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Thread: Vanity press

  1. #1
    tbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Dawson Creek British Columbia Canada
    Real Name
    Trevor Reeves

    Vanity press

    Warning: Rant to Follow : The local animal shelter prevailed upon me to create a book of my photos for auction at their annual charity ball. They hit me in my weakest spots, pride and vanity. Next time I will give them money. It is nice to be recognized, but the companies that produce the books charge quite high; $104 for 40 page book using photo quality paper. Not the sort of service you would use if selling your work commercially; I cannot see anyone buying a book of strictly local interest stuff at that price plus markup. Wholly a vanity item.

    And to add insult to injury to my parsimonious soul, the first book I made had a number of typo errors. My fault for not proofreading, after letting them choose the images and adding some text. I felt I couldn't put the book out there as an example of my work with spelling errors. Would make me look slightly foolish. So I had to bite the bullet and order another book at the same price. And I could not back out or make them pay, so it was up to me to cough up the dough.

    Isn't vanity one of the seven deadly sins? End of Rant

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Ontario (mostly)
    Real Name

    Re: Vanity press

    That's the thing Trevor.

    Read it 5 times, put it away for one night, then read it 5 more times. Why the next day? You may not like what you wrote originally.

    Of course if you change things around, that will be more rounds of 5.

    I had a similar experience. A couple of friends wanted prints, about 15 in total. They asked for the files which they would get printed in some shop near their work place. I said no, let me get my friendly printer to do it so that the prints do not get messed up. A couple of $$ each and 15 comes to a bit of $$$. All were 12x8 or larger.

    They took them gladly and went about looking for frames etc. Not one offered to reimburse the costs. Dang it not even a coffee....

    Pride and vanity are bad for the wallet.

  3. #3
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Real Name

    Re: Vanity press

    These issues are part of the reason I do my own prints. I'm not a genius at it, certainly, but it keeps printing costs down enough to do a pro-bono project without killing myself.

    I've never had a project snowball as badly as when I volunteered to shoot and produce a series of labels for my friend's micro-brew beer. His girlfriend found a model who could pull off a hilariously hokey redneck goddess - the perfect match for the beer's name, Backyard Betty. The idea (mine) was to create labels with six different pictures so a six-pack of beer had all unique pictures. I put about eighty hours into negotiating which six photos we'd use, printing, and producing the labels. There were 132 bottles of beer, each with photo-quality front and back stickers cut out by hand.

    I don't think vanity's a deadly sin - pride in our work is, within reason, a critical force in driving us to improve. But it does sometimes force us to contribute way more time, effort, and capital than anyone realizes.

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