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  1. #1

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    What to charge for processing and darkroom work?

    I've had a coworker and a few friends/aquantainces approach me about what I would charge to develop (B&W only) film and make some prints. I'd never really considered it so I said I'd have to look around and see what the going rate was. I've looked at Richard Photo Lab, and TheDarkroom.com to see what they charge.

    The people asking would more than likely only be shooting 35mm. I'm iffy about offering scanning negs. Leaning towards not. Since this isn't a full blown business, here is what I'm thinking:

    Processing
    $15/roll 135 film. Customer gets developed negatives and a contact sheet on RC paper. Negatives will be stored in a Print File negative page. If they really want scanning, I'll probably tack on $5 per roll.

    Prints
    8X10 - $30 fibre, $15 RC per image. Duplicate prints $5 less.
    I'd offer other sizes as well, smaller and larger than 8X10. I'm just using that as a base point.

    Does that sound fair? My idea is to cover the cost of chemistry and paper, then have a little left. I wouldn't be doing a ton, but it woud be nice to do enough to completely offset the cost of my chemistry and paper in the darkroom.

  2. #2
    vpwphoto's Avatar
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    No way I would scan and save 36 frames for $5.
    It's fair if they like your quality, attention, and how much you (and others) value your time and skill.

    It's the point of any business to make a profit for food, shelter, and modest fun times. ( or not so modest, I guess ).

  3. #3

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    Yea, scanning negs is a PITA, which is really why I'm not to hot on doing it at all. I really bought the scanner to scan in finished prints to put in my gallery online.

  4. #4

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    I think if you're offering a quality service, $15 is OK. You can certainly get it done for less, but if you're offering a good service, with push/pull options etc. Then it's a decent price I think.

  5. #5

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    15-17$ per 135-36 roll is reasonable -- be sure and be ready to add in shipping. When I do developing for work it's 8$ per roll just to develop.
    * Just because your eyes are closed, doesn't mean the lights in the darkroom are off. *
    * When the film you put in the camera is worth more than the camera you put the film in... *
    * When I started using 8x10, it amazed me how many shots were close to the car. *

  6. #6

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    Its mostly going to be coworkers, friends and other acquaintances to start with. I'll float the $15 for develop and contact print and see how its received.

    The idea would be that I could provide the service to local B&W hobbyists that dont have darkroom access, just don't want to bother with the darkroom, or don't want to bother with the added shipping costs of sending it to a lab.

    Unless they drop off 20 rolls for me to develop, I would offer any push/pull or any other customization they need.

  7. #7

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    Are your co workers fully aware of what's involved? If not, they will be comparing your prices with mini-lab prices and feel you are extremely expensive. I can see 30 dollar for FB and 15 for RC but if you have to do any manipulations (dodge, burn, etc), I don't think you can do it for that.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  8. #8
    David Brown's Avatar
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    What is your time worth?

  9. #9

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    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
    ParkerSmithPhoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    One BILLION dollars!!

    Processing one or two rolls takes a minimum of thirty minutes. Add to that the time mixing chemistry, cutting and sleeving negs, drying time, the time it takes to fill out the order, process the payment, handle your book keeping, client communications, etc. Photographers never charge enough!
    Parker Smith Photography, Inc.
    Atlanta, GA

    Commercial & Fine Art Photography
    Portrait Photography

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