I see it daily. The price list that has albums with 30 images in them for $400 or less. Albums are very much like prints in the crazy world of photography product pricing. Photographers figure that if the album costs them $100, selling it for $400 is a 25% Cost of Goods Sold…so they must be priced profitably. This is very similar to the photographer that prices their 8×10 at $12 because it is 4X the $3 cost of the print.
Unfortunately, both photographers are absolutely 100% wrong in their pricing…that is if they want to have a successful and profitable business.
The secret ingredient missing from these calculations is time. A print does not really cost $3. My print costs me $27. You can see the calculation for that at this previous post about pricing your prints.
Albums offer a similar conundrum. There is the time for you to handle and edit EACH FILE in the book, there is the time for you to design the book, and there is the time for you to share and edit the book with your client, etc. You MUST include your time in order for you to have profitable album sales.
I recently stumbled across the most comprehensive album price calculator that I have ever seen and wanted to share it with you. Please drop what you are doing, click over to the Sprouting Photographer, and run your calculations. I don’t want any of you paying your clients to purchase albums.
If you have just had a heart attack about your album prices, have no fear. There are options…
I love to offer my clients albums in different price ranges as some clients love to splurge for the high-end album, while others prefer to keep their albums simple and small. Find 2-3 different albums that you love, in different price points, and offer those.
Another way to keep your costs down is to limit the number of images in the album. I start with 20 images in my album and clients can upgrade to include 10 additional pages and 15 additional images. Even if you don’t upgrade to additional pages you can still create an up-charge for your clients to include additional images. It takes you additional time to process and design those files so it’s ok to charge more for it!
The final check and balance in your album pricing is comparing the album price to the cost of your prints. If your album includes 40 images and has a retail price of 400 for your client, then each image in your album is costing your client $10.
I’m not saying that your albums should be priced the same as purchasing stand alone prints, but their should be a correlation.
If you are completely overwhelmed by your pricing, you aren’t alone. It is one of the most common challenges when building a photography business. I love helping photographers make sense of their numbers and help them create a profitable pricing strategy. If you would like to learn more about 1:1 help just click here! I would love to help you create a business that is profitable!