Printing Your Photos for Profit

Printing Your Photos for Profit

I get this question a LOT! I’ve put some new information about this on my SmugMug Review. If you sign up, be sure to use “STUCKINCUSTOMS” to save some money. Since many photographers would like to make revenue from their photos, I wanted to show what it looks like when you sell some prints. In the case below, a customer purchased four prints from our online store in SmugMug. I am putting this up for the benefit of photographers who are curious about what this looks like on the back-end. As most people know, I am very open in all this “sharing” of how things work behind-the-scenes.

Personally, all of my prints through SmugMug are of a limited series, and this is one reason I sell them at a higher cost. You can of course choose a system that works best for you and the art you choose to share with the world in the form of prints.

SmugMug Review

The Rest of the Hearst Castle

See the rest of Hearst Castle here in that category.  Don’t forget to click “Previous” to see more photos.

Even though this photo below is taken just south of San Francisco in the San Bruno area, Hearst Castle is about a six hour drive to the south in San Simeon…

Daily Photo – The Hearst Tomb

Thomas Hawk brought me to this cemetery. He always takes me to the most romantic places.

He remarked (and he is right) that he is surprised that Hearst has such a “small” tomb. It does seem rather understated, compared to the other monstrosities he built. But maybe he’s just being a little bit humble in his tomb. It’s hard to say…

This photo was pretty much pitch black with a little bit of light that would collect over time. This is what I got out of a 30 second exposure at f/6.7.

The Hearst Tomb Thomas Hawk brought me to this cemetery. He always takes me to the most romantic places.He remarked (and he is right) that he is surprised that Hearst has such a “small” tomb. It does seem rather understated, compared to the other monstrosities he built. But maybe he’s just being a little bit humble in his tomb. It’s hard to say…This photo was pretty much pitch black with a little bit of light that would collect over time. This is what I got out of a 30 second exposure at f/6.7.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read this entire post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PRUZYIT5ASYXVXKFIVWVXFTL4U Susan

    Are you pulling our leg Trey?:) It looks giant to me!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PRUZYIT5ASYXVXKFIVWVXFTL4U Susan

    Are you pulling our leg Trey?:) It looks giant to me!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/pmwfotos pmw

    that’s very pretty, the question is, who lives there…such a pretty light…sunsets from the west…

    BEIRUT - In the Mausoleum from The Flying Club Cup  
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXIaDBad5Vg 

    Uploaded by flyingclubcup on Oct 2, 2007In the Mausoleum is the 8th song from the new Beirut album called the Flying club cup. La Blogothèque filmed each track of this album in Brooklyn, and will publish each of them on a dedicated website. You can see them all at http://flyingclubcup.com/

    Category: Music Tags: Beirut Zach  Condon  Flying  Club  Cup  Mausoleum  Blogotheque  chryde vincent  moon
    License: Standard YouTube License

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/pmwfotos pmw

    that’s very pretty, the question is, who lives there…such a pretty light…sunsets from the west…

    BEIRUT - In the Mausoleum from The Flying Club Cup  
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXIaDBad5Vg 

    Uploaded by flyingclubcup on Oct 2, 2007In the Mausoleum is the 8th song from the new Beirut album called the Flying club cup. La Blogothèque filmed each track of this album in Brooklyn, and will publish each of them on a dedicated website. You can see them all at http://flyingclubcup.com/

    Category: Music Tags: Beirut Zach  Condon  Flying  Club  Cup  Mausoleum  Blogotheque  chryde vincent  moon
    License: Standard YouTube License

  • http://www.facebook.com/jess.gibson9 Jess Gibson

    Hey Trey, I was wondering – Do you or your staff manage the limited prints or are options for that built into Smug? I have a Pro account  (used your offer code!) but I can’t find anything like that. I’m always kind of curious how people manage their limited print runs. Anyway, love the shot!

  • http://www.chrisharnish.com/ Christopher Harnish

    Nice colors and textures on this. I, too, am curious as to how you manage your limited editions? BY the way, I was very impressed with your interview at the Google+ Conference. Thank you for your openness into some of your thoughts. I enjoyed the interview!

  • Omar AlQabandi

    ok I’ve got 2 questions here, first how do I know how much my photos are worth ? , my second question is about how can I shoot HDR photos in long exposures ?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4N3U5UT4VPUPB2O3YNMKW46VBY Gail M

    Neat photo, Trey.  Yes, it is surprising his tomb isn’t larger.  Thanks for sharing, have a great Sunday and Memorial Day!!! :-)

  • http://photoventures.wordpress.com/ Jeff Peterson

    Great photo.  Definitely like the result of taking the picture at night, it gives the photo a more interesting feel.

    I saw this guy on the Today Show a couple mornings ago and thought you (and your readers) might find his photos interesting.  http://www.thetutuproject.com/  His photos are quite good and it’s for a great cause.  Never knew photos of a man in a pink tutu could be so interesting and inspiring…

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com/ Luke Lakatosh (SIC Support)

     Hi Jess,

    There aren’t direct options in SmugMug, but we have a very detailed photo inventory that keeps track of dates and everything else we need.  SmugMug’s price list options are very, very powerful, and they provide everything else we need.  It’s actually preferable to full automation, because we can really hone in on each photo and gallery and set everything as we need it.

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com/ Luke Lakatosh (SIC Support)

     Hi Christopher,

    See my reply to Jess below for some info. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/zach.werner.77 Zach Werner

    Hi Trey,

    As an aspiring photographer this is really helpful information. I really appreciate how transparent and open you are about what you do. Thank you! I saw in one of you videos recently that you said you used BayPhoto. Do you just use them for certain prints like their metal prints?

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com/ Luke Lakatosh (SIC Support)

     Hi Zach,

    BayPhoto is the vendor behind the SmugMug print orders.

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com/ Luke Lakatosh (SIC Support)

     Hi Zach,

    BayPhoto is the vendor behind the SmugMug print orders.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zach.werner.77 Zach Werner

     Okay. Sorry for the confusion. Thanks for the reply!

  • Trey Ratcliff

    These are two good questions!  The first is up to you and the market… for the 2nd – well hmmm – so much to say – more than I can put in a response!  

  • Natty Dagger

    I’ve been to this cemetery quite a few times, cemeteries are oddly fun. 

  • http://www.scottreither.com/ Scott Reither

    Hey Trey.  I was a little surprised to seeing you use Bay Photo – have you been happy with them?  I “tested” them out a couple years back and was very disappointed.  I work with some great vendors who do impeccable work – if you’ve ever been dissatisfied and looking for a good printer/finisher, let me know.

    Nice job on the sale.

  • Trey Ratcliff

    Yes – I think Bay Photo is very good.

  • JackHThompson

     Trey is very right Omar! You need to evaluate yourself and think about what you would pay for your work, and then cross reference this with what the market is willing to pay. I’m quite active on a great website called http://www.shakodo.com which is all about how to price your photography, I recommend you check it out!

  • http://twitter.com/daveashworth Dave Ashworth

    If I order a Limited Edition Print of one of your photos, how do I know it’s really a limited edition print, you know? :) Does it come with some kind  of certificate noting it’s number X of Y total prints?  And does the limited nature apply across the board, regardless of print size?  Or are there limited numbers per print size?  So if all the prints purchased were the 8×10′s, someone wanting a 30×40 print would be out of luck?

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