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Dealing with local printers

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  • Dealing with local printers

    Debbie, I know this has been discussed in another forum, but "third party" or "sub-contracting" is a good way to alleviate some of your problems. And it might be something you could consider until you get more established.

    I deal with a small camera shop, and love the arrangement. I left a portfolio (with pricing) at the shop. The shop handles all the customers, credit charges, etc. I just stop off and deliver/pick-up the photographs. I give the shop 10%. The shop owner likes the arrangement, because he is able to offer his customers another service.

    On the downside, although I don't have to deal with a lot of the negatives, I don't get to see these customer's reactions (which I miss).

    I plan to approach other camera shops in nearby towns with the same offer.

  • #2

    I have considered that and even more so since being on this site. Luckily, I don't have to live on my income and can ease into this business slowly and feel my way around. I will probably consider it in the future though as I kind of like that kind of business arrangement. It has another advantage in that if business gets any busier, I will have to consider something like that since it's really not allowed to work out of my home here. It gets tricky since I live in a gated community which means I can't advertise my address and customers have to set an appointment.

    I do have a question to ask you though. How do you get your color profiles to match with the photo printers? I used to bring my files to a photo finisher and noticed their colors were way off from mine and was really unhappy with the results. I later became kind of suspicious of that place and quit but it has left me kind of leary about going to printers. Have you noticed this in your experiences?



    • #3
      In the gated community where I live, a trend that I'm seeing is that alot of the new people who are moving in are running their business out of their homes. Most seem to be in sales, some are involved with computer support operations etc . Do you have something that specifically addresses your concern in the bylaws of your community? I looked at ours and offhand could not find anything that would be a problem.

      I still don't feel ready to "go public" but maybe after I make up my business ad I will. I started my new photoshop class yesterday and when the instructor was looking for suggestions for a mid-term project the first thing that came to mind was-what else- an ad about ones' business. Everyone liked the idea and-- voila-- I kill two birds with one stone.

      Re the question re matching color profiles, that seems to be a big problem. Our instructor is actually going to bring local printers in to speak to us and we will also be going on "field trips" to printers and a newspaper. Really looking forward to the class.


      • #4
        I believe that I can possibly make a good living off of it. Considering that I live in a major metropolitan area. My only concern is the competition in the area. I haven't had a chance to scope them out to see what a fair "price" would be.

        My main goal is to have this suppliment my income with some additional cash and eventually allow for me to look for a better job and improve my skills in the tech field. (maybe graphics design?)

        I cruised to alot of restoration websites and I've come across quite a range in prices..but I also see quite a range in the services that are offered.

        In regards to finding a printer that's reliable, the only thing I would suggest is pouring over the local phonebook and see if you can find a good reprographer in your area.

        I already found one in my area, and what I will probably wind up doing is taking a digital image, a printed image, and see if they can reproduce the colors on it and maybe work out some sort of deal.


        <tosses pennies on table>


        • #5
          Good suggestion Rick. Will have to try that. What would I look for in the phone book to find specifically a "reprographer"? Would it be listed with the photographers?

          Pauleen....Please let us know the details of your field trip to the photo printers and what info they give on color profiles and how to match up. I think that would be a benifit to us all.

          As to my business in my home, alot of people operate a business out of their home and I think that's ok as long as they are the ones traveling out. It's the incoming business that go against the rules. The home owner assoc. don't want the steady stream of customers coming to your house and I can't blame them. So far it's not enough to create a problem for me but it could be if things got too busy. Or I could be suspected of drug trafficing since all the people come with packages and leave with packages. I have even considered doing a pick up and delivery service which I did once and thought it wasn't too bad an idea and keeps the people from coming to me.


          • #6
            You are right on target about the packages!Guess this is one to work out in the future.
            One of the things I found out re some local printers is that most all of the work that printers do is for the print medium which have their own set of rules. I don't have another class until the week after Labor Day but I'll ask my instructor about what professional printers want for reproducing photographs.
            I happened to be in a store yesterday that had a kodak copy machine. It said on the instructions that the image to be printed from the cd had to be in jpeg and that the higher the resolution the better. Doing the work on a disk leaves open the possibility of letting the end user make the decision re printing. Can even throw in coupons when they have the 2 for 1 prints. Getting serious, what I think I'll do to try it out is take a hi-res jpeg and see how it comes out.


            • #7
              Hey, great idea. I would much rather deal with a machine than a person anyway. When the picture comes out bad they usually look at you like you don't know what you're doing. Now if this works all I have to do is find one of those machines in my area.


              • #8

                Well, I happen to know of a place by reputation.

                The way to look them up would be under "printing" and simply ask for a cust. Service rep. Tell them what you do and that you're looking for a new supplier (you weren't pleased with your old one :p ) and ask for the type of stock they use, turn around time, and their prices.

                NPI the place I'm going to use charges about $25 for 8x10's. I think it's a very reasonable price. Their turnaround time is 1 to 2 days and they use fuji film stock.



                I'm SUCH a con at times.

                <tosses a penny on the table>


                • #9
                  Came up with some information from a local place who does customized printing . They would want the photographs in a flattened tiff format and converted to cmyk mode.Re the color matching from what I view on my monitor to their printer output, it was suggested that I bring in a sample from my printer so that they can compare it to their output. Then if there was an unacceptable difference, what I would have to do is make any necessary adjustments to the colors I use. In other words I have to adjust to their system which is only reasonable. The prices seemed quite fair. She quoted $17.50 for an 11x14 on either gloss or matte paper.Multiple copies would be considerably less.


                  • #10
                    Excuse me if I'm repeating an old posting of mine, but I thought it was worth repeating.

                    I send all my print work to I'm very happy with the prints, prices, ease of use, and turn-around time.

                    I can upload my files, and have the prints in 3 days. $2.99 for 8X10's, that blow the Kodak machines out of the water. I honestly can't tell the difference from a regular print.

                    Regarding color matching/profiles. I'm still using Photoshop 4, so I don't have that option available. To remedy this, I create an action to calibrate my monitor in Photoshop to match the prints.
                    I also send a calibration chart to the printer so that I can match future prints.

                    So far, these methods have worked petty well for me.


                    • #11
                      Hi Vikki

                      I'd like to give a try. Just a couple of questions though: I know you said they require a JPEG (high resolution). Do you just take the RGB .psd file and do a "SAVE AS"? I'm assuming you don't do SAVE FOR WEB right? :p

                      Also, does it matter what color space the file is (I know you have PS 4)? And have you had any black and white photos done by them?




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