Re: School Photography Bid
I truly agree that 50 percent is absolute highway robbery and when I first moved here from Detroit in '90, I was in a state of shock to hear that figure!
Sadly, it is the "norm" for Florida public schools and although it happened long before I got here, it no doubt came to be because of the heavy competition among not only individual photographers but I would bet more likely culprits would be the "big" studios who can be soooooooo cut-throat when it comes to trying to roll over the little guys in their zeal to gobble up all the business for themselves that they would lose money on pics to get their feet into a school if yearbook sales, rings, or one of their other "divisions" could make enough profits from the school to make up for it in the big corporate accounting picture. (hmmm, sounds like W**-Mart a bit too, eh?)
Photogs DO earn profits here, even at the 50% rate, just not as much! However, they must raise the prices way up to compensate for it and that leads to parents holding negative opinions of school photography as most all of them have no idea the SCHOOL is the reason prices are so high, and that the SCHOOL is making thousands of dollars for itself on picture days! What's sad too is the fact that Florida is a pretty darn low income state for the most part and most people really cant afford the higher inflated prices, so it really affects both us and the schools as sales averages go lower and lower due to the high prices charged. Compared to "up north", the average non-urban worker here makes well under 8 bucks an hour in jobs that pay twice that elsewhere - and the cost of living is not that much less. Locals call it the hidden "sunshine tax" or "the price to live in paradise"... OY!
Like I said in my earlier post, my former employer pretty much "fired" the high schools they shot for because the demands to service them and give more and more freebies got out of hand when combined with that 50%, so he let the "big" guys deal with them and concentrated on more profitable underclass and proms biz and was VERY successful afterwards. (So much so that when he retired, his business actually got bought up by one of the evil "big" chains!) [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]