So you want to print a calendar…

My 2009 Calendar Cover

My 2009 Calendar Cover

So,’tis the season,

and money is tight,

you got all these photos,

now what right?

If you are like me, you need extra cash at the holiday’s time.

To remedy this evil fact of life I decided to make ans sell calendars about three years ago.

My first calendars, though not so great in quality sold like hot cakes, and so I’ve continued the tradition, but using a professional printer instead.

Here are some of my suggestions, hints, and tips to make your calendar.


1. Pick bright, full size subject photos, unless you are doing a specific theme other than wildlife demanding you to break this rule.

2. For professional printers your images have to be 300 DPI at least and usually more than 2 and less than 12 megapixels.It is also important to be in the correct Color Space (What is Colorspace?).

3. Become familiar with image sizes and resizing, great tutorials can be found on the web like this one: Proud Photography Blog: Image size and Resolution

4. Edit your photos so that they fit within the templates for your calendar printing company. I use Vistaprint. There is also a site called Lulu, and CafePress. If you are more of a do-it-yourself-er check out what Photographer’s Edge has to offer.

5. Realize, that printing at home is expensive; printing at most printers is expensive; and you won’t make a profit unless you can buy in bulk or on sale. This is exactly why I use Vistaprint.  They have the lowest prices for short runs (less than 250 products), and often have sales.

6. When designing you calendar I have found that people prefer my wildlife photos to have a border and description.

7. Set your price point.  While it seems that with single photographs setting the price high brings sales, with calendars this is not true.  There are simply too many opportunities for people to buy calendars, and in most cases they are disposable.  I have found that $15-$20 is the MAX you can charge for a standard calendar. For small desk calendars (which I sold many more of) I have priced them at $10 and seen excellent results.

8. While I’m still new at this whole selling my photography business,  I am growing everyday in what I know.  This season, my goal is to get my calendars sold in local shops like Harvey’s Groves that specialize in Florida fruits and gifts.  I am also submitting to Cracker Barrell in hopes that this may become something I can make more than a little extra money from.

9. Finally; Get to know you favorite photoshop-type software.  These things are sooo much easier if you understand how to work your programs!

Best Wishes and let me know if you have more questions

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