make money from photography

What is the most profitable photography product?

image of our most popular photography product
Mark Lait

Mark Lait

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Image of product which is not profitable

The most profitable product is more financially rewarding than anything else.

I’m talking about photobooks, and they’re not fancy like you would expect but we sell them for thousands of dollars and our margin on them is eye watering.

Compared to wall art which has a cost of goods about three and a half time that of a photobook, they are our most profitable item.

I’ve seen some of the most beautiful albums and books from places like Jorgensen Albums and Memento in Australia and mostly they’re to deal with weddings.

Where do we get these profitable products?

We get ours done by Queensberry in New Zealand for a couple of reasons, but the main one is that it is just so easy – we’ve been selling photobooks they make for us for years now,  we make the books in pro select which we also use for our presentation software and then it’s a few simple steps to send the files to them.

For maximum revenue, look at what the most profitable product in your inventory is and consider the cost of its assembly.

waiter holding tray

I have to say that these guys, apart from Fitzgerald photo imaging in Perth are the only suppliers who will let you know if they find an issue with any of the files you’ve submitted.

They’ve got your back

Sometimes I miss things in the hurry to get them done and there have been many times when I have received an email from the production department at Queensberry saying something like ‘are you sure this is right?’ – that has saved me from having to reorder books so many times with the consequent benefit of not having to pay for them twice.

Customer service

What they’ve done there is rekindled the long forgotten ‘customer service’ and this is one of the reasons they will always have my business. You know what else? They print and produce the stuff at their factory in Auckland – I’ve been there and it’s a great outfit – no corporate giants here, a well-run, well established family business that has been running for many years.

I’m Mark Lait and I’ve used heaps of different manufacturers and suppliers but now I only use two, I’ve figured out who give me the best product for the best price.

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image of producer of profitable products

Find the right suppliers

Over the years I’ve seen some regrettable errors in products I’ve received from other manufacturers.

The products returned and the whites were yellow, the book was not properly bound or they couldn’t get the margins right – all of these things made it impossible to hand to the customer so I had to find another way to do things.

A light in the darkness

That’s when I found Queensberry, always true colour and the postage is included in the price, they will ship it anywhere in the world for you – none of those hidden add on fees, nothing turns me off more than that – just tell me what the price is, I don’t want to find out that there is freight and GST or local taxes applied afterwards that’s a deal breaker for me.

I’ll tell you something else we did a long time ago – we stopped making bespoke images for the front of the books, don’t crucify me – I know it looks awesome but again, if you don’t give people the option, how are they going to know?

Save time with commercially successful products.

This one thing alone will slash your production time and for profitability you need to always be looking for the most efficient method. All of our books are plain covers, always the same although we do give clients the option of fine art or lustre paper – but that’s the only concession.

This is no extra work for us as the manufacturer will sort that out anyway but this is just another one of those small things that when combined with all of the other time saving and efficiency tips I’ve created will allow you to spend more time marketing or doing whatever you want.

photo of mad professor creating new product

Make sound economic decisions.

I’ve now created a new product which is an album, still made by Queensberry but I’ve applied the same principles, always the same cover (this time with a logo embossed), no paper choice this time and the pages are actually 25% smaller, how much do you think we sell this for?

I can tell you that it is more expensive than the book because it has a prestigious look and feel to it – why did I create this? To see if it would work.

Sell less for more

Did it work – yes … the smaller product has a higher profit margin.

If this doesn’t prove that people respond to the perception of value, I don’t know what will if we place the two products side by side for the client to choose from, they will choose he album more than you would expect, understanding this will see you on your way to big profits from photography.

The bottom line is that you should focus on the most profitable product you can sell to lessen your workload.

Next time I’m going to talk about how we use free photos to make money from our competition prize winners – see you then.