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Old 13-11-2009, 09:43   #1 (permalink)
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Event on-site printing.

What is best to use for providing images on-site at an event?

If people want prints there and then at and event, what printer and software is best to use? Anyone help or have any suggestions/experience?
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Old 13-11-2009, 16:00   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

No experience, but one or two of the major makers do portable printers.

This one only does 10x15 cm, but I'm sure there are others that will produce bigger prints.
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Old 13-11-2009, 18:31   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

I came across one at Focus this year and was very impressed not only with the start up costs but with the complete set up. I will dig out the info over the weekend.
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Old 14-11-2009, 21:07   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

cheers dazza.

I've done a little bit of digging and it looks like dye sublimation is the way to go but the printers are around 800 upwards. the media however can give you some 380 prints at a cost of around 30p per print. what i need to find out is the software that will show the images as they are taken and then allow a second person to print chosen ones as i'm taking more photos.
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Old 15-11-2009, 06:09   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

What kind of "Event" have you got?... if you are a two-man crew, is there anywhere you can set up a laptop and printer on a table somewhere for a conventional photo editor to printer arrangement?

I have reviewed "Mobile" printers, and, although a lot of fun for the snapshot people, limitations to 6x4 inch prints on some, and "as-is" from the camera, seemed to to be a little too limited for me...
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Old 15-11-2009, 09:57   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

I have been asked if I would be interested in photographing an award ceremony. Ideas have been bouncing around and the suggestion of offering prints there and then to guests has been mentioned, along with setting up a 'mobile' studio - lights, background etc. I know it can be done, it's finding the right equipment and working all the costs and practicalities out.
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Old 15-11-2009, 10:28   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

I looked into this rather deeply a year or so back and what I found can be summarised as...

  1. You definitely need at least one assistant who is computer literate
  2. Provide your own equipment, Don't rely on the organisers even for a table
  3. Always have two identical printers as you need to make your overhead back from 'on the night' sales and printers do fail.
  4. Have multiple, pre-marked memory cards and a simple counterfoil sales book. Tie each shot to a counterfoil and make frequent changes of cards so that your assistant can quickly find the pictures for the customer.
  5. Have a mini-studio set up with a seperate camera so your assistant(s) can make studio portraits of up to six people on demand.
  6. Use two Apple computers. Two because computers break and Apple because their 'Preview' built in app is one of the best sales tools for images you can find.
  7. Don't do this unless your interest is business and not art!
I made a lot of money out of event photography in the 'seventies but our business model was much simpler. I think it is still a profitable business but you need to make a much bigger investment.
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Old 15-11-2009, 10:58   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

If it is a big corporate event then there are printers and there are pro printers to do the job at the press of a button the one I saw was doing 8x6s at an unbeleivable speed it was a dye sub.printer but it cost a couple of grand hence the price of 10-15 per picture in a folder the group of photographers were working all the time I was there, if its a small event and you know what you are doing then there is no reason why you cant print your own on a small A4 printer but you will need a assistant to help you!
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Old 15-11-2009, 12:22   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

i've been looking at a mitsubishi dye sub printer that can print 7x5s in around 10secs. it costs around 800 and the media is about 90 (gives upto 380 prints). if i do this, it would be as a business sejanus - i'm not investing a few grand just for fun.

The event in question works like this in simple terms. There is a ceremony where winners receive the award approx 10 minutes apart. They have photos taken as they receive the award - these aren't printed there and then but are for the organisers. The winners can have them printed but it would be after the event (or later in the evening). The studio set up and 'there and then' prints would be for after the award ceremony has taken place and people are free to come and have it done. It's the event organisers that have asked me if i would be interested in doing it so i need to think long and hard and more importantly find the right equipment.
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Old 15-11-2009, 15:50   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

i have done a few event type things, a national award ceremony for the NHS, TKD comp and a grad ball......... no prints on the night but i give everyone a slip with the web site and a password so they are able to access the pics in a locked portfolio asap......... one of the reasons i have no intention of offering prints on the night is that they buy a print and its wrecked by the time they get home dues to usually an excess of alcohol. I explain this and i havent had anyone disagree.
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Old 15-11-2009, 19:24   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fionaB View Post
one of the reasons i have no intention of offering prints on the night is that they buy a print and its wrecked by the time they get home dues to usually an excess of alcohol. I explain this and i havent had anyone disagree.
But it's the alcohol which is the very reason for printing on the night. You'll make a lot more sales with sozzled customers
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Old 15-11-2009, 20:30   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

I was at a wedding in the Summer. They were setting up during the reception. Backdrop, studio lights, at least 2 Togs with serious kit, (1Ds III I think, but did not get close enough to see properly) 3 PCs + printers and assistant. Cameras appeared to be wireless tethered for fast transfer to PC.

We did not stop for the night do so did not see them in action, but from what I gather, from those who did, they did a roaring trade, both wandering among the party and in the studio set. The later the night went on the busier they got.

Quote:
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But it's the alcohol which is the very reason for printing on the night. You'll make a lot more sales with sozzled customers
My one experience of a photo shoot like this is that lots of people told me they loved the pics but sales (all after the event from website) were small. Would have been better to have printing facilities there and then.

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Old 15-11-2009, 21:58   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

Quote:
But it's the alcohol which is the very reason for printing on the night. You'll make a lot more sales with sozzled customers
100% right. All event photography is about the sale on the spot - think Del Boy rather than Cecil Beaton. If you're not comfortable with the Billingsgate market trader image, stay well away from it!
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Old 15-11-2009, 22:01   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

Oh yes,

Quote:
If you're not comfortable with the Billingsgate market trader image, stay well away from it!
There are upmarket event photography companies and in the 'sixties I ran a darkroom for one of them. All the shooters wore full evening dress and each had a charming young lady to carry the order book. Believe me, they were sharper than razor blades, in more senses than one!
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Old 16-11-2009, 07:09   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by damot View Post
along with setting up a 'mobile' studio - lights, background etc. I know it can be done, it's finding the right equipment and working all the costs and practicalities out.
Then I would suggest "Lan case" and screen.....
(Lan case was the terminology used by gamers when they make their setup portable so they can go connect to other gamers, in the days when internet was so painfully slow, you couldnt game-play over a 56k connection.. its now used just to signify a portable setup)
The box on my computer is one of those, is not much difference in size than your normal PC tower, but, its got a bloomin' great handle on the top, and all the ports are round the front....
I am not suggesting you glue a handle on yours, or do a case swap, more a case of looking at all your dongles and deciding what can go internal, on the front of the pc, rather than dangling from a usb cable?... a tidy setup is easier to handle.
Having things like an inbuilt multi-card reader, and a four-port (or more) USB hub on the front of the pc are useful anyway.
Making your PC into a lan case is easy, and cheap, compared to buying a complete new setup anyway...?...

If you have the mobile studio, the mobile darkroom of the full PC setup are probably a must.... whats more, linking to another thread here now,
http://www.pixalo.com/community/gene...ter-35856.html
You can get your prints straight onto screen with the right camera/software combination......

This also gives you the chance to produce some bloomin' good shots using a full format printer, there and then, which will be good advertizing if you decide to do this as a business thing.

Yes it will take time to transport and set up, but as for finding all the right equipment, what wrong with what you have got?.... why cant you take it with you?... whats better than the stuff you are comfortable with already?...
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Old 16-11-2009, 07:38   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
But it's the alcohol which is the very reason for printing on the night. You'll make a lot more sales with sozzled customers


.... Even MORE if the border (or back) of the photograph has things like the words "For enlargements and duplicates contact Colin-The-Camera on 0990 999 0909" on it..?

I would suggest that any photographic paper used "On the night" gets a quick trip upside down back to front in a printer with full advtertizing details of the photographer on it....
If your printer is clean enough to not leave smudges on the back of normal prints, then this will not damage the printing side at all, and, its FREE advertizing.....

This can be done on mass a few days before the actual shoot to save time on the day.

Thinking on me feet here, but what do you reckon?... good idea?....workable?...
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Old 16-11-2009, 21:51   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

To chuck another element into the equation. RAW or JPEG? I am not sure when I last shot in JPEG but for speed of download and with less processing to do is it an advantage at an event like this? Or would sticking to best quality be better in case someone wants a very large print at a later date?

This suddenly becomes more relevant. I have been asked by a work colleague to do a shoot at her daughter's 21st bash. Hollywood red carpet style. As long or short a shoot as I want to make it. O/H and I will do it together. Twice as many chances to c***k it up ?

PS. Like the idea Silver Dragon also you could include copyright restrictions to deter (do not expect it to totally prevent) copying.

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Old 16-11-2009, 22:29   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

appreciate the input guys.

as for raw or jpeg, thats fortunately something i don't need to worry about as the d3 can do both simulaneously to each separate cf cards. but a good point and one i hadn't thought of as i haven't shot jpeg for i dont know how long.

on silverdragons comment about printing on the back, i dont think this could be done with dye sub printing media as its on a continuous roll and each print is sliced when printed. but again, a good idea!
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Old 16-11-2009, 22:34   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

the set up i was thinking about was mobile studio.....camera setup to transmit images to laptop...somehow connected to monitor to show images as they are being taken, and the printer to print images there and then, all either wirelessly or by cable or both. any images printed of the ceremony would be printed at a later time.
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Old 25-11-2009, 23:11   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by damot View Post
What is best to use for providing images on-site at an event?

If people want prints there and then at and event, what printer and software is best to use? Anyone help or have any suggestions/experience?
Give Geoff Bray at Bray Imaging in Leighton Buzzard a ring. When I used to maintain his website a few years back, he supplied the complete package for Event on-site printing. He's reverted back to his core business of plastic mouldings nowadays, so he can advise you without trying to sell you anything
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Old 25-11-2009, 23:52   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

You may find this useful .. This is for wired tethered shooting but it works just as well with wireless.
Just set up a print template in Lightroom. They can review the image, 2 clicks and it will print in the background as you move onto the next one.
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Old 29-11-2009, 02:02   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

we live in an "on demand" age so printing on the night is a great way to go - your investment will even out if you are able to get more of this type of work.
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Old 07-12-2009, 13:10   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

The folks I do stuff with made a decent investment in on site printing last year.

It needed a lot of kit (four laptops amongst other things) and at least one person permanently manning the desk. Sejanus is spot on with the 'wide boy' requirement as it needed quite a bit of patter to keep the punters interested. You need to be a salesman, something that I'm no good at.
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Old 23-12-2009, 01:19   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

I hope I'm not out of line here, I just joined your forum, so this is a bit late for the OP. I do very specific events in the US. Bear with me on prices and photo sizes, but you should get the idea.
For two of the events I do, I average a finished 8x10 print about every 7 minutes during daylight hours for two days. Until this year I did it by myself, I now have an assistant and it just increased my sales. I print on "spec" and my sales run about 98%. Actually the assistant increased that, but I'll get to that later.

It goes like this. Entrant enters ring and starts. I take pictures until I get what I want. (what I think will sell) Usually 3 or 4. I walk to trailer, load pictures into computer, do a quick edit. Which is usually crop,levels,shadow highlight and maybe USM. These are set with functions keys. When I get what I want I hit another f key that starts a script I have written.
The script opens a box for me to input name or anything I might want. It then rotates if needed adds a 2 inch strip with my ad, event name and date as well as the name I entered added to the original picture number. It also saves this picture to two different hard drives both with and without the added strip of information. One of the folder that it gets sent to my printer "watches" when something shows up it prints it, then sends the file to another folder. The printer folder only contains an image for about 90 seconds. The printer will print an 8x12 in 90 seconds. I'm back out to take pictures in about 4 minutes. When I do this solo, the next trip back I take that picture, put it in sleeve and hang it up while card is downloading.
With an assistant she stuffs the sleeve. She started selling 5x7's also. She has photos open for me after showing to customer. I have another script that will print two open 5x7's similar to the 8x10. Other events are handled differently, but this is my best money maker.

I use Canon gear, and printer is a Shinko roll feed dye-sub. Colors are great, and I haven't had a miss print that was the printers fault in 3 years.
Here are some examples of what the customer receives. Both are on 8x12 paper one with 8x10 the other with 5x7 photos.



After cards are loaded into main computer they are loaded into another computer whose sole purpose is backup, then automatically erased. (I've also never had a problem doing this)

I used to have viewing stations set up for people to look at their pictures, but most everyone asked me which photo they should buy anyway, so I just quit giving them much of a choice. (Much easier on me)

Hope this helps someone.

Dick
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Old 26-12-2009, 23:40   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

Fantastic help Dick
I am ding a small scale shoot very soon, you have given me much food for thought. Not able to set up on your scale but given me ideas.

Roger
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Old 27-12-2009, 13:54   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

Just some further notes, at an event where I don't use the workflow described above, we have worked out a system that gets contact sheets out quite quickly.
I now have a second shooter so there can be quite a few pictures to sort. As we're shooting we write contestant # and starting picture # on a small envelope. I forgot what they called these envelopes, but they're about the size of a credit card. After about 5 contestants we put the memory card in the envelope and assistant picks up the card and loads them into computer. I use a program called Downloader Pro, it will sort pictures in endless different combinations. I use something like. E:Event name\day of week\shooters name(can be associated by what camera took picture)\1234.jpg. When it's loaded into that computer she inserts card into a second computer that loads with a different string. I think something like D:year\date\Dick\1234.jpg. The card is then automatically erased. Card is then put in a box for us to pick-up.
She then sorts file numbers into folders for each contestant, this process is helped if you take a picture of sky between each contestant. Using a freeware program called Faststone image viewer, she creates a contact sheet for each contestant, prints them on a laser printer and hangs them up to be viewed. Faststone is the best contact sheet I've been able to find free or paid for. Here's an example of a sheet I made. (one of my dogs)

Top left where it says Kate is the folder that contains the images and under each picture is the image #. Don't make the thumbs too small trying to save ink, if they cant see it they won't buy it. We GIVE the contact sheets away. If anyone wants to see larger pictures they are really easy to find on the computer to show.
In our operation the person who takes the picture does the editing and printing. With the pictures already open in PS by the assistant, it only takes a few seconds to edit and send to printer. After the event is over pictures are uploaded to a website for purchase, I'm amazed at how many people travel with out cash.

In my case my helpers are my son and his wife, my trailer has living quarters as well as all of the computer gear. I do pay them, but if they didn't work for "family wages" I'm not sure I could afford all of that help.(We also have a good time) One of the really cool parts is that my sons pictures look almost exactly like mine in these event situations. Other kinds of photography we are much different. As with any sport it helps if you REALLY know what is going on. In my case I competed for many years, and he used the dogs at the farm when he was still home.

I know I'm not very good at putting things into words, so if anyone has questions, I'll try to help.

If anyone wants pictures of the setup, I'll try to find some. (customer pictures are easy, my own is a different story)
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Old 27-12-2009, 20:15   #27 (permalink)

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THANKS FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING
 
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Re: Event on-site printing.

HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED. 30 YEARS AGO, I WAS RESIDENT PHOTOGRAPHER AT CAESERS PALACE IN LUTON AND THEN BLAZERS IN WINDSOR.

I WAS USING MY CANON A1 WITH A METZ FLASH, WITH A HUGE BATTERY PACK THAT WAS CARRIED OVER MY SHOULDER. I HAD AN ASSISTANT, THAT WENT ROUND TO EACH TABLE, IF THEY AGREED TO HAVE A PHOTO TAKEN, MY ASSISTANT WOULD CALL ME TO THE TABLE, AFTER TAKING THE SHOT, MY ASSISTANT WOULD TAKE THE ORDERS FOR HOWEVER MANY COPIES WERE WANTED, SHE WOULD THEN MARK IN THE RECEIPT BOOK, A DESCRIPTION OF THE PEOPLE AT THE TABLE.

I WOULD ALSO DO THE PHOTOS FOR THE PRESENTATIONS, IE, BIRTHDAYS, ANNIVERSARIES, PEOPLE WOULD NORMALLY BE GIVEN FLOWERS, LARGE CUDDLY TOYS ETC.

MOST OF THESE PEOPLE WOULD BE QUITE EASY FOR MY ASSISTANT TO FIND AFTER THE PRESENTATIONS, SHE WOULD ASK THEM IF THEY WISHED TO ORDER A PRINT.

I WOULD ALSO TAKE PHOTOS OF PEOPLE WITH SOME OF THE STARS THAT APPEARED AT THE CLUBS, THESE ALWAYS SOLD.

I WAS CHARGING 3.50 FOR A 7X5 IN A FOLDER THEN.

WE USED TO LEAVE THE CLUBS AT ABOUT 2.30 IN THE MORNING, I WOULD DRIVE TO A PHOTO PROCESSING LAB, ON HEMEL HEMPSTEAD INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, I WOULD POST ALL MY FILMS THROUGH THEIR LETTERBOX, I WOULD GO BACK TO THEM AT EIGHT O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING AND THEY WOULD HAVE DEVELOPED ALL MY FILMS AND MADE CONTACT SHEETS FOR ME.

I THEN WENT HOME TO BEGIN THE PRINTING, I USED A DURST ENLARGER AND A DURST COLOUR PRINTING MACHINE, THIS WAS VERY HARD WORK.

I WOULD THEN HAVE TO PUT THEM ALL IN FOLDERS, THEN IN ENVELOPES AND WRITE ALL NAMES AND ADDRESS'S BY HAND THEN FINALLY POST THEM, MY TURNAROUND TIME WAS APPROX THREE DAYS.

I EARNED A GOOD LIVING AT THIS EXCEPT IN THE SUMMER MONTHS, WHEN PEOPLE DID NOT GO TO THE CLUBS SO MUCH, SO THE CLUBS WOULD GIVE OUT COMPLIMENTARY TICKETS, WHICH MEANT IF PEOPLE WERE GETTING IN FREE, THEY DID NOT WANT TO SPEND ANY MONEY AND CERTAINLY NOT ON PHOTOS.

I ONLY WISH WE HAD THE DIGITAL AGE THEN, IT WOULD HAVE MADE MY LIFE SO MUCH EASIER
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Old 27-12-2009, 22:48   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

Back in my road racing days, at one of the tracks we went to there was a couple at the track who did something similar. He took pictures all day Saturday, he then went back to a motel and printed 8x10's on spec. I understand that he did quite well. They traveled around in a little compact car with all of the printing equipment and did all of the developing and printing in the motel.
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Old 27-12-2009, 23:55   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Event on-site printing.

Wow WOODY and somewhwereinusa. That sounds like hard work. I had an A1 but it it is only with digital that I have considered a second income from photography.

2 days to go to my shoot
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Old 28-12-2009, 11:50   #30 (permalink)

PLEASE NOTE

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THANKS FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING
 
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Re: Event on-site printing.

ROGER, I HAVE STILL GOT MY CANON A1 AND IT STILL WORKS PERFECTLY, EVEN AFTER 30 YEARS, I HAVE NEVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH IT

GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR SHOOT, HOPE ALL GOES WELL FOR YOU
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