Print on Demand for Photography

Let's talk about the problem of a photo business, let's define print on demand, then the top ten reasons you need to be using print on demand in your photography business.

An acrylic photography print


Repeat after me... 

"Your photo business does not have a printing problem, it has a customer problem."

We talk to thousands of photographers a year and the data is both consistent and conclusive.

When we get under the hood and really inspect the workings of the business, in 99% of cases the biggest problems / opportunities for growth are the following.  

  1. The business needs more new customers
  2. The business needs more revenue out of new customers
  3. The business needs more repeat business from customers

The customers the business do have are happy with the print quality and the product.

Better quality printing, or print permanence, or even printed by a certain brand is just not something 99% of customers out there care about.

Let's define print on demand.


An order comes in, you get paid, it get's printed, it get's shipped, all without you (the photographer) lifting a finger. You don't have to hold any physical inventory. You don't pay for anything till it sells. You use that added time you just got back to go and get more customers.

Top Ten Reasons you need to be using print on demand

#1 Printing is a Commodity

It just is. Don't misunderstand, that is not our opinion or a knock on the art form that is printing.

It is where the market is going.  The big operators are killing the mom and pop printers.

Its no different then Amazon and mom and pop sellers.

Moreover, consumers don't care who does the printing.  

They either care about the quality or the price. It is easy to pick where you want to land on that spectrum and offer that level. Or offer both.

#2 You don't have time

You don't have the time to be doing the admin.  The talking to the printer, the dealing with the shipping, the shipping dates, the delays, potentially driving to the printer, any of it.

Your business does not have a printing problem and you need that time to be focused on shooting and hustling to get more new customers and more business out of your existing customers.

Dealing with the printing aspects — whether you enjoy it or not — is not the highest leverage use of your time nor the best way to grow your business.

#3 You need all of the options

By going POD you get access to a big printer.  All options in terms of media types, sizes, and framing are available and on offer to you.

Whether you use some of them or all of them; there will not be any order you can't fulfill should the need arise. Again this saves you time.

This also applies if you have a customer that just wants the cheapest price available or only the highest quality.  Either way you can handle it.

#4 You get paid immediately

Orders come into your website and you get paid immediately, the printer gets paid immediately.  The customer gets their order.  Easy.

Now you can get back to acquiring more customers.

#5 TAke orders from anywhere

You are doing a show.  You have your sample inventory on a table, or at a kids photoshoot.  You have sample media types.

You show the media type options.  You take the order on your cell phone on the spot and you are DONE.

The order goes in, you get paid, it gets shipped and you don't lift a finger.

You can even be shooting while your assistant is taking the orders.

#6 Who has space for inventory?

Not everybody that is for certain. Inventory is not necessarily a bad thing either but POD gives you the ability to keep inventory or not, on your terms.

If you have space and you want too great.  If not you can keep as little as you like. 

#7 customer service issues

Nothing better than talking to customers. POD gives you the ability to decide when you want to do that and when you don't.

Want to do full VIP white glove service.  Have at it.

But if a print shows up damaged, or there are return issues, or shipping issues, it sure is nice to know you don't have to touch any of it unless you want to get involved.

If the order is damage the printer is on the hook and will take care of it and make sure your customer is satisfied.