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Thread: Ideas required about selling photos - but this is different

  1. #1

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    Ideas required about selling photos - but this is different

    This will probably ramble on a bit so I'm saying sorry in advance.

    Next week is my local regatta, starting on 14 August, and ending 21 August.

    Every year I take a number of shots and a selection of the best appears on my P base site. Some are also used in the following year's programme.

    But this year the committee want me to take as many as possible so they can be offered for sale to raise regatta funds. That is in addition to my role as 'Chief Gofor'.

    OK so far, but how should they be displayed and sold. Nobody on the committee seems to understand the potential problems of image size and suitable display site.

    My thoughts are to offer downloaded images, or prints at an increased cost. Probably downloads at 10 x 8 ins or 10 x 6 ins approx and say 200 ppi at 80% Jpeg which should be suitable for home printing.

    But this is where the problems really start. Here is the official Regatta Site. http://www.salcomberegatta.com/

    Personally, I think it is poor and probably unsuitable for this task. This is the fourth attempt at an official site and I haven't been happy with any of them. But what do other people think of the site for this purpose.

    Other suggestions included display on the Secretary's Facebook site. Now, I don't know anything about Facebook and if it is possible to place say 100 or 200, or more, images there. I also asked what are the optimum image sizes and was told 'just send the photos in'. Which is obviously insufficient information.

    I was thinking about producing something like 500 pixels on the long side and about 60% Jpeg with a suitable watermark etc to prevent direct downloading.

    That is another quandary. When I discussed this with some friends who had knowledge of archiving data and producing company memos/leaflets etc they said that only PDF would be suitable as Jpeg's would take too long to view and to download to customers.

    But, although I regularly use PDF for text, particularly a combination of text/images, I would have thought this format was unsuitable for downloading photos to customers and Jpeg would be better.

    Probably, placing the images on my P base site and linking from the regatta site would work OK but I didn't really want to 'fill up' my site with a lot of these photos.

    I think this overall idea could work but fear that the suggested presentation and a lack of understanding about the potential problems by other committee members could well end up as a total fiasco.

    If there was a substantial demand I think there would probably be insufficient infrastructure to cope. Which is partly why I thought that doing downloads might work better than prints.

    So, has anybody here done this sort of thing or has any practical solutions? I did consider that my camera might 'catch a cold' for the week.

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Ideas required about selling photos - but this is different

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    This will probably ramble on a bit so I'm saying sorry in advance.

    Next week is my local regatta, starting on 14 August, and ending 21 August.

    Every year I take a number of shots and a selection of the best appears on my P base site. Some are also used in the following year's programme.

    But this year the committee want me to take as many as possible so they can be offered for sale to raise regatta funds. That is in addition to my role as 'Chief Gofor'.

    OK so far, but how should they be displayed and sold. Nobody on the committee seems to understand the potential problems of image size and suitable display site.

    My thoughts are to offer downloaded images, or prints at an increased cost. Probably downloads at 10 x 8 ins or 10 x 6 ins approx and say 200 ppi at 80% Jpeg which should be suitable for home printing.

    But this is where the problems really start. Here is the official Regatta Site. http://www.salcomberegatta.com/

    Personally, I think it is poor and probably unsuitable for this task. This is the fourth attempt at an official site and I haven't been happy with any of them. But what do other people think of the site for this purpose.

    Other suggestions included display on the Secretary's Facebook site. Now, I don't know anything about Facebook and if it is possible to place say 100 or 200, or more, images there. I also asked what are the optimum image sizes and was told 'just send the photos in'. Which is obviously insufficient information.

    I was thinking about producing something like 500 pixels on the long side and about 60% Jpeg with a suitable watermark etc to prevent direct downloading.

    That is another quandary. When I discussed this with some friends who had knowledge of archiving data and producing company memos/leaflets etc they said that only PDF would be suitable as Jpeg's would take too long to view and to download to customers.

    But, although I regularly use PDF for text, particularly a combination of text/images, I would have thought this format was unsuitable for downloading photos to customers and Jpeg would be better.

    Probably, placing the images on my P base site and linking from the regatta site would work OK but I didn't really want to 'fill up' my site with a lot of these photos.

    I think this overall idea could work but fear that the suggested presentation and a lack of understanding about the potential problems by other committee members could well end up as a total fiasco.

    If there was a substantial demand I think there would probably be insufficient infrastructure to cope. Which is partly why I thought that doing downloads might work better than prints.

    So, has anybody here done this sort of thing or has any practical solutions? I did consider that my camera might 'catch a cold' for the week.
    Are you concerned with the presentation or the ability of a viewer downloading images without paying. My main concern would be the latter, if you post photos at the resolution already used then what is the purpose of paying for the photo which is easily downloaded. I would post at 100x150 and make it known that a higher resolution image will be provided upon payment.

  3. #3
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Ideas required about selling photos - but this is different

    A few random thoughts for you Geoff.

    If you put something up on the web, unless you protect it very well and as Shadowman says will be lifted for free. If you were doing prints, where did you plan to sell them? At the event, in a clubhouse? Or by post? I would have thought that the instantaneous/spontaneous option would serve you well but that requires some relalatively expensive kit.

    I tend to use a large iMac for display indoors and would suggest something like an dye sub 8x10 high capacity commercial printer, although they can be quite compact. Unless you can borrow such kit then a web based solution is cheaper and gives you more flexibility, but I really would want to plan the whole thing six months, not six or so days beforehand to ensure success.

    What does anyone else think?

  4. #4
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Ideas required about selling photos - but this is different

    Hi Geoff,

    I don't envy your position, but we all like a challenge

    I did once look at DGRIN membership (before I went PBase), I believe, from (ailing) memory, that could handle both download and print sales (unless latter is USA only - check that).

    Several others here use and recommend DGRIN, hopefully one will respond.

    Good luck,

  5. #5
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    Re: Ideas required about selling photos - but this is different

    I might be missing something here but how about Flickr?

    You could set up a dummy account with your regatta name if you needed to with a "bogus" e-mail address - e.g. start a new yahoo acount of 'regatta@yahoo.com' or whatever. I have issued guest passes from Flickr for sending round photos of kids birthday parties (not for selling). Flickr gives you a web address and you don't need a specific log on.

    Having said all that - I'm not 100% sure of the mechanics of this so apologies if this is a red herring......

  6. #6
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    Re: Ideas required about selling photos - but this is different

    You could try something like Colourworld ImagePartner. It's about 20 to set up then they do everything for you. Host the thumbnails on your Gallery site with a link to the Colourworld one, they then take the orders, take the payment, do the printing, post the prints and you get the money - less their commission.

    Check a few pro labs as they all offer similar systems, this one is close to me and I remembered they did this but you may find one thats free to set up or has better rates.

  7. #7

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    Re: Ideas required about selling photos - but this is different

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    As usual, this idea was raised at the last committee meeting before the events start next Sunday. And, of course, the idea came from someone who occasionally snaps with a basic point and shoot on full auto mode; and then takes their SD card to Boots for 6 x 4 prints without any editing.

    No consideration was given to finding a suitable hosting site or means of payment.

    I think that most sales would come from visitors after they have returned home; so payment options would need to be considered.

    As I wouldn't personally benefit from this arrangement I certainly don't want to spend weeks producing prints on my home printer, then mailing them. Hence my thoughts about sending printable sized downloads or maybe putting selected images onto a CD which could be posted.

    After more consideration, I feel sure that the regatta website would be unsuitable, at least in the way it is currently designed.

    I have been thinking about starting a P base account for the regatta, which would be able to act as something of an advertising site for next year's events as well as showing this year's photos. And yes, the P base images would be a small size plus a copyright overlay to reduce free downloading.

    I can, just about, understand P base. Flickr totally confused me and I couldn't even gain entry into the site, which is why I previously decided to use P base for my personal galleries.

    But payment for orders would have to be a bit complicated with customer's sending a cheque to the secretary with the order. However I think something along these lines might be workable.

    Colourworld is something to consider although they seem to be a bit cagey about the prices which they charge for prints and I'm not sure if images are publicly viewable in quite the same way as other hosting sites. However, I will look further into this option.

    Possibly a mixture of P base for open viewing and then Colourworld for the printing/dispatch/payment may work well.

    But like I said, thinking time is now decreasing fast.

  8. #8
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    Re: Ideas required about selling photos - but this is different

    Not that I have any experience, however I have been researching how to get into sales. One option I didn't see mentioned, and it appears a bit more pricey than pBase is SmugMug. It seems you need the Pro account to sell and they print and ship and send you a check.

  9. #9

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    Re: Ideas required about selling photos - but this is different

    At $150 a year Smug Mug is a little pricey for a charity based organisation, although it could well prove a good idea for someone who has just turned professional. I hadn't considered it before.

    The Colourworld site would also be worth considering for a new professional. I think we may use it if there are numerous requests for prints.

    Eventually, I have created a new P base account in the name of the regatta and loaded some photos of last year's events to start things off.

    However, it did take me some time and even more head scratching to work out how to do this. I had to create a new e mail address and use a different browser before I could create a separate P base account.

    There must be an easier way but, with my limited internet experience, I couldn't discover any simpler method.

    Now we just have to link the P base address to the official regatta web site and hand out some business cards during the week.

    Only time will show whether this proves to be a financial success . But I think that the small P base charge will be worth it just to advertise the events for future years.

    Either way, I won't personally be financially affected.

    ps. This regatta started during the 1850s and, apart from wartime, has occurred every year since then.

  10. #10
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    Re: Ideas required about selling photos - but this is different

    Geoff

    I'd be very interested in hearing the outcome of all this; i.e. your assessment of the success.

  11. #11

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    Re: Ideas required about selling photos - but this is different

    OK Donald. I was thinking about giving some 'feedback' to the membership after a month or two.

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