to save up to 82% on printing costs (costs just based off of ink costs)! This would overall reduce prices of my prints, turn around time, and I would then have 100% control of my prints that are 13x19" or less on just about all mediums. For example, an 8x10 shouldn't cost more than $1 to product, and it costs me double.

To determine if a printer was a good route to go, or to continue with what I am doing, I had to crunch some numbers and ask some questions. How many prints have I done in a year? How many more prints can I expect to do at a lower cost? Can I maintain the demand?

With what I have currently sold and I assume, I could increase sales by 33% with the lower prices, I would almost be able to pay off the printer in a three years time. However, I also thought of some of the projects I could do with local businesses and events now that I have this at home, and it may be possible to increase sales by just printing photos for people. So I put numbers together of what I would need to do in a year to make up the printer cost. Why a year? That is the warranty on the printer. I can 100% foresee no additional cost with the printer on repairs or maintenance during the warranty time, and therefore create a better model of paying off the printer. I also included extended warranty models as well.

Example Sale Requirements

If I was able to dish out about 1600 general prints (not my own) of 8x10 size in a year, I could pay for the printer. Looking at the 600 number may seem like a lot of prints, but that is only 133 prints a month, and that does not include selling my photographs on this printer. Also, another key is to see that 16x24 have even more profit. Here is one of the example tables I came up with, this is no way actual numbers that I sell images for at the current time.

So with this I would  need to sell seven 5x7, forty 8x10, three 11x14, and five 13x19 a month to pay this off in a year. I don't know about you, but those numbers seem very possible with just printing for people. These numbers do not include selling my photos, but only printing other folks prints for them. Once we include figures for my photos, it would be cut down that number even more. These numbers proved that I should purchase a printer for myself next year, with the additional feature of printing other people's prints. Even if I don't pay it off in a year, the rest of the cost of me being able to control a print from shutter release to drying the ink is worth it as well.

With the holiday season coming around, I thought it would be the perfect time to purchase one of these printers. I was right! $200 off of the price, which means I could print even less to pay for the printer. Half of the amount of 4x6s and only fifty 13x19's in a year!  However, I found out that Epson has announced a new printer that looks absolutely amazing, including my love for printing amazing panoramas and high-capacity ink cartridges. It is able to print on canvas and art boards!

I hope that helps you look into my world of what I can do to make my workflows more of my own, how to lower prices of my prints while maintaining quality, and showing you my next step in my journey of making my photography more than just a hobby!

If you have any questions or subjects you would like me to cover feel free to leave a comment or find me at one of the following sites:

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