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Old March 24th, 2010, 12:46 AM
Bruce Chafkin1 Bruce Chafkin1 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ibiza / Japan
Posts: 623

Originally Posted by felix_the_cat View Post
Sorry, I'm not going to buy that. If they are paying that kind of money then they are fools. It is not necessary to even print the darn pictures until they're bought. They can be digitally previewed and the customer can choose which ones they want before they are printed.

The cruiseline and photographic company know full well only a tiny percentage of all those photos they print are going to be sold. It just isn't necessary to print masses of non-used photos.

I don't sympathize with them at all. $40 is not worth the cost of an 8 x 10 photo that isn't that good to begin with.

As for the cost of staff and equipment, that's the name of the game. My DH has a heck of a lot of tools in his trade too and he doesn't use that as an excuse. Those cameras etc last a long time. They are written off on taxes. $750,000 divided over how many years and how many ships?

I've spoken to too many photographers - those pictures are not worth $5 - never mind $40.

Maybe they are fools.
I agree that the photos are not worth the money.
But if they want to work on my ship, that's what they have to charge in order to make a profit. I wouldn't pay that kind of money, but maybe it's just me.
The $750,000 investment in equipment is PER SHIP. Quite a large investment to service, don't you think? The company I work for has 16 ships. That's $12 Million in total.

It is true that we know full well that only a small percentage of the total photos printed will actually be sold.
Logically, we should arrange to allow the passengers to view them on a screen and then print only the ones they want to buy.

Would you be surprised to know that we have already tested that idea many times on many ships? It didn't work.

People tend to purchase photos as an impulse buy. If they have to wait to print them, they purchase far fewer.
Despite the added cost and space necessary to display all those photos, we sell twice as many by printing them all.

When taking the volume of photos a ship's photographer takes, the equipment wears out rather quickly. On my ship they snap around 50,000 photos per cruise.

You mentioned writing off the value of the equipment against taxes. But you must realize that in order to do that, you first must make enough money to BE taxed in the first place. Not an easy thing for maritime photo companies to do these days.
Just a few years ago there were many different large photo companies that specialized in taking photos on cruise ships. Most have been bankrupted; there are just 2 left now. They are barely hanging on and will be gone before long.

With the high operating costs driving the photo prices to ridiculous highs, the cruise lines taking bigger and bigger bites of profits, passengers with digital cameras, passengers photographing the photos on display - instead of buying them, and passengers stealing photos from the galleries, it shouldn't be too long before this entire photo gallery concept wil be a thing of the past.
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