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I have to be honest, I don’t know of any photographers worth their salt (and are legit and profitable) that shoot and burn.  ”Sure I’ll do half the job for you!”.  But I have run into people with talent claiming to use that model successfully. They say they just charge what they would make on print sales up front. So they charge an extra $1000 or more to make up for the loss and leave their customers to deal with printing. Then when I say anything negative about charging for prints and not providing them, or about the possible low quality, they come back with something like “well… I always recommend they get their larger prints/products through me”.  ”Ok, so you DO sell prints on top of already charging them for prints?!”.  It just goes round and round and I can’t make it make sense to me.

very few fall into this category though, most that shoot and burn are fauxtographers. Either because they have no business sense, or because they have no talent or care about what they do


IHF, I see how that model can work.  If you want the files without printing, the files are prepared, which is 98 or 99% of the cost of printing, anyway.  The photographer charges accordingly, and you, the customer, receive copies of the files.  If you then decide you do want the photographer to provide prints, the printing is done at cost plus a reasonable markup for that part of the job.  That is probably a little more expensive than having printing done as part of the initial order, but it is also more painful for the photographer because the initial job was wrapped up, then everything has to be gotten out again, reorganized and printed, or sent to the lab for printing.

In one of her videos, Bambi Cantrell talks about customers who want to know why one of her prints is $250.00 when they can go to Costco/Walmart/Walgreen’s, wherever, and get a print for $5.  She tells them they can have a print for $1.29.  When they think that’s a good idea, she goes into her office and gets a blank sheet of photo paper to give to them.  She tells them if they are happy with the blank paper, they can have it at cost.  If they want her photo on that paper, then the cost is $250.00.

I have had printing done at Costco, Walmart, and a number of other local places.  Quality varies from order to order, even during the same hour!  Most serious photographers can print small orders themselves and know where to send a larger order to ensure both consistency and quality.